A member of the original WWE NXT cast in 2010 revealed what the company wanted to do with that show.
When the “NXT” letters first appeared on WWE programming it was in the first half of 2010. The company started doing a competition show with eight “rookies” having eight veterans coaching them. The rookies were wrestlers that had yet to debut on WWE TV.
The most well-known rookie was Daniel Bryan, who had that point spent about a decade in the indies having a lot of success as Bryan Danielson. When The Miz was announced as Bryan’s pro, a lot of fans didn’t like it since Bryan had a lot more wrestling experience than Miz.
That season was won by a tall heel named Wade Barrett, who is the current analyst on the Raw brand. Barrett was mentored by Chris Jericho on the show at a time when Jericho was a top heel in WWE.
Others on the show included the high flyer Justin Gabriel, Skip Sheffield (later known as Ryback), Darren Young, Michael Tarver and Heath Slater.
Former Justin Gabriel Reveals What WWE Wanted NXT To Be
Justin Gabriel is known as PJ Black as an independent pro wrestler. In an interview with WrestlingNewsco, Black revealed that WWE wanted to put the wrestlers in the house like UFC’s Ultimate Fighter reality show.
“The original plan was for us to live in a house like Ultimate Fighter and actually compete and do actual athletic challenges, but as the wrestling business goes, time ran out and on the day they were like, ‘Let’s write a show’, and then they were like, ‘We don’t even have time to write a show’, so we freestyle pretty much everything. ”
“That’s why the matches and the promos were kind of off because it was pretty much all on the fly.”
After the show ended, the eight men in the group attacked John Cena in the main event of Raw and became a group known as The Nexus.