NXT’s Vengeance Day event takes place this weekend (Sat., Feb. 4) at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
NXT head honcho Shawn Michaels was a on a media call today fielding all sorts of questions about what’s going on with NXT and WWE these days, and here are some of his more notable responses.
First, on the topic of potential main roster call-ups for wrestlers like Alba Fyre, HBK said he’s hopeful that roster shakeups could be coming up after WrestleMania 39:
“I got my fingers crossed, that maybe around WrestleMania, we’ll be having some talks about something, and some shakeups and some rosters. But as I say, right now, I just do the job I’m told to do, and do the best job I can.”
Next up was WWE’s decision to fire Mandy Rose due to the the explicit photos and videos she was posting on her FanTime page. HBK denied having anything to do with that decision:
“Well look, obviously not the ideal situation. I will say, I guess if I’m allowed to say it for the record, I didn’t fire her. I can’t fire anybody. Only thing correct about any of that was I handled creative.
But no, look, it was unfortunate. Obviously I think Mandy was fantastic for us. I absolutely enjoyed working with her. She was a phenomenal champion. We would have loved things to have gone differently and been able to build our story with Roxanne [Perez], but I was put in a position to where I had to make a call creatively, and so we did that. That’s one of the things that I’ve learned doing this job, is nothing comes before the brand.”
“Roxanne was certainly where we were going regardless, we just went a few weeks earlier than we expected to.”
“And I will say, honestly, I think the world of Mandy Rose. She was nothing but phenomenal with us. We’ll miss her, but we’re thrilled about Roxanne Perez being the NXT women’s champion, taking us into the future.”
I have to say, I’m pretty sure that HBK was already familiar with the mentality that “nothing comes before the brand” by around Survivor Series 1997, right?
Finally, HBK made it clear that he knows nothing about Vince McMahon’s return to WWE. Here is Shawn’s response when he was asked if McMahon has been involved in NXT or WWE creative, and if he anticipates that will happen in the future:
“He has not, and again, I don’t think so. I would imagine that Vince has probably got bigger fish to fry than us down here in NXT...one of the things I enjoy about my job down here is the plausible deniability that I’m allowed to have. That’s why I don’t ask a lot of questions, because like I said, I don’t want to know the answers to some of them.”
“He was very good with us down here. They helped us, in a certain way they guided us on how they wanted it to go, but after that, it was hands off. And Hunter, the same thing. Again, they’re very good with us down here in NXT. They understand this is in a different environment down here. So we’re very fortunate to kind of be independent no matter who is running the ship up there in Stamford. They allow us a great deal of freedom down here, which we appreciate.”
There you have it, Cagesiders. Do you know just as little as Shawn Michaels does about what’s going on behind the scenes in WWE?