Former WWE Superstar and General Manager of NXT William Regal recently spoke about the important role that the crowd at Full Sail University played during the early days of NXT.
In the mid-2010s WWE created their own alternative product in NXT, the arena size, and shape of the superstars varied much differently from what fans saw each week in and week out on SmackDown and RAW. With a small arena, the weekly crowd at Full Sail University garnered a much more intimate connection with the superstars in the ring.
Speaking on his podcast, Gentleman Villain, William Regal explained how the crowd at Full Sail impacted the show.
It was a great crowd, the crowd made everything, the whole of NXT was made by the crowd, whether it is was the people who were kind enough to turn up to the tapings at Full Sail or to the events, such as Takeover, they made everything." Regal added: "This crowd weren't just being polite and cheering. You had to earn their trust. The talent had to give them the goods and then they reacted. They weren't doing it just out of sympathy, reacting that way, they were, because they were seeing incredible people evolve in front of them and they saw them from the beginning, a lot of the time, but they took to who they took to and some people they didn't, but you had to earn your keep with that crowd." From 31:20 to 32:48
With unique chants and with a more in-depth understanding of the wrestling business, the fans at Full Sail University provided an immersive experience for those watching at home.
William Regal on the creative revamp of NXT
In September 2021, WWE's third brand ditched the black and gold grittiness of the days before and instead opted for a more colorful presentation to the show.
During a conversation with Renee Paquette on The Sessions, William Regal said he was all for the revamp despite the change in creative direction.
"When I heard last summer that we wanted to revamp, I was like, ‘Great!’ When I actually heard what Mr. McMahon wanted, I was all for that." H/T Wrestling Inc
Although NXT is looking a lot different to what it used to be, the creative changes seem to be paying off as of late as many young stars on the brand are starting to find their feet as WWE Superstars.
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