Jim Cornette Explains Why Vince McMahon “Dismantled NXT” In 2021

nxt arena setup

The WWE NXT brand changed to NXT 2.0 one year ago, so the legendary Jim Cornette has expressed why he believes Vince McMahon decided to change the brand.

NXT 2.0 officially launched on Tuesday, September 14 with a more colorful presentation replacing the colorful black & gold NXT brand. What the brand relaunch meant was the debut of many new wrestlers over the last year such as current NXT Champion Bron Breakker, Nikkita Lyons, Tony D’Angelo, The Creed Brothers, Cora Jade and Grayson Waller among others.

Jim Cornette recently spoke about NXT’s change one year later on the Jim Cornette Experience podcast with the legendary wrestling manager saying that the change happened because Vince McMahon didn’t like what he saw:

“Vince didn’t dismantle NXT because they didn’t beat AEW in the ratings. That was just to give them some aggravation and just keep a few 100,000 people from watching AEW. Vince dismantled NXT because he went down there and saw a bunch of f*cking Johnny Garganos and said, ‘What the f*ck has my son-in-law been doing?’ Because I knew they had plenty of sh*t going on there.”

“That was good, for a while NXT was the best programme we liked for wrestling that wouldn’t insult anybody’s intelligence, didn’t make everything look f*cking fake, and at least had some guys that could f*cking go blah, blah, blah. Vince dismantled it because he went down there and fixated on the amount of people that would never, ever be on the main roster under him, and he was right about most of them. And that’s why he did what he did.”

“It wasn’t about the TV ratings, Dave [Meltzer] might tell you that because that’s what he hears from Tony Khan, and he’s far up Tony’s a** he wants to believe it too. But the real story was Vince went down there, and then turned around and said, ‘Bruce [Prichard], what do you think?’ And Bruce read Vince’s mind, but they were like, he didn’t see Damien Priest, he saw Johnny Gargano. He didn’t see f*cking, you know, this talent or that talent. He saw the fact that The Undisputed ERA was all f*cking 180 pounds.”

Cornette went on to speak about how McMahon may have left NXT alone if he thought that most of the talent on the show could succeed on the main WWE roster:

“If they had had a couple of guys at that size that were really exceptional, and everybody else looked halfway like a wrestler and that they could make the main roster, Vince wouldn’t [have] had a f*cking issue. But when he sees a bunch of them running around, that’s when he doesn’t want to hear no more, and he’s got his own f*cking idea, and he’s going to revamp that thing, and that’s what happened.”

“And now even if they revamp it back now, you know, Jesus Christ, you built a pyramid, everybody loved it, then somebody came round and tore it down and you saw well, ‘I guess it wasn’t as sturdy as we thought it was’.”

One of the many jobs that Cornette held in WWE was running OVW in the early 2000s when he had major stars like Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista and others. Cornette was reminded of that group when talking about WWE’s decision to rebrand NXT last year:

“If you held a gun to Vince McMahon in the fall of 2000 and said, ‘Does Brock Lesnar, Shelton Benjamin, and John Cena work for you? He said, ‘Who the f*ck are you talking about?’ He may have recognised Brock’s name, [but the] rest of them? F*ck, I don’t know that he ever watched an episode of OVW in five f*cking years, six years.”

“So the answer to that question is no, he didn’t know what the f*ck was going on down there and didn’t know what anybody looked like, except what he was told by the people he might ask a question to or might be tasked to give a report. And what were they going to say? ‘Oh, yeah, there’s this bunch of guys down here Triple H has signed up. They’re 5-foot-2 and 100 nothing.’ So there you go. So yes, I agree with Triple H’s comment. Congratulations, you beat developmental.”

What Cornette was referencing was when Triple H had a bit of a laugh at the idea of AEW beating NXT on Wednesdays with Triple H noting that AEW beat a developmental brand, but not the main WWE show. That led to AEW’s Chris Jericho responding to Triple H with Jericho saying “NXT sucks” as well.

The NXT 2.0 episode next Tuesday will be a one-year anniversary of the brand.

H/T Inside The Ropes