NXT 2.0 is Dead. Long Live NXT.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) September 14, 2022
After the 1st anniversary show of NXT 2.0, it appears that WWE’s developmental brand is once against moving in a new direction or moving back in an old direction. Or moving in an old direction in a new way. Regardless, WWE retired The tie-dye splatter NXT 2.0 logo after the Tuesday night show, returning to the black and gold color scheme. Here’s why that’s a big deal.
NXT Changes Over The Last Year
Last Year NXT debuted a new logo and color scheme as Vince McMahon took control over the developmental brand. Triple H was medically unable to be in Florida for tapings and developmental training and had also lost the faith of WWE higher-ups. In Vince’s eyes, NXT had failed to prepare wrestlers for the main roster. The added insult of losing to AEW on Wednesday nights no doubt fueled the decision for change.
Besides new colors, Vince nearly wholly overhauled the talent roster. Gone were many indie darlings Triple H had recruited over the years. Instead, NXT returned to its developmental roots and began featuring more up-and-coming talent that WWE had primarily trained inside the Performance Center.
It seems as though NXT is heading for a more ‘older style of developmental’ where they want younger, bigger guys, per Meltzer.
As most have gathered, Triple H and Shawn Michaels had no real say in this decision or those that were released.
— Alex McCarthy (@AlexMcCarthy88) August 8, 2021
And honestly? NXT 2.0 was enjoyable. It allowed a lot of newer stars a chance to develop engaging characters while working on their in-ring skills. More wrestlers had “gimmicks” to help them stand out, and storylines became more sports entertainment-focused.
But then the VKM downfall happened, and NXT and WWE’s creative direction, in general, fell back into the hands of Triple H. The changes were immediate several released developmental stars returned to the main roster. Trip’s best friend, Shawn Michaels, was officially given control of NXT.
.@ShawnMichaels promoted to @WWE Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative – @CBSSports, @brentbrookhousehttps://t.co/5YLPkqYMEo
— WWE Public Relations (@WWEPR) September 8, 2022
And now, with a return to the black and gold branding, it is apparent that Triple H is stripping away most, if not all, of the elements Vince instituted.
There was a lot of criticism of the way NXT used to be. The emphasis on indie stars and the lack of actual “developmental” talent made many feel that NXT was little more than Triple H’s play promotion. But now that there is congruity in who controls the main roster and developmental, perhaps stars will have a better chance of surviving on the main roster.
We already see that effect with Damage CNTRL and Johnny Gargano. NXT stars can make it on the big roster if given a fair shot and good direction.
Fans React To The Change
Listen to the #wwenxt crowd go nuts over the black and gold announcement @WWENXT pic.twitter.com/gJKEcJ8kEw
— rich schellhase (@richschellhase) September 14, 2022
While not a replica, many fans view the reversion as a sign of change.
Hunter SAID ENOUGH OF RAINBOW ASS NXT 2.0, We are back to our Regularly Scheduled Programing baby NXT BLACK AND GOLD! Or White and Gold based off the logo BUT WE HERE!
Have Mandy Rose lose The NXT Champ to Alba doe! pic.twitter.com/JPmfzmyIH2
— ❌ GOAT GOD ❌ #JohnnyWrestlingSZN (-_•) (@GOATGOD_1000) September 14, 2022
NXT BLACK AND GOLD IS COMING BACK, BABY!
Great move by WWE and Triple H to bring this back.
I’d love for them to move back into Full Sail. Also, for the love of god, bring back Nigel McGuinness and Mauro Ranallo. pic.twitter.com/SwbyLmei0E
— Just Alyx (@JustAlyxCentral) September 14, 2022
Not everyone is pleased, and I share a lot of these concerns. Hopefully, NXT 3.0 will retain the bright character-driven work of its predecessor.
black and gold nxt looked like it took place in a dingy ass dungeon. the environment was increasingly vapid by the week.
nxt 2.0 was bright, vibrant, colorful, and eccentric.
give me fun wrestlers in a fun environment over Workrate Workers in a dark cavernous setting any time
— emil (@TheEmilJay) September 14, 2022
But many people are complaining about it because they don’t like anything WWE does.
Black and gold, white and gold, you’re arguing over semantics: the point is NXT is going back to being the dry show that everyone simply pretended to watch before TakeOvers
— Sidgwick (@MSidgwick) September 14, 2022
Share your thoughts on NXT’s rebranding in the comment section below.
Next, Read This: NXT Teases Major Refresh, Update On AEW Suspensions
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