Justin Barrasso Provides Some Backstage Notes From NXT TakeOver: In Your House


Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso appeared on the pre-show panel at WWE NXT TakeOver: In Your House. Earlier today, Barrasso wrote a blog about his experience and provided some backstage notes from the show. You can check out some highlights from his blog below:

On how he got the spot: “A few weeks ago, I received a call from WWE’s PR department asking whether I would be part of their kickoff show for In Your House. My on-screen history is limited, but having covered the overwhelming majority of the roster either before or during their NXT run, I thought I could add a unique perspective. For full disclosure, I did not accept any compensation from WWE in the interest of maintaining my impartiality. But there were other enticing reasons to take on the opportunity. It immediately struck me as a better way to gauge the product, seeing elements of NXT that I typically wouldn’t, and the access was phenomenal. I was also able to interview a number of talents (I’m particularly looking forward to writing a feature story on Taya Valkyrie, who is now starring in NXT as Franky Monet), and my Sunday at the Performance Center allowed me a very unique perspective.”


On arriving at the event: “Since I covered UFC 263 on Saturday night, I arrived on Sunday for production meetings and prep. Those I worked with at WWE were gracious hosts, and there were plenty of highlights throughout the day. For as many WWE shows as I’ve watched and covered, I have never seen the behind-the-scenes machine at work during a pay-per-view, which I was able to do at TakeOver. I saw so many different components that went into the development of this show. I watched the hands-on nature of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Matt Bloom and Sara Amato throughout the day. At the end of the night, I also caught a glimpse of Triple H congratulating members of the five-way main event as they headed backstage, and it was easy to see how passionate (and spent) all five wrestlers were trying to create something memorable.”

On Ted DiBiase sharing stories with people backstage: “One particularly memorable story was when DiBiase was asked to make sure a young talent named Hulk Hogan got over in 1979. When DiBiase wanted to know how McMahon wanted him to accomplish that, he was told however he saw fit. That kind of trust made DiBiase want to do the job even more. Of course, DiBiase and Hogan later became integral pieces of WWE in the 1980s. Despite their feud, which famously included a crooked referee costing Hogan the belt in 1988 and later DiBiase paying off Andre the Giant to sell him the title, DiBiase noted that he was always surprised that he never had a singles match on pay-per-view against Hogan.”

On WWE bringing media members in for shows: “I sincerely hope NXT continues to bring in more members of the media to be part of the TakeOver kickoff shows. It really provides a unique lens of NXT, and there are so many talented people who would thrive in that position.”

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