Shawn Michaels

Shawn Michaels NXT Deadline, CM Punk’s Return, Main Roster Talent, Ratings & more

— The following is a recap of Shawn Michaels’ media call prior to Saturday’s NXT Deadline premium live event.
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-Michaels noted that he was doing the call from Stamford, Connecticut rather than his usual spot in Orlando, Florida. He said he was invited to check out the new facilities and said they are pretty impressive.

-Michaels responded to a question by talking about the depth of the women’s division in NXT and the Iron Survivor Challenge.

-A caller asked about Wes Lee’s injury. Michaels said Lee made the decision on his own. He said he didn’t think he could make it through the match due to the pain that he was in. Michaels said it was the best decision for Lee and that’s the important thing. He praised him for doing everything he could do to be ready for the match, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

-Michaels addressed Dragon Lee serving as the replacement in the NXT North American Championship. He praised Dragon and said it’s great to have him in NXT even if it’s just for a bit longer.

-A caller praised the broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Booker T. Michaels said he loves them both. He said he’s a huge fan of Joseph and said he’s one of the best play-by-play voices in the business. He praised Joseph for how hard he works. Michaels said the chemistry between Joseph and Booker often leaves him and the folks backstage laughing out loud. Michaels said he never wants to lose Joseph, but he’s the best. Michaels called him gifted and said he’s very good at his job.

-Michaels was asked about the new role of Ava (Simone Johnson). Michaels spoke in-character about how she brings him a lot of information. He then added that she’s still a big part of the NXT roster.

-A caller asked about the return of Nikita Lyons and what he sees for her going forward in NXT. Michaels said everyone saw a lot of potential in Lyons before she was injured. He said she adds to the stacked women’s division. He said she is talented and has something special and possesses that “It” factor. Michaels said that there are a lot of women scratching to get to the top because the division is so loaded, so it won’t be handed to anyone.

-Michaels was asked about CM Punk returning to WWE after saying positive things about him in the last NXT call. Michaels said business is business. He said he didn’t think it was a tough call because it was a good business move. He said he’s happy that the deal was made. Michaels wished Punk and the company luck and said it’s a great time to be a fan.

-The next caller asked about the move to CW and preparations for it. Michaels said it’s a long ways off still and praised the company’s relationship with USA Network. He said they want to finish strong in that partnership, but he would be lying if he said he wasn’t excited about their future with CW.

-A caller noted that Grayson Waller won the last Iron Survivor Challenge and pointed to what it’s done for his career. Michaels said there’s “a lot of working pieces” in an ISC match. He said there’s a lot of pressure going into PLEs to start with, and now it’s a difficult match that they have to work. Michaels said his advice to the wrestlers would be to not worry so much about their future, but to focus entirely on the ISC match.

-Mike Johnson asked about Lexis King and throwing him into the deep end at Deadline. Michaels said he’s been doing a great job and understands he’s being thrown into the deep end. He said King has responded well to the structure that NXT provides and has been asking a lot of questions. Michaels said King will have a hell of a dance partner in Carmelo Hayes. Michaels added that they are excited about it. He said King has experience, but maybe not at this level. He said he likes King a great deal and said he’s embraced the help and coaching in NXT.

-A caller asked about Trick Williams stating on The Bump that he wants to be the first entrant in the ISC match. Michaels said they see a great deal of potential in him and he wants him to enjoy the process. He said Williams is not afraid of the spotlight whether he should be or not.

-Michaels was asked about NXT Europe. Michaels didn’t offer any indication as to when it will be launching.

-A caller asked about Becky Lynch elevating Lyra Valkyria. Michaels spoke about Becky Lynch coming to NXT and wanting to lift up the women on the roster. Michaels raved about Lynch and said she helped the women by getting in the ring with them as well as verbally.

-Michaels was asked about the NIL signings. He said the program and the recruiting process has been a game changer for NXT and WWE. He said the young athletes pick up on things quickly. He talked about the women’s and men’s Breakout Tournaments. He said he’s looking forward to having a bigger facility someday.

-A caller asked about main roster people coming to NXT and what he looks for from them. He said they have the choice of phoning it in, yet none of them have done that. He said Baron Corbin came in like a kid and is having so much fun there. He said Chad Gable also spoke about how much fun he’s had in NXT. Michaels said he wasn’t trying to rain on the main roster because his best friend in the world runs it. Michaels joked that he’s Johnny Fun Time and Paul Levesque is Debbie Downer. He said the younger talent tends to assume that the main roster folks will be stiff and carry themselves differently than they actually do.

-Micheals said he was surprised that McKenzie Mitchell was released and she will always be part of the family. He said there are a lot of things that go on in the company that are way above him.

-Michaels was asked about NXT improving their numbers in the 18-34 demographic over the last year. Michaels spoke about basic elements that appeal to all age groups. He also said they have younger writers even though he makes the final call.

-Michaels spoke about closing the year with a bang via the NXT Deadline event. He said it won’t be long before they are talking about starting the new year with a bang. He said he wants Deadline to be a quality event from top to bottom that fans enjoy.

-The final caller mentioned that Swerve Strickland recently talked in an interview about how Michaels would sit down and watch his independent matches with him. Michaels said he doesn’t have as much time to do that these days, but he still does at least a couple times a week. While he can’t do it to the extent that he used to, he thinks it’s important to speak to the talent. He also spoke about having Matt Bloom beside him during the shows. He said they take notes about things they want to talk to talent about.

-Michaels closed the session by wishing everyone a fantastic holiday and said the media calls will continue in the new year.

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