WWE Panel at San Diego Comic Con 2015 Live Coverage - NXT Champion Finn Bàlor, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Charlotte appear! Questions, answers, and more!
By Will Pruett
Will Pruett is live at San Diego Comic Con and passing on a rapid pace live coverage thing of the WWE and Mattel panel!
This is definitely a panel of wrestling fans, as a "New Day Rocks" chant and clap broke out as people filed in. It looks like they'll be turning fans away at the door, as the room is filling up quick.
A moderator welcomed us to the panel. He is the global toy director for WWE.
William Regal was introduced to a standing ovation from the crowd. Regal joked that he couldn't possibly remember the script he was handed. He said it is his pleasure to represent WWE, NXT, and Mattel today. He said Kevin Owens, Charlotte, Sami Zayn, and Finn Bàlor were here. No mention of Seth Rollins as a part of the panel. Regal said the future is here.
The designers from Mattel were introduced.
A video from Seth Rollins was played. He apologized for not making it today. He said the workload of being a champion has him stuck in Los Angeles filming a WWE 2K16 commercial. He promised to sign everything (including babies) for everyone next year.
Kevin Owens was introduced, complete with theme music. Charlotte followed, also with music. I assume the music plays whenever they enter a room. Sami Zayn was introduced with his amazingly happy theme music and Regal called Zayn his friend. Ole chants from the crowd, reckoning back to a Zayn-like superstar down helping orphans just across the border. Finn Bàlor was introduced next and he entered with music, the NXT Championship, and no demon paint.
Regal promised that if any of the wrestlers got in any trouble (fighting), they would be in serious trouble. The toy designers then began discussing the new figures.
Tyson Kidd, Xavier Woods, Hideo Itami, and Sting figures were shown. Owens asked if Itami comes with a broken shoulder. Charlotte's figure was shown next and it was handed to her. She was emotional about it.
The Ascension, J and J Security, The Bella Twins, and Ambrose and Rollins are getting two pack figures.
The Miz, Dean Malenko, Stephanie McMahon, Adam Rose, Randy Savage, and the APA will be getting deluxe figures.
They're currently working on Bailey, Sheamus, Undertaker from WrestleMania 31, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, British Bulldog, and Godfather figures. They showed a Finn Bàlor in demon attire action figure that is on its way. It looks amazing. A Sami Zayn elite figure with the NXT Championship is coming. Owens joked that he had the title for only two months. The 1999 Undertaker is coming. Hollywood Hogan is coming. Sting is coming. These are all Elite Figures. We were invited to stop by the Mattel booth.
Regal thanked them for his figure, which didn't exist.
Regal asked what figures they played with.
Kevin Owens said he collected a ton of them. His favorite was Steve Blackman. The best thing about getting his own figure is his son getting to play with them.
Charlotte loved playing with he stuffed wrestling buddies, especially of the Million Dollar Man. She finds it crazy that she is getting an action figure.
Sami Zayn had the LJN rubber action figures. He still has Macho Man and Hulk Hogan from them. Sami says he is living the dream having a figure now. When Sami first started wrestling, he would use the figures to come up with new moves occasionally.
Finn Bàlor didn't just have WWE figures, he had G.I. Joe ones as well. Finn's favorite WWE figure was Vince McMahon in his grey suit. He said he used to be the boss of that figure, but now the roles are different. Finn saw his demon painted figure for the first time today.
Regal asked Kevin Owens about how things have changed in his meteoric rise. Owens said he can tell his Cena-shirt wearing son that he beat Cena. He said his legacy in ten years will be that he made it to Raw before Sami Zayn. This elicited a reaction.
Regal asked Charlotte why she thinks the women in NXT are taking the world by storm. Charlotte credited the determination and drive for success in herself, Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks. She also credited the training of Sara Del Ray. Regal asked Charlotte about advice from Ric Flair. She said he told her to be the best at everything she does.
Moving onto Sami Zayn, Regal asked what makes NXT so unique. Zayn said NXT has evolved a lot. He said the cast of characters is a once in a lifetime collection of talent, much like the 2002 class out of OVW. He said they weren't on the same boat, but it is similar in having so much talent in one place. Sami said the people brought there by chance make it so special.
Regal asked when Sami would be back in the ring. Sami said he is out of his sling as of yesterday, and he wishes he had a return date. He doesn't. Kevin Owens feigned being upset. Zayn is shooting for the end of 2015 or early 2016.
Regal moved onto Finn, which caused a woman in the crowd to yell how hot he is. Finn said he gets it all the time, in a bashful way. Finn was asked what happens in his mind around the demon. Before he answered, he wished Sami a quick recovery. Finn said the demon paint helped his inner-confidence flow out easier. Regal asked him about being the new NXT Champion. Finn says NXT is like lighting in a bottle, especially with Kevin, Hideo, and himself. Finn said NXT is a brand now. He emphasized the brand thing. He said people will look back at now in NXT like people look back at ECW. He is proud to be a part of it and champion. He is looking forward to doing more.
