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October 1, 2015

NXT, WWE, and the Battle Between Indy Spirit and Big Wrestling Business

NXT, WWE's developmental circuit, puts on really good wrestling shows. So good, in fact, that main roster wrestlers are rumored to be in a state of near perpetual annoyance about being shown up by the less experienced NXT workers. These rumors are believable primarily because NXT wrestlers routinely do outshine the promotion's big names. NXT gives wrestlers a lot more creative freedom, something that might understandably rankle those higher up the food chain, mired as they are in heavily scripted promos and tepid storylines. When the men and women on the main roster wanted to become wrestlers—when most anyone wants to become a wrestler—they wanted the type of freedom NXT provides.

For all that, it's important to understand that NXT is not just, or even primarily, a wrestling show. NXT is, first and foremost, a factory with a street-facing window that's dedicated to smoothing the rough edges of the best indie wrestling talent out there. It then feeds the more-finished product into the sports entertainment machine that has left WWE's main roster—which now includes a good number of NXT graduates—feeling so chewed-up.

To efficiently manufacture these wrestlers for WWE, NXT (and its prior branding as FCW) needs a steady supply of raw material, sourced from independent and local wrestling groups around the world. Dean Ambrose came through after a career of working death matches. Seth Rollins worked his ass off in Ring of Honor before going to Florida. And on it goes: Luke Harper, Cesaro, Sara Del Rey, Samoa Joe. There is a mile-long list of former indie legends and erstwhile hotshots who've signed up to work in NXT and then moved up to the biggest of the big leagues when the higher-ups in Stamford decided they were ready.

WWE's appetite for talent is seemingly limitless. Legendary women's wrestler Kana (now Asuka) and the unbelievably talented Uhaa Nation (now Apollo Crews) are the latest to join NXT. They will not be the last. The whispers are already stirring around wrestlers like Ring of Honor champ Jay Lethal and Chuck Taylor.

The thing to remember here is that WWE is not just another wrestling company. It's the wrestling company, regardless of current or future quality. WWE doesn't just want to sign everyone; it can sign everyone. Take a long look at NXT, and you get a sense that this all may be exactly the McMahon family's plan...More?

source: vice sports

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