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WWE Needs To Eliminate NXT

WWE.com

It's not working.

This, in theory, is how it should work, if WWE insists on developing talent in-house instead of pretending to:

A raw, promising wrestler debuts on the developmental programme, develops, and, just as they connect with the crowd and refine their act, they jump to the main roster, more or less TV-ready. This is how the old developmental system worked, not that it wasn't deeply flawed, since it refused to recognise the emerging 2000s independent scene that would ultimately transform the mainstream as we know it today. This is how Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton and Batista emerged to change the complexion of WWE having graduated from the fabled Ohio Valley Wrestling class of 2002. They were ostensibly hidden away on regional TV, and felt brand new on the national stage.

But it was flawed; countless acts developed in the old system, from OVW to Deep South Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling (and some pipelines before and in between), failed to make the grade because, when Jim Cornette willingly slapped his career goodbye in 2005, what was always an homogenised approach to talent development fell into systemic disarray.

Triple H recognised the flaws in the system - inept men managed the careers of goosesh*t-green talents who were all trained to move the same way, much less work the style - and seized control from John Laurinaitis in 2011. He reimagined NXT as a hybrid pitched at the hardcore set: it was a developmental show and a big-budget Super Indie, with a feel-good vibe and a theme of progression, highlighted by the sort of incredible name talent Vince McMahon is reluctant to push. That was until - and you can trace this back to the western expansion of New Japan Pro Wrestling - NXT, in early 2018, all but abandoned the "developmental" pretence.

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