You can't argue with success.
In the old days of the pro wrestling business there were a number of regional territories that allowed a consistent flow of high-level wrestlers to establish their acts and perfect their craft. These days, that is simply not an option. Quite frankly, I can't see a scenario where it ever will be again.
So where does that leave the wrestling business?
Well, ever since WWE bought out the few remaining promotions -- WCW and ECW -- which aren't to be confused with territories, but were the final active companies that produced top-tier performers on a regular basis throughout the years, the scene was wide open.
Unfortunately, in the current landscape, it's not a realistic goal to try and start a wrestling company from ground zero and build it to be a legitimate contender to WWE.
Hell, TNA has been around for well over a decade -- with many years on national cable television -- and look how close they are to WWE. The answer? Not close at all.
Look at Ring Of Honor. Similar story, minus the legitimate national television exposure. Regardless, if we're talking territories, they're about as close as things come these days, and as long as we're calling ROH a territory, it has actually developed a number of great talents. Sure, most had prior experience on the independent scene, but guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and many others established their national identities in the ROH ring.
The point is -- outside of TNA and ROH, where really only ROH can lay claim to elevating independent guys to the level that they become potential WWE prospects, and as listed above , actual major players in the major leagues of WWE, all that's really left in terms of WWE having a built-in system to create new stars is NXT.
In the past, WWE tried establishing their own little territory, such as Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), both of which actually worked out quite well. The reason that style of feeder-system is no longer around is a whole other story in-and-of itself.
We're talking NXT.
NXT has -- like it or not -- actually turned out to be a pretty successful formula thus far. They've managed to produce where they need to. The goal of NXT is to take guys from the bottom level, or close to it, and build them up -- teaching them the "WWE style" -- to the point that they eventually -- hopefully -- graduate to the main WWE roster.
Once again, you can't argue with success. Look at the track record -- The Shield and The Wyatt Family speak volumes by themselves. In those two groups you have six guys. I would argue that in about five years time, at least four of the guys that are (or were, now that The Shield has disbanded) part of those groups will be big-time, top-tier, main-event caliber WWE Superstars. Rusev might be in that league one day as well, as WWE seems quite keen on him. You have mid-card guys, or even comedy acts, such as Adam Rose and Bo Dallas, two recent main roster recruits, that help round out the cards and programs on WWE television.
Not everyone can be a major player in WWE. Everyone should try, but there's only so many top spots.
NXT, as a promotion on its' own, is so much fun for a true pro wrestling fan. I think the live specials that they have held on the WWE Network so far have been absolutely incredible. I think the system itself, for what it is designed to accomplish is delivering on all fronts. I think that the weekly television product -- again, for what it is supposed to be -- is a breath of fresh air.
I like NXT. A lot.
I think the idea behind NXT is one that needed to happen eventually. I feel that with the territory system well behind us, with the competitive promotions no longer existing (at least in a legitimate competitive fashion) and with WWE giving up on having separate, adopted promotions like OVW and FCW, NXT is the next logical step. Especially when you factor in the WWE Network and the purpose it is designed to serve. It all goes together well. It makes sense. And for what it is designed to do, it is delivering on all fronts.
The headline of this editorial read, "Is NXT The Proper Way To Develop Future WWE Talent?" I'll answer that for you (spoiler alert): Yes. Absolutely. Without question. Not only does it develop future WWE talent, but by itself is a very fun, fresh, refreshing "territory" to enjoy on a weekly basis and absolutely on an every-so-often basis with the stellar live WWE Network specials.
My opinion, however, only matters so much. More importantly, what do you...