Dusty Rhodes: WWE NXT trio ready to "knock down doors"

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November 21, 2012

Go ahead and call them “kids,” “upstarts,” “Superstars in training.” None of those dismissive terms changes the fact Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have successfully laid out the most destructive force in WWE, Ryback, on consecutive nights. And now, new video obtained by WWE.com suggests the trio of NXT developmental talents has expanded its campaign to target other members of WWE’s main roster. (FULL STORY)

Days removed from the frenzied closing scenes of Survivor Series and Monday’s Raw, the WWE Universe continues piecing together the puzzle that is the Ambrose-Rollins-Reigns triumvirate. As WWE management, fans and Superstars try to decipher the objectives of the “kids from NXT” — as well as determine their connection, if any, to WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman — all WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes can do is sit back and nod knowingly from his office in NXT’s Florida headquarters.

“The American Dream,” a three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion and father of WWE Superstar Cody Rhodes, has been steering the helm of WWE’s developmental territory since being named NXT’s General Manager in June. As such, he has far greater insight than most into the possible motivations of the three intruders. Though he stopped short of endorsing their unprovoked assaults on Ryback, Rhodes was not surprised they pounced on the opportunity to make their names known.

“In our developmental system, there’s one thing we’re always preaching: make an impact,” the Hall of Famer told WWE.com in a phone interview this week. “I’m not condoning the actions of these three guys. But they see the youth movement. They see the Kofi Kingstons and Damien Sandows of WWE, and they want to be part of it. I always told them, ‘If you see the opportunity, you have to take it.’ ”

Whether labeled WWE Superstars or developmental competitors, the outsiders from NXT have clearly seized the spotlight, quickly establishing themselves as dangerous interlopers who are even capable of swinging the tide in the WWE Title picture. By homing in on Ryback, Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns have sent a loud message to all members of the WWE main roster, according to Rhodes.

“They picked the right guy, because sometimes the way to become the next big thing is by going after the biggest dog in the yard,” he said. “They really believe — they’d talk to me about this — that guys like Ryback are ‘just one-dimensional,’ and that’s quoting these three guys.”

The objections of Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns extend beyond Ryback, it appears. During a Grand Rapids TV taping Tuesday night, the three men interrupted a match between Tyson Kidd and Santino Marella, attacking both Superstars. The underlying motivations could be money and fame, or an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality that makes any established performer fair game. The NXT invaders believe they’re ready to tackle the biggest challenges WWE has to offer, yet there is a finite number of spots on the WWE main roster. (PHOTOS)

Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns are ready to compete for those heavily coveted positions, even if the opportunity to do so comes without the blessing of WWE’s talent relations department, Rhodes intimated.

As somebody who’s been involved in talent development initiatives on and off for years, Rhodes broke down the three fighters based on his observations of them in NXT and its predecessor, Florida Championship Wrestling. NXT currently boasts five or six competitors who are WWE-ready, in Rhodes’ estimable opinion, and right atop that list stand Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns.

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