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To hear Paul Levesque talk about NXT is akin to hearing a father beam with pride about his firstborn son.By day, Levesque is the WWEs executive vice president of talent, live events and creative. By night -- though much more infrequently these days -- hes 14-time world heavyweight champion Triple H.But for all intents and purposes, Levesque is the heart and soul behind NXT, WWEs developmental territory, which has grown to become a legitimate third brand, providing in-house competition for Raw and SmackDown.Created in 2012, NXT was designed to develop new talent and, in Levesques words, bring in a new era of WWE. But even the father of NXT himself has been surprised at how quickly it has grown into something more.Its hard for me to imagine that just a few short years ago, NXT was kind of just a concept that we had, Levesque said. How quickly it has become something so much more than that.With an old-school feel to the way its booked and presented, the brand has created a cult following, offering hard-core wrestling fans a much different product from what WWE has traditionally aired on television in recent years. In fact, Levesque outright refers to NXT as the bedrock of the WWE Network, where it exclusively airs.In response to Thursdays announcement that 2K Sports is releasing a collectors NXT edition to their WWE 2K17 video game, limited to just 50,000 copies on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Levesque took time to answer questions on a number of topics, including NXTs growth.Brock Lesnar appears on the cover of WWE 2K17, and you recently praised his performance at UFC 200. What does his ability to cross over do for WWEs brand?Its huge. I think any time that you can have a WWE performer that can cross over into something else and have that kind of a night or a performance, whether thats making a movie or television show or competing in the UFC, thats huge. To me, it speaks to the amazing athlete that Brock Lesnar is. To be able to come back at such an elite level after a fairly long period of time doing something different and be that dominant is just amazing to me.We have said it a million times about Brock but I think its worth repeating. Hes a once-in-a-lifetime athlete that comes along and is just -- you can see it when you look at him. Guys dont come along that quick, that big, that fast, that aggressive and with that mentality. He is a once-in-a-lifetime combat athlete. Certainly he helps UFC, banking on Brock Lesnars name in the very beginning of him becoming a UFC star and showing his dominance in it. And now its the same thing, back and forth. They benefit from it, we benefit from it and it has been great. My hats off to Brock, hes an amazing, amazing athlete.In your eyes, what is the difference between the creative and booking in NXT compared with the main brands?I think for me that was part of the goal when we were creating NXT, to not just recreate Raw or SmackDown and kind of have some variety and give them something different. To me, our industry is kind of like music. There are all different kinds of genres in music and with Raw and SmackDown you are trying to hit the most mainstream level of enjoyment of the product that you can, sort of like in pop music. NXT is a bit more of a style of music. Its a bit more intimate; its a bit more designed to hit our hardest-core fans and give them something that they will enjoy.To me, at the end of the day, thats the core of what we do. But its still understanding that Raw and SmackDown are completely different where you are trying to hit the biggest audience possible. Im excited that people like NXT so much, obviously, but Im excited that we have that variety. If it was all the same, I dont know that the interest level would be the same, and thats part of the magic of what [NXT] is. Its different. One is not better; they are different.Considering you are no longer presenting NXT exclusively as a developmental brand, how will its future be affected by the upcoming brand split?Its funny that when people talk about it to me, some will say, Well, isnt that the downfall of NXT because when a superstar becomes big enough that hes immediately going to be taken away from you? I feel thats the strength of the brand. If you look at the growth of NXT in the last couple years, there are points in time when people said, Oh no, these characters are getting called up and [NXT] is doomed. We made somebody else the lead characters of the show and thats the challenge and the beauty of it. Its always fresh, its always different, it always feels like there is something new going on to me.With NXT being different, it complements Raw and SmackDown. You have the opportunity to see these guys come in and make a name for themselves on a bigger platform. They can grow themselves while helping to create NXTs brand. Then, if youre following NXT, youre ahead of the curve when they come to Raw and SmackDown. You know everything about them and their backstories. Its like being a fan of the band before they hit it big. You have that claim to fame. And to our most passionate fan base thats an exciting vibe that we have. I think thats why social media is so strong for us -- its people that want to be ahead of the curve.With NXT being your baby and brainchild, what does it mean to you personally to see these superstars get to the next level and see them included in WWE 2K17?Its huge for me. I feel sometimes like a dad with NXT, watching characters come through here and see stars come in with either no level of skill at what we do or an amazing level of skill and I watch them change from the time they walk through the door to become something more. WWE, no matter how you slice it, its just different. Its a different world, different product and a different environment. And its a different learning curve. You see it with talent coming in how some adapt and learn faster than others. Watching them adapt and grow, somebody like Finn Balor change and morph and become so much more, its an amazing experience. I look forward to the opportunity of getting to see them grow through the years.Look at Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose or Bray Wyatt over the years and watching all of it come out of here and blossom and grow into something more is an amazing opportunity. And its especially with the women. Watching Charlotte, Sasha [Banks] and Becky Lynch and the women who have come out of NXT sort of change the industry for themselves has been hugely rewarding.Bret Hart recently took offense that your rating in WWE 2K17 was higher than his. How aware are you about any rivalries in the locker room between superstars regarding the video game?