Weighing In: The NXTNA Invasion

So I read a lot of stuff on Cageside Seats and today was an interesting read regarding this apparent TNA invasion of NXT, available Here. So I thought I would bring this up and weigh in, as there are a lot of things I see going on here:


For starters, I don’t see this as a TNA Invasion. What I see is a lot of people jumping ship from TNA, a sinking ship may I add, and they are in need of a good home. While you’re not going to see the guys that make all the money in TNA jump that ship anytime soon (so if you’re hoping for the Hardys at Payback, let go of that dream), there are a lot of these guys with significant name recognition that want to find stable employment in the industry, and for most of the TNA guys, WWE is the only step that isn’t backwards in their careers. Yes, NXT is the developmental brand, but given the state of Raw lately, have we not found that the developmental brand has practically gotten itself on par with the main roster? Yes, it’s depleted now, and yes, they’ve just brought in a “new class” as H put it, but it’s still a loaded deck that is capable of putting on a show to rival anything WWE itself can present. They’re the Gwinnett Braves to the Atlanta Braves, they can probably win just about every time, but they aren’t going to be on ESPN anytime soon (not to mix Baseball metaphors into a wrestling blog).

Triple H’s formula is solid, as it has always been with NXT. He gives it direction, lets it breathe its own life, it keeps growing and keeps growing. How does it work? Finn Balor was previous Prince Devitt in New Japan. Actually, while we’re talking New Japan, I never heard this conversation when NXT/WWE managed to snag: Nakamura, Balor, Anderson, Gallows, Styles, etc. from New Japan, or all the people brought in from Ring of Honor. Why is it that we consider this a TNA invasion because the people from TNA that aren’t making the top dollar the company is shelling out are ready to find a better work environment than not knowing if you’ll show up for a taping with the entire audience and talent both locked out of the arena because the company had to fold?


Talented wrestlers from other promotions are mixed into the creative fold with those from the performance center. The seasoned pros get some time to work on their WWE personas (read as: get in PG mode) while the PC wrestlers get in ring time to work with very talented performers. Let’s look at this logically with the best example I can give of this: Samoa Joe.


Samoa Joe clearly was not pleased with having to start in the Developmental Brand when he made the jump to WWE from TNA/ROH where he was a massively well known asset and multi-time champion. It took a learning curve, but his brutish antics and persona were not PG audience friendly. Even now, he’s still so violent just by nature that I don’t know that his call up will be soon, but they gave him the NXT championship because that is a program where he can continue to thrive now that he’s come to terms with the fact he had a better chance with WWE in starting where they put him and growing with their audience. The NXT crowd is Markville USA, seriously, it’s terrifying. I’ve sat in the midst of it on multiple occasions now. These people are the legitimate epitome of all the ridiculous things people automatically think when they think “pro-wrestling fan”. They curse out loud to the point the company has to mute microphones from time to time (“Let Joe Bleed”, “Asuka’s Gonna Kill You”, etc.). I’m an NXT fan, we are legitimately the worst of the worst. We’re an audience of 30 somethings that still remember the Attitude/Anything Goes Era where a pimp was a super face and the top guys in the company were on ring posts swigging beer or talking about eating poontang pie. In a Smackdown audience, I’m not afraid to just berate the Usos for being the worst thing ever sitting in section 104, with 200 Usos clad children in the same section surrounding me. I’ll go full force on the John Cena Sucks chant, and we’ve all discussed at length how much I adore that man.

Combine their talents with guys like Enzo Amore, who came up through the performance center.  The man oozes natural charisma and he’s only getting better in the ring.  In a world where there are not these guys like Balor, Joe, etc. who have lengthy in ring tenures to put in the ring with a guy like Enzo, that doesn’t happen.  Development doesn’t just happen naturally, you’ve got to have someone who can help guide developing superstars and the only way to do that is to have experienced guys on a roster who can help breed these growing talents.

I don’t know why it even takes this much discussion.  There’s not a TNA invasion.  There is a TNA that is completely bankrupt with a majority shareholder willing to let go of majority ownership for the greater good, and now you’ve got the talented guys from the roster looking elsewhere for jobs.

That’s what’s going on here.  Thanks for being a stubborn ass, Dixie, and thanks for picking their bones, H.  We truly appreciate your understanding of talent.