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Chris Hero says WWE used to look down on indie wrestling: “there are things that Vince likes that Hunter doesn’t”

On his latest podcast on, Chris Hero talked about his return to WWE NXT after being released in 2013.

Hero was asked if WWE looks down on independent wrestlers coming in in 2012:

“Yes. That was very evident when I went there in 2012. Indie was a bad word. It changed over time in NXT in 2014 or 2015. Things became more accepted and more revered because of the success of guys like Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens going in there and tearing it up and being the most popular wrestlers there. Finn Balor came in and Samoa Joe.

They saw that maybe these guys do have something and they can connect with our crowd. They would often think that independent fans are not necessarily their fans. When I started, Dr. Tom was the coach. He also felt like ‘hey, we have to get rid of some of these indy bad habits.’ I can understand that point of view, but, if you’re looking for something, you can find it.

There’s certain things the boss doesn’t like and you have to figure out what those things are so that you don’t do it. You get in the habit of not doing it, so that you don’t do it the one time the big boss sees you, because if the big boss sees you, you get that one chance, and then you’re forever the guy who does that one thing you don’t like. Now with NXT, you have a different big boss who has different tastes than Vince. So, there are things that Vince likes that Hunter doesn’t. There are things Vince likes that Hunter doesn’t and that can get very confusing.”

There’s a lot more covered on this show, including Hero’s four-year run on the independent scene before he went back to WWE. The entire show is up at

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit “Can Chris Hero Save Wrestling? on” with a h/t to for the transcription.

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