NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff took place on Saturday night and it is receiving rave reviews. Tyler Bate vs WALTER was quite an emotional journey but even that struggles in comparison to a huge victory for Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster. Cardiff came alive for those men throughout the match and had their backs the whole way.
After all the matches had finished, I had a chance to catch up with Triple H. He’s a very busy man at the moment; overseeing a major rise in prominence for NXT UK and the upcoming move to the USA Network for the NXT flagship.
With so much talent and so many hours of air time to fill, I had to ask about what this means for talent development.
With the way that NXT UK has risen quickly and you’ve now got NXT moving on to USA do you still believe there is a developmental brand or do you have the finished article just on a lot of different levels?
We’ve used the term but it’s bothered me almost in some ways since the beginning.
There’s aspects of this that you can say are absolutely developmental, especially when you talk about the US. People forget - we just went through this exercise the other day and I don’t want to say the numbers because I’ll say them wrong because we just went through them the other day - but when you start to look at the brand that NXT is and you see people like Braun Strowman, who has never stepped through the ropes before he walked into he performance center. Ever. Alexa Bliss. Never stepped through the ropes before until they walked in the performance center. Charlotte Flair. Right? Homegrown. Velveteen Dream. Homegrown. When you start to make the list of people that came from zero to where they are today, the term developmental in some ways works. Even Tyler Bate as good as he was, how good is he now? Right?
At the same time the developmental term makes it sound almost less than, and the, I don’t even like the word call up. It just sounds, it’s wrong.
There’s three brands to me within the WWE. There’s Raw, there’s SmackDown and there’s NXT. There’s variations within NXT. There’s NXT, I feel like in a lot of ways the Cruiserweights that are on 205 Live are a part of NXT. I feel like NXT UK is just an extension of the NXT brand. There’s here in their country doing their thing but I want to you know build this out and make it bigger but it’s brands. This doesn’t seem developmental, you know what I mean? Barclay’s Center, sold out. Chicago, sold out. LA. Every place we’ve gone, we’ve done it here in London. It’s just a different brand. There are three global touring brands. Legitimately. And that’s really what it is.
The platforms are different but those are all steps of growth and as you see it now on USA in the US I think all these brands have that opportunity to grow. There’s three banners. There’s RAW, there’s SmackDown, there’s NXT.
In all the questions that he was asked and throughout my whole experience reporting on NXT UK for SportsKeeda, one thing was clear. There is immense pride in this brand. A lot has been said about Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff coming in as leaders for RAW and SmackDown. Triple H, however, has one brand with many offshoots in his eyes that he leads.
Also, I enjoyed Team Little Big in the Mixed Match Challenge. That’s absolutely my take away from this whole weekend.