Brian Kendrick On If NXT Will ‘Kill’ The Indy Scene, Talks Eva Marie, More

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In an interview with The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, Brian Kendrick spoke about training Eva Marie and her current progress. Here are highlights:

On his recent matches in NXT: “Those experiences were great. I got to wrestle a couple of buddies in the two matches I had down there, one with Sami Callihan (Solomon Crowe) the other with Fergal Devitt (Finn Balor) and both guys I knew before they were signed and both are guys that I am also a fan of just as people and as performers. To get asked to get to do these things was a lot of fun. It was a treat to get to wrestle such talented wrestlers.”

On how his NXT cameo happened: “It was just a lot of luck. They brought me down just to go to the developmental system because I have a wrestling school out here in Los Angeles, it was a chance for me to get to go down to see how the Performance Center runs things for a week and observe some things. So they decided to throw me a dark match and of course I brought my gear because that’s what any good wrestler does and it just so happened that it fell into my lap.”

On if his time at the Performance Center a tryout for future use as a trainer: “I guess it’s true in a sense but it wasn’t an official tryout. It was more of a come down and see how the system works. For me the whole point was to go down there and gain some knowledge as far as how they run things and the drills they do so I could prepare my wrestlers in a way that they won’t be completely caught off guard if they are lucky enough and work hard enough to somehow get an opportunity to perform at the Performance Center or get a tryout. It’s top notch. They’ve got something like 5,6,7 rings. One of them is completely soft. So guys can try riskier stuff. They’ve got video rooms, they’ve got trainers on staff to both help you learn how to lift, trainers in a sense of medical care, they’ve got ice baths and all kinds of stuff. It’s as if you were going to any major NFL team or a baseball team it’s on that level.”

On if NXT will kill the independent scene: “I don’t think it’s going to kill it. To me it’s genius that they took a style, the “indy” style which is very high paced, high risk, high intensity style of match and are seeing how it works in front of a WWE audience. As far as I could tell, anyone who watches NXT is a repeat viewer, they can come back and watch more because they enjoy it. I don’t know if it is going to hurt Ring of Honor when people learn that Kevin Owens was a Ring of Honor superstar so if people have this knowledge I’m sure it can help Ring of Honor in a bizarre way. I think if Ring of Honor markets itself as a “stars of tomorrow” I think it could be unbelievable because all those stars that came out of Ring of Honor that move on to NXT are hot stuff. ”

On training Eva Marie and her progress as a performer: “She’s not the only one, they’ve sent a few women and they’ve sent hopefuls to me but she’s the only one contracted. Having somebody that like her knows the system, where also she’ll be able to go on and wrestle, what you saw in NXT that was her first match since going to wrestling school. As proud as I was of it, hopefully people in the next few months will become a big fan of Eva Marie’s work and so the fact that they can come out of my school and go directly to TV for me on a selfish level I get more instant gratification that I get to see them come up quicker. At the same time, if I get to see one of my students, like a kid who came off the street who never knew anything about wrestling go onto to success I guess I would feel a different kind of pride since I saw them when they were wide eyed.”

On who from WWE asked him to help: “The call wasn’t made from him but the call was made to me from Mr. Regal because we have a relationship from years past. He is one of the guys who helped train me and so the office knows our connection and he is the one who dealt with me. But as far as I know, Eva told me that she went to the higher-ups and asked to learn and train and they said that there is a school in Los Angeles so that way she can still do all of her appearances and so they can keep her in LA. Also it’s a way to see if I know how to train or not.”

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