Shawn Michaels Says Vince McMahon Has Nothing To Do With NXT Creative

shawn michaels wwe-nxt-screen

Shawn Michaels has made it clear that Vince McMahon doesn’t have anything to do with the creative direction of WWE’s NXT brand.

As the Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative for WWE, it is Shawn Michaels’ job to run the NXT brand creatively. There’s a team that works with Shawn when it comes to producing the NXT product, but ultimately he has the final say. The same goes for his best friend Paul “Triple H” Levesque running the creative direction of Raw, Smackdown and WWE main roster Premium Live Events.

The creative direction of WWE used to be run by Vince McMahon, who returned to the company as the Executive Chairman last month. Since returning to the company following his July 2022 retirement, Vince has stayed away from the creative department. Vince apparently hasn’t been backstage at WWE shows while maintaining that his focus is trying to make the best business deal for WWE regarding a potential sale ahead of the next TV contracts expiring in October 2024.

Shawn Michaels took part in a media conference call on Thursday to promote NXT Vengeance Day and he was asked if Vince McMahon has helped NXT at all from a creative standpoint.

“He has not, and I don’t think (he will). I’d imagine that Vince probably has bigger fish to fry than us down here in NXT. One of the things I enjoy about my job down here is the plausible deniability that I’m allowed to have. I don’t ask a lot of questions because I don’t want to know the answers to some of them.”

Michaels also referenced the changes to the NXT brand in the fall of 2021 when Vince McMahon wanted to change what NXT was and it became NXT 2.0 with more younger talent that had yet to debut on television. It was Shawn Michaels who ran the brand creatively following that direction. After Vince’s retirement in July 2022, NXT quickly dumped the 2.0 moniker and went back to just being NXT with the white, gold & black colors.

“Even back when we were here [with Vince in charge], he was very good with us down here. They helped us in a certain way and guided us in how they wanted it to go, but after that, it was hands-off. Hunter, the same thing. They’re very good with us down here in NXT. They understand it’s a different environment down here, so we’re very fortunate to kind of be independent, no matter who is running the ship up there in Stamford, they allow us a great deal of freedom down here, which we appreciate.” (H/T Fightful)

The card for NXT Vengeance Day on Saturday, February 4th looks like this:

wwe nxt vengeance day tag team titles

NXT Championship Steel Cage Match: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Grayson Waller

NXT Women’s Championship: Roxanne Perez (c) vs. Jacy Jayne vs. Gigi Dolin

NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. Dijak

NXT Tag Team Championships: The New Day (c) vs. Pretty Deadly vs. Gallus

2 Out Of 3 Falls Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. Apollo Crews

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships: Kayden Carter & Katana Chance (c) vs. Fallon Henley & Kiana James