WWE reveals list of new recruits to the WWE Performance Center

Doubling them in the 18 to 49 demo every week and getting in top 3 almost every week is not that much bigger, yeah.

I wish those people all the best. But then there’s the main roster…

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The point is why complain to be called up - they know what is waiting for them.

And it’s not true at all about everyone being happy on NXT - Deonna Purrazzo complained, she then got jobbed out on the main roster. Lio Rush and ACH were also unhappy there. All three are better off now

It mostly comes out after people leave because talent is scared to say anything

People have gotten entirely too reliant on a generality on the key demo being the only thing that matters here. It went from a good PR focus for AEW and now people are pretending like the total viewership isn’t what people judge sports TV on. I don’t think the actual wrestlers care a bit about this. Maybe in 20 years when the viewership ages out of existence, but there’s just a bit of time between now and then.

For whatever reason, it’s obvious at this point that they don’t consider Mickie active anymore. I don’t think that’s purgatory, I think that’s very much knowing where she is. On the Riott/Cross front - I’m not sure where they’re exactly supposed to be placed that’s far different than what’s going on. There’s only so much TV time and for one, Riott is on every single week, even if we’re not really sure where this is going (I’m assuming they’re not quickly going over right now because it’s a multi-team match at Mania, but we’ll see). She has a clear role, though.

Nikki Cross is unquestionably a more important wrestler on her own since she’s been up on the main roster and successfully adjusted her character in a way that made her more appealing than just a 2D maniac. She had a long program with Alexa and won the tag titles at last Mania. She doesn’t have anything right now because Alexa has been pulled into the Fiend world, but for someone who in any ideal scenario still isn’t circling the top of the card at all times and is more of a mid carder, having a break from the main shows until her next thing while other midcard women are getting some spotlight isn’t necessarily a negative thing. She’ll be fresh when she returns.

Wasting their time as top guys on NXT seems like a silly thing to say at this point. John was right when he called NXT WWEs “Indy”. It isn’t really developmental anymore that is why they are starting up evolve. Would these guys be wasting their time on Impact if they spent 4 years in the top mix? ROH? NWA? AEW if they aren’t the top guys? Moving up to the main roster to be Ricochet/Retribution? On 205 live?

AEW if they are in the top mix is the only spot that might be better than they are (or main roster as a top guy). Or maybe NJPW if they were top guys there.

It isn’t really a waste of their time to be the top guys on one of the top American wrestling shows.

I have a feeling that some NXT women will be moving up soon. I ah e a feeling that Dakota and Raquel might move up with the tag titles, maybe do a match with Raquel and Io and have Io go over and stay and move up the tag team. The main roster needs more tag teams and Dakota and Raquel seem better for the main roster than Io does given the main rosters use of Japanese women. At least that is what I would do. But then I’m not Vince.

To me it’s more so just those guys in the same position, doing the same things for so long. Compare that to what someone like MJF, Darby Allin or Jungle Boy have done in a year and a half with AEW.

The plodding style of booking with WWE/NXT just drags and kills a lot of interest for me. It’s why guys like Kofi, Ziggler, Cesaro, etc just seem like they’re constantly spinning their wheels. Cole will be like 35 by the time he ever gets a real shot on the main roster

I guess it comes down to perception. MJF was hotter at the start than he is now and Jungle Boy is whatever. Darby has grown but he is still just a midcarder. Brian Cage they ruined very quickly, same with Rusev. Ambrose, Omega, Cody and Jericho are still the only legitimate main eventers in AEW and that’s me being very generous with Jericho who’s a bit of a joke.

For some reason if someone’s not holding a world title in WWE it must mean they’re being buried whereas if a wrestler is just seen on AEW TV it must mean they’re doing great. Funny.

I don’t think it is a fair comparison. You are comparing a company with more history to one with less history. Saying AEW guys have grown more starting from relatively nothing vs the top guys in an existing promotion isn’t an apt comparison. I think Cole and Gargano etc, should be compared to Jericho (in AEW) or Cody, or Moxley. As far as position is concerned. Saying the top guy is wasting his time because he is on top for a long while is not a fair comparison to guys moving up the card. Now you can say NXTs top mix has stagnated a bit, and that is fair to an extent but that doesn’t mean those guys are necessarily wasting their time there being the top guys it means that the newer talent isn’t being pushed properly to make an impact. I mean WWE main rosters top mix is pretty damn stagnant are you saying Randy Orton is wasting his time there?

