Mikey Nicholls Compares WWE & NJPW Star-Making Approaches

Diving into the pro-wrestling world's star-making dynamics with Nicholls.

by Atia Mukhtar
Mikey Nicholls Compares WWE & NJPW Star-Making Approaches

Professional wrestler Mikey Nicholls, known for his participation in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), recently joined Bobby Fish on his podcast, "The Undisputed Podcast." Nicholls, who was formerly associated with WWE under the alias Nick Miller, had an engaging conversation about the contrasting strategies of WWE and NJPW in cultivating new talent.

Nicholls spoke candidly about his observations. In his view, NJPW exhibits an aggressive, all-or-nothing approach when it comes to fostering new stars. "They go all in when they're going to create someone," he said, implying a sense of immediacy that differs from the slower, more gradual process preferred by WWE.

NJPW's Resilience in Star-Building

Fish, who has wrestled for both NJPW and WWE, echoed Nicholls's sentiment, pointing out that NJPW shows resilience in the face of potential losses. He cited Kenny Omega as an example, emphasizing that NJPW doesn't become disheartened when built-up stars decide to depart.

Instead, the organization swiftly shifts focus onto the next promising talent. Nicholls's comments are particularly enlightening considering his history. He was part of "The Mighty," a tag team in WWE NXT alongside his stablemate Shane Haste, who later became known as Shane Thorne and Slapjack in WWE.

Nicholls left WWE in December 2018, and Thorne, who briefly joined the controversial Retribution stable, was released in November 2021. During their WWE stint as The Mighty, Nicholls and Haste crossed paths with various teams including The Street Profits and the Viking Raiders.

Interestingly, they were also active during The Undisputed Era's reign, which included Fish. As TM-61, they even competed in the 2018 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Nicholls has successfully transitioned to NJPW, currently participating in the G1 Climax 33 tournament.

His most recent bout saw him face off against ex-Bullet Club member Tama Tonga, although he was unable to secure a win. Haste, now wrestling for NJPW, has also joined the G1 Climax roster but was defeated in his last match by Hirooki Goto.

As both continue their journey, their experiences add to the unfolding narrative of talent development in professional wrestling.