Unlike the majority of Wrestling fans, Vince McMahon is reportedly not a fan of the NXT brand or its superstars.
The Wrestling Observer noted this week that McMahon doesn’t see NXT as anything more than a touring brand with performers who cannot draw money at the top level.
We can only assume he’s never seen Finn Balor’s previous work in Japan.
Triple H is the brains behind NXT and has reportedly drawn heat for not helping in the effort to get Roman Reigns over while on the main roster. The WWE COO no sold Reigns’ beat down a few months ago as he attended the NXT Takeover: London network special.
While many fans may have fun with NXT Triple H and main roster Triple H being two different entities, the heat drawn to him may affect the development of superstars he has helped mold in NXT once they hit the main roster.
Superstars like Bo Dallas, Neville, Adam Rose and more recently Tyler Breeze have not the heights they did while appearing on NXT.
Is Vince wrong?
Many fans will tell you Vince McMahon is completely wrong about this and that his companies future lies in the success of NXT. Hardcore fans flock to NXT shows all over America and the shows in the UK sold out nearly instantly.
But he may have a point with a number of superstars. During NXT tapings the superstars only perform in front of a few hundred fans who are hardcore and passionate fans. Once you hit the main roster, you may have to get over with casual fans who are only there for bigger names such as John Cena and The Undertaker.
That is not to paint all the NXT superstars with one brush but superstars such as Ty Dillinger - who is a fun NXT superstar with his '10!' chant may not get over with casual fans and children on RAW.
But on the road, NXT sells out to thousands. They sold out the Barclays Centre the night before SummerSlam last year and put on a better show. They’ll probably do the same this summer but much closer than that, they have NXT Takeover: Dallas.
NXT could steal WrestleMania’s thunder when they perform at AT & T Stadium in a few weeks.
It has also been reported that NXT is much more fun than the main roster as you are given more creative freedom to express yourself and time to develop a character. Tyler Breeze may never have won the NXT Championship but he helped improve superstars such as Hideo Itami and Samoa Joe and their standing with the NXT fans. He was given time to cut promos and have meaningful matches, something the main roster is severely lacking.
Independent superstars drew well in the past, why not now?
Some NXT superstars have performed on the independent circuit where they have been one of, if not the main draw to the event. While they may have only performed to 50 fans on some nights, the majority of those fans have come to see them.
Austin Aries, Shinsuke Nakamura and Apollo Crews, formerly Uhaa Nation, are not nobodies. These superstars are highly respected elsewhere and have the potential to start on the WWE Roster and bypass their supposed development system all together.
Much has been made in the past about superstars needing to have a certain look about to become top stars in the WWE. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk proved that is a false as long as you can connect with an audience. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will now be tasked with proving they can fill those sort of roles.
People such as Finn Balor, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, Bayley and Samoa Joe are reportedly in line for moves up to the main roster. Five of NXT’s top stars who can get over in different ways and help the main roster immensely.
Finn Balor is one of the best wrestlers in the world and his demon persona has and will sell merch with children. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy are not SAWFT. Their opponents are, but they are not. They will get over with their energetic promos and comedic spots while being serious. Bayley is an incredible wrestler with fun music and with a different story to any of the current divas. She is the underdog and that storyline usually goes well for the WWE.
Samoa Joe. His name is widely known by wrestling fans, he is a hugely talented performer who can easily switch between being a good guy and a bad guy - something the main roster needs a whole lot.
While Vince McMahon may claim in public that he is a fan of NXT and say differently behind closed doors, he may need to accept that this is his future and that he will need replacements for his top guys. He just needs to change his way of thinking and accept the revolution that is NXT.