Once NXT transformed from a bizarre wrestling-themed game show into developmental TV for World Wrestling Entertainment, it found itself a true home at Full Sail University in Florida. Initially, this protected environment led to the crowd being one of the hottest in wrestling, something of a PGTV version of the Pro Wrestling Guerilla crowds in Reseda, California.
Somewhere along the road, the enthusiasm provided by these loyal fans morphed into the most eye-rolling of distractions, one of the most glaring examples of a big problem for WWE in this most different of ages. Where the wrestling once dictated the crowd, the reverse is now true.
A lot of crowds in the modern age seem to be in it for themselves. Now, as paying customers and free-thinking individuals they are free to do as they choose, but professional wrestling is an art that requires the audience to play their role. Engaging in competitions to get the smartest chant on TV benefits nobody, and always detracts from the action itself.
The Full Sail crowd (or at least a vocal portion of them) have overvalued their role in NXT in 2016, and how NXT deals with this will be important going forward.
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 buy it at the link below...