8.4

NXT 2.0's New Set

[Squinting in the light]: Oh man there was a wrestling ring in that building the whole time?

Confusingly referred to as NXT 2.0 despite this being the fourth iteration of the concept, the all-new, all-different developmental show came out swinging immediately, doing away with Triple H's Capital Wrestling Center mancave for something brighter, cleaner, and unlike anything else in wrestling right now.

Reaction on the set and the shows visuals have been mixed, running the gauntlet from "it feels less like a biker club" to "for a show about TUFF MEN there's a lot of BULLSHIT PAINT SPLATTERS." I'm more towards the "this feels welcoming" end of the spectrum.

https://twitter.com/WWE/status/1437931232235556865

While it's gotten a lot of attention, a new coat of paint doesn't really matter as much as some like to pretend. You could shoot NXT on the moon and it would still be a WWE product, for one, with all of the flaws and infrequent pleasantness that entails. While there were a ton of new, showy debuts—none more so than Bron Breakker, the son of Greatest Wrestler of All Time Rick Steiner, who won his debut match against LA Knight—it still felt like the USA Network era of NXT, only clear in its purpose as a developmental brand.

And that's the metaphorical impact of NXT 2.0's set. It doesn't feel like the brand is hiding in the dark anymore. Everything is wide open, ready to be dissected under the all-knowing eye of Vince McMahon. Whether or not that's a good thing is beyond my realm of caring. I'm just here for the aesthetics, y'all.

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