Corey Graves welcomed Finn Balor as his guest on the latest “After The Bell” podcast. Before Balor joined him on the show, Graves gave his candid opinion on the current version of NXT.
Graves said, “I got to work so closely with Dusty Rhodes and so many megastars on our roster now will credit Dusty with helping them figure out who they are. Dusty was very character focused. Dusty Rhodes could care less how many wrestling moves you knew. Dusty wanted to know what makes you tick because he could find the smallest little thing about you and blow it up and make it a persona or a personality and help people figure out who they are in the wrestling world. That was the one thing I noticed throughout TakeOver. There’s a wealth of talent. We have, arguably, the best wrestlers in the world in NXT. The matches, start to finish, are unbelievable. I was having a hard time, with few exceptions, knowing who these people are. What makes them tick? Why are they the way that they are? MSK for example, yea, they were spectacular to watch. They did some mind blowing stuff. They are obviously great athletes.
But, what makes them important to me, the viewer?… I would consider her (Shotzi Blackheart), one of the exceptions for sure. Visually speaking, Shotzi stands out. I don’t know what makes her tick, or why she is the way she is, but she stands out. She has a very discernible personality. This isn’t a shot at anybody. This is just what I would like to see more of. I would like to know why these people are the way that they are. What makes them stand out for reasons other than being great at pro wrestling…I think NXT could use a little injection of personality as far as to stand out. Everybody has metal music. Everybody wears trunks and kick pads. Everybody’s in great shape. Why does one differ from the other?
A lot of people just watch NXT for in-ring action, and if that’s your vibe, if that’s your flavor of ice cream, cool. I understand it. I’m just saying, for Corey Graves, the wrestling fan, knowing what I know and knowing the way my mind works obviously with RAW and SmackDown that I’m focused on now, I think we need to know who these people are a little bit more. When I compare everything to NXT, I think back to my time there. You knew who Bayley was. You knew what made Seth Rollins tick. You knew what The Wyatt Family were about. Adam Rose, for goodness sake, he was this party animal. It didn’t translate, obviously, to major success on RAW or SmackDown, but you knew who these people were. I regularly watch NXT, but I don’t study it like I used to. I don’t follow every bit of it. So, when I sit down and watch TakeOver, I look at it thinking, as a general wrestling fan who may not know who all these people are, in this case, it was me, what could they show me to make me care a little bit more and to hook me a little bit deeper?”
You can listen to the entire podcast, with Balor as the guest, via your favorite podcast streaming app on your mobile and desktop devices.Co