Former WWE ring Announcer Justin Roberts recently did an interview for Total Wrestling Magazine. Here are some highlights…..
On the development of NXT:
“When they first started NXT they had a formula of taking guys with little to no wrestling experience and I don’t think that worked out so well. Then they started taking guys with a following, who are well received on the independents and are great workers, they’re kind of like guarantees as opposed to the others who are long shots. By backing the guarantees they’re going to do better and I think that what WWE has now is a steady formula for running NXT. They take guys who have a lot of experience and it makes WWE look good for it.”
“With NXT there’s talent that have been there for a long time, who are only just making a name for themselves on the main roster. Now, WWE are starting to introduce more talent to the brand which will bring the crowds and hopefully keep them there. Then WWE will move them up to the main roster and that’s working for them. However, the guys who are coming to the main roster are not the guys who have necessarily trained at the Performance Center. Take Samoa Joe for example, I’ve known him since the early 2000’s, he’s been at it a long time, he’s great and I’m glad he’s doing well on the main roster.”
On why WWE has changed its mentality in the talents they sign:
“What’s funny is when we talk about this, the ones who are on top of WWE now, are those who got the ball and were able to run with it. There’s also a lot of great talent who’ve been with the company for a long time that could have been top guys but the company just didn’t run with them. WWE could have had a lot more stars, but instead of building everybody like they did in the ‘Attitude Era’ where everybody got a big reaction and had a storyline, that has happened for so long that the company has only really had a handful of stars for years now.”
“Look at Dolph Ziggler for example, the marquee for SummerSlam last year had a bunch of guys faces on who were in the main matches apart from Ziggler even though he was in a championship match. The crowd knew he wasn’t going to win the match because he wasn’t even on the marquee.”
“WWE’s mentality is building them up, then cutting them off and trying to build again when they need them. There’s a lot of guys who are in that situation, starting to get over, starting to get something going and the company just pulls back on them. Whereas certain guys they’ve just kept pushing. If I ran a promotion I would want to push anybody who’s getting over. If the crowd likes them, likes what they’re doing, then they’re my audience, they’re the ones who are supporting my company so why wouldn’t I want to push them? I wouldn’t want to have just one star I’d want to have as many as I can.”
Click here for the full interview.