In a move we are totally, absolutely, 116% certain has nothing to do with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) airing their show on TNT on Wednesday nights beginning October 2019, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and USA Network blindfolded themselves and threw a dart at the wall to randomly pick a night to air NXT to a national audience.
Guess what day it landed on? First two guesses don’t count…
Starting September 18 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT, WWE’s NXT will move from WWE Network to a two-hour timeslot on the cable network. Unlike RAW and SmackDown, the NXT broadcasts will emanate from one location – and a familiar one: Orlando’s Full Sail University, the brand’s gome for some time now.
NXT will still be available on the WWE Network, but the following day: Thursdays beginning at at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m.
“The move to USA Network provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with NBCUniversal 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, Chairman & CEO, WWE
Originally launched in 2010, NXT was a developmental/training “brand” for new professional wrestlers, professional wrestlers from other companies looking to adjust to the WWE, and those from other sports/competitions (MMA, for example) who are looking to transition into professional wrestling. Since that time, NXT has become a name/brand in its own right: running 200 live events globally each year while also being the WWE Network’s top-rated weekly series.
“USA Network and WWE have one of the longest and most successful partnerships in television history. As the No. 1 cable entertainment network, we’re excited to add NXT to our weekly lineup alongside powerhouse flagship Raw and to bring a new generation of Superstars to a wide audience.”
– Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks – USA and SYFY
Of course, the move raises a ton of questions. Will the brand that gave us Becky Lynch and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and currently boasts Superstars such as Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Shayna Baszler, and Johnny Gargano as part of its roster still be able to maintain its edge going national? How long before McMahon begins to have more and more “guest appearances” from RAW and SmackDown wrestlers? Is more WWE content the answer to the company’s woes? Will programming against AEW make wrestling fans resentful – and some wrestlers more willing to side with AEW?
Welcome to “The Wednesday Night Wars”…