Examining the Recent NXT 2.0 Releases - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

Examining the Recent NXT 2.0 Releases - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Saturday, May 7, 2022

Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Matt Morgan and Callum Wiggins discuss the recent NXT 2.0 releases.

Once again, WWE has taken the chance to lighten the roster in NXT 2.0 with another round of releases. What are the main discussion points for this select cohort of superstars?

Question 1: Which release has surprised you the most?

ALLSOPP: I really want to say Dakota Kai, but I was actually expecting it as she didn’t seem to have anything left to do in NXT 2.0, but did not seem main roster bound. Therefore, Harland is my choice. Parker Boudreaux had the endorsement of Paul Heyman, which essentially meant he would be groomed for superstardom. Unfortunately, Harland was not a character either myself or the NXT fans could get behind. He should have been given his own character that would set him up as Brock Lesnar 2.0, and although Harland wasn’t working, a re-tool would have easily alleviated the issues with his character.

MORGAN: Dexter Lumis was the release that surprised me the most, especially considering that he had been featured on television recently, and was still involved in a lengthy storyline with Indi Hartwell. I know this is far from the first time that someone has been released mid-storyline, but it is surprising that WWE would let Lumis go before things between him and Hartwell were finalized on-screen.

WIGGINS: The Dexter Lumis and Persia Pirotta releases were the most shocking from my perspective due to how prominently they had been featured on NXT 2.0, pretty much since the brand's repackaging. Whilst being on television isn't something that has prevented WWE from making releases in the past - see Aleister Black and Braun Strowman for examples - it still felt jarring that they would be the ones to be wished well in their future endeavors.

Question 2: Who do you think will succeed the most during the remainder of 2022 now they have been released?

MORGAN: My money is on Dakota Kai. Kai is an incredibly talented wrestler and also seems to be doing fairly well in the Twitch world. Whether she continues wrestling, gaming, or a mix of both, I think she will be the individual from the most recent set of releases who will shine the most outside of WWE.

WIGGINS: I would like to say Dakota Kai as I am a big fan of her work, and if she arrived in Impact Wrestling, she'd become one of their top Knockouts for sure. Malcolm Bivens, if he does return to wrestling, would be an exceptional mouthpiece for many talents in AEW, either as a babyface or a heel - the man is endlessly entertaining. And I'm sure Dexter Lumis will find a comfortable home in the NWA due to his friendships and connections there.

ALLSOPP: Dexter Lumis is one to watch out for, as he certainly improved in NXT. Whilst in Impact Wrestling, he never seemed comfortable, but in NXT, he was able to be a solid upper midcard hand. Dakota Kai could easily star in AEW, but I feel she would get lost in the shuffle there. Take Toni Storm for example, who isn’t really making waves there. Lumis could return to Impact Wrestling and easily succeed, or even become a solid hand in GCW.

Question 3: Is the current trend of releasing NXT 2.0 wrestlers on a fairly regular basis steeped in a desire to purge the roster of Triple H’s previous blueprint for success? Or is it a case of budgetary concerns impacting on the scope of releases?

WIGGINS: I think the stature of the people released is indicative of this not being a 'Triple H' thing - as I noted earlier, Dexter Lumis and Persia Pirotta were part of one of NXT 2.0's most prominent storylines less than a month ago. I think it is more an indication of the fickleness of the company towards talent at present. It is all about 'what have you done lately?' and immediately jumping on any signs of regression in order to trim their budgets. After all, next year they'll probably need the extra cash to lure over some AEW prospects…

ALLSOPP: I feel there is definitely a movement to eradicate all lingering remnants of the old NXT, which is a real shame considering the talent it used to feature. NXT 2.0 is a piss poor version of the black and yellow brand, and I fail to see how the lower capped contracts of NXT wrestlers would create a budgetary issue. Overall, I feel Vince McMahon and Nick Khan are trying their best to move away from Triple H’s model, which admittedly was a loss leader of sorts for the company.

MORGAN: I don’t think that these releases are a direct attempt by Vince McMahon to erase Triple H’s mark on NXT. Rather, I think these releases are more part of a larger, sadder trend that we’ve all seen throughout the past year, where the company is doing what they think they need to in regard to budgetary concerns. Which is a little scary because it’s become more and more unpredictable to determine who might be released next, which sucks for all of the wrestlers on the roster, no matter the brand they are on.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?

Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.


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