TNA talent Aiden O'Shea spoke to The Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling recently for an exclusive interview. You can check out highlights below courtesy of Chad & John, and the full interview at this link.
"Oh man, if we had NXT when I was in developmental particularly in OVW with guys like Evan Bourne, Colt Cabana and Cassidy Riley, (CM) Punk who was in and out of there from time to time and guys like Mike Cruel, I am confident in saying that it is probably one of the best locker rooms overall that I've been apart of. It had a little bit of everything as far as wrestling styles and personalities I think we would have had the NXT "buzz" back then for sure."
"I think what they have done is they have corrected the mistakes and short-comings developmental made for the last 10-12 years. If you think about it, how many big stars have come out of developmental for WWE prior to NXT? You can't think of too many. There is not really a lot of guys that have evolved in WWE. You've got Punk who did or you've got guys that have done real well for themselves like Dolph Ziggler who is a freak athlete, Sheamus has done real well for himself but no one has made it to that Cena, Batista, Brock or even Undertaker. There wasn't the communication that I'm sure there is now. With WWE, it's their Performance Center and from what I understand it is Hunter's baby and he has hired some of the best coaches from different styles and different mind sets that he can find to give different takes into pro wrestling. From what I understand at any given time you've got seventy guys or gals training down there and maybe thirty of them are on the NXT show and Triple H fronting it has done a really good job at making this an actual second brand."
Was it strictly communication that was needed in the old regime to help with furthering talent:
"Everything now seems to be a little bit more thinking in the long term. Like how do we develop talent both now and also physically in front of the crowd in NXT to where they can be NXT stars and in the long term how does that translate over into what Vince McMahon wants on RAW or Smackdown. When I was there they would send agents or writers or guys like Bruce Prichard or Dusty Rhodes and they would come watch us practice and watch us do matches and sometimes we wouldn't even get critiqued. We never had any good feedback from creative or someone saying they wanted us to move in a certain direction."
Bringing outside WWE talent to help make the NXT brand appear different:
"I've seen a little bit of it. I don't have time to watch nearly the amount of "new" wrestling that I'd like but I go back to more of the older stuff that I like to study. I did catch the show with (Jushin) Liger on it, I've watched a little bit of the (Samoa) Joe stuff (his initial debut) to see how the crowd received it and like I said (earlier) it doesn't feel like a WWE wrestling show. If you wanted to create another brand or an extension underneath your umbrella then why does it have to feel just like another RAW or Smackdown. It should have it's own flair to it, no pun intended."
Training alongside CM Punk and Punk's polarizing persona:
"He always had one of those personalities and aura's about him that caught people's attention. It is for good and bad and I would say this to his face that he has one of those personalities about him that people either love him or they hate him, there is not a lot of grey with Punk. He's figured out ways to utilize aspects of the personalities to connect with people and in a way he got the right opportunity at the right time. He is a little bit of a counter-culture personality and what was counter-culture then is very popular now. He knew how to utilize his skills and the people received him."