After WWE decided to do away with their own version of ECW back in 2010, they introduced NXT as a game show. However, the original idea for the show was completely different.

The first couple of years of NXT saw aspiring WWE Superstars compete in a bunch of objectives including obstacle courses, showing off their other talents and more. The show was most famous for giving birth to The Nexus, which comprised all the entrants of the show from season 1.

While speaking to Steve Fall, former WWE Superstar Justin Gabriel, who was part of the first season of NXT, talked about his time in the company. Justin Gabriel also discussed Season 1 of NXT, revealing that the initial intention was for the participants to reside in a house similar to Ultimate Fighter, engaging in real athletic challenges. However, due to time constraints, the original plan fell through.

On the day of the event, the decision was made to create a show, but even then, there simply wasn’t enough time to script it. As a result, the participants had to improvise most aspects, leading to matches and promos that seemed somewhat off since they were predominantly done on the fly.


The original plan was for us to live in a house like Ultimate Fighter and actually compete and do actual athletic challenges, but as the wrestling business goes, time ran out and on the day they were like, ‘Let’s write a show’, and then they were like, ‘We don’t even have time to write a show’, so we freestyle pretty much everything. That’s why the matches and the promos were kind of off because it was pretty much all on the fly.”

The majority of the Nexus members have all left WWE to go elsewhere and many fans are more than happy with the current iteration of NXT, which focuses on creating the Superstars of tomorrow.

What do you think of what Justin Gabriel had to say? Are you glad NXT didn’t become like The Ultimate Fighter? Let us know in the comments section below!

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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