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Shane "Swerve" Strickland On WWE NXT 2.0: I Don't Think Fans Want To See Guys Learn On TV

Watching the next generation

While NXT had become WWE's third brand in recent years - with that spot being cemented following Survivor Series 2019 - that all changed in September of 2021 and the show was rebranded as NXT 2.0 and moved back to being purely a developmental show. 

With the changes, several new wrestlers, including the likes of Bron Breakker, Dante Chen, Ivy Nile, Tiffany Stratton, and Edris Enofe, have made their debuts and continue to develop on the new show. 

Former NXT Superstar and new AEW signee Shane "Swerve" Strickland doesn't believe watching potential stars "grow up" is something fans want to see, though. 

When asked by WrestleTalk about NXT transitioning to NXT 2.0, Strickland said: "We started seeing the higher-ups come down more. We were seeing the guys in suits a lot more. The coaches started wearing suits instead of track jackets, they were asking for certain things of us this week that they were totally against the week before and the month before. It was a drastic change.

"Then you're seeing the focus shifting to different types of talent. The benefit was a lot of the guys that were just being stored down there as far as the big athletes that were coming in from not pro-wrestling, the pro-wrestling world, that wasn't their foundation, those guys were getting on TV and getting opportunities.

"But also kind of a negative because you were seeing them learn on TV, and I don't think a fanbase wants to see guys learn on television, I think they wanna see stars on television. They're going to be stars, I feel like there's a lot of potential stars in the Performance Center, but I don't think there's much intrigue watching them grow up to be the stars."

Strickland previously performed on NXT and Friday Night SmackDown but he was released by WWE in November of 2021. He is expected to link up with AEW in early March and he has made appearances for the likes of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, DEFY and PROGRESS since his non-compete clause expired. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons