Given his anti-authority position days of D-Generation X, it’s hard picturing Shawn Michaels as a company executive. Yet that’s where the Heartbreak Kid finds himself these days, as one of the chief officials in charge of NXT. Michaels recently sat down for an in-depth interview with TV Insider to talk all things NXT and what the future might hold.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On holding top positions along with Triple H: “I have to say, for the past several years of him and I working together, we’ve gotten used to it. It is pretty wild to fast-forward to all these years later. It is quite amazing that these two guys who were innovative and creative, and who really wanted to grow the business from a performance standpoint and a creative standpoint and a television standpoint, are still doing that. Back then, I think it was seen behind-the-scenes as troublesome, political — things like that. Now, when you are in the position to be able to use that innovativeness and creativeness in a professional and executive manner, it’s really come full circle. We’re thrilled. It’s one of the things that keeps him and me young — the passion and love we have for this business as we continue to grow it and make WWE better and take it into the future.”
On what NXT’s current identity is: “We don’t want it to be seen as anyone’s anything. It’s not black and gold. It’s not 2.0. It’s NXT. It’s the original NXT, and what we believe NXT has always been about: providing and securing the future of WWE for years to come. That is developmental. That is the stars of Raw and SmackDown early in their career. I want this NXT to belong to the men and women who come through. I want it to belong to the people who have supported it for so many years. I would prefer the ownership to be that of the people in it and the people viewing it. There is this idea that it has to be classified as something. I think this business continually changes, and NXT has to change with it. It’s about the future and not standing still. We want to continue to grow and expand and get better and learn new things. It sounds cliché, but we want it to be everyone’s NXT.”
On the potential to hold shows in more traditional arenas: “Absolutely. As you mentioned, we started with the Florida loop, or the coconut loop, as we call them. We’ve briefly discussed getting out for our premium live events. Do we want to do that at the end of the year or start at the beginning of the new year? We had Stand & Deliver for WrestleMania weekend, which is the first time many of our talents were out of the Performance Center. It’s certainly something we want to get back to. We have every intention of doing that. We’re actually having talks on how we want to go about executing that. This will go beyond shows in the state of Florida for, certainly, premium live events but regular live events. As you know, that is part of the developmental process. They have to get out there and perform on the main roster, all around the world. They might as well get their feet wet in NXT.”
On his long-term plans in WWE: “The synergy between the main roster and NXT is better than it has ever been. We’re excited about October 18th. It’s going to be a big show with a number of special guests, shall we say. That synergy is going to be upfront on NXT on Tuesday, October 18. The transition from NXT to the main roster now is going to be smooth and seamless. The relationship between Raw and SmackDown with NXT is always going to be there. Clearly, the end goal for all of our talent is going to be full-time on the main roster. If you look at the main roster, it is 98 percent alums. Over the years, a number of them have expressed interest, wanting to come back and give back. That wasn’t always a possibility. Now it is, in the [present] and future. Some of that has already happened, as we’ve seen. We’re sincerely focused on bringing back joy and fun and entertainment to the WWE and to this business in general. I think if anything, that is what we’re doing with this new awakening in WWE. This new regime, as some people have called it. We’re all looking forward to the future.”