Shawn Michaels has discussed how the relaunched NXT 2.0 reminds him of the beginnings of WWE’s highly successful Attitude Era.
The Attitude Era came about as a result of WWE’s battle for ratings with WCW in the mid-’90s. It promised, and delivered, edgier content that still inspires today’s wrestlers. That period featured the birth of the Vince McMahon character and his feud with the star of the era, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. The Shawn Michaels led faction of D-Generation X was also played a massive part in creating WWE’s new attitude at the time.
In 2021, HBK once again finds himself leading the charge for the beginning of another new era, this time from behind the scenes as he takes NXT 2.0 into the future.
Speaking to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, the multi-time WWE Champion compared the change to NXT 2.0 to the beginning of the Attitude Era.
“Doing this now for 35 years, I’ve seen constant change and change is certainly not new to us in WWE. It’s constantly evolving and changing. I’ve heard people call this a refresh, but it’s still the same crew, which is great because they’re so damn talented. It reminds me of the Attitude Era. We had the same roster the day before the Attitude Era started, and I still remember Vince coming into the locker room and making that speech, inspiring us and making us hungry for the future.
That’s what this is—turning over a new leaf, restructuring a few things and putting a brand-new coat of paint on a dominant and incredible brand. It’s chummed the waters, so to speak, and that’s fun to be around.”
NXT 2.0 continued its transformation as we saw the crowning of several new champions at the Halloween Havoc special on 26 October.