WWE NXT may well have started as a developmental brand for the company, a feeder system of sorts, for talents to horn their skills before making the move up to RAW and SmackDown. However, coupled with the abundance of fresh talent and engaging storylines, NXT has evolved into much more than just a jumping board for the main roster in recent times. This is best exemplified by NXT’s PPV events – TakeOvers - which are now giving WWE’s main roster PPVs a run for their money.
While NXT has provided quite a few main roster superstars to RAW and SmackDown, it is the tag team division that put NXT on the map with the likes of DIY (Jonny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa), The Revival, Undisputed Era, The Ascension, The Authors of Pain put on some instant classic matches on the brand and TakeOvers.
And in line, following the great legacy of NXT tag division are the young duo of Wes Lee and Nash Carter aka MSK. Since making their NXT TV debut in January this year, the duo is yet to lose a match as a team and has gone on to capture the prestigious NXT Tag titles in a very short time. They beat the team of James Drake & Zack Gibson and Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza to win the title TakeOver: Stand & Deliver in April.
So what makes this young dup climb to the top of one of the toughest divisions in the company in such a short span of time?
“MSK brings energy and excitement to the tag division, I think they feel fresh and new. They get the crowd going,” Paul Michael Levesque aka Triple H, Executive Vice President of Global Talent Strategy & Development for WWE and founder and executive producer of NXT tells News18.com.
Levesque echoes the sentiments of many NXT fans who have seen the tag titles losing a bit of sheen ever since The Undisputed Era dropped the titles in 2019. Since then, some strong teams have been in the mix namely, Imperium, the team of Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne, Breezango, but had lacked freshness after the departures of War Raiders, Authors of Pain, Sanity.
MSK is now feuding with another exciting young duo from Legado Del Fantasma - Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza – both of whom have a similar style to that of MSK and the chemistry between the teams is something that brings out the best in both.
“I think they have the energy and excitement that was needed, I am happy and excited for them and another thing is every little piece of opportunity we gave them they knocked it out of the park and when somebody does that and brings that drive and work ethic, I am happy to bat for them and help them get the success they are looking for,” Levesque goes on to add.
Even though it is still early days for MSK in the company, their work is being noticed, and asked whether he sees shades of some former WWE tag teams duo in MSK, Levesque had high praise for the duo.
“In terms of comparisons, I guess you can compare them to other teams like the Rock and Roll express because they that pure babyface tag team, midnight rockers,” he says before adding that finding their own identity is the key to success for them.
“But I everybody wants people to compare with others, but I do not like to do that. While there might be a sort of grouping they might fit in, I want them to be the first MSK, I want them to do something original. One of the conversations i have with the talent when they walk through the door about is - be you, bring you the table and don’t try to emulate something you saw in the past, don’t try to be something you are not, You know every performer, I did it Shawn did it, Hogan did it, Austin, Rock; you try to bring something from somebody, bit and pieces you take from people along the way and then you hopefully turn them into your own and make them yours and become the first you, and that’s what MSK is doing,” elaborated Levesque.
At NXT TakeOver: In Your House on June 14 (4.30 AM IST), MSK and Bronson Reed will face Legado del Fantasma in a Winner take All-match contest. The Sony Sports Network has the broadcasting rights for NXT TakeOver: In Your House in India. The NXT Takeover: In Your House can be live-streamed on WWE Network and SonyLIV app.