Shawn Michaels is undoubtedly one of the best in-ring performers to have ever stepped foot inside a WWE ring, but he doesn’t necessarily see it that way. His in-ring days might be behind him, but that does not mean Michaels isn’t equally as passionate when it comes to developing NXT as a global brand. It appears he wants NXT to sell out larger arenas now.

NXT has seen a huge number of changes since the inception of NXT 2.0 back in September 2021. It eventually led to Shawn Michaels taking charge of the developmental brand and going back to the black and gold roots while retaining its focus on the next generation of WWE Superstars.

Before its reboot in 2021, NXT was viewed as WWE’s third brand and treated with the same level of respect. Of course, that’s no longer the case as it now mostly serves as the training ground for eventual main roster call-ups.

While speaking on Stick to Wrestling, Shawn Michaels stated that he doesn’t believe NXT was ever competing with the main roster brands. The Heartbreak Kid added that he wants NXT to eventually sell out big arenas.


”Well certainly, that’s always gonna be the goal (NXT selling out larger venues). But at the same time, I’ll say this and again, I mean it lovingly of course.

But at no time really, again, from a pure numbers standpoint was NXT competing with Raw or SmackDown. Nor should it. Raw has had a 35-year head start, you know what I mean? SmackDown, 20, 25.

So again, they are ingrained in so much of not just the world of wrestling but in our culture as a whole. It’s been a big part of people’s lives. NXT is just beginning that kind of, you know, journey. But certainly, look, it’s always about growing and expanding. I’ve learned this in this company.

You’re never standing still and if you’re standing still, you’re getting passed by and so we’re always looking towards the future but I absolutely want to get NXT to where we are selling out big arenas.

At the same time though, we have to, again, when everything’s said and done, we are the training facility so to speak or again, the developmental of the WWE.

I look at it as college football. To me, college football still sells out big stadiums. I actually prefer it, you know what I mean? (Than) the pros to be perfectly honest because you never know what’s gonna happen.

Two minute drill in the pros and you can click off. Two minutes left in a college football game, you still have no idea what’s gonna happen. It can turn around in the last 10 seconds and that’s what I love about NXT is that it’s still unpredictable.

It’s a little bit wild west and you honestly sometimes never know what you’re gonna get from a live television standpoint because it’s not as crisp, not as clean because it’s more raw, and that’s the part that I enjoy about it and I think that’s what makes us unique.”

NXT will continue to grow in numerous ways and with the brand’s focus on its own Premium Live Events, perhaps it will be just a matter of time before NXT ends up selling out larger arenas.

What’s your opinion on what Shaw Michaels said? Do you think NXT will be able to sell out larger arenas? Sound off in the comments!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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