Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Tentacles of NXT Are Spreading

Papa H has big plans
Photo Credit:
Triple H usually runs a conference call the day before a big NXT Takeover special, so yesterday, he got on the phone with journalists and investors and the like and fielded questions. He took queries about topics germane to NXT, obviously, but towards the end, he received one about his relationship with Gabe Sapolsky. The rumored relationship has been in the works for months, and when Trips confirmed that he'd send spillover from the Performance Center to EVOLVE for work, it was the first confirmation on a story that looked to blow the lid off the wrestling news world.

The fruits of said relationship haven't really come to a head just yet, at least publicly. Maybe the only exception has been Johnny Gargano's foray into NXT, which may or may not have netted him a full developmental deal. Perhaps some of the new talents (Matt Riddle, perhaps?) coming into EVOLVE are prospective hires for WWE sent into EVOLVE for waiting that just haven't publicly been confirmed yet. All of this seems so very new, especially for a company in WWE that has been so insulated for the last 15 years or so.

But Triple H's direction for NXT has seemed different than what the Vince McMahon/Kevin Dunn cartel has peddled on RAW. The acquisition of Jushin Liger's talents for Takeover: Brooklyn was unseen in any WWE ring since the talent exchanges with Michinoku Pro and Asistencia Asesoría y Administración in the late '90s. In fact, while it wasn't mentioned in the linked printed recap at F4W Online, he mentioned he inquired about working with New Japan Pro Wrestling further, even though the talks were still very preliminary.

But the fact that Trips explicitly has stated the importance of the indies and has all these plans for expansion and working agreements shows that he has ambition for the future, whether it be the short term for NXT or long term when he finally gets the reigns on the main roster. He has a transformative mind for wrestling, and WWE needs that to move forward. Frankly, RAW has been in the same format with the same storytelling mechanisms and the same production values since the Attitude Era. No matter how much Johnny Sweatstain sitting on his couch at home, bitching about the lip-service paid to catering to kids (which is just lip-service at this point anymore) wants it to come back, the Attitude Era is dead and gone. And it should be.

Regardless, NXT is standing at the precipice of something big. While the rest of the show outside the Sasha Banks/Bayley feud which will culminate tonight seems to be hitting a lull, I predict it won't stay in those doldrums for long. The vision is in place. The appetite for expansion is there. Hopefully, time will bear out and the fans will end up being the ones who win out of all this.