NXT head booker Shawn Michaels held a media call on Thursday to promote this Sunday’s NXT Battleground event in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Some of the topics discussed included Michaels’ thoughts on the potential of Bron Breakker being called up to WWE’s main roster after this Sunday’s NXT Battleground show. Michaels stated that NXT took a big hit in regards to the talent who were recently drafted to WWE’s RAW and SmackDown brands. Michaels stated that he currently feels that Breakker will be staying in NXT for a while longer and there are still some really good matches left for him to do on the brand.
On the topic of former NXT UK brand talents who have yet to appear or return to NXT, Michaels stated that NXT officials are interested in bringing over more former NXT UK brand talent but the decision is being left to those talent if they want to move over to the United States. Michaels stated that Blair Davenport is one of the talents they are interested in bringing back but the final decision is up to her.
On the topic of the Grizzled Young Veterans, currently known as The Dyad, recently asking and being denied their releases and future in WWE, Michaels stated:
“Obviously, obviously, I do. They were guys that clearly, I wanted to come over and bring over from the UK. I think they’re very talented. I absolutely understand. It’s one of the things that I tell everybody here. Do I want it to be here in the WWE for you to have your success? Absolutely. I can’t lie about that. Really, this is about, no matter who comes through these doors, help them to have success in this business as a whole. I always tell everybody, ‘I feel so fortunate for the life that I have and my family and I have. It’s because of this job, and now there is a real opportunity for everyone in this line of work to have that.’ I want that for them. I understand how they feel, but as I mentioned to them, ‘while you are here, I still want to put you in a prominent role.’ There are no hard feelings in that respect. There is too much talent there to waste or leave on the table. If they don’t mind work, I sure as heck don’t mind using them.”
On the topic of Indi Hartwell’s recent injury, Michaels stated that had Hartwell not gotten injured and being forced to relinquish the NXT Women’s Championship, the original plan was for her to compete at this Sunday’s Battleground event. Michaels also stated that he would have loved for Hartwell to have a long reign as champion if possible but her being drafted to the main roster and her injury prevented that from being a possibility.
On the topic of if there are current plans for NXT to continue to run events directly against AEW’s pay-per-view events on the same nights going forward, Michaels stated:
“To the best of my knowledge, no. For me, and for us, the WWE as a whole, as I’m always honest with you guys, clearly there are people far more important than me that make decisions that they don’t tell me about. For us, this was about a big Memorial Day weekend for WWE. Even though it’s a little switched around, for us, it’s a little bit of a throwback to when we would have joint weekends with NXT on Saturday and WWE pay-per-views on Sunday. This is just flip-flopped with Night of Champions on Saturday, especially coming in the afternoon, everyone felt it was a good combination to have NXT on Sunday night and create a big WWE weekend for WWE fans. For me, personally, I would love to have as many standalone weekends on us as we can get. No different than having to go up against the (NBA & NHL) playoffs for the last several weeks. As much as I’m a basketball fan or NHL fan, it thrills me when the playoffs are done. The less competition we can get, the better.”
On the topic of the current status of WWE’s launch plans for NXT Europe, Michaels stated that he has nothing new to announce regarding NXT Europe’s status and feels that it makes more sense for the company to wait until after their sale to Endeavor is completed before going ahead with their plans for NXT Europe.
On the topic of debuting a potential secondary singles Women’s championship in the future, Michaels stated:
“Every now and then, those thoughts drift into your head. I’ll say this, as proud as I am of our women’s division, I would argue that there isn’t anybody, in my opinion, that highlights their women as well as we do here in NXT. Having said that, I just don’t know what another title would be. I sometimes am not sure what you accomplish in that respect. The fact that we highlight our women and have them in so many different storylines and have them so unbelievably distributed throughout the roster is a huge success and something we do very well. I play with it, I go back and forth every now and then, but when everything is said and done, there is the television show on Tuesday that we have to put on, but it’s also about developing talent and we have a lot of very young individuals, especially on our women’s side now with the draft and everything else, we lost a lot of what we would consider veterans and a lot of leaders. Right now, we have a very young women’s locker room. I would argue, at one time, the women’s championship was the only title there for the women. As much as I would love to do something like that, I would want to have it thoroughly vetted out. It is something I think about on a daily basis, I just don’t know that I’m comfortable with what that is yet or have made that determination. I also know, with having such young talent, are there going to be people prepared to carry on that role? I think about it a lot, but I’m not ready to pull the trigger. I’m just very proud of what it is we do with our women in NXT because I think they are the strongest women’s division in all the country.”
On the topic of the current status of NXT’s Women’s Tag Team Championship following Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn’s recent main roster call-up and if NXT officials are expecting to get their titles back, Michaels stated:
“We certainly hope to. I believe, at this point, they’ve had an appearance on SmackDown, obviously representing NXT as the Women’s Tag Team Champions. I would imagine, right now their focus is defending those titles there, but I will say that I think it’s only a matter of time before they’re going to have to come back here and defend those championships. Right now, with the call ups just happening, their focus is going to be up there and seeing where being the NXT tag team champions can take them in respect to the women’s tag team competition on Raw and SmackDown.”
On the topic of the upcoming NXT Women’s Championship tournament Finals match at Battleground, Michaels praised Lyra Valkyria’s work since her transitioning to the United States and Tiffany Stratton’s rise as a star and improvement with her work in NXT. Michaels also praised NXT coach Sara D’Amato for all the work she has done helping develop NXT’s female talent.
On the topic of the Heritage Cup being in NXT now, Michaels stated that he was excited about bringing over the Heritage Cup from NXT UK to NXT.
On the topic of how much notice he was given regarding WWE’s recent Draft and NXT talent who would be called up to the main roster, Michaels stated that this was his first experience with the WWE Draft since taking over NXT but he felt comfortable over it. Michaels stated that he knew that NXT would likely be losing some tag teams such as Pretty Deadly. Michaels stating that NXT losing 15 talents in total for the main roster exponentially changes the show but he likes to be able to adjust and pivot his plans for the brand.
Source: PWInsider.com, Fightful.com 1, 2, & 3