WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray has dropped a tantalizing hint about a potential transformation in WWE NXT, driven by the vision of wrestling legend Shawn Michaels.
Currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative, Shawn Michaels has been overseeing the creative direction of WWE’s developmental brand, NXT. This responsibility was previously held by Triple H before his promotion to Head of Creative in 2022.
In its heyday, NXT was renowned as the “Black & Gold” brand, a name synonymous with its success. However, following Triple H’s departure from this role in 2022, NXT underwent a significant overhaul and rebranded as “NXT 2.0.” Later, in September 2021, it further transitioned to a “White & Gold” format.
Bully Ray has speculated that WWE may eventually revert to the classic “Black & Gold” version of NXT. He believes that WWE might have learned valuable lessons from this evolution, particularly recognizing the original blueprint’s ability to sell out arenas and achieve impressive viewership numbers.
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“I think very slowly, at a pace you might not be able to recognize or see, NXT is going to turn back into the Black & Gold brand. I think lessons were learned. And now it’s just going to be a more steady, gradual way of going about bringing that Black & Gold work mentality and type of show,” Ray stated.
Drawing a Parallel: Shawn Michaels and Paul Heyman
Bully Ray drew a compelling parallel between Shawn Michaels’ role in NXT and Paul Heyman’s influence during his days with ECW. According to Ray, Michaels is proving to be the ideal leader for WWE’s third brand, continually elevating the product week after week.
“I think Shawn is starting to get intuned with this roster more and more, and he’s becoming quite the booker/producer/agent — whatever you want to call him — and when you have somebody who is truly intuned with their roster, i.e. Paul Heyman with ECW, you get some really great stuff. And every single week, NXT seems to be taking a step forward,” Bully Ray commented.
As time unfolds, the wrestling world will watch closely to see if WWE’s flagship developmental brand will indeed return to its roots under Shawn Michaels’ leadership, potentially providing talent with even greater opportunities.
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WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray has hinted at a potential transformation for WWE NXT under the guidance of wrestling legend Shawn Michaels. Michaels currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative and is overseeing the creative direction of WWE’s developmental brand, NXT, a role previously held by Triple H. NXT underwent a significant overhaul and rebranding as “NXT 2.0” following Triple H’s departure from the position in 2022, transitioning to a “White & Gold” format in September 2021. Bully Ray speculates that WWE may eventually return to the classic “Black & Gold” version of NXT, suggesting that the company may have learned valuable lessons from this evolution, recognizing its ability to draw large crowds and achieve impressive viewership numbers. Ray believes this transition back to the “Black & Gold” brand will happen gradually, bringing back the work mentality and style associated with it.
Drawing a parallel between Shawn Michaels’ role in NXT and Paul Heyman’s influence during his time with ECW, Bully Ray praises Michaels as the ideal leader for WWE’s third brand. He sees Michaels becoming more attuned to the NXT roster and evolving into a booker/producer/agent figure who can bring out the best in the talent. According to Ray, when someone like Michaels is deeply connected to their roster, as Paul Heyman was with ECW, it can lead to the creation of great wrestling content. As time progresses, the wrestling world will be closely watching to see if WWE’s flagship developmental brand will indeed return to its “Black & Gold” roots under Shawn Michaels’ leadership, potentially offering even greater opportunities for talent.