6 Similarities Between NXT Of Today And The TNA Of Yesterday

Has NXT just continued what TNA started way back when?

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In 2016, NXT is widely considered the darling of the professional wrestling world. 

For many it has become the reason they stay in touch with World Wrestling Entertainment, a developmental brand that regularly puts on must-see shows featuring some of the finest talent in the business. 

This status was cemented over WrestleMania weekend, as TakeOver: Dallas blew the big show out of the water.

In 2016, TNA has moved its headquarters into a warehouse and is leaking established talent at an alarming rate. Its audience is dwindling, and not a month goes by without rumours of it going the way of the dodo circling. 

The vultures have been flying lower and lower for years, and it seems like they are growing more and more impatient.

It used to be oh so different for TNA. A little over a decade ago the company was growing and growing. The roster was full of hungry young competitors, and it frequently put on shows that many considered must-see. 

2005 is considered the peak year for the promotion, and looking back this claim is made with good reasoning.

The two might be going in completely different directions today, but the similarities between today's NXT and yesterday's TNA are clear to see. NXT has taken a lot of what made TNA great, and given it a bigger platform. 

Here are 6 such similarities.

6. The Land Of The Not Quite Giants

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Since as long as one can remember, World Wrestling Entertainment has had something of a fascination with mass. Over the years a lot of performers have received spotlights and attention that their ability may not have warranted because of their impressive physiques.

There is a logic behind it, of course, but wrestling fans have always been enchanted by the success of someone a who looks a little bit more like the average guy (see: Bryan, Daniel & Ambrose, Dean). 

More so than almost anything else the X-Division was considered TNA's major selling point. 

2005 saw the pinnacle of the division, with every passing show punctuated by some of the finest smaller guys in wrestling. AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Christopher Daniels, Petey Williams and a host of others were putting on top-notch showcases month after month, displaying a brand of professional wrestling that didn't involve hulking masses of muscle.

WWE as a whole may have started to move away from this in 2016, but NXT is where the idea has thrived. Even a cursory glance at the list of NXT Champions will show a focus on character and ability as opposed to size, with only Big E Langston coming under the 'hulking muscle mass' umbrella (and even he is more well-known now for his character and ability rather than his tricep meat).

NXT today is quick to showcase smaller professional wrestlers, something that TNA did with much critical success eleven years ago and, in both examples, the not-quite giants took the ball and ran with it.


Born in the middle of Wales in the middle of the 1980's, John can't quite remember when he started watching wrestling but he has a terrible feeling that Dino Bravo was involved. Now living in Prague, John spends most of his time trying to work out how Tomohiro Ishii still stands upright. His favourite wrestler of all time is Dean Malenko, but really it is Repo Man. He is the author of 'An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery', the best book about the Slavic people that you haven't yet read. You can get that and others from www.poshlostbooks.com.