With the WWE continuing to sign top independent talent to the NXT division such as Kevin Owens, Hideo Itami and Finn Balor, there was always the risk that the more well-known stars would be treated differently and that seems to be the case.
Last month it was reported that Triple H had formed his own ‘Kliq’ in the NXT locker room, a highly controversial group Triple H himself was part of in the mid-90s - and he has four superstars from NXT who he is mentoring and trying to build the brand around.
The superstars that receive the special treatment from Triple H include current NXT Champion Kevin Owens, Adrian Neville, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami and it was previously reported that these superstars are able to get out of daily drills which the remainder of the roster must go through.
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The latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter have an update on this, stating that Triple H’s NXT Kliq could be causing backstage friction and jealousy amongst other NXT superstars.
The fact that Triple H is personally overseeing these five superstars brings up the feeling backstage that if you are not one of ‘Triple H’s guys’ then you cannot do whatever you want and get away with it, whilst the five mentioned superstars can do whatever they like inside of the ring and in training, and get away with it.
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The same source has brought up a story involving current NXT Champion Kevin Owens and the under scrutiny former NXT head coach, Bill DeMott as an example.
They have reported that DeMott was the man in charge of producing Kevin Owens’ debut match at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution where he defeated CJ Parker. DeMott had proposed the match to Owens as well as the spots he would use and they didn't include any of the outsides dives we saw Kevin Owens actually use in the match. DeMott wanted to use Owens’ size to showcase his power and take out any of the impressive aerial manoeuvres he was used to.
This didn't sit well with Owens and he opted to talk to Triple H himself and complained that he isn't being granted permission to wrestle in the manner he is already accustomed to prior to signing with the WWE.
DeMott – who used the senton as his own finisher during his competitive days – didn't want a bigger superstar flipping around, diving outside of the ring or attempting sentons but Triple H told DeMott to let Owens do whatever he wanted to do.
As expected, this didn’t, and probably still doesn’t, sit well with the NXT roster, some might believe they are being treated unfairly and are being micro-managed whilst the big-name superstars are granted more freedom and treated differently and are allowed to work in the independent manner which consists of dangerous manoeuvres and entertaining dives.
This could also be used as motivation for the NXT roster, that if they work hard enough and pay their dues like Owens, Zayn, Balor, Itami and Neville have; then they too may be at that stage one day in their careers.