As AEW continues with its momentum, there are a lot of questions on NXT and what WWE can do to turn that brand around. The creative has definitely changed since they moved to the USA Network to compete with Dynamite but there are other issues that are hurting the brand. Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez discussed this on Wrestling Observer Radio and Meltzer noted that some wrestlers will stay in NXT for a long time (or forever) because the feeling is that they can’t be stars on the main roster.
Meltzer said, “There’s a lot of issues at stake and one of them is that I think what has hurt NXT is that before with NXT you would watch NXT and you would get the guys and women that are doing really good and you would get really excited for them to go to Raw or SmackDown and make a difference.”
He added, “Now I think the mentality is that no one is ever gonna make a difference because they all are gonna get misused and so it’s like why bother to get behind anyone in NXT because it’s either gonna be Johnny Gargano, who is never gonna leave no matter how great he is. He’s never gonna leave because they have already decided that a guy like Johnny Gargano can’t be a star on the main roster even though he’s been a star in NXT and having great matches for a long long time. Adam Cole has been in NXT forever and been over forever. Really, it’s been years.”
“A guy like that should be on the roster and a star …. Brian James said it, ‘too bad he doesn’t look like Karrion Kross.’ I think that mentality right there is part of the problem. As much as Karrion Kross gets pushed and as much work as they do on his entrance, the fact is that Karrion Kross is not as over as Adam Cole but, in their mind, Karrion Kross is a potential star and Adam Cole is an NXT guy. That itself may be the answer that they are missing because if this was AEW, they would probably not go with the mentality that Adam Cole cannot be a star on the main roster and Karrion Kross may or may not. This is not a knock on Karrion Kross, it’s a knock on the mentality. Because he’s got size, he can be a star and because the other guy doesn’t have size he can’t be a star. In 1985, that was correct but the world has changed completely and they are behind the times.”
NXT writer “Road Dogg” Brian James admitted that someone like Kross will be seen as a star before Cole. He said the following back in June on Corey Graves’ podcast about Cole: “Adam Cole is the most professional and most talented. He gets it. He gets every aspect of it. He could cut a promo. He is one of the guys where you tell him I need you to do a minute, and that’s all you say to him. He gives you a minute of hiccupless verbiage that makes you go, ok, that was perfect, thank you, every single time. That’s Adam Cole in a nutshell. He’s also a great worker, he has a great psychology. If he was Karrion Kross’ size, he would be the Universal Champion right now, and if he wasn’t, I would be wondering why. That’s the kind of guy he is. That’s the kind of human he is.”
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