So it’s official then… on August 20th 2019 the announcement was made that from the September 18th edition onwards that NXT will now be a 2 hour LIVE weekly show, but still coming each week from Full Sail University.
“The move to USA Network provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with NBC Universal and further build the NXT brand… Over the long term, our goal is to develop a following that can be monetized to the same level as our flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown”. – Vince McMahon (as quoted in the article on WWE.com that accompanied the announcement).
So as someone who has absolutely adored NXT ever since I first set eyes on TakeOver: Dallas in 2016 we have become accustomed so almost being scared of what Vince and the main roster could do with superstars that Triple H has molded into megastars during their time at the PC and in the Black and Gold brand… only for them to become a laughing stock on Raw and SmackDown… Bobby Roode was NXT Champion, Robert Roode is a joke… and that’s just one example… ALTHOUGH… times are certainly changing and with the recent success of the likes of Ricochet and Drew McIntyre on Raw maybe the days of all NXT stars being wasted on main roster might be over? And whereas when it was first rumoured some time back I was very nervous about my beloved NXT being opened up to the wider world, and ruined… now it’s happening we are in a position where I’m actually very excited about what this could mean for the future of NXT. It would appear that the idea of ‘call-ups’ from NXT to the main roster seems to be over, just to keep NXT strong you’d think. We used to see the top NXT stars after each big 4 ppv ascend and often do so before their time in NXT seemed to be done, leaving NXT in somewhat of a whole creatively. We had the 6 NXT call ups last year seemingly out of the blue, then we had that weird time when Gargano and Ciampa were on the main roster for 5 minutes until Ciampa got hurt. And Aleister Black and Ricochet were on all 3 brands for a large part of the build to WrestleMania season. But now NXT is definitely the 3rd brand you would think a lot more talent will be staying in NXT for longer. And that for me is a GREAT thing. No need to call people up for the sake of it, and certainly if they are not ready as going up months too early has killed the main roster careers of some people before they seem to get started (Apollo Crews and Lacey Evans come to mind). I’m not too sure about NXT staying at Full Sail, but I think the venue seeming to be ridden of atmosphere in some NXT episodes was more down to the fans having sat through many hours of tapped shows than the venue itself. So now it’s more a 2 hour live show each week I’m sure will see the loyal crowd be able to retain their energy for the majority of each episode. The crowd are usually really good at the start of tapings so lets hope they keep this up and remain as hot for the weekly live shows.
I think with NXT going big time now and being in a position where it is credible enough to be on a mainstream TV network, credit has to be given to Triple H. NXT is his brainchild and he has molded and guided its direction every step of the way from its purely developmental territory origins, to the stage now where it is essentially a WWE-independent promotion full of the best talents from around the world and with every TakeOver show being consistently great. I guess we know now why he was seemingly overlooked for the recent jobs at Raw and SmackDown given to Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff. If NXT is seen as Triple H’s ‘trial run’ ahead of him taking over from his father-in-law as head of Raw and SmackDown in the future then this will be the most testing period of his time in charge of the Black and Gold brand. Triple H himself even said on a Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast that a 3rd hour of TV each week was increasingly difficult to write for and manage, so how will his own creative process have to change now that they will be doing a 2 hour weekly show as opposed to a set of tapings every other month or so.
“Can’t describe this announcement in any other word than PROUD. Proud of everyone involved from day one. Proud you’ve let your voice be heard and carried the banner of this brand. Proud you’ve loudly & clearly said #WeAreNXT. And I’m proud to say, we’re just getting started.” – Triple H on Twitter.
With NXT looking to be going head-to-head each with AEW’s TV show I think it’s wise to have it start a few weeks before AEW begins in October (the head start can only be a good thing), but I also think a lot of people who would’ve watched the AEW show will also watch NXT now, so right away that will take some of their potential audience away, so wise choice again from WWE. Lets just hope Vince does leave the running of the NXT shows to Triple H and his crew to run and McMahon and Kevin Dunn keep well away. You can be sure though that if we get to a stage where AEW are beating NXT in the ratings then Vince just wont be able to help himself but to get involved. Don’t be too surprised if we see Roman Reigns or Randy Orton pop up at Full Sail in the future… We’re definitely now in a wrestling war, and the prospect of WWE NXT vs AEW is something that excites me greatly. Already in recent weeks we have seen both Raw and SmackDown dramatically raise their game in terms of quality of shows, and SummerSlam was the best WWE main roster PPV for a LONG long time. So WWE is well on the up now with their biggest competition in 20 years in its early days of existence. Plus… WWE have The Fiend… so that trumps everything AEW have right??? One thing is for sure that AEW are going to fire back HARD with their next big PPV on August 31st ALL OUT being headlined by the potential crowning of some guy called CHRIS JERICHO as their first World Champion and other featured bouts including Cody vs Shawn Spears (IDK who he is, but he’s a PERFECT TEN and a ‘good hand’ I’ve heard…) and also Kenny Omega up against some guy called ‘Jon Moxley’… who apparently is a big deal…
Congrats to @WWENXT for making the big move to the @USA_Network! Runners always race faster when somebody is right behind them. Gonna be fun to see which team the world decides to join! #ChooseJericho @AEWrestling @AEWonTNT – AEW wrestler Chris Jericho on Twitter.
There is of course the one ace in their pack AEW could always play on August 31st that would again blow WWE away and change the landscape of the wrestling war… it all depends on if a certain former WWE Champion that just so happens to be born and bred from Chicago Illinois… if that man decides he wants to end his self imposed exile from wresting, and remind us all again why he is the real BEST IN THE WORLD… we can dream cant we?
I think one thing we can definitely say is that NXT’s days as the ‘developmental’ brand of WWE appear to be officially over. As I’ve said the show will now be shown on the USA Network in America, but still be on the WWE Network just a few hours later. So for most we wills till be able to watch it on the WWE Network, so that’s a big plus for me as a paying subscriber. As a result of this move to two hours I will no longer be able to guarantee I will be able to watch the show with enough attention to be able to write about it properly, and certainly can’t guarantee that I can view the show in detail soon enough after it is broadcast for it to be worth me continuing to write weekly reviews of the NXT shows. Therefore, for what seems like the 10000th time in 2019, I will be changing again what I write about. One thing I will say as much as I don’t know right now what I’ll write about is that I WILL be continuing blogging about professional wrestling. For a variety of reasons nobodyisready.com has been such a great thing for me to do and I will definitely be keeping it going, but I’ll be taking a short while now to decide what I’m going to write about going forward. Having a full time job as well as a few other outside interests will all influence on what I choose in the end, and the fact WWE seems to be on the up again in that their most recent shows have genuinely been so much better than previous months it’s a really exciting time to be a fan again, and for people like me it offers so much more for me to write about.
If you do have any suggestions or ideas on what you’d like me to write about going forward feel free to let me know.