Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on NXT, Bray Wyatt and More
It is a valid question on the minds of fans who just watched the brand's world champion defeated in under two minutes by a Jeff Hardy who has not been relevant on television for months now and was most recently seen losing on Main Event.
Karrion Kross' loss Monday night sparked a report on the current thoughts on NXT from those within the company.
Joining it is the latest on former Universal champion "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and internal expectations of the WWE product as SummerSlam rapidly approaches.
NXT Officially Considered 'Developmental' Now?
Living the Gimmick's Jon Alba reported that, despite Paul Levesque and the NXT teams assertions that the brand is a third brand and not simply developmental, that is exactly how it is presented in backstage meetings and internal memos.
The report comes on the heels of WWE's treatment of NXT champion Karrion Kross on Monday's Raw, where lost to Jeff Hardy in 1:40 in his debut match. There was no pomp or circumstance that typically accompanies his entrance, and there was no Scarlett by his side.
Instead of the dominant force NXT spent the last year building, at the expense of its main event talent like Adam Cole, Finn Balor, Kyle O'Reilly, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, he was beaten quickly by a guy whose most recent match was a loss to Veer on Main Event.
For a company hurting for fresh star power, one would assume WWE would be all-in on hyping and pushing a performer with the presence of Kross.
Instead, it erased everything it took a year for NXT to build, making it almost impossible for him to be taken seriously moving forward.
After all, why should fans believe Kross can stand a chance in hell against Samoa Joe when he can't beat the shell of Hardy at this point?
And how poorly does that reflect on the rest of the NXT brand, which has been a labor of love for so many, only to have its stars plucked from the Capitol Wrestling Center, beaten down and diminished in short order on the main roster?
What's Going on with The Fiend?
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt disappeared into the darkness at WrestleMania 37 in April and has not been seen since. And, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, there is no timetable for his return.
"WWE sources have remained quiet about Wyatt's circumstances beyond the idea that he's being held off for a specific reason. The belief among some is that it's not a creative issue," the report statds.
Wyatt is easily the most frustrating character in WWE, if only because the performer's creativity is clearly on a level far beyond that of the company he works for. He has enormous ideas and sees them to fruition, only to be beaten down or disappeared from television.
If it is to preserve the uniqueness of the character, then kudos. Anything else is concerning for a performer who has never been anything but committed to the characters he has brought to life.
Can WWE Build on the Momentum of Money in the Bank Weekend?
According to WrestleVotes, those within WWE feel "like they can absolutely keep the energy and momentum created so far this past weekend and carry it all the way thru to SummerSlam."
Such a report should not be surprising. We know the company can be great in spurts. We see it every year from January through the very beginning of April. Once WrestleMania season is over, though, the company reverts back to the uneven, sometimes unsatisfying product again.
What longtime fans should demand from the company is consistency throughout the year. Don't just give us your best in August, make sure the quality of the product stays high throughout the fall and into the winter.
Intentionally or not, a source within that company essentially admitted the belief that it can be great through SummerSlam. Beyond that is anyone's guess.
That's not exactly inspiring for fans who invest time and energy in the product all year, especially through the empty arenas and ThunderDomes of the past 12 months.