Triple H’s vision for NXT was to bring in the top independent talent from around the world and put on the best wrestling shows possible. A huge part of that was former Ring of Honor booker Gabe Sapolsky. Sapolsky’s contacts were instrumental in bringing a lot of those stars into WWE’s developmental brand.

On the latest Universal Wrestling Podcast, Adam Cole was asked about how NXT came together. Chris Dunn noted that Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly were originally supposed to be one-offs. Gabe Sapolsky had just been brought into WWE and pitched the idea. Things clicked, and the duo stayed, where they were paired with Adam Cole. Cole talked about how that evolution and the ties to Gabe Sapolsky went back to 2009.

“The first time I met Kyle O’Reilly, Gabe used to run a company called Dragon Gate USA, which was a really hot independent promotion. This was following him running or being the booker for Ring of Honor…

We had a match in the ECW Arena… That actually ended up being like the template for what EVOLVE was supposed to be, which is so insane when you go back and look on it considering how young me and Kyle were in the wrestling industry. But, me and Kyle have been married to each other…

That small period where I left NXT and went to AEW and Kyle was still in NXT and then ended up coming to AEW… That three-month period was the longest amount of time me and Kyle have not worked in the same promotion together since 2009.”

Now that Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly are together again in AEW, it’s hard to imagine how things might have been. If their NXT appearance would have only been a one-time deal, the brand might have looked a lot different. Everything worked out in the end, and The Undisputed Elite hasn’t looked back.

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Transcription by Ringside News

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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