Welcome to Ringside News‘ continuous coverage of Shawn Michaels’ WWE NXT Deadline PPV media conference.

Michaels mentioned that he was currently at WWE HQ in Connecticut, expressing his admiration for the impressive facility. He also mentioned that there were still tickets available through Ticketmaster and provided an overview of the event’s lineup, emphasizing the enthusiasm of the roster for the upcoming show.

When questioned about the NXT Women’s division, Shawn acknowledged its remarkable depth. He pointed out the strength of the division by highlighting the Women’s Iron Survivor Match, featuring five exceptionally talented women, none of whom participated in the same match last year. Shawn commended the company’s talent scouting and recruitment process, emphasizing their longstanding tradition of having the most gifted women in the world on the main roster. He reassured that this trend would continue due to the division’s immense talent pool. Their mission is to nurture and develop talent, and when they do experience departures, there are plenty of individuals ready to step up and fill those roles. Shawn also praised the two women’s division matches scheduled for Deadline.

When Shawn Michaels was asked about Wes Lee and the timing of the decision to remove him from the upcoming PPV this weekend, he revealed that the choice was made relatively close to the last minute. Wes had been grappling with physical challenges for a significant period, but the full extent of his struggles was initially unclear. Ultimately, Wes made the decision to withdraw from the event independently, which was the right course of action. Despite being a young talent with extraordinary abilities, a day or two prior to the announcement, he had an extensive discussion with Michaels and concluded that he wouldn’t be able to endure the match due to the pain he was experiencing. This decision was made in Wes’s best interest.


Michaels also mentioned that everything came together in less than 24 hours. He alluded to a prior storyline involving Dragon Lee and Dominik, expressing his desire to have had Wes Lee around for a longer period. Michaels was genuinely delighted to have him back and took the opportunity to heap praise on Wes both as a performer and as a person.

When asked about the NXT announcing team, Shawn Michaels had high praise for Vic Joseph, calling him one of the best play-by-play commentators in the business. He mentioned that there’s a lot of laughter backstage due to the chemistry between Vic and Booker T, and Shawn enjoys watching as a fan from behind the scenes. He emphasized that if he finds it amusing, he’s happy to go along with it. Shawn acknowledged Booker’s entertaining presence on the commentary desk and expressed that he would never want to lose someone as talented as Vic Joseph; he’s exceptional at his job.

Regarding the teased potential new role for Ava, Michaels noted that she frequently consults with him, providing valuable information about the matches. He commended her for doing a great job and acknowledged her lineage from the Bloodline, highlighting her astuteness. Despite her current role, she remains a part of the NXT roster, and Shawn is pleased to have her involved in the programming.

When asked about Nikita Lyons’ return to NXT TV, Shawn acknowledged that many saw great potential in her before her injury. He emphasized that her return only adds to an already highly talented women’s division. Shawn described her as an incredibly talented young woman with that special “it factor.” He noted that while there is fierce competition in the division, Lyons has returned with intensity, determination, and in great shape. He pointed out that NXT’s women are hungry and won’t let Lyons walk all over them; she’ll have to work hard and earn her place in the ring.

When discussing CM Punk’s return and his ability to strike a deal with Triple H, Shawn Michaels playfully suggested that Punk could do him the favor of making a cameo appearance in NXT since Michaels had been right about him on the last call. He then shifted to a more serious note, emphasizing that business considerations should take precedence. Michaels expressed his belief that, as a business decision, it shouldn’t have been a difficult choice for anyone involved. He expressed his happiness that the deal was successfully worked out, as he wants the company to thrive. He underlined that everyone in the business gets into it because they love it and want it to do well.

Shawn went on to mention that for Punk, leaving on his own terms brings a sense of peace. He stressed that however someone chooses to exit the business, they should be at peace with their decision. In this case, he was content with how things played out and expressed his satisfaction with everyone involved in the deal. He extended his well wishes to both Punk and the company, and he expressed his excitement about the situation.

Regarding the move to CW, Shawn Michaels mentioned that while it’s still a bit in the future, there’s a lot of excitement about it and the partnership with CW. He expressed immense gratitude for the phenomenal and fantastic partnership they’ve had with the USA Network over the years and their intention to finish that partnership on a strong note. He couldn’t help but admit his excitement about the upcoming deal with the CW and their plans to make the most of the moments and opportunities in 2024.

When asked about the Iron Survivor Match, Michaels offered some advice to everyone involved. He stressed that their primary focus should be on the upcoming Saturday and delivering a great performance in the match, rather than worrying about their future. He emphasized that nothing should take precedence over giving their all in that match, and if they do well, everything else will fall into place.

