Interview: X-Pac on Why NXT Is Better than WWE, Another Boom Period

A recent episode of The Steve Austin Show podcast had Sean “X-Pac” Waltman as the guest and some of the topics discussed included why NXT is better than WWE’s main shows and if the wrestling industry is entering another boom period.

On the topic of why NXT is better than WWE’s main shows, Waltman said that he believes it’s due to the better presentation of storylines and NXT’s talent being more motivated to perform at a top level.

“I mean, they’re the same company, but, man, [TakeOver and SummerSlam were] night and day to me, personally. It’s like [NXT] know they’re fanbase. It’s a little bit [of a] different fanbase and it’s easier for [NXT] to cater to them because they’re not trying to, I think maybe, cater to everyone and every demographic. Like, I don’t know. I like how they present the storylines they do. It’s nice and simplistic on how they present everything. You don’t [have] to do a lot of [thinking]. It doesn’t rack your brain. It’s easy to follow. I like the characters.” Waltman continued, “there are a lot of people on that [NXT] roster, but you’ve got to fight to be on that show. You’ve got to be one of the best guys to be on that TakeOver show or best girls, yeah. One of the best ones out there.”

Steve Austin agreed with Waltman’s assessments and said that NXT feels more like a throwback to classic wrestling promotions.

“The thing I like about the NXT thing is it’s almost like [Waltman] said, the main roster is almost trying to cover or cater to everybody. And to me, the NXT thing is more… they are both under the same umbrella, it’s WWE, it’s sports entertainment. It ain’t pro wrestling anymore. Now, it’s sports entertainment officially, but in my mind, it’s still pro wrestling. And to me, NXT, yeah, it’s kind of like a throwback. And it’s all modern stuff, great lighting, great production values, everything else, but the storylines are very easy to understand and very simple. And, I mean, the announcers aren’t trying to go overboard trying to explain whatever’s going on. Sometimes when I watch the main roster stuff, it’s like they’re trying to play to so many people that the storylines get kind of convoluted.”

On the topic of if wrestling is entering another boom period, Waltman said that he feels one is currently occurring and it is due to the rejection of the mainstream WWE product by wrestling fans.

“I think we’re at the beginning of a [pro] wrestling boom. I don’t think it’s going to be comparable to the one we went through, Steve, because I just think the landscape is too different, but I can’t help but feel that because I’m out there and I feel that the excitement that’s being picked up. I honestly think that it’s a lot of the people that are frustrated with the WWE product, the ones that you’re not going to please them no matter what. I don’t know. They just want to be that counterculture, I don’t know, almost like that punk rock mentality. And I think that’s kind of fuelling the whole indy pro wrestling resurgence [or] renaissance. I don’t know what you want to call it, but there [are] a lot of guys doing really well out there right now.”