We won’t see the new look Capitol Wrestling Center until Sept. 14 (Indi Hartwell & Dexter Lumis’ wedding date, donchaknow), but we did get a lookin into the future of NXT on Aug. 24’s pre-taped episode.
Nick Khan’s talked about wanting WWE’s developmental program to focus on potential stars who come from backgrounds other than the independent wrestling scene. Last night gave us the continued push of Ridge Holland (former pro rugby player Luke Menzies), and the arrival of Xyon Quin (Australian ex-rugby pro Daniel Vidot).
Indie vets got some spotlight, too. Carmelo Hayes, a cruiserweight who worked outside WWE as Christian Casanova picked up a surprising win in the Breakout Tournament over former collegiate football player Odyssey Jones - but it’s clear Jones is still someone the company has high hopes for. Duke Hudson set-up a feud with Kyle O’Reilly. Hudson’s an interesting case, as he’s over 30 and came from the Aussie independent scene, but he’s still a big, tall dude.
And the past isn’t being disregarded. A big match between Samoa Joe and Pete Dunne is clearly on the horizon, so we definitely won’t just without familiar faces - and great matches - going forward.
The short-term future looks interesting, with guys WWE is building as sports entertainers from the ground up mixed with the former indie wrestlers who’ve anchored the brand for the past few years.
Let us know what you think of what we’ve seen of NXT’s future so far. Before you do that, check out the highlights and extras from NXT this week:
- Cameron Grimes and Ted DiBiase are headed to the moon
- Ridge Holland punishes Timothy Thatcher with help of Dunne, Burch & Lorcan
- Indi Hartwell & Dexter Lumis set a wedding date
- Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs. Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne
- Franky Monet confronts Raquel Gonzalez
- Valentina Feroz vs. Kay Lee Ray
- Mandy Rose takes Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne under her wing
- Samoa Joe’s NXT Title reign met with mayhem
- Kyle O’Reilly and Duke Hudson brawl backstage
- Carmelo Hayes vs. Odyssey Jones – NXT Breakout Tournament Final
- Xyon Quinn vs. Boa
- Johnny Gargano pleads for Mr. Regal to cancel the wedding
- Roderick Strong trains with The Creed Brothers in the Diamond Mine
- Hit Row vs. Legado del Fantasma
- Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter are stacking victories (Online Exclusive)
- Odyssey Jones reflects on NXT Breakout Tournament run (Online Exclusive)
- Xyon Quinn remains a mystery (Online Exclusive)