Former WWE broadcast team member Rich Brennan on the growth of NXT, his friendship and working relationship with Corey Graves


Logo_NXT_dn_crop600Main Event Madness with Rich Brennan
Interview available at

On the evolution of NXT from FCW to being a third WWE brand: “When I first got to the Performance Center, we were still doing shows that at times would draw 50-60 people. So to come from that, and here’s the other thing, I went to FCW shows as a fan, and I remember going to one show in particular that drew really, really well, that Dusty (Rhodes) actually had a match with his two sons. It was a six man tag match, it was actually Dusty’s last match, and that drew really well. But there are other shows that, again, 50-60 people were at the show. That’s what it was like for a number of the shows starting out when I got here at the beginning of 2014. We would go to towns and the crowds would be sparse. Other places would be a little more busy. Orlando was always popping, and I don’t mean Orlando like Full Sail, I mean the Armory in Orlando where NXT runs shows. Those would always be pretty well attended. But as the network launched, as the network grew, you could see the crowds starting to grow. They were much more knowledgeable about who was who and what the product was. You started to see a lot of these buildings just start to fill up. Fast forward to Brooklyn, to think you were drawing 50 people in Palatka, FL in April of 2014 to August of 2015 to put 16,000 people or whatever it was inside the Barclays Center was unbelievable.”

On working with Corey Graves and details on their relationship: “I thought Graves and I had great chemistry together. Part of it has to do with we like a lot of the same things, we’re friends, and we’re on the same wavelength as far as a lot things go. So that chemistry came pretty quickly with Graves. As far as on screen goes, I actually worked with Corey behind the scenes in the voiceover room, and actually working live events, driving around to live events all around Florida, but particularly in the voiceover room, calling matches with him for a good eight or nine months before he even got an opportunity to be on TV. Because there were still some questions about whether he’d be able to wrestle or not and when that door finally closed, you know the other opportunities opened up in a lot of ways for him. He’s a tremendous talent, he’s a natural at it. We played off each other pretty well I think, again I felt we had really good chemistry, and getting to work with him that I did outside of public view, really helped us, when we finally did have the opportunity to do shows together and do television shows together.”

Other topics include his run in NXT, how he became a wrestling fan and announcer, working with Corey Graves and Michael Cole, his love for and the state of hockey today, and much more.


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