NXT head honcho Shawn Michaels took questions from the media today ahead of this Sunday’s Vengeance Day premium live event.
HBK was asked multiple questions about safety in the NXT workplace, following allegations made last week in Janel Grant’s sex trafficking lawsuit against Vince McMahon, WWE, and John Laurinaitis.
Shawn said it’s a sad situation, and explained there are protocols in place to protect talent in NXT:
“It’s an incredibly sad situation. As everybody knows, I have very little and absolutely nothing to do, and gladly so, with the corporate stuff that goes on. We try to focus here in NXT on the young men and women that come through these doors. And we do, I think we foster a safe and supportive atmosphere down here.
I know that they reinstalled and upgraded, I think in 2022, some of those regulations and whatnot. But look, we’re always conscious of that, and one thing that I do, it’s incredibly important to support the talent and give them a safe working environment. I’d like to think we do that, absolutely. But look, we will always continue to try to be better about that and I’m very glad to say that I think we do a really fantastic job down here.”
Here is what Michaels said when asked if he’s had any conversations with NXT talent and staff about the McMahon allegations, and how they plan to promote a positive work environment in NXT:
Obviously, everyone is aware of the situation and understands it. Like I said, it’s an incredibly sad situation...I take all of the youth that come through here incredibly serious because it’s is a tough line of work regardless of what’s going on. Leaving home and coming here and pursuing your dreams is a big thing that we take incredibly serious here. We understand young men and women that come through our doors are impressionable. So we absolutely, certainly encourage the openness, and again, telling everybody to please tell us the truth and let us know how we can help. That’s something that, again, has been here for a long time and we continue to do our best to improve on that, ‘cause it is, it’s one of the most important things to me, is to be able to ask those questions you’re afraid to ask. And so, we certainly empower them to do that, and give them the opportunity to do that. Right now...I think the talent in the WWE and in NXT as a whole are extremely excited about the future. And look, I know we are as well.
...Tough situation, like I said, but I got to tell you from a talent standpoint, and even from our standpoint, we feel like the windows of heaven have opened up and we’re ready to go forward.”
Shawn reiterated there are policies are in place to make sure everyone in NXT feels like it is a safe place to work:
“We absolutely have all of those policies in place. And as I say, we upgraded them in 2022...I know that they’re going to be looking at continuing to improve those. But we absolutely do. We have numerous people that our medical team has outreach to go to, especially even outside of the Performance Center. We do understand that I can look at a talent, and my head writer, our coaches, as they do, we can tell them to tell us the truth or express to us what’s going on. But as you know, again they may not feel comfortable doing that. So yes, we also provide help outside of here as well, and have people that we work with to get them in a complete objective environment, and not even associated with NXT or the WWE in that respect...especially here.
Again, we want everybody to be focused on what it is they’re doing and not have any struggles going forward. So again, I like to think we really do do a great job down here, and I think that’s seen on a regular basis.”
What’s your reaction to HBK’s answers, Cagesiders?