WWE: Rising Australian superstar Bronson Reed looking for breakout moment at NXT Takeover

Bronson Reed.
Bronson Reed. Photo credit: WWE

Having your idol as a mentor is not only daunting. but surreal for rising Australian sports entertainment star Bronson Reed.

The 31-year-old has been turning heads in World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) development brand, NXT and his breakout moment could come this weekend. 

Reed, real name Jermaine Haley. will compete at the 30th NXT Takeover event, which will take place at Full Sail University in Florida.

The imposing South Australian will be shooting for his first taste of WWE gold in a six-man ladder match for NXT's North American title.

Reed, who has been with WWE since January 2019, is trained by pro wrestling legend Shawn Michaels - a performer regarded as the greatest in-ring superstar in history.

Having Michaels watching over his rise to prominence was initially intimidating for Reed, who fell in love with wrestling watching 'The Heartbreak Kid' ascend to the top of WWE's mountain.

But Reed tells Newshub he can now call his mentor a friend.

"I lived through his story as a young boy," Reed recalls.

"I was all in on Shawn Michaels 'Boyhood Dream' - I remember WrestleMania 12 when he entered the ring on a flying fox and then beat Bret Hart in one of the greatest pure wrestling matches of all time.

"So yeah, when I started working with him it was totally surreal. But we have progressed to friends - I'm comfortable saying that. He believes in me and I trust him - and why shouldn't I. He's Shawn Michaels," Reed laughs. 

Regardless of a win or loss at Takeover, Reed knows he can break through the glass ceiling with a star-making performance,

WWE is crying out for fresh talent amidst a global pandemic that has led to the lowest television ratings in two decades.

Shawn Michaels.
Shawn Michaels. Photo credit: WWE

Reed is ready to grab his opportunity with both hands. 

"It's my first TakeOver - but it's also TakeOver 30 which seems like a really big deal, then I'm also in a ladder match, but not just a ladder match, a ladder match for the North American Championship.

"So these are sort of goals I had for myself when I came to NXT to be able to get into these title opportunities and now that I have one I'm very excited for it."

Reed is a part of an Australasian WWE takeover in its own right.

Kiwi Dakota Kai has her first WWE title opportunity on the same night when she looks to wrest the NXT women's championship away from the hands of Io Shirai.

Reed and Kai aren't the only trans-Tasman sports entertainers making waves in WWE.

Australians Shane Thorne, Brandon Vink, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay and Buddy Murphy are regular faces on WWE programming - a wave of talent that could pave the way for a golden era of pro wrestlers from Australian and New Zealand. 

"I’m really happy we have that support network - it makes things definitely easier.

"Myself and Brendan started at the same time, so a lot of the initiation process of getting into WWE and starting at the Performance Center, we were together. Without that, it would’ve been more daunting.

"We're all a support network for each other and it does make you feel a bit more at home."

And that support network could have something to celebrate on Sunday if Reed and Kai can walk away champions.

NXT TakeOver: XXX streams live this Sunday on WWE Network. Subscribe now and watch anywhere, anytime, on any device