Shawn Michaels lets the world know who from the NXT 2.0 group of wrestlers has impressed him.
Besides being one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Shawn Michaels has worked in the Performance Center for the last few years. However, he has also taken over Triple H’s role in NXT 2.0 since Triple H’s cardiac event. In that time Shawn Michaels has had an opportunity to take a close look at the NXT and NXT 2.0 wrestlers.
In a recent interview on the Instinct Culture by Denise Salcedo YouTube show, Shawn Michaels answered who has really impressed him from the NXT 2.0 brand.
Who from NXT 2.0 Impressed Shawn Michaels
“Bron [Breakker], Tony [D’Angelo], all the WarGames [match] guys, Carmello [Hayes] and Grayson [Waller], the guys that we threw into the deep end right away and have performed so well,” Michaels said. “Of course, it’s a huge testament to our [NXT] 1.0ers, they have been faithful, they have been patient, they have been understanding but at the same time, those young talents have gone out there and done an amazing job. Gigi [Dolin] and Jacy [Jayne], again being thrust into a very prominent role right away, when they came in they had some experience, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them, it was just a matter of being able to find the right person and then all of a sudden Mandy [Rose] became available.
Bron and Tony have done phenomenally. The Creed Brothers, those boys they are bad, they are all bad, they are legit just bad dudes but to have them come to the back and just be so excited, hugging you and just being so jazzed about what they are doing out there at such an early time it’s infectious and so we’re having more and more of those people coming along. When it’s that fun for them, it’s fun for us as well. Even if it doesn’t go perfectly they are doing such an amazing job. Tony D’Angelo has probably had six matches, live on television, everything else has been reps in the warehouse, that’s staggering. To be in the main event, to have to understand commercial breaks, the end of the show, and going off, that is a lot to put on young men and women. They are doing it because they rise to the challenge, they like that pressure situation because, again, that’s why they got into sports for.” H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription
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Rose was moved from the main roster to NXT 2.0 with a new look and a new attitude. Even though she did well on the main roster since moving to NXT 2.0 she has been on fire. She won the NXT Women’s Championship and formed the Toxic Attraction faction with Dolin and Jayne who currently hold the NXT Women’s Tag Championships.
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Rose brought her name recognition from the main roster and was able to put a spotlight on Dolin and Jayne when she joined up with them and formed Fatal Attraction. Since then Dolin and Jayne have become very dominant and a team to watch out for.
Breakker is another NXT 2.0 wrestler who has been tearing a path of destruction right from the night he debuted. His very first feud was against NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa who is an absolute destroyer in his own right. Being in such a high-profile feud right from your debut could prove to be a disaster for most wrestlers, but Breakker stepped up to the challenge and excelled.
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Shawn Michaels thinks the reason Breakker has done so well is because pro wrestling is in his blood. Breaker is the son of legendary tag team wrestler Rick Steiner and nephew of Scott Steiner.
“He’s a wonderful combination of his dad and his uncle, but there is a purity there, he’s still an innocent, excited, enthusiastic young man and that energy again is infectious,” Michaels said. “There is believability, he’s not playing a part, he’s being who he is. I have been crushed by that young man coming back and hugging me in the back because he is really excited and just enthused about doing this. It’s just off the charts, but again this just comes from family. I am just speculating, but I think they’ve helped him to understand that if you’re smart this could be an unbelievable life, have a real future for yourself and the family that you might want to have, all of those things and he understands that it’s all right here before him.
At the same time, while he’s being fun and excited and enjoying what he’s doing, I think he understands that at the same time he is a professional, he’s an athlete that wants to be good at the job he chose to do. He really does put in the time to not just rest on his laurels, I mean let’s face it I think at this point he can easily coast or not try as hard but instead, he takes the responsibility of ‘I appreciate this role you guys are putting me in, I wanna make the most of it and I want more.’ He tries to lead in the locker room as well, and I think that is a fantastic thing and that comes from guys like Pete Dunne, Tommaso Ciampa, telling him about that as he’s going on this journey.”
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It is very obvious that Breakker has a bright future in WWE as long he stays out of trouble and is willing to learn from those more experienced. He has the big muscle man look which Vince McMahon loves and WWE loves second-generation wrestlers. It will get him a little bit extra time to learn and prove himself. He just needs to continue to improve from working with guys like Ciampa who have been around a long time.
Speaking of learning from more experienced wrestlers Shawn Michaels believes that is what sets NXT 2.0 apart from other promotions and the indies.
“You can only get better being in the ring with people that are better than you, so as good as the black and gold brand was there was also right now, out there in the world right now, it’s young on young,” Michaels said. “You’re not in the ring with people so much better than you, that’s one of the things we are able to do here in NXT 2.0 which again is the same way I started and where Hunter [Triple H] learned, Taker and Steve [Austin?], we were all in the ring with people who were better than us and could lift us up.
We’re doing it in real-time, we’re doing it on live TV, you really are seeing right there first hand the development of young men and women and in this case, our women develop; you’re seeing the stars of tomorrow with the stars of today. That is something that hasn’t been consistent in the wrestling business for a long time because there were so many young talents just working with each other out in the indie scene. I don’t mean that to hurt or in any way discredit the indie scene, but it was really difficult when you don’t have a veteran in there that knows what they are doing.”
WWE has made it very public they are looking to only hire wrestlers under 30 years old and build Superstars from the ground up. However, they have also gotten rid of very talented veterans who could have wrestled those young wrestlers and taught them like Shawn Michaels said. It is a “passing the torch” mentality which is great. However, WWE doesn’t always understand how to do that, especially recently with all the releases.
You can watch the whole interview with Shawn Michaels below.
Who from NXT 2.0 has impressed you? Is Bron Breakker high up on your list like he is on Shawn Michaels? Are Dolin and Jayne the most impressive women in NXT 2.0 or is there someone else? Who do you think should be the go-to veteran to teach these younger wrestlers? Leave a comment below and let us know who you think will be a must-watch wrestler in 2022 on Twitter.
Sources: Instinct Culture by Denise Salcedo, Wrestling Inc.
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