There are going to be wrestling fans that hate this article. I fully understand. But there will hopefully be more wrestling fans that agree with what I have to say. Sometimes I question the usage of the term, “smart fan.”
As each week goes by, I find myself becoming more and more fascinated with NXT. The ever increasing buzz is hard to ignore, and the brand is growing quickly. But what is it? What is NXT?
When Roman Reigns won The Royal Rumble match causing an uproar in the wrestling world, fans were relentless. “You can’t wrestle” chants could be heard in the arenas, as wrestling fans across the world vented their frustrations with him on every major forum on the Internet. “You can’t wrestle,” they chanted. I get it. Even today, it’s debatable whether or not he actually can. Roman Reigns is on the main roster and is a pretty big star, which makes him open to chants like this.
Watching NXT a few weeks back, Eva Marie came out to talk about how she wants to compete with the best women in NXT. The crowd starts chanting, “you can’t wrestle.” Of course she can’t wrestle, that’s why she’s in developmental. That’s why she’s on this show! This is the thing that kills me about NXT.
NXT is a brand that confuses some people. It’s painted itself as this anti-RAW/Smackdown show amongst the “smart fans” as they tune in each convincing themselves they are watching the superior talent. It’s not 100% their fault, however, if they’re so smart they’d understand.
The confusion is fueled by the way WWE promotes NXT. They bring in talent like Samoa Joe, Kevin Steen, Prince Devitt – guys that are actually way more talented in the ring than most wrestlers on the WWE main roster. They place these guys on NXT, which helps create this skewed image some fans have for the show. Instead of people looking at NXT for what it really is (a developmental program for future talent), fans look at it for what it’s absolutely not (an Indie all-star show.)
The way WWE promotes NXT isn’t the only problem. It’s the way they use the talent. As I said earlier, NXT is a developmental show. If you have wrestlers constantly having 4 star matches, they shouldn’t be on the show. Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Bayley and Becky Lynch should not be on that roster. There is no reason for it other than laziness and incompetence. “You can’t wrestle” chants are directed at talent like Eva Marie, because she’s on a show with four other girls that might be the best in the U.S. at what they do. This is WWE’s fault. It’s not just Eva, it’s other talent like Baron Corbin, Alexa Bliss, and Dana Brooke.
My question is: When does the way WWE promotes NXT start to become damaging to the overall goal of the show? Is Triple H’s goal for the product to create new talent, or is it to create a hot Indie all-star show? NXT continues to put the spotlight on “smart fans” that aren’t actually that smart. So if you are attending an NXT show, or even sitting in your living room with a bag of potato chips, take a second to think before saying something like “you can’t wrestle.” After all, thats why they are on NXT to begin with.