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Sea­son 6 e.tv (*194) 13:30 Sport

WWE NXT (2010-cur­rent) is more than just a re­al­ity talent search for the World Wrestling Fed­er­a­tion. It’s a development arena where CEO Vince McMahon and his talent ad­vi­sors can keep an eye on up-and-com­ing stars who could be the next Triple H, Un­der­taker or John Cena. But there’s a lot you don’t know about the NXT brand…

It’s been around since 2007 but 1

was called Florida Cham­pi­onship Wrestling un­til 2010, which was when Vince turned it into a re­al­ity TV show to help find new in-ring talent.

NXT changed for­mat in 2012 when 2

the WWE did away with its Florida Cham­pi­onship Wrestling brand. Triple H turned it into a development plat­form and says that “80 per­cent of the WWE’s cur­rent ros­ter was drafted from NXT”.

The brand’s head­quar­ters are at 3

the Full Sail Univer­sity in Florida – 22km from the WWE Per­for­mance Cen­ter in Or­lando, Florida.

SA-born wrestler Justin Gabriel 4

was part of sea­son 1’s rook­ies try­ing out for a WWE con­tract, which he got de­spite be­ing elim­i­nated be­fore the fi­nal episode. He quit the WWE in 2015, cit­ing “cre­ative dif­fer­ences”.

If you want to watch old episodes, 5

sea­sons 1-5 of NXT have been re­mas­tered and put on­line on the WWE Net­work, as well as sea­sons 6-11.

Au­di­ence tick­ets cost $10 (R130) 6 and are free to Full Sail stu­dents. NXT isn’t just a test­ing ground for 7

wrestlers – ru­mour is that Vince put his son-in-law Triple H in charge to see if he’s ready to run the WWE as a whole when the 71-year-old re­tires. “It [NXT] is a work in progress of where it [the WWE] can go and what it can be,” says Triple H. NB! See more on p39.

Triple H is be­hind NXT’s suc­cess.

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