WWE is holding an NXT panel discussion right now in Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center. The panel featured Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Triple H, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks and more.
Highlights from the discussion:
* A lot of Dusty memories were discussed early on. HHH said he would never be replaced.
* Seth Rollins noted he was “Wowed” by the WWE Performance Center in comparison to the little place he trained when Developmental was FCW. Finn Balor said the best thing about the Performance Center is getting different, varied advice from trainers who all have different experiences in the business.
* They joked about the “dark” old FCW days, including Steve Keirn not letting people go to the bathroom and having to go across to the gas station to pee. Keirn didn’t want food in the building because he thought it made the place smell.
* Triple H noted this Wrestlemania had someone who came through NXT except one match…his vs. Sting. That is the measure of success of NXT.
* Balor said that when he was working in Japan, he was far more intrigued by NXT then he was Raw.
* Kevin Owens noted that when he was getting to WWE, he knew the previous chapter in his career ended, he knew he had to go through NXT and he’s thankful because it prepared him for Raw. He was comfortable for his Raw debut because of NXT.
* Sasha Banks discussed the change in the Divas division because of NXT. Triple H said they are legitimate main eventers for Raw and Smackdown. Sasha said when she had her tryout, she was told to wrestle “like a Diva” and didn’t know what they meant. HHH noted the women have a long way to go still in pro wrestling but they are kicking and screaming and kicking down the door. He said Natalya deserves special credit for everything she’s done for the Divas division. Sasha said she’s wanted to have matches on the same level as the male competitors since she was ten.
* Triple H credited William Regal and Canyon Cemen for all their hard work as recruiters for WWE.
* Finn Balor noted he is not in a rush to get to the main roster, feeling NXT is doing “something special” and he’s proud to be a part of that. Triple H said guys like being in NXT and it’s somewhat bittersweet to leave for the main roster.
* Balor said that in a decade, NXT guys will be seen in the same light as the original ECW crew. Sasha said there is a family bond with the NXT talents but they are also in competition with each other to succeed.
* Fans thanked HHH. He said he has 13,000 reasons to thank the fans.
* Triple H said he never shies away from using talents from the independents, but everyone has to go through a tryout because he doesn’t personally know them and WWE has to see what they are like personally and professionally.
* Triple H was asked about AJ Styles potentially coming to WWE or NXT. He said he just wants to have the best talent from around the world.
* Rollins told a story that when he signed, he was told that “Tyler Black” was dead and to move on from the indies and not say that term and learn.
* Balor was teased about whether he was going to get a Leprechaun gimmick. Kevin Owens joked about feuding with Hornswoggle.
* Kevin Owens said he’s the only one to listen to Enzo Amore’s advice and that Enzo has the best advice period.
* Triple H said NXT is no longer considered developmental but it’s own third WWE brand. The future is up and NXT allows them to try different things.
* Kevin Owens said he wishes Adam Cole was in NXT to wrestle him. Seth Rollins said he’d like to see Jimmy Jacobs (former ROH wrestler, now on WWE creative) take off the suit and face him in the ring. He’d also like to see The Young Bucks here so he could wrestle them one more time.
* Balor noted that he wishes he could be wrestling Jushin Liger tonight.
* Seth Rollins says he wishes he could have hung out and spent time with The Fabulous Freebirds.
* HHH said his Hell in A Cell bout against Undertaker was his favorite match. He said that if he was a main roster guy now, he’d be worried about the NXT talents trying to take his spot. He said the competition is great because it makes everyone work harder and it lights a fire under them.
* Balor pointed to Seth Rollins as a good role model for himself personally as he can see someone who came from outside WWE, excelled and grew under the WWE umbrella and then had great success. Rollins said he wants to face Balor and find out who’s better. The crowd loved that.