When pro wrestling fans think of NXT, it is perhaps the Black & Gold era that comes to mind most. So many names come up when thinking of that era; names that were such an integral part of that movement in pro wrestling and essentially were a part of NXT’s rise from just a developmental territory of WWE’s.
Of course it still is a developmental territory for WWE’s up-and-comers, but now and largely in part to the success of the aforementioned Black & Gold era of the now viable brand, NXT 2.0, it’s become an option for wrestling fans the world over.
Some fans I talk to at shows and at pro wrestling events where I cover what goes down, even go as far to tell me that NXT is the only WWE product they’ll watch.
In the end, that speaks volumes and in truth the matches that NXT talent puts on, and even to this day, are often better than matches on the main roster, despite a few hiccups from some of the lesser experienced members of the NXT 2.0 roster.
But it was during the Black & Gold era that stars like Johnny Gargano, Adam Cole, Ciampa, Kyle O’Reilly, Samoa Joe, Ricochet, Apollo Crews, Malakai Black, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, and so many more dominated from week to week, and it was because of these stars and the plethora of others that I’ve failed to mention here, that NXT became a household name for pro wrestling fans.
Malakai Black recently went into the importance of NXT and that era in particular while he was speaking to Milwaukee Record. Here’s some of what he said:
“From a platform of just conversing with people and getting my name out there, it’s obviously given me a platform and skills to have a continuation of what I’ve always done in wrestling but just giving me that larger stage and allowing me to translate what I do on a bigger platform…
A lot of the smaller shows, even with NXT, were a massive part of that. It’s undeniable…It’s shaped wrestling and it’s actually a conversation I had with William Regal not too long ago. Regal was also very much under the impression that what we did back then garnered a lot of eyes and made people think about how wrestling could be presented too.”via Malakai Black speaking w/ Milwaukee Record /Wrestling Inc. (Transcription)
Of course Black now wrestles for AEW where he is the leader of the House Of Black faction…alongside him are of course Buddy Matthews, Brody King and Julia Hart.