In an interview with Denise Salcedo, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels was asked who has impressed him the most since NXT transitioned into NXT 2.0. Michaels has been overseeing the NXT 2.0 brand while Triple H recovers from a cardiac event, and revealed that he has been impressed with several top names on the brand.
“Bron (Breakker), Tony (D’Angelo), all the WarGames 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 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 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 6 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.”
Shawn Michaels continued to shower praise onto Bron Breakker, the son of wrestling legend Rick Steiner who has quickly caught on in NXT 2.0. Michaels called the budding star a wonderful combo of Rick Steiner and Bron’s uncle, Scott Steiner, as well as the excitement and professionalism he brings to the table.
“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.”
Shawn Michaels truly believes that talent in NXT 2.0 will be the talent of tomorrow for WWE. As such, he’s happy they have several veteran talents down there to work and guide the younger talent, something he feels is perhaps lacking on the independent wrestling scene.
“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 learned, Taker and Steve, 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.”
You can watch the full interview below.
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