wrestling / News

Bill DeMott on How Indie Veterans Struggled With Changes at WWE Performance Center & NXT

June 6, 2023 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

– During a recent appearance on Developmentally Speaking, former WWE Performance Center Head Coach Bill DeMott discussed the changes in WWE’s developmental program and training when they opened up the Performance Center and started the NXT brand. Below are some highlights (via WrestlingInc.com):

Bill DeMott on the transition to the WWE Performance Center: “The training and the preparation was gonna change, because you have a gym … modeled after the New York Giants football team; that’s how impressive this was. What we implemented was: There was new talent, there’s talent that had been there, and there’s talent that we needed [to be] TV-ready. ‘TV-ready’ meaning not just for [‘NXT’ tapings at] Full Sail, [but] to go up to the main roster, because it was a developmental system.” DeMott noted that the move to the Performance Center, with twice as many rings as well as time allotted for more promo classes and tape study classes, allowed everyone to get more personal attention from the coaches than they had in FCW.”

On the indy veterans having trouble adjusting to the change: “The change was amazing, and at the same time, it wasn’t what the grizzled veterans of developmental were used to because now their schedule changed. It used to be you were there for three hours, and the other 21 hours a day were yours. Well now, there was expectations of ‘Hey, your day may start at 8:00 [a.m.] and it’s not gonna end until 4:00 [p.m.] I think that was a lot of the unhappiness of being paid $45,000, $55,000, $65,000 a year and going home, and now you were expected to actually be in the building and working on your craft.”

On indie talents not understanding the training system in WWE Developmental: “Unfortunately, there were guys and girls in the system that had been there six years and no one knew their names. When I got to FCW, there was four people on their roster, on their attendance list, that no one had seen in a year and a half. It was the long game, and this is where it got muddy because you had some independent guys making a great living, made a name for themselves, came into NXT or came into the Performance Center, and they want to know, ‘Why do I have to do this again?’ And my answer was, ‘If you’re happy where you are, and you’re making money, you’re making your schedule, you’re loving life, and you’re loving wrestling, this is not the place for you.’ I was very honest. But if you want to be here and get the opportunity to be who you can be and who you want to be, this is the way it’s done. … If this isn’t for you, I get it. Go have fun at what you’re doing. You don’t have to be here.”