For many WWE Superstars, the call-up system from NXT up to either the Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown brands has been full of uncertainty. Aleister Black, a former NXT Champion who never truly found his footing on either brand, was released by the WWE last week and was asked why so many call-ups struggle during an interview with Renee Paquette on Tuesday. He explained, "I think one of the main issues is that there [are] too many cooks in the kitchen. Whereas Hunter [Triple H] has a vision and oversees the entire vision with his team. He always puts his ear to the ground and he communicates very one-on-one with his talent and everybody shares his vision.
"Where I feel the main roster a lot of people think that they know Vince's [McMahon's] vision, they haven't closely followed the people that are being brought up," he added. "Vince sees individuals and is completely mesmerized by them. And then when he has them he's like, 'All right, where do I place you?' I feel the time spent with 'where do I place you?' kind of loses it because it taking too long for people to be placed."
In recent years various wrestlers — Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Cole to name a few — have stated publicly that they never want to leave the NXT brand. The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer asked Triple H about the challenge with call-ups and wrestlers wanting to stay in NXT during a media conference call on Thursday.
"One way of looking at it is misuse, another way of looking at it is things don't always work out. There are players that play in college football and people cannot wait for them to get to the NFL," H said. "Then they get to the NFL and it doesn't work, it doesn't pan out. And you can say a team misused them or mismanaged them or the coach of the team they play for didn't put them in the right role. It can be a million reasons. It can also be sometimes talent doesn't fit in a particular place or talent got to a particular place and thought, 'Oh, I made it' and that was the end of their growth curve. There's a lot of factors."
"The Game" then talked about how NXT's identity has changed over the years, transforming from a purely developmental show into its own brand.
"A year or two in, three years in, four years in, that was a heavy knock on NXT (its identity as developmental)," he said. "I don't know if you remember it that way but I do. For me doing the interviews at that time it was always said, 'how can I get into this brand? Whenever I get excited about a talent they move on.' It kills me for the brand and I don't like it and it was a heavy criticism. That morphed into a different place where people got accustomed to that and it switched, the brand changed again. It's changed into a place where yeah there are going to be some talent who are in a position for a long time. They might not fit in different places, they might not want to go different places. There are some talent that don't want to leave and expand beyond. Maybe the schedule doesn't work for them physically, whatever it is."