NXT served as WWE‘s ‘minor league’ for many years. The “black and gold” brand has evolved into a third brand, alongside Raw and SmackDown. NXT has a weekly television show on the USA Network. It also hosts quarterly pay-per-view specials on the WWE Network. The NXT roster and product rival those of Raw and SmackDown. This presents some advantages, but also some disadvantages.
“I definitely don’t think NXT is considered as a developmental territory anymore,” said Bryan. “Which leaves a question: Do we have a developmental territory? Those guys are awesome and I do consider NXT a third brand for our company.”
Daniel Bryan has been an influential force behind the scenes in recent months. As a member of the SmackDown brand, he’s been a vocal about the need to develop new talent.
You can listen to Daniel Bryan‘s comments in the Youtube player embedded below:
Prior to the launch of NXT, WWE worked with various independent promotions to groom talent. The two most notable developmental territories were Ohio Valley Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling. The biggest names of the past twenty years came up through OVW and FCW.
Ohio Valley Wrestling produced talent such as Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Kurt Angle, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, John Morrison, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin, Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Kelly Kelly and many more.