Regal announced that the Bàlor vs. Owens in a rematch will headline the NXT Brooklyn show. Owens told Finn to enjoy the title for now, because he won't have it for long. Finn said he spent eight years in Japan and then couldn't turn down WWE. He talked about winning the title in Japan in his second home. He said it was like a fairytale. Finn said he took a great deal of pleasure beating Owens in Tokyo. He said Japan was different, but New York City will be very special. Owens said he spent eight years rocking the house in Brooklyn every time he went there. He said there's no way he leaves without the title.
Fan questions happening now.
Owens was asked if he could beat Brock Lesnar. He said he's not sure he could beat him, but we will find out someday soon.
A fan, who has no respect for El Generico, asked Owens and Zayn about that feud. Owens said El Generico was a fantastic performer and has nothing to do with Sami Zayn. Zayn said he gets asked about it a lot. He can't speak for El Generico, who is running an orphanage in TJ. Regal got a text from Generico earlier, that said "Si". Owens said Generico would look at Zayn and say he's pathetic. Zayn said he and Owens were helped by that feud and it is a lot of why they're there.
A fan asked why Owens uses the Pop Up Powerbomb. He said it's because it's effective.
Next, the panel was asked what match made them want to wrestle. Bàlor said Hakushi vs. 1-2-3 Kid from SummerSlam 1995. Zayn said the desire was always there, but the first indie wrestling show he ever went to was when he said he wants to indie wrestle. Zayn said it was an indie match with two terrible wrestlers. He knew he had to do that.
Charlotte said her journey was different. She didn't grow up thinking she would be in WWE. Her dream was playing volleyball. She was very close to her little brother and WWE was his dream. She said his passion to carry on Ric Flair's legacy. Charlotte grew wanting to be a part of the crew by being around the NXT women. She credits her little brother.
Kevin Owens said it was Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel at WrestleMania XI. He said Michaels was his first favorite wrestler. He credited that match.
A fan asked when Montreal would get a WWE pay-per-view. The wrestlers didn't know. Kevin Owens promised to headline it. Charlotte promised the women would. Sami Zayn said he doesn't book the towns and advocated for a WrestleMania in Montreal or Toronto.
A very young fan threw some shade at Kevin Owens adorably. He asked Finn Bàlor who he wants to face next. Bàlor said there are many great opponents, referencing Zayn and Itami. He believes Tyler Breeze could do well with him. He'd like to face Tyler because he didn't like their last match.
Kevin Owens was asked about potentially being Undertaker's last WrestleMania opponent. Owens said he isn't sure of that, but he'd love to send him to retirement with a loss.
A fan said Regal was his favorite as Regal said "so, you're the one". He asked Regal who his favorite feud was and who he'd want to feud with. Regal said he'd like to compete against so many people, but the time has passed him by. Regal said no one was doing what these guys are doing when he came to the U.S. His favorite feud was with Larry Zybszko. He said a loaded gun was pointed in his face because it was so heated.
A fan asked if Cena could do anything to avoid being hurt by Owens. Owens said no.
Next up, a fan acted upset about Dean Malenko getting a figure. People booed him.
Enzo and Cass figures with sound were mentioned by a fan. The designers weren't into them.
A fan is there was any reluctance to move up to NXT. He said he looks forward to NXT more than any other wrestling show. He said the women's wrestling in NXT was far better than the Divas. William Regal hoped no one was filming the wrestlers on the panel. Sami Zayn said he thinks this guy likes NXT because they're on it. He said the guy would like Raw more when they're on it. Zayn talked about the growth of NXT and people asking about him moving up to the main roster less. Zayn said he wanted to make NXT good and he has. He said he wants to do the same with WWE's main roster. He said they're making NXT the place to be and they'll make Raw even more of the place to be.
A man from the Armed Forces Networks asked what it means to them to bring entertainment to the troops. Charlotte said they're the real heroes. Kevin said it's pretty cool to give those guys a break from what they do.
Charlotte was asked how one gets to become "a diva" from scratch. Charlotte said just to be the best version of yourself. She started in NXT not knowing how to do makeup and thinking you had to show skin. She realized it is just bettering herself everyday and working hard. She said it's being your best self and said the fan is pretty awesome right now.
Zayn said it's about chasing your dream and ending up in WWE. He said there is a difference between a goal and a dream. He said if it's just a dream, it's a fantasy. He said to make it a goal and take the appropriate steps like finding a wrestling school or sending a tape to Tough Enough.
A kid asked Owens if he is tough enough. Owens said the kid looks tougher than everyone currently on Tough Enough.
Finn was asked air-Too Sweeted by a fan and asked who on the main roster he wants to work with. Finn Bàlor said this is the main roster. He wants to be a part of NXT more than he wants to be "called up".
Regal thanked the Mattel folks for having them, the wrestlers, and told people to stop by the Mattel booth. The panel is over.
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