In an interview with Raute Musik, ‘The Architect’ Seth Rollins acknowledged the change that Superstars like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan had brought into the way the WWE viewed Indie wrestlers.
Both Daniel Bryan and CM Punk managed to achieve success in the company, even though they were not endowed with the top-guy "WWE Look". Punk and Bryan were able to get the fans behind them each and every week.
Recruited by the WWE from the Independent circuit, Punk and Bryan worked their way up to World Championships, despite having the odds stacked against them in terms of physical attributes and lack of wrestling pedigree.
Rollins, a former Ring of Honor wrestler himself, commented on the current state of NXT by stating that NXT had managed to bring together wrestlers from not only the independent circuit based in the U.S. but from promotions all around the world.
Here’s a video of Seth Rollins, known in the ROH as Tyler Black, cutting a promo about going to the WWE:
Rollins talked about how NXT was now more than a Developmental show because of Triple H. Rollins thinks that the then developmental show Florida Championship Wrestling was a bit formulaic, but after Triple H took over and rebranded it, everything changed.
Rollins admitted being thankful to guys like Punk and Bryan who paved the way for independent wrestlers like Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, and himself to be picked up by the WWE. Rollins said that without those two, they wouldn’t have received the opportunities that they were getting now.
Daniel Bryan who’s now the General Manager of SmackDown Live retired from wrestling after suffering multiple injuries to his neck and head.
Also read: Tales of Success: The evolution of NXT
Bryan worked in several independent promotions such as Ring of Honor (where he is considered one of the “Founding Fathers”), New Japan Pro Wrestling, EVOLVE, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla etc, wrestling under his real name Bryan Danielson.
CM Punk left the WWE in 2014 after several disputes related to his booking, and also because of WWE’s supposed negligence towards his health. Punk, after leaving the WWE joined the UFC after signing a multi-fight deal.
Punk fought his first match against Mickey Gall at UFC 203 but lost in two minutes. Similar to Bryan, Punk also wrestled in promotions like Pro-Wrestling Guerrilla, Ring of Honor, TNA, among others.
You can check out Rollins’ full interview below:
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