Vince McMahon’s resignation from his WWE duties has sent shockwaves through the wrestling business, but the company didn’t waste any time transitioning, as it announced Stephanie McMahon would be working with Nick Khan as co-CEOs, while her husband Paul Levesque (fka Triple H) took over as head of both Talent Relations and creative. Only a week later, it’s already being reported that this could mean change is on the way for Levesque’s pet project, “WWE NXT.”
In 2021, WWE announced that “NXT” was being revamped, and the television product now known as “NXT 2.0” doesn’t look much like the “NXT” of old. However, according to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there’s an expectation behind the scenes that Levesque’s previous version of “NXT” will come back in certain aspects, stating that it will “revert back somewhat” to his original vision for the brand. “NXT” is said to still be recruiting top-tier athletes, but they may not being shying away from established independent talent, which they had reportedly been doing. Beyond that, the extent of the anticipated changes remains unclear, and there’s certainly no word on whether this means the end of “NXT 2.0” as we know it (“NXT 3.0,” anyone?)
Despite this, Meltzer was careful to warn that fans shouldn’t expect main roster shows like “WWE Raw” and “WWE SmackDown” to change to resemble the “NXT” of old just because Levesque is in charge of creative. Levesque has been clear over the years that he believes the main roster is a different animal with a different audience, and while they may have some different views on pro wrestling, Meltzer doesn’t think McMahon’s influence on Levesque is going away.
The newsletter suggested there was a belief that Triple H had, at one time, been creating a team in “NXT” with plans to eventually step up to the main roster when it was his time to take over — something that seemed unlikely two months ago when Levesque was still recovering from a cardiac event, Stephanie was announcing a leave of absence, and the Wall Street Journal hadn’t yet started publishing damning reports that McMahon had paid several female employees large sums of money to keep quiet about alleged sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, many of Triple H’s team have been fired in recent years, including names like Samoa Joe and William Regal, both of whom have moved on to AEW. The report also suggests there was speculation that Levesque would replace Bruce Prichard and Kevin Dunn, both of whom have strong ties to McMahon — speculation that has now resurfaced. Fightful Select reported that Prichard is still working with the WWE despite McMahon’s retirement, and that was an integral part of the “SmackDown” episode that aired the day of the announcement. Whether or not Dunn remains with WWE has yet to be revealed, but WWE Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff has gone on the record, saying that he believes the long-time producer has no reason to stay.
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