Ex-WWE Talent Reacts To The Rise Of NXT + SD! Matches


— Former WWE developmental talent Troy McClain spoke with Journey of a Frontman for a new interview. Check out the highlights:

On getting involved with WWE: “It’s kind of a weird little story. About a year into my time at USC, I started looking into pursuing wrestling. I liked what I did, but I didn’t love it. And it just so happened that a guy who I worked with had talked me into going to the LA Fitness Expo with him at the LA Convention Center. They had a bunch of booths, a bunch of different things from different companies and things like that. We went and checked that out. Knokx Pro is the wrestling school run by Rikishi, Gangrel and Black Pearl up in San Fernando Valley. And I had met them while I was there and I had obviously recognized Rikishi instantly. Then I saw Gangrel and I was like “Oh shit! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!” So I talked to them on a Sunday and I was training the next day. I was still working at USC and I was training at Knokx Pro like twice a week. About a week after I started training, I went in to work out at USC on Sunday and Cena came in. I asked him how well he knew Rikishi and Gangrel. He said that Rikishi was a big help to John when he first started. This is when he was just coming up and doing the whole rap thing prior to the whole Word Life gimmick. So I told him that I’d just started training with Rikishi. After that, we kept in contact. A little while later, I got an e-mail from the VP of Talent Relations inviting me to the tryout that was in LA. I went to the tryout, did really well and got signed. All of a sudden, I’m in Florida.”

On meeting Bayley at his tryout: “She’s doing great, man. She killed it at the tryout and she was really the only one there who had any prior wrestling experience, as far as the girls were concerned. You have matches on the last day and she led every girl through a routine that they were all learning to do. It was incredible. Obviously her talent speaks for itself. In NXT, she’s killing it. She’s gonna be on the main roster in no time. I can’t say enough about her. She’s such a nice girl. I’m super happy to know that at least out of the three of us that came in at the same time, one of us is doing really well.”

On NXT’s rise over the past year: “Yeah, man. We’ve seen that coming. I’ve seen that coming when I was there. Especially once NXT got on the Network. I was at the Wrestlemania 30 Axxess and it was one of those events where you saw all that would be in store for the future. Triple H said that it’s gonna replace Smackdown as the number two brand. And it eventually will get to that just because they put on such a great show and the guys there work their asses off. And it shows every Wednesday with the hard work that those guys put in. They deserve every bit of it. It’s awesome as I watch guys that I was really close with. I watch Wesley Blake with the NXT Tag Team Championship. Watching Bull Dempsey do what he does. Watching my friends succeed.”

— Here are tonight’s confirmed WWE SmackDown matches:

* The Prime Time Players and Mark Henry vs. New Day
* Charlotte vs. Naomi
* Stardust vs. Zack Ryder
* Rusev vs. Roman Reigns

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