Vaughn Johnson of Philly.com recently spoke with WWE NXT General Manager William Regal to promote this week’s NXT live events in Philadelphia. The full interview can be read at this link. Below are the highlights:
Scouting talent for WWE:
I can’t give you any set formula to how it works because we’re in a different world, in our own unique little world. You find people that learn to connect with an audience with an act. Get up your own backside about what we are, but we’re an act. It doesn’t matter how good you are, it’s about connecting with your audience. It doesn’t matter how technically good you are, if nobody wants to watch you then you’re no good to anybody. Sometimes it’s not about how good somebody is. It’s whether they’ve got that connection with an audience. Sometimes, it’s about how technically good they are, they may not have that connection yet, but you can see by talking to them or spending time watching them that you can teach them that or they could learn that on their own if given the right opportunities or given the right structure.
Sometimes it’s a physical thing. If you can never find me someone with two heads then what’s I’m looking for. It comes in different forms. We’ve got a huge TV deal in Brazil. We’ve got nobody from Brazil so sometimes it’s just a matter of, “Can we try to find somebody that could fit the bill.” There’s no real set thing that I’m looking for. I watch out for, as far as the wrestlers go, which is what I do, I watch and know about everybody that’s out there. The ones that are doing the right things and making a name for themselves I know about. Most of the names were coming my way even before I had this job over the last 20 odd years I’ve been in America, they’ve all come my way anyway at one point or another through people we know or we end knowing each other or through a friend or whatever. That’s probably why I’m in the position that I’m in, because I know a lot of people.
What it’s like being the NXT GM:
It’s easy to throw words around like privilege and honor but it really is because I would imagine to get to watch everybody here develop, and the brand develop the way it has in the past few years, probably have been the best part of the last 32 for me. As much as I’ve really enjoyed the rest of it, just to watch everything grow so quickly and to have a hand in creating some of this, and have found people to bring here, recommended people is a great feeling. I try to keep my own career in check, but when I came to America there were very few people wrestling. I think I was the only one. A lot of people get credit for bringing the wrestling back, but I was doing it before Dean [Malenko], Eddie [Guerrero] and all of them fellas, I was doing it. To see that these fellas get to do that now and the ladies get to do that, and to go out and people appreciate the wrestling side of it is fantastic.
If he’s surprised how far NXT has come:
It’s amazing just to watch it and to watch the creativity that they’ve got. When you’re given all of the tools — you’ve got everything you could possibly ever need at the [WWE] Performance Center in Orlando — if you’ve got half a brain, we’re going to make it work for you. Even if you haven’t, we’re going to try and help you in any way that we can help you. There are so many people here that are so talented and so creative on their own when you get all of that it’s like a double bonus. They just flourish. It also goes down to the audience you’ve been used to working to before. You work for to your audience while the promoter is paying you. A lot of these guys have worked with a certain audience that like a certain thing so some people unfortunately get labeled. If you can make yourself popular in front of any audience, you can use it anywhere. When they get to come here and they see that everyone is here to help, they go, “I can do this here and I can try this here and I can do that,” and that’s why it’s all flourishing. There are no ties on doing things.
That myth, it’s a terrible myth that needs putting to bed about their being a WWE style. I’ve never bought into that because anybody that was any good here never had … did Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Triple H have the WWE style? They had their own style. Everybody that was any good here had their own style. Yes, there used to be somewhat of a genetic WWE style, but you don’t see those people on any of the shows anymore. They just don’t fit in, but that myth is still out there. If you watch out show now everybody looks different, whether it is NXT or the main roster. Nobody looks the same. There’s not genetic wrestlers anymore, which there was a lot of probably eight or nine years ago. I don’t think they watch a lot of the time. They just want to say stuff because they’ve got nothing else to talk about. Everybody is different as long as you look like you belong and you can fit in, the world is you oyster now.