[Laughs]. I have not heard that. Im sorry, there was a report that somebody was upset that their video game ranking was lower than mine? I dont even know how that works to be honest but I suppose there is.I see guys arguing about stuff all the time in the locker room and video game rankings would probably be part of that. I know that they are very competitive with each other in a lot of ways so it wouldnt surprise me. Trust me, the locker room can make anything a competition.You have competed against top superstars around the world. How rare of an athlete and performer is NXT star Shinsuke Nakamura in your eyes?I have watched a lot of guys over the years and there are certain talent that youre just drawn to, and thats charisma and X factor and all those things. Shinsuke brings something to the table that I havent seen for a long time. He brings a level of charisma, a level of showmanship, that you dont see a lot of times with guys that have an aggressive style, with the striking and skill set, that he does. Hes an amazing athlete.I think hes somebody I had my eye on for a long time as far as being part of WWE as a whole because I think hes that different level of performer. Hes one of those guys that is harder to explain what he is because when you start to begin to say it, it doesnt do it justice. You kind of just have to say, You just have to see him. Once you see him, you want to watch him again. Hes that kind of performer.In this new era of WWE entering the brand split, what do you think Raw and SmackDown can learn from NXT and vice versa?Its hard to say that you learn something directly from a specific brand. I feel like the business constantly changes. What fans want constantly morphs and changes. Characters that worked 15 years ago wouldnt work today. Performers that were huge 10 years ago wouldnt work today. Its constantly morphing and constantly changing. I think they will all learn from each other.I think when you see things succeed in SmackDown, they will begin to morph into Raw, and vice versa with NXT and all of it. To me, thats the exciting part about the brand extension. It creates a lot more opportunity for a lot more talent and a lot more ideas to be put out on the table and performances to take place. That gives the NXT universe much greater variety to express what they like and dislike. I think the brand extension is going to be the ultimate opportunity for the fans to express themselves more than ever and morph and change [the product] to what they want. Patrick Patterson look back at each of the Top 10 stories of 2013. Today, we look back at Boston Strong - a citys recovery from tragedy. DeMar DeRozan Raptors Jersey. -- Its been a long road back for Sean Bergenheim. - Sebastien Auger made 44 saves as the Saint John Sea Dogs edged the visiting Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2-1 on Saturday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. Raptors Jerseys. The 18-year-old American had five birdies in her bogey-free round for a 17-under total of 196. Lee held the overnight lead but mixed three birdies with two bogeys for a 70. Vince Carter Jersey. All of the scoring came in the final 20:04. Lucic scored on a power play at 15:46 of the third period, when he tipped a shot over Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen for a 3-1 lead.Former Northampton manager Chris Wilder has taken over at Sheffield United following Nigel Adkins dismissal. The 48-year-old Wilder, a former United full-back, still lives in Sheffield and will be joined at Bramall Lane by his Northampton assistant Alan Knill. Wilder led Northampton to the League Two title this season Wilder, who on Wednesday ended negotiations with Charlton over their managerial vacancy, led Northampton to the League Two title after a 24-match unbeaten run. Speaking on behalf of Uniteds joint owners, Kevin McCabe told the club website: We are delighted to appoint Chris, he has a fantastic reputation. He understands the ethos of our club and is a modern 21st century manager.We are aware that Chris is popular with the supporters, however, this is not a sentimental appointment, he has a proven track record and is hungry to bring success to the Blades. Che Adams (right) was one of few bright spots in a disappointing campaign for the Blades He has a vision of success, knows what is required by the supporters and we will assist him as much as we can. Early talks have been positive and we look forward to a new era at Bramall Lane.Wilder, who has signed a three-year deal, said: A lot of supporters already know me and those who dont will soon realise that I am loyal, hard-working, straight-talking, thorough and whole-hearted in everything that I do.Obviously, people know my connnection with the club as a supporter and former player and I want Bramall Lane to return to be an intimidating place - I dont want the players to feel it is a burden, playing in front of 20,000 fans.ddddddddddddI understand the club, not just the playing side, but from the board to the Academy, including the key personnel such as Travis Binnion, John Dungworth and Mick Wadsworth, who have all enjoyed success this season. Sheffield United have called time on Adkins after 12 months Adkins was appointed United boss only last summer after Nigel Clough was dismissed following a failed League One play-off campaign. He was tasked with leading United back to the Championship for the first time since 2011, but won just 18 of his 46 matches in charge. United ended the season in 11th spot, their lowest finish since being relegated to the third tier in 2011, eight points behind the play-off positions.I am proud and honoured to have been the manager of Sheffield United but saddened to leave after just one season, Adkins said. I am naturally very disappointed not to be able to continue the good work going on behind the scenes, which I am confident will be of benefit to the club going forward. I wish the club and the supporters the best of luck for the future.Adkins assistant manager Andy Crosby and first-team coach Dean Wilkins have also left the club. Also See: Terry Kennedy released by Blades Watch League One goals NOW! Charlton fail in Wilder bid Sheffield United results Wholesale Jerseys  Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Authentic Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '


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