Bobby Fish would have been very happy with a different role over at NXT, he states. The 44 year old professional wrestler had made a name for himself on the independent circuit and also in ROH and NJPW before starting with WWE. That was in 2017. Then WWE released him a couple of months ago and he’s already with AEW.
It was on the NXT brand that he became known to the WWE Universe primarily. The mixed martial artist applied those techniques to his in-ring work, making him quite original. It wasn’t until he was sidelined with a triceps injury in 2020 that things started to go badly for him.
He did come back from that, but the NXT he returned to wasn’t at all the same place it once was. It was plagued by budget cuts and soon to be made roster cuts. A rebranding was imminent, and it’s hard to see Bobby Fish now fitting in with the NXT 2.0 roster. Honestly, it’s hard to picture any of the old guard on that brand now.
Although the move to AEW is perfect for someone at this stage of his career, he apparently would have been very happy staying at NXT as coach, according to comments he made on Insight with Chris Van Vliet. In his statements, he likened himself to the likes of Fit Finlay, the WCW legend who worked as coach to so many WWE superstars.
“The generation that I came up in and the generations that have come since, they don’t have…the people I watched as a kid when the business was somewhat protected, there were teachers still working and they would go out and teach you on the fly. I look at a guy like Fit Finlay, who I was fortunate enough to interact with while working at NXT, he was a guy, who towards the tail end of his career, he was doing something that not a lot of people were capable of doing anymore; go out and teach…
“I thought that was where I was headed and I was okay with that. I was welcoming that. I thought, ‘Mmm, let’s see where this transitions.’ Fit, his career path and the way he was doing stuff when he had gone back for that Indie run and back to WWE, that was where I saw myself headed and hoped to have a similar grace in doing what I was doing at that time. It wasn’t in the cards. Somebody had different plans and here we are.”
To the changes over at NXT, he seems to be in a good place there too. He said:
“You can’t resist it, it’s just the way things go. Everything has to evolve and progress to what it has to be. Change is inevitable…”
He signed on with AEW after his great performance in his match with Sammy Guevara on Dynamite last Wednesday. Looks like the coach has still got it.