Corey Graves on what went wrong with NXT, what WWE is doing well with NXT 2.0


In the last episode of “After The Bell”, Corey Graves gave his opinion on NXT 2.0:

“For me, what made NXT special when it started, when it went around the first time, whenever you had your members of The Shield, who were individuals. There were different characters and different superstars with different traits. This is what I notice a lot in NXT 2.0 and I really like it. I hate using the word gimmick because these days that’s not what we want, we don’t want gimmicks, but we need personalities. We need character traits. I saw glimpses of it over a short period of two weeks.

It reminds me of a conversation I had last Monday. We watched what was happening on our TV, and without selling anyone down the river, a dignitary, a senior in the company, was watching the screen. He leaned towards me and said, “Who is this missing person? I looked for a minute and said, ‘I don’t know how to sell them.’ The person I was talking to looked at me and nodded in agreement and said, “I was thinking the same thing. Ultimately, it is the sports entertainment business. Our job as commentators is to sell characters, to sell storylines. We are sellers in one way or another. Without having a feature on what you are trying to sell, it becomes a lot harder to sell. If you sell refrigerators, it’s a refrigerator. We have a lot of refrigerators. I do not know of another refrigerator. But if you can walk into someone’s house and say, ‘Hey, if you buy that refrigerator, they do too. It does that. No matter what you are selling, you need to have features in order to be able to sell to a consumer.

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When you see a superstar on screen, no matter how athletic or cool they can be, if you can’t add depth to that person, then they’re just another superstar. I think that’s where NXT got lost. I don’t mean this from a negative point of view, but, until a few weeks ago there were 30 guys on NXT who are amazing wrestlers, who are sports performers, but tell me without ever seeing them for myself, which makes Superstar “X” different from Superstar “Y”. You have to differentiate yourself and stand out. It makes our job a lot easier because now you have some tangible qualities to say, “Oh, that person is like that because of that. Their mentality is such that they want that ”, and everything is fine. It’s quite a giant package. This is what I think NXT 2.0 did a great job in two weeks is at least creating interest, oh here is this guy, and just looking at them, or seeing a 30 second thumbnail, you have an idea of ​​who they are.

You might not know all the details exactly. You don’t know what makes them tick. Psychologically, you can’t analyze them, but you have a starting point. I think this is of the utmost importance. When you look at all the greats in WWE history and sports entertainment, you can generally rank them. Stone Cold Steve Austin is the bionic redneck. It’s a redneck. He is a mountaineer who likes to drink beer and does not like authority. Alright, great. I can do a lot with this. Triple H, even back in the days when Triple H was the blue blood of Greenwich, he was better than everyone else. He thought he was that cultural elite and that he was above everyone else. Then obviously the character grows and adapts and evolves, and you put more clay on the mold, it grows and becomes more and more of a work of art. I think NXT 2.0 did a great job in two short weeks establishing at least several really solid starting points for future talent to build on.

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“To use a car analogy, every superstar has four wheels, doors and a windshield. Anyone who has walked through this door knows how to play in the ring. Some people are going to look more to aerial athletes and guys who do cool moves. It’s great if it’s your ice cream flavor. If you like it, more power for you. Some people like strong characters. Notice that throughout WWE history, the biggest stars were more focused on personality, charisma, and emotion. Hogan, Rock, Austin, Cena. They may not be master technicians in the ring, but they have something in them. “

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Graves also had John Morrison as a guest. Morrison opened up about meeting The Miz for the first time:

“When I first met The Miz I thought he was a real (it was beep) like everyone else. When we started tagging each other I didn’t really take the time. get to know him or talk to him. After we did our first live event loop together, and we were together in a car talking, I was like, when he’s with you having sex with you. one-on-one talking, he’s a really great guy. He’s loyal. He has the same dreams and hopes everyone else. He really enjoys wrestling. He’s pretty funny, but he thinks everything what I’m saying is funny. It’s a confidence booster. We’re on the same wavelength when it comes to humor. That’s when I thought, this tag team can be a lot of fun. It evolved and became even more fun than I thought. I was at my wedding, and he was at my wedding. We became more than partners es and tag team colleagues, like real friends. When you work with someone you really enjoy company with, are on the same page, and have chemistry on the screen, everything just gets better.

If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit After The Bell with Corey Graves with ah / t at for the transcript