During an appearance on Talk is Jericho, Scotty 2 Hotty spoke about frustrations mounting from NXT talent towards the WWE main roster situations.
“It’s frustrating, right? I can’t even explain it. A guy like Bobby Roode, and I go, ‘Man, they’re going to love him there. He looks like a man.’ A guy like Roode had worked for years and years just to get there. Eric Young’s another one. They go up and I go, ‘I can’t wait to see this SAnitY entrance on a big stage. It’s going to be so cool.’ They go up and nothing. It happened over and over. They just didn’t have that same feeling when they went up.”
On the backstage culture of NXT.
“Hunter used to say that we have this culture here, and if we could bottle it, we could make millions off this culture. The backstage culture of ‘We are NXT’ was a real thing. That was a real pride amongst the roster. I feel like that’s been lost to a degree, which is sad. It was the coolest environment I’ve ever been in my 30 years in wrestling. It was still a wrestling business, don’t get me wrong, but there was a certain pride there that there wasn’t anywhere else. It just started to change. They started coming in with rules. One of the first weeks since COVID was they started to let us wear NXT tracksuits to TV because we don’t see anybody. We come into the Performance Center for television. We don’t have any fans waiting outside, and for the longest time, there weren’t any fans. In the building, it’s all in-house people, so we were wearing NXT tracksuits. As soon as it started to change, Hunter went away, and the other guys started to come in, it was, ‘Okay, we gotta get back to business casual now.’ The next week it was, and this is awesome, ‘Vince wants the coaches looking younger, so we need you guys to start dyeing your beards and cutting your hair.’ The coaches. I literally lost sleep over it. A couple of them did it right away. I’ve had every kind of facial hair – dye, the chinstrap goatee, the beard, spiked up hair, bald head. It’s not about that. It’s like, if they’re going to have us jump through hoops like monkeys just to see if we’lll do it, so if you do that, what’s next?
Scotty 2 Hotty agreed that AEW inspired NXT's redesign.
“No, I agree. And that’s what it feels like, right? There’s just not a lot of explanation on what happened. It pisses you off being a part of it, but it’s also sad because it’s almost like they killed it off. They killed this awesome thing we had off. It was almost like dealing with a death, dude. It was just sad. I said I just wasn’t having fun anymore, and I said something about the yellow and gold brand. A lot of people took that as like I was shitting on the show. The show is what it is. The new show will give people a lot of opportunity. But there were a lot of people busting their ass to make that show good. Shawn Michaels, Road Dogg, and those guys, they’re doing the best they can to make it good. I was talking about the culture. There was something special with the yellow and gold brand, and it’s just not there anymore. But they can do whatever they want. It’s their company.”