During Bull James' three-year run in NXT as Bull Dempsey, there wasn't much outside competition to WWE. That has changed with the launch of AEW which is the biggest competition WWE has seen since WCW went out of business.
James was asked if he would have preferred that AEW was around when he was in NXT when James joined The Wrestling Inc Daily.
"Competition is always gonna be good. We competed with ourselves and always tried to top the last week. Also, everyone in the PC – it's not just the 20 people you saw on TV – there was 50 or 60 more behind us that wanted our spots. It's in-house competition," stated James. "Now there's a lot more of it because there's more people stuffed in the PC. There's people chomping at the bit waiting to take your spot. That's an added stress to NXT now as there's people in the PC that want your spot in addition to competing with this other TV show. That's why not everyone is cut out for what we do."
James then shared his thoughts on the AEW product.
"I was at their Philadelphia show just seeing some friends and everything. The production value is incredible. They have a lot of talented people in and out of the ring working there. Like anything else, some of their talent there was very good on the indies and is very good in the ring. But there are still hiccups in learning to work on TV. But that's why you have Billy Gunn, Jerry Lynn, Tazz, JR, Dustin and Cody. They can help them along the way and it's gonna be a learning process," said James.
"The proof's in the pudding with the numbers as week by week they seem to be finding their groove. It's pretty cool to see."
The ratings between NXT and AEW have been one sided with AEW having an edge in 2020 broadcasts. James talked about what NXT needs to do to better win Wednesday nights.
"It's just gonna come down to NXT maybe touring a little bit more with their TV shows. Obviously Full Sail will always be home for NXT and if they want that darker look – if that's what the higher-ups are going for – then they'll stay at Full Sail. But to bring that energy week in and week out is tough for that same audience," stated James. "That's why maybe it would benefit them every now and then to pop out of Full Sail and do a taping somewhere else. You can always go back to Full Sail and shoot a TV episode there. But maybe changing it up a little bit could help them out."
James will be appearing at 80s Wrestling Con in New Jersey on April 18. He discussed how he got hooked up with them.
"I've known [promoter] Tommy Fierro since I broke into wrestling in 2005. He was one of the first promoters to take a chance on me," said James. "Then he left the business for a while and I went onto to NXT and he toyed with the idea of coming back but didn't pull the trigger. Then out of nowhere, 80s Wrestling Con popped up."
James admitted he grew up more on 90s wrestling than 80s wrestling but said that the business was crazy back in the day. He pointed out the huge crowd at WrestleMania III and Ric Flair wrestling in North Korea to 100,000 fans.
"You're not gonna see that ever again," said James. "It's become tough for WWE to match that and I think that's what people romanticize the most about."
Bull will be participating in 80s Wrestling Con on April 18th in Freehold, NJ. For more info please visit 80sWrestlingCon.com. James' full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon: by clicking here. The full interview can be heard via the embedded audio player below: