NXT Studs Talk About Their Generation, Who Should Get Signed Next

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Dot com has a new feature article online where Sami Zayn, Hideo Itami, Adrian Neville, Fergal Devitt and Kevin Steen talk about their generation. The article starts by mentioning a Tweet sent out earlier last month by Zayn before they began answering questions.

">@FightSteenFight

Talking 'bout my g-g-g-generation! @FightSteenFight@WWENeville@fergaldevitt@KENTAK312@WWEDanielBryan@WWECesaro@WWERollins. Change=now.

— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) August 12, 2014

">@WWENeville

Talking 'bout my g-g-g-generation! @FightSteenFight@WWENeville@fergaldevitt@KENTAK312@WWEDanielBryan@WWECesaro@WWERollins. Change=now.

— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) August 12, 2014

">@fergaldevitt

Talking 'bout my g-g-g-generation! @FightSteenFight@WWENeville@fergaldevitt@KENTAK312@WWEDanielBryan@WWECesaro@WWERollins. Change=now.

— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) August 12, 2014

">@KENTAK312

Talking 'bout my g-g-g-generation! @FightSteenFight@WWENeville@fergaldevitt@KENTAK312@WWEDanielBryan@WWECesaro@WWERollins. Change=now.

— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) August 12, 2014

">@WWEDanielBryan

Talking 'bout my g-g-g-generation! @FightSteenFight@WWENeville@fergaldevitt@KENTAK312@WWEDanielBryan@WWECesaro@WWERollins. Change=now.

— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) August 12, 2014

">@WWECesaro

Talking 'bout my g-g-g-generation! @FightSteenFight@WWENeville@fergaldevitt@KENTAK312@WWEDanielBryan@WWECesaro@WWERollins. Change=now.

— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) August 12, 2014

">@WWERollins. Change=now.

— Sami Zayn (@iLikeSamiZayn) August 12, 2014

I grabbed some excerpts from the piece and included them below:

WWE.COM: The tweet really seemed to capture a moment in time, though. What was going through your mind when you sent it?

ZAYN: It’s just crazy to think where we all were a few years ago and where we are now. The other guys I tagged are guys we all crossed paths with for years all over the world on various small, independent shows. We thought we were doing something special at the time, but you don’t know if it’s going to pay off. Now that we’re all here under the WWE umbrella, it kind of validates all that.

WWE.COM: Was getting here always the goal?

NEVILLE: I didn’t really have an interest in getting signed by WWE earlier in my career. If I did have the opportunity to come here, I wanted it to be later when I was a more traveled, well-versed performer. Honestly, with my body type and my style, I never really expected to be here. The fact that I’m here alongside these guys is kind of mind-blowing.

ZAYN: When we were young, we all looked up to the Jerichos and the Guerreros and the Malenkos and all these world-traveled guys who started where they were from and then made a name in Europe, then went to Mexico, then went to Japan, then went to ECW, then WCW and then they ended their careers here in WWE. Those are the guys that I looked at like, “That’s what I want to be.” Now, we’re that generation — we’re the Guerreros, we’re the Malenkos. It’s not a coincidence at all.

STEEN: I actually had a bit of a different mentality. I remember talking with Zayn about WWE, it must have been 2003, and I told him it wasn’t a dream for me — it was the goal. I appreciate all the chances I got to wrestle all over the world and I’m really proud to have wrestled in Japan and Australia and Italy. But it was never a necessity for me, because in my head, I thought, “When I get to WWE, I’ll travel with them and see all those places.” It was never something I felt I needed to do, but now that I’ve lived through those experiences, I realize how important it was in getting here.

WWE.COM: Was it the same for you, Fergal? You were a top star in Japan’s biggest promotion before you signed with WWE.

FERGAL DEVITT: I’d been doing it for about six or seven years when I ended up in New Japan. I was really just a boy and I became a man in New Japan in eight years. It came to a point where I could stay the rest of my career there and have the security of a job or I could step into the great unknown that is WWE and challenge myself. And that’s what I decided to do.

WWE.COM: At the same time, you’re competing for a main roster spot with bodybuilders and amateur athletes with no wrestling background at all.

ZAYN: I can’t speak for these guys, but I’ve always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. Even before I got to developmental, I had that starving artist mentality of, (puts on an obnoxious voice) “Oh, you didn’t do the indies and you didn’t starve and you weren’t in the trenches.” I’m sorry; I completely lost my train of thought. What was your question?

STEEN: Yeah, when I came here for the camp in March, I walked over to the car rental place and there were 20 guys in line and you could just tell they were here for the tryouts. And I saw a couple of guys that looked like they were born and the first thing they did was go to the gym and start lifting weights. Huge. And I looked at them like, “I’m going to eat you alive.”

WWE.COM: Are there guys you can see taking your place in five years?

ZAYN: Absolutely, yeah. I think Adam Cole will be here eventually. I’m a big advocate of his. I’m a huge Kenny Omega fan. I’m a huge fan of a Japanese wrestler named Kota Ibushi. I asked [Itami] when he got here, “Who else do you think would be good for WWE from Japan?” And the first person he said was Ibushi. The Young Bucks. They have a family life and a good thing going, so I don’t know if now is the time for them, but they are phenomenal. Kyle O’Reilly maybe, eventually.

STEEN: Johnny Gargano. There are so many good guys.

ZAYN: They are starting to step into the spots we left behind. It’s funny, because that was us with Daniel Bryan and Low Ki and Samoa Joe and AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. When we were breaking into the indies, those were the guys we looked up to. Then they started making their way out and we stepped into those spots. And before you knew it, we were kind of like indie legends.

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

Richard Reacts: It seems like everyone always puts over Adam Cole when talking about workers that "should be signed" (note Sami Zayn did above). I know a lot of TNA guys put him over there as well. There was another part of the article where Kevin Steen talked about how “wrestling” and “wrestler” were once considered dirty words but that's turned around and they're beautiful worlds. It's incredible to see WWE developmental so well stocked after the success of The Shield members and The Wyatt Family. Let's hope creative can figure out ways to utilize them to their utmost potential.

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