When it comes to former AEW wrestlers in the WWE developmental system, Jade Cargill gets most of the attention.
But a few months before Triple H & team signed the former TBS champion, they brought AEW original Brian Pillman, Jr. on after his contract with Tony Khan expired. Pillman’s arrival didn’t get the fanfare Cargill’s did, but once they were ready to put him on television under his new “Lexis King” moniker he’s been prominently featured in one of NXT’s biggest angles.
That’s led to his first match at a WWE premium live event, against former NXT champ Carmelo Hayes at Deadline tonight (Nov. 9) in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In discussing the decision to put King in a big spot on his pre-PLE media call this week, the man in charge at NXT indicated that the second-generation wrestler wasn’t getting what he needed while at AEW:
“As you mentioned, tossing him in the deep end, and we’ve been doing that since day one. Look, I’ll say this, I think he’s been doing a great job. I think he understands he’s gotten tossed in. He’s been doing everything he can, he’s been working well with us. He asks a lot of questions, he’s a hungry kid, and he’s somebody that’s adapted and adjusted to the structure that we have in NXT in a real positive way. I think he’s somebody that will be a prime example of what NXT can do for you because he’s somebody that did need that structure.”
It’s a little less overtly shady than Triple H’s post-Survivor Series comment about Cargill’s readiness, but it sends a similar message to any young talents debating between whether signing with WWE or AEW is the best way to take their career to the next level.
Soundbites won’t matter if we don’t see the results on screen. King can take a big step toward making HBK’s case on Peacock tonight.
H/t: Fightful for transcription