Re: The NXT Generation
Over the course of that week, everything went according to plan. Cross sent the WWE the 6 contracts he promised. The WWE in turn reviewed and drew up contracts for the roster as he requested. Cross reviewed them again and sent them off to the wrestlers for their approval and signatures. That following Monday, Cross once again walked into the WWE’s board room with all the contracts in hand for delivery. This time, however, only John Laurinaitis and Triple H were waiting on him. They stood and shook hands.
Devon: Gentlemen. It’s nice to see you again. After this meeting, I believe our business should be somewhat concluded. Here are the contracts literally signed, sealed and delivered as promised.
John: Thank you. *Takes contracts* You really didn’t have to come down here personally to do that.
Devon: Actually, I did. I needed your help to get in contact with a couple of people and set up meetings with them.
Triple H: I thought you were done signing talent.
Devon: I am. I’m trying to set up meetings with these men so I could talk to them about possibly being involved with NXT in other ways, like trainers.
John: We have the best training staff set up right now. Why do you need more?
Devon: *sighs* I understand your reasons for questioning my methods, but I’m not trying to insult your staff or anything. I’m merely trying to get what I consider to be the very best to help.
Triple H: Who are you trying to get a hold of?
Devon: Edge, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin.
John and Triple H looked at each other, then at Devon. Devon decided to answer before they could ask.
Devon: I’m just trying to get meetings with them. I’d just like a time that works for their schedule so I can fly out and meet with them face to face.
Triple H: I’ll call them for you, but I’m not so sure they’d be willing to do it.
Devon: Thank you very much.
Triple H: No problem.
Devon stood up and walked out the door. Triple H reached for his phone while shaking his head.
Triple H: Fat chance in hell they go for it.
Triple H, true to his word, set up the meetings. Devon flew out to each of their homes. He first visited Edge. Edge was very resistant, insisting that he couldn’t train anyone in his condition. Devon told him that he wouldn’t be physically training the roster and that he’d just be working on character development, promo work, and maybe some storyline writing. Edge said he would consider it, and Devon left him to his thoughts.
Next was Shawn Michaels. Shawn was a little less hesitant than Edge, but he also didn’t want to do any physical training with the roster. Devon told him that he’d be working on technique and character development as well. Shawn also said he would consider his offer.
The last meeting he had was at the Broken Skull Ranch with Steve Austin. They sat down inside and as soon as they did…
Steve: The answer’s no.
Devon: No to what?
Steve: No to whatever it is you came here to ask me. I only took this meeting because Triple H is a good friend of mine and I at least wanted to lay eyes on you before I made up my mind.
Devon: Did Triple H tell you what I wanted?
Steve: He told me it had to do with training the NXT roster. And the answer is no. I’m in no condition to train anyone right now because of my recent surgeries and I’ve got a lot going on right now as far as TV appearances and Redneck Island.
Devon: Edge said the same thing about his condition when I asked him.
Steve: What’d you tell him?
Devon: The same thing I came here to tell you. I didn’t really have any intention of bringing you on as a physical trainer. I wanted you to train the roster in character development, promo development, and generally how to get over with an audience.
Steve looked at Devon with a stare as if he was trying to see into his soul to tell if he was lying. Devon noticed, but was undeterred.
Devon: And I’m aware of your schedule. I also wasn’t asking you to come on full time. I just wanted to know if you would consider coming on a flexible schedule.
Steve: How flexible?
Devon: As flexible as you need it to be. Whenever you have some time and you feel like helping out.
Steve: So how much are we talking about for my flexible time?
Devon: That’s entirely up to you. The negotiations would be between you and the WWE as far as the contracts go.
Steve: I understand you talked to Edge and Shawn. Why do you need me too?
Devon: Because you understand where my roster is right now. You understand being in that place where you want to be called up to the main roster, but you’re frustrated. You’re frustrated because you know you’d be good if they’d give you the ball, but you’re still too green to catch it and run with it. You know what it’s like to need and receive help from people that have been in the business longer or have had more success. It’s like if you can get them on your side, you’re one step closer to getting where you want to be.
Steve looked at Devon, then cocked his head to the side, grinned and chuckled.
Steve: You know what? I’ll do it.
Devon: *With a look of amazement and disbelief* Really? Thank you very much. I’ll call Triple H and let him know that he needs to get in touch with you for negotiations.
Devon and Steve shook hands and Devon started to walk out, but stopped.
Devon: If I may ask, what changed your mind?
Steve: You remind me of Heyman. You’ve got that same attitude and air about you. That firm belief in what you’re doing and the ability to not only make others see it, but to want to bust their asses and break their necks for your vision. It’s a rare quality these days.
Devon: Thank you.
Steve: No problem.
Devon left, feeling even more confident that his plan was working better than he’d hoped. Sure enough, Triple H received calls from Edge, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin. He was surprised to learn they had all accepted Devon’s offer. They negotiated deals and signed the contracts that week. Devon had one final meeting scheduled with the entire roster and the NXT staff. Everyone met at Full Sail University and took seats ringside as they watched Devon enter the ring and scan the room. He noticed that among the people, Triple H, Stephanie, Vince and even Paul Heyman had all decided to show up.
Devon: I know I say these two words a lot, but thank you. Thank you to everyone for coming and being involved with NXT. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Devon Cross and I’ll be your new general manager. With that being said, I’d like you all to know what my vision for NXT is. I want to make NXT more than just a developmental brand. I want people to tune in to NXT to see the future of the WWE. And when I look out at the talent we have surrounding this ring the future is looking very bright in my opinion. I don’t want any of you to think of NXT as a pit stop on the way to the main roster. I want you to think of this as your brand. I want you to believe in yourselves and realize that NXT is the future of the WWE. *People start to stir and talk* I’m here to make sure that NXT stands tall beside the WWE. When people talk about what happened on Raw or Smackdown, I want NXT to be talked about either right alongside them or even before them. *A couple of people muttering affirmations* I’m envisioning an NXT that will be so great and will have such a strong following, wrestlers from all over the world will want to come to the WWE just to be in NXT! I truly believe that all of us will take NXT to a whole different level! This is your home and NXT your brand! *More people saying “Yeah!” or “That’s Right!”* This is your house! *The roster all say “Yeah!”* This is your time! *The roster all say “Yeah!”, “That’s Right!” and “Our Time!”* Whose time is it?!
Roster: Our Time!
Devon: Who’s house is it?!
Roster: NXT’s House!
Devon: Who are we?!
Devon: Who are we?!
Devon: Whose time is it?!
Roster: Our Time!
Devon: That’s right!
The roster stood on their feet and erupted in cheers. Devon looks out at the crowd and gets approving nods from Triple H, Stephanie, Vince, and Paul as they look on. Paul leans over to Vince.
Paul: You better keep him on as long as possible.
Vince: Why’s that?
Paul: If he ever leaves, he’ll be your biggest competition yet.
Vince took in Heyman’s thought as he watched Devon walk around the ring, firing up the staff and the roster. He glanced over at Triple H and Stephanie and they had the same look in their eyes. They all became concerned that his vision might become their nightmare.