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. That said, it appears WWE’s developmental brand was blasted for being toxic and full of politics.

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.

Anya Zova signed a developmental contract with WWE in August 2012 and was released a year later after breaking her arm during training. Zova filed a lawsuit against WWE in March 2017, claiming the organization did not train its inexperienced talent properly.

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While speaking on the Developmentally Speaking podcast, Anya Zova talked about her time in WWE. Zova blasted the company for being toxic and having too much politics as well.

“Honestly, anytime you hear that there’s a coach wants to talk to you, you know either you’re in trouble or what’s gonna happen? And if you see a call coming in from Canyon [Ceman] on your phone, you’re like, ‘Oh, am I getting fired?’

I agree with you [podcast host Bryan Asbury] and there are so many guys that didn’t get the chance that you said they deserve, just because there’s such a limited — I think now it’s more time on TV, right? There’s the ‘NXT’ division, stuff like that, but it’s still limited. Only now, after living in the States for, like, 10 years, I understand the politics, and I suck at it still. But there’s so much politics in WWE. You just have to be this type of a person who understands the politics … you just have to be good. Like, you have to be professional, perform, and deliver. 

And in WWE, besides being good and know what you do, you need to be good at politics, and for me, that was the hardest part. I’ve seen so many guys struggling with it as well. You have to be smart with who you’re friends with. You have to be smart how you talk to your coaches. It’s, yeah, it’s a lot.

Honestly, I’ve seen guys just get in trouble because they were heading out with the wrong person. I never understood why it’s wrong, like, just because somebody doesn’t like this person it doesn’t mean he’s bad. You know, just let me make my own judgment. 

I don’t know how it is now. I hope it changed, but back then it was a little bit of toxic, I have to say.”

NXT will continue to grow in numerous ways and with the brand’s focus on its own Premium Live Events, the future is bright for the brand as it is no longer what it used to be back in 2012.

What’s your view on this story? Are you shocked by it? Let us know in the comments!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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