NXT: End of the Line- WWE Announces NXT is Moving to USA

NXT moves to Cable Television

Yesterday it was announced by the WWE that beginning Wednesday, September 18th NXT would stream on the USA network.

Everyone is probably jumping for joy! Our favorite brand as far as in-ring competition is being brought to the big stage! Let’s take a look at a few things first before we all jump for joy. I for one am not jumping for joy and I am going to tell you guys why this is the absolute worst thing that can happen to NXT.

The NXT that we all have grown to love will disappear right in front of our eyes.

Unique Storytelling– Anyone that has followed NXT over the years will tell you what has made NXT stand out. The storytelling, the talent, and the talent’s ability to do more with less. What do I mean, with less scripted promos and less mic time it makes the matches more compelling, and special. With NXT moving to a big network like the USA network Vince is going to have his hands all over this thing now, so expect more air time and terrible promos. Hunter has revolutionized the developmental brand with the unique long term storytelling I can assure you that is all about to go out the window.

Goofy Gimmicks– In NXT there were a lot of goofy gimmicks that worked great and really got over with the audience. The Ascension, Lucha Dragons, Apollo Crews, Shinsuke Nakamura, Hideo Itami, Asuka, Emma, Dana Brooke, The IIconics, Tye Dillinger, Sanity, AoP, No Way Jose, etc. Great gimmicks like these were dead on arrival on the main roster. Great NXT talents don’t receive the same booking as “Vince’s guys”. So don’t expect to see the same characters that we’ve grown to love over the years.

Connecting With a More Mature Audience– Now we know NXT already has a great connection with its audience down in Full Sail but in a small venue. It seats roughly 14,000 people only which is why the goofy gimmicks can get over with that specific niche, in front of that crowd and on the WWE network. USA network viewers may be a different story.

Low Ratings- As if this wasn’t coming our beloved Monday Night Raw (the flagship) and Smackdown Live already struggle with keeping the ratings up. Poor booking, long promos, and the same people on the screen every show is exhausting and has led to the decline in ratings. If Vince gets his hands on this expect NXT to follow suit, not because they lack talent but because the creative is going to be controlled heavily now due to it hitting the USA Network. If ratings do falter expect stars like Reigns and Lynch to show up every now and then.

We’ve Seen this Fail Before– Who remembers when the WWE tried to launch a third brand with that was supposed to be their developmental talents, we all remember what I’m talking about. That God awful ECW reboot. It lost what made ECW special to its original fan base and after ECW’s lone PPV December to Dismember, this thing was all but a wrap, now I think NXT can stand alone as its own brand just fine on the WWE Network but I don’t like where this is going.

Death of Developmental- This can no longer be considered the developmental brand moving to the main network. That puts NXT on par with the main roster and it needs to be treated as such. The primetime feel will take away from some of the talents developmental time.

Competition- This is a direct response to AEW’s weekly series beginning on TNT come October 2nd. Vince is refusing to let a competitor one-up him. I love the competition and Vince’s desire to kill the competition before it begins but why do it at the expense of your own Network.

Now while the competition is supposed to bring out the best in someone else I’m not confident in saying that here. It is very logical that the WWE would use NXT, so they don’t have to establish new stars or go through crazy marketing to build something new.

The issue with it all is, once Vince gets his hands on NXT, our favorite part of the WWE will be over. Sadly, I already feel with just the move to USA alone, NXT as we have known and loved it is no more.

Justin Patterson