William Regal was synonymous with WWE NXT since the brand’s creation, with his role as the shows General Manager and several roles in recruiting and helping bring in new talent. Unfortunately for Regal, he was let go by WWE earlier this year in January, citing the change from NXT to NXT 2.0 as a major reason why.
Since then, he’s joined AEW and taken on a role as the Manager of the Blackpool Combat Club featuring Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, and Wheeler Yuta. But since the star has seen several familiar faces with him in AEW, the former King of the Ring detailed how big of an influence NXT was on All Elite Wrestling during the first episode of the “Gentleman Villain Podcast.”
“You’d be foolish to say that it isn’t very similar,” Regal said. “Yes, very much so… if I say anything now, there’s going to be people that go, ‘Well, that was a PWG crowd, or that was Ring of Honor’s crowd.’ No, here’s another one of my views: the people who think, ‘Oh, all they did was take people from Ring of Honor or PWG,’ well, there was a platform for them and a bigger platform to make a better living.”
Continuing to talk about the similarities between both wrestling companies, Regal spoke about the negative feedback WWE receives that AEW doesn’t, even though they provide the same landing spot for talent all over the world.
“I’m very fan-friendly, like I try to be as open-minded to fan feedback as possible, but if you’re of the mindset that by us or NXT, or WWE, or AEW now, taking your favorite wrestler away from you so they can make a better living for their family and get more exposure, and you think that the big companies are the devil for doing that, then maybe you need to check yourself in the mirror,” Regal said. “Because that’s what happens, you go out in this profession to make a living or to be what you want to be in it, right?
“… Any time that that’s happened, and that happened a bit with NXT UK, and AEW doesn’t seem to get that kind of [negative feedback] but WWE does. ‘Oh, you’re taking away all our stars.’ I’m sorry that I’m taking them away and giving them an incredible platform to have far better training than they’ve ever had – and ask any of the people that have worked there, and get looked after when they get injured, and not have to worry about getting paid that night, and getting a check in the bank every week.”