Friday, August 14, 2020

Winners & Losers: NXT 08.12.20

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Taylor Wilde shares a former pitch to make her WWE Cruiserweight Champion

Jacqueline may have been accompanied by Taylor Wilde as a female winner of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship that was deactivated in 2007. This was of course before the current NXT Cruiserweight Championship emerged. It is true, the former TNA Knockouts Champion could have held a male title in WWE.

In 2007, prior to the title being phased out, the plan was to have Wilde defeat the year-long reign of Gregory (Shane) Helms. Wilde never made it to WWE television, but she was known as Shantelle at that time and was brought up to the main roster. She was given a gimmick on house shows which never crossed over to TV.

In a Fightful Exclusive she had the following to say:

“Yeah, I’d done a few dark matches with Jamie [Noble]. So, their idea for me was, I was wrestling as a Japanese boy. I wore a double mesh blacked out lucha libre masks, shoulder pads, big kick pads, big baggy Sabu pants and I was wrestling as a boy. I was hailing from Parts Unknown, Japan and yeah, I was fighting Jamie Noble and I guess the grand idea was to have me win the Intergender Cruiserweight title.

But, whoever was champ at that time wasn’t into it. So even though this was Vince McMahon’s—whether it was his idea or not—we had a meeting, we had his stamp of approval on it and I had some pretty excellent people working with me at the time. Like I said, Jamie Noble and Dean Malenko were very behind it. It’s a political business. I had been in developmental for about a year and it was time to bring in some fresh meat, I guess,” Wilde said.

Fightful states that although Wilde doesn’t list the name of the champion at that time, they say it was during Helms’ reign. It was confirmed that it was more of a pitch than a plan per se. The gimmick was said to be that of a ninja and the name was Sensai. She stated that she even talked this over with Vince himself. The idea that it would have been unclear if the ninja would be a man or a woman.

“You’re so eager to please. You want to be memorable and you want to make a good impression. He’s a very intimidating person. He was very fair. He’s obviously quite a persona, [so he gets through that character.] It was a very intimidating experience. One that I will not forget. I probably blacked out half-way through because I remember nodding and smiling a lot. So, I couldn’t really recreate the conversation for you,” said Wilde.

Wilde returned to developmental and after six months and debuting with FCW she was released. She would shortly get the call for TNA thereafter.

“I can’t remember exactly how it went, but I was doing house shows for Smackdown pretty regularly. I can’t remember if I was pissed off at my last house show or what was going on, but I was living in Tampa at the time, and I remember driving back from the gym, and getting some text messages from some other people in developmental that people were being let go.

I just had this instant sinking feeling. I’m like, ‘I’m next.’ That was kind of it. I got the phone call and they wished me best in all my future endeavors. I was pretty disillusioned. I had had some momentum going in developmental and for a few different reasons the idea that they had for me just fizzled out and that was kind of the end of it. Again, I needed a break at that point. I thought, ‘Okay. Screw it. Maybe this isn’t for me. I’ll go back to university, I’ll finish my degree,’ and then six months later, TNA called.”

Wilde has recently teased a return to the ring. With the amount of women joining the Knockouts division in IMPACT there has been talk about reviving the Knockouts Tag Team Titles. The titles in which Wilde is a former two-time champion.

The exclusive and transcripts are fully credited to Fightful. You can view the video as well by clicking here.

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Winners & Losers: NXT 08.12.20

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