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WWE wrestlers 'discontent' over better NXT booking; NXT wrestlers frustrated waiting for their call up

Handcuffed WWE talent are becoming frustrated at being constantly told by fans that they're underperforming in comparison with NXT's top acts. The feeling is mutual, as those NXT wrestlers are frustrated that they aren't on the main roster making big money.

Vince McMahon and Triple H need to get on the same page with their competing wrestling visions.
Vince McMahon and Triple H need to get on the same page with their competing wrestling visions.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Like my colleague Sean Rueter, I found the latest NXT Takeover special a blast to watch live. Although a couple of matches were rough around the edges, the combination of a passionate crowd, logical storylines designed to get over all the participants as potential WWE stars of the future, even those that lost, and a string of spirited performances, especially in the latter half of the event, made it an easy thumbs up.

Compare that to WWE's Monday Night Raw where crowds are often apathetic or unruly, storylines are often incoherent as plans change from week to week, and the wrestlers are often buried by being placed in short meaningless matches, despite having a three hour show to fill.

From a talent relations standpoint this is a mess, as handcuffed WWE talent become frustrated at being constantly told that they're underperforming in comparison with NXT's top actswhilst those NXT performers who are clearly already ready for the main roster become restless waiting for their call up to the big time.

This isn't mere speculation, as Bryan Alvarez on his Wrestling Observer Live show yesterday openly discussed the growing discontent with many WWE wrestlers at their shabby treatment on television as compared with their NXT counterparts who are always given the chance to look good:

"I mean there's discontent on the main WWE roster over NXT and the sense that all of these NXT performers are getting a chance to go out there and have great wrestling matches during these specials, and meanwhile the Raw roster has to go out there and have short matches on TV in nothing matches, particularly if they are the women."

This report backs up Wednesday's rumour on our site that morale within WWE is currently poor, knowing that the current booking and scripting of promos is poor, but they're powerless to do anything about it, which is obviously exacerbated by the fact that those problems aren't apparent in NXT.

Hopefully things will change for the better in time, but it will take Vince McMahon swallowing a great deal of humble pie to suddenly admit that his protégé Triple H has already surpassed him at certain aspects of promoting and that he needs to take a few pages from his developmental league's playbook, especially when Wall Street has gone back to treating him as ballsy risk-taking genius.

Moreover, Dave Meltzer has corroborated Alvarez's story on his subscriber only message board, whilst adding that the best NXT wrestlers are also frustrated that they are having to wait their turn before being brought up to WWE programming:

"I get DMs from people on the main roster always after those specials.

It's a common frustration.

The top NXT performers are frustrated they aren't on the main roster making money. Then they will get more frustrated when they realize their dream.

WWE guys are frustrated they aren't having the matches guys in NXT are when they know if they can perform before 400 fans in longer matches they can tear the house down."

The frustration on the NXT side is also understandable when The Ascension got called up first before more polished, experienced and prepared talent. Plus the likes of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Finn Bálor, Adrian Neville and Hideo Itami are unlikely to be making much more money today than they made before joining NXT, maybe even taking a pay cut for the opportunity at potentially making much bigger bucks in the future by becoming a WWE headliner instead of being a big fish in a much smaller pond.

I agree that the likelihood of frustration when they finally get to WWE television is also high, given the current mismanaged state of WWE's roster, and with the possible exceptions of Baron Corbin and Sasha Banks, all of NXT's main talent would be a tough sell to Vince McMahon. Some will be given the dreaded boring tab, other will be dubbed too short or too foreign or too flabby or too copycat or too ugly or too indy or too gimmicky, especially if Kevin Dunn is in Vince's ear giving his two pennies worth.

Even Finn Bálor, who is a fantastic all-around performer with an impressive physique, I worry that Vince won't get his "humble Irish man that metamorphoses into a demonic war painted warrior" persona. I fear that in Vince's hands the gimmick would get too cartoonish and he'd become a better working Boogeyman.

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