CJ Parker on How WWE Developmental Has Changed, What It’s Like Working with Triple H, More

CJ Parker

– Former WWE NXT Superstar CJ Parker, now going by CJP on the indies, recently spoke with RollingStone.com about his WWE departure. The full interview can be found at this link. Below are some highlights:

If he was disappointed that his NXT character was used to put others over:

It wasn’t disappointing at all. To me, that’s a compliment. They have faith in you and they know you can go out there with anybody and make them look great. You can take the things that they’re really good at and amplify them. Everybody wants to be the guy who’s the star, the guy who everyone is looking at and the guy who the company is trying to get over. But sometimes you’re the other guy, and it’s your job to look as good as you can while making them look even better. It’s a compliment. When you’re a kid and you want to be a wrestler, you want to be a great wrestler. You want to be somebody who’s looked up to by his peers and the powers that be. At the very least, I did what was asked of me, and I did it to the best of my abilities. That wasn’t frustrating at all.

How WWE developmental has changed since he arrived in 2011:

Everything. It was everything times 100. The roster got bigger, the coaching staff got bigger, the facility got bigger, what was expected of you as a performer got bigger. It went from FCW to NXT and got bigger, badder and better. It was classic WWE. When they want something to take off, it does. That’s exactly what the developmental system did in the past couple years. We didn’t do as many live events [in 2011]. There weren’t as many people coming to the live events that we did do for FCW. The TV show obviously changed a lot. There was one camera then, instead of four or five at Full Sail. NXT at Full Sail is like a mini-Raw. Back in FCW, it was pretty much like a live event with one camera. There wasn’t really much pressure on you. But everything got bigger. We became stars in a way. At FCW, nobody really knows you, it was on its own island from the rest of the WWE. But then, when Triple H put his hand into it and put the time and energy into the developmental system, it grew and became its own brand. And that’s exactly what NXT is, it’s not really developmental anymore, it’s the third brand.

If the developmental label is misapplied to NXT:

If you’re talking about the show that’s on Wednesday nights on the WWE Network, then no, I don’t think that’s developmental. However, if you walk into the Performance Center on a Monday morning and see some of the guys who are just starting and just learning the basics, that is developmental. I think a lot of people don’t realize that on the TV show there’s only about 20 guys featured, but at the PC there’s about 60 guys. There’s a lot of guys there who are trying to learn the business and prove themselves and earn their way onto the TV show. So there is still developmental, but when you start to get to the top of the roster, you become just a smaller version of a main-roster superstar. In my eyes, it’s like Triple H’s version of an independent wrestling show, but with WWE backing. It’s the best of both worlds. He’s getting people from all over the world and bringing them here and putting them under the WWE umbrella. It’s great and it’s going to stay great.

What it’s like working with Triple H:

He’s the best, man. He’s so passionate, so smart. He’s a great guy. He’s very hands-on with everyone. He’s the kind of guy who, once you have your match, he’ll pull you aside and tell you what you did right, what you did wrong and what you could have done differently. He’s constructive and he makes you feel good. He lets you know that it’s all right to make mistakes as long as you learn from those mistakes. He’s the man and NXT is his baby. It’s cool to watch him be excited about NXT. It’s cool to see how proud he is of what he and all of us are doing down there.

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