JONAH: Frustrations Have Definitely Grown Backstage In WWE NXT 2.0
The former Bronson Reed saw changes backstage firsthand
With NXT becoming NXT 2.0, there was a noticeable shift in tone and approach to the former ‘third brand’ of WWE, with NXT once again settling in to a ‘developmental’ role.
With the changes allegedly being the directive of WWE Owner Vince McMahon, social media started whispering about a rift between Vince McMahon and Triple H, and in conversation with Wrestling Inc. Daily, former NXT North American Champion JONAH (fka Bronson Reed) was asked about potential issues backstage:
“At first, no. The time I came in, we were still doing just tapings at Full Sail, and then it ended up getting its USA Network deal and going on cable,” JONAH recalled. “So they really did push it, and it did seem like we were a third brand. That’s what Shawn [Michaels], that’s what everyone was saying. ‘This is a third brand. You don’t need to go to RAW or SmackDown anymore. We’re going to focus on this being a big third show,’ obviously, given that we have TV time.
“For that first year of TV time, I think everyone backstage saw it as ‘hey, we’re NXT. We’re something different. We’re still part of WWE but something different. But we’re focusing on trying to make this great,’ and it seemed like that’s what it was. It seemed like Vince didn’t really care so much, and it was just Hunter’s baby. But in this year, these last six months or so, I think that’s all changed and some frustration definitely has grown backstage. I’ve seen it firsthand.”
With AEW ‘winning’ the so-called ‘Wednesday night Wars’, it is believed that NXT was changed as a result.
“I’m not 100% too sure,” continued JONAH “I know Hunter and some of the top guys would say, ‘We’re not in direct competition. We’re focusing on our own thing. We’re just trying to make our own product as good as possible.’ There always was that bit of competition, and I don’t know what the higher ups thought of that, thought of us, obviously, losing to AEW week in and week out. But we were still putting on great TV. And I don’t know if they just thought, maybe we weren’t, but my whole thing is, they didn’t watch the product, so how did they know? So to then completely revamp it, how do you know that this is now going to be successful if you didn’t watch what was happening before?”