When asked about Lexis King’s upcoming big match against Carmelo Hayes, Shawn Michaels expressed anticipation about seeing how Lexis performs. He noted that Lexis was someone he believed needed the structure and guidance of the NXT system, and he has adapted well to the coaching he received. Shawn is genuinely interested in observing how Lexis King performs when he steps onto this larger stage for the first time.

Regarding Trick Williams’ eagerness to be in action this weekend, Michaels acknowledged and appreciated Trick’s passion. He emphasized that no matter where Trick is positioned on the card, they see a great deal of potential in him. Shawn expressed his personal fondness for Trick and his desire to see him succeed. He highlighted that Trick isn’t afraid of the spotlight and described him as a good kid. Shawn is happy that Trick is getting this opportunity on Saturday and wishes him the best.

Regarding the potential expansion of NXT into Europe, Shawn Michaels mentioned that the process is still in progress. He noted that by observing the main roster’s big international events, you can get a sense of where things might go in the future. He assured that they are prepared for such a development when it eventually happens.

When asked about Becky Lynch’s time in NXT, Shawn had high praise for her. He acknowledged that Becky had a genuine desire to elevate the women’s division and NXT as a whole. He commended her for doing so with humility, professionalism, and class. Shawn expressed gratitude to Becky Lynch for her contributions, stating that she had a positive impact on NXT both in terms of ratings and creatively. She made efforts to lift the brand and support the women, both physically and verbally. He noted that she made time for everyone and held great respect for her.

Regarding the new NIL athlete signings, Shawn jokingly mentioned that he didn’t know where they would fit everyone. He highlighted that the NIL program has been a game changer for them, with these talents quickly picking up the skills needed. He expressed anticipation for more talent coming through the pipeline and even hinted at the possibility of a larger facility in the future. He emphasized that the NIL program helps feed the machine and is an exciting prospect.

On the topic of main roster talents coming to NXT, Shawn mentioned that everyone has a great time in NXT. He noted the passion and hunger that main roster talents bring with them, often feeling like they’re reliving their college days. While some may initially perceive the NXT environment as being with a younger crowd, that’s the essence of NXT. Shawn believes that his NXT talents might expect the main roster talents to be more serious, but they come in relaxed and eager to be a part of the experience. He expressed happiness that they are there and participating in NXT.

Regarding the release of McKenzie Mitchell from WWE, Shawn Michaels expressed that he had no insights into the decision. He emphasized that Mitchell will always be a part of the NXT family and that her departure took him by surprise. He acknowledged that there are overlapping job roles and changes happening, but he mentioned that the door remains open with WWE, and he hopes they can revisit their relationship down the line. He recognized her departure as a loss to NXT and expressed that they will miss her greatly but stressed the need for the machine to keep rolling.

When asked about Indian talents in WWE, Shawn praised them and the Indian market, expressing confidence that they will continue to progress and find success over time, promising that they will get there.

On the topic of the 18-34 demographic’s increase by 50% in the past year, Michaels attributed it to the fast-paced nature of the show. He described NXT as a sports-entertainment variety show that moves quickly, offering something for everyone. He likened it to scrolling through a phone with its various settings and atmospheres. He believes this is why NXT is the best two-hour wrestling show on TV. Shawn mentioned the presence of younger writers on the show and how tapping into different emotions attracts the 18-34 demographic, as they tend to focus more on that aspect of television.

Looking ahead to the future of NXT, Shawn expressed a desire for a great show from top to bottom. He mentioned their plans to expand storylines and their focus on delivering quality content. With the holidays approaching, he wants to end the year on a high note and start the next one with a bang. Shawn emphasized his commitment to making the show great for wrestling fans and ensuring that those who invest their time watching it enjoy the experience. He stated that he remains a wrestling fan himself and wants the show to be so compelling that fans continue to support it.

When asked about reviewing independent tapes with talents, Shawn Michaels shared that he doesn’t do it as frequently as he would like, but he does try several times a week to sit down with talents and go over their matches. However, due to time constraints, he can’t do it as often as he’d prefer. His goal is to provide feedback to the talents, and having Matt Bloom alongside him during shows allows them to make notes and provide valuable feedback to the performers. He expressed that this aspect of the job is something he loves and misses.

Shawn concluded the conversation by thanking everyone for participating in the call. He expressed his appreciation for the media’s role in promoting the NXT brand and reiterated his desire for NXT to continue being exposed to the world. He acknowledged that everyone has a wrestling foundation, and sometimes they can lose that connection, so he thanked everyone for maintaining those connections with the brand. He extended his thanks once more and wished everyone happy holidays.

Tags: WWE Featured
Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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