NXT 2.0 is quickly approaching and fans are prepared for the worst. Rumors have been swirling for weeks about the new direction of WWE's third brand, but many (including talent) are in the dark as to what exactly NXT 2.0 will be.
Now, we could all sit around and fear the inevitable changes, or we can remember that this is also an opportunity to fix the parts of NXT that actually need it.
So here we go! 5 things we actually want to see from NXT 2.0!
5. A Refocusing of the Women's Tag Team Division
I am really bummed that the women's tag titles have so quickly gotten lost in the shuffle. Some of it is out of NXT's control (Candice LeRae's pregnancy taking her out of competition), some of it is (turning Dakota Kai on Raquel, breaking up yet another team), but regardless it sucks that our current champs have had only one defense since winning the titles back in June.
NXT has the roster to really make this division work, and hopefully, outside pressure such as the success of NWA Empowerrr will show that women's wrestling is popular.
Mandy Rose's new faction, as well as Franky Monet's partnership with Jessi Kamea are both recent developments that could be a sign that the tide is turning once again.
4. More Character-Driven Stories
In-Dex is not only real, it is one of the best things on NXT right now. For so long, NXT has suffered from a lack of characters on their roster. Some of that is to be expected with the more sports-style presentation, but pro wrestling has always been about over-the-top characters and big stories.
NXT used Johnny Gargano and The Way last year to allow some of their top stars (Johnny and Candice) to stretch their creative muscles and to help bring up the next generation of character-driven wrestlers (Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory). This paid off in a big way and has grown into something that could really help carry the refresh. People aren't going to care so much for cosmetic changes so long as the characters that they have invested in are still getting the time they deserve.
Once again Franky Monet and Mandy Rose come to mind as signs that NXT will be heading in this direction, but so do groups like Legado Del Fantasma and Hit Row. NXT should play to their recently developed strengths and keep pushing these memorable characters.
3. More Main Roster Crossover
While some fans can't stand the product on Raw or SmackDown, it is hard to deny that some of the biggest and best moments from 2020 came when NXT collided with the main roster. Charlotte Flair's run with the NXT Women's Championship gave us that fantastic triple threat match at TakeOver In Your House, Sasha Banks challenged Io Shirai at The Great American Bash, hell even the Lucha House Party stopped by in early 2021 and put on some great bouts.
These crossovers can work when handled correctly and seem to be handled better on NXT television rather than Raw. I'd love to see NXT come back to Survivor Series this year and maybe even have a big name like Roman Reigns or Becky Lynch make the trip down to Orlando to cut a promo.
It doesn't always have to be a big deal, last year Kevin Owens brought the KO Show to NXT for one night and that was great. NXT doesn't have to be its own thing siloed off by itself to be successful.
2. Clear Contenders For Each Title
As we all know now, Samoa Joe had to vacate his NXT Championship due to injuries. Thus turning the previously announced number one contender's match into a fatal four-way for the vacant title. This will help provide a fresh start for this new era, but that is only one title on the brand.
Coming out of the launch I would like to see a clear contender for each title on the brand, from the North American Championship to the Cruiserweight Championship. A fresh start means that anyone should be able to jump in tomorrow night and be able to go from there.
1. A Big Shake-Up
I don't know what to specifically list in this spot here, but we will know it when we see it.
Other companies have spent this year walking in and out of the forbidden door or signing legitimate legends like CM Punk, but NXT (and to a larger extent WWE) have continued to follow the same formula. NXT needs a change and as long as WWE follows through on that change and commits then I am willing to see where they take us.
So often wrestling fans resist change, but in this case, it is so necessary. Let's see where this goes and hope for the best.
What do you think? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
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