The NXT Generation
Inside WWE headquarters, thereís a closed door meeting about to take place. Vince and Stephanie McMahon, along with Triple H and John Laurinaitis are all seated along one side of the table with folders in front of them looking at the empty chair on the other side.
Triple H: Does anybody know who this guy is?
John Laurinaitis: Iíve heard of him, but I donít think anyoneís ever met him in person.
Stephanie McMahon: *shuffles through the papers in the file in front of her* I know heís got some connections to the independent circuit, but other than that Iíve got nothing on him more than whatís in this file.
Vince McMahon: I donít like this. I want to know everything about a person before I even start talking business with them.
The door to the conference room opens and a secretary walks in and holds the door open.
Secretary: Your 4 oí clock appointment is here.
They all stand as a 6í2Ē man in a business suit walks in. He walks past the secretary and thanks her for the introduction. He walks over to shake their hands as they all take in the sight of him. Heís dressed in a blue Japanese-style (Nehru collar) suit and looks about as clean cut as anyone could expect from a mystery businessman. After they all shake hands, they all take their respective seats. The man places his briefcase on the table and removes 4 portfolios. He gives them to the secretary, who places a portfolio in front of each member of the board. He closes the briefcase and puts it on the floor.
???: Iíd like to thank you for meeting with me on such short notice and with such little knowledge of who I am or my intentions for this meeting.
Vince McMahon: Well when Jim Ross recommended that we meet with you, we were skeptical at first. But when he told us that your ideas could revolutionize our company, we decided to hear your proposal out.
???: And I thank you for doing so. My name is Devon Cross. As Mr. Ross explained, I have several ideas and a proposal for your consideration. First of all, I apologize in advance if my comments come across as harsh or insulting in any way. But I donít really like to mince words when discussing business.
Vince: *smirks* I believe everyone at this table is thick-skinned enough to take some honest crtiticism. Go ahead.
Devon: Thank you sir. With Rawís expansion to 3 hours, the ratings have begun to decline. Smackdownís ratings arenít really doing any better either. Even with The Rockís involvement with the WWE Championship, the numbers just arenít where youíd expect or want them to be. I believe I have an answer to this problem, but it starts at a different avenue than you might expect.
Devon stopped to survey the looks of the board members. Since all of them were neutral, he continued.
Devon: The problem is the talent and the content of the shows. Raw may have expanded to 3 hours, but the amount and quality of wrestling in the show hasnít really expanded with it. The talent pool needs enhancing. But most of your developmental talent is not ready for a call up to the main rosters to help with your ratings problem. The proposal I have is to let me take charge of the NXT show and talent. Give me control over the roster and I guarantee that the ratings for NXT will increase over the next 4 weeks. If they do, we can talk about more ideas I have. If not, then Iím fired.
The board members all had mixed reactions.
Triple H: *shakes his head and blinks his eyes in disbelief* So letís say, for a millisecond, that weíre even remotely interested in your proposal. What experience do you have running a roster or a program? Do you have any initial plans that we could take a look at?
Devon: In the portfolios in front of you are some of my initial roster changes. The portfolio also contains profiles for 6 wrestlers who Iíve been in personal contact with. Each one of them has agreed to sign with the WWE provided that my terms are met. I believe you recognize some, if not all, of the names.
All of the board members looked at the profiles, then at each other in shock.
Vince: And you guarantee that these 6 will sign if we have a deal?
Devon: Thatís correct.
The board members all looked at each other again and then back to Devon.
Vince: Mr. Cross, itís a very interesting proposal. Weíll of course have to take some time to deliberate and weíll contact you with our decision.
Devon and the board members all stand.
Devon: Thank you for your time and for the chance to present my proposal to you all. I hope to hear from you soon.
They all shake hands and Devon leaves. When the door closes behind him, Vince blows a gasket!
Vince: Who the hell does he think he is?! Insulting my roster like that?! Iíve spent countless hou-
He stops as he takes in the glares of the others.
Vince: -weíve spent countless hours putting together the best talent pool available for the WWE universe to have the best product possible and he comes in here and says itís crap?!
Stephanie: Hold on Dad. Donít you see the beauty part of all this? These 6 alone are worth the deal!
Vince: Steph, you canít be serious.
Triple H: Actually, I see where sheís going with this. The roster changes this guy wants to make arenít that impactful in the long run. And theyíre pretty much all changes I wouldíve suggested making in his situation anyway. Besides, they said they would sign as long as we signed on to his proposal. He didnít say anything about what happens if he fails.
John: Overall sir, weíd come out ahead on this deal. Worst case scenario weíd let him run NXT until we see thereís no progress, fire him, and be left with not only a good roster to develop but these 6 signed with us! Itís a win-win!
Vince: Iím not sure about this. Iím just not sure. But I suppose we could take a deeper look at his changes and see if we could accommodate this plan for now.
Triple H: Iím just wondering how he got them all to sign in the first place.
Devon: *outside on the phone* Yeah, theyíre biting. My footís in the door. Next step is to break it wide open.