Former NXT star Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno) has compared wrestling on the independent scene with his time in WWE.
Hero was one of the most experienced members of the NXT roster when he returned to WWE in 2016. The indie star has recently discussed limitations he experienced whilst with the company.
Speaking on the ROHStrong podcast, Hero claimed that there’s still a stigma surrounding indie wrestlers in WWE. Pondering how much management knows about the current scene, Hero argued that performers like himself have a hard time conforming to the WWE style.
Stating that you’re not really a wrestler in WWE, Hero explained that the WWE style is frustrating, with less freedom compared to other promotions.
Here are the full quotes:
“I’ve had tons of that, even in my recent stint in NXT, where they think there are certain ways that things should always be done. It is absolutely, you know, now, not as much, but it is still a knock on you to be an ‘indie guy.’ They see ‘indie’ as kind of a bad word, and I don’t know how many of them actually have a grasp of what the independent scene has done over the years.
“I think they just the way it is, and they know that their boss likes things this way, and we need to make sure that the new guys coming in do it this way. Because if they don’t, they’re gonna get chewed out. So it’s very much a reprogram, retrain, reteach, break bad habits kind of thing when these things don’t matter when you are a star, right?
“You’re not even really a wrestler,” said Hero. “You will have opportunities to wrestle, but you are a superstar that is telling the stories that they want you to tell and occasionally doing wrestling moves. That’s kind of how it breaks down, and it can be very frustrating for people that have pro wrestling tied to the identity of who they are and who they want to be. Because unless you because a huge star, you will not have the time on television to wrestle wrestle.
“You’ll be in there for four minutes here, 10 minutes here, maybe 15 minutes on a pay-per-view, but it will be micromanaged. And until you gain a certain amount of equity, you have to do things their way. And if you don’t do things their way, you will not get to an opportunity to where you can build that equity up.”
During Hero’s last WWE run, he competed for NXT and NXT UK. He was released in April 2020, along with a number of other competitors.
Jon Moxley expressed similar sentiments after he departed from WWE in 2019. The former AEW World Champion will wrestle more than his fair share of matches this week, competing for both AEW and NJPW.
Quotes via Wrestle Zone.
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