I think you need to wait until AEW is old enough for stagnation to become a possibility before you really say “look at these guys on this other show.” We need to see what their mix looks like 3-5 years down the line is it still Omega, Moxley, the Young Bucks etc at the top with guys like Darby in the mid card? Or is Darby in the main event? How long has he been there etc.

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I’m not as…I guess…leaning downward?..on MJF or Jungle Boy. I’ll just say that AEW is 18 months old and has had the luxury of being both extremely new and very able to just keep throwing new things at the audience. Could WWE be doing better at that? I think everyone in wrestling can be. But also it’s a major difference to look at a 1 1/2 year old company filled with wrestlers who have had barely any exposure and a company that has been in it’s current construct since 1980. But I’d like to see how AEW is still holding up a half decade or decade in before I think this is a unique situation to WWE, or if fan expectations or negative perspectives into the company have just tainted everything. Everyone keeps thinking that how AEW is today is how it’s going to go forever. That they’re never going to have ratings struggles or roster struggles or anything else. History has shown that to not be realistic.

That said, I think the shine and optimism everyone has for AEW helps them wash away some of the mistakes they make we’d otherwise see and bring attention to in other companies. I, myself, would actually prefer this to be how fans are with every wrestling program and not just in tune to be critical, first, but again, not reality.

Anyway, going back to Benjamin’s list of treading water…Kofi just had one of the most unique stories ever told that led to his elevation in the company for 8 months. That coming after a run (whether too long or not) as one of the most successful tag teams/units WWE has ever produced. Whether you’re disappointed it didn’t last forever or not, it’s simply not true that he’s spinning his wheels.

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First of all, love that we both had the same thought here.

One thing I’d add - I wonder how much people’s perspective of “stagnation” is just getting used to the idea that NXT isn’t just a never-ending flow to the main roster anymore. We were so used to it constantly recycling itself that now that we actually see these wrestlers grow and change within just NXT, it seems like they’ve been around forever.

But really, Cole is now getting his chance to change his situation. Gargano has done a 180 to what he was on his rise and is trying to do the same thing as a heel now. Ciampa has had great runs as a heel and face…though has sputtered since leaving the top mix (that’s going to happen anywhere with some people). Balor went down there and became a completely different character. I think both WWE and fans are going through the experience curve of NXT changing and figuring out what it is going to be in the '20s and while it hasn’t been smooth, it’s still giving us a ton of great stuff on a constant basis.

The one thing I, and many, are probably hoping for is that if this is no longer going to have churn going upwards, that the way they freshen up is sending people down to do something new or change and use it more like a fake tour on the Indys instead of people needing to be fired to figure out their faults and strengths. That’ll do NXT wonders in the years ahead.

I agree that part of the issue is the change to it no longer being a place where top guys spend a short amount of time meaning the top is always a fresh set of faces. The other part is the same problem that the main roster has where the secondary title is essentially fought for by the same set of guys that fight for the top title.

Who has achieved more out of Johnny Gargano in his NXT run, or Darby Allin in his AEW run. Is that a serious question?

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In the last year and a half, yes. Gargano was feuding with Leon Ruff and has turned into a lame comedy character. Allin has been built into a star

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I don’t think he is a star yet. They are working on him to get there but he isn’t a star now

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I suppose he has managed to keep getting the better of Principal Skinner whilst doing his Greenday cosplay. Some achievement

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Don’t have a cow, man

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Darby Allin is already a star…? :joy:

Living inside a small bubble that’s inside the small bubble of wrestling will make people think some crazy, delusional shit.

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Just for a point of reference (not that social media is the be all end all)

Darby
Instagram 162k followers
Twitter 116k

Gargano
Instagram 570k followers
Twitter 322k

Xia Lee
Instagram 162k follower
Twitter 97k

Austin Theory
Instagram 153k
Twitter 28k

Based on these numbers Darby’s star power righty now is on a level with Xia Lee or Austin Theory much more than it is with Johnny.

Now he is presented in a much higher profile role than either of those talents but that is (at least based on social media) the level he is on star power wise.

Which makes sense you don’t pair your Star with Sting, you pair a guy you hope will be a star with him to get a rub and exposure.

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I’d argue that you should look at their growth in followers over the last year and a half. I’d bet Allin has grown significantly more. And that was my point, AEW has done a better job elevating talent than NXT has.

Another measure of a star and one I always point to when talking about Allin is the huge quarter number he and Starks got in October - Ratings Breakdown For This Week's AEW Dynamite and NXT | 411MANIA

Gargano has never, ever drawn eyeballs like that