NXT/Superstars: How a Format Change Would Benefit the WWE and Its Wrestlers
The WWE is always on the lookout for new superstars. We've seen superstars fail time and time again, mostly due to no connection with the WWE fans.
In February 2010, a remedy seemed to be forming in the shape of NXT, which took eight developmental wrestlers and put them on TV in front of a live audience, competing in different matches and challenges, with the winner receiving a title shot of their choosing.
Although that is still the basic concept, the current season is an insult to the young program. Now, approaching this seasons 50th week, we are no closer to crowning a winner than we were in Week 1.
The initial WWE Draft in 2002 had its pros and cons. The fans would only get to see their favorite stars one night a week, but it did open up the door for new talent to come join the WWE roster. The idea of a new program in the form of "WWE Superstars" came in 2008 to the delight of many fans.
For one hour a week, superstars from both Raw and Smackdown! (and for a short time, ECW) would be competing in the same ring on the same show. However, the program has really just become a home for jobbers, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The WWE should absolutely have six hours a week of programming, however, they should utilize it properly. There are a few benefits to a format change in both shows.
At this point, the only good thing about NXT was that it introduced the WWE fans to new potential superstars. The future of the WWE can be seen in NXT Season 1 contestants Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett. That one, original concept completely went out the window.
The current season, NXT Redemption, is a joke at this point. It's gone on for far too long and frankly, I'm not interested in seeing Derrick Bateman or Johnny Curtis on the main roster any time soon.
The concept of WWE Superstars is also irrelevant now that wrestlers from Smackdown! appear on Raw and vice-versa.
Personally, I think that's great. The top stars on the company should get the top spot on television. There's no reason to see Sheamus destroy Jinder Mahal on Smackdown! It'd be great to see the Celtic Warrior have a great match with Dolph Ziggler on Raw. That would leave Mahal exactly where he should be, on an Internet show.
NXT should absolutely highlight the next generation of potential superstars. This should not just include developmental wrestlers, but it should also be about the lacking Tag Team and Women's divisions. If the idea is to find the next breakout star, there is no reason to not find the next great Tag Team contenders.
WWE Superstars is great in that it's the home to the wrestlers it should be. Guys like Yoshi Tatsu, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins are actually very good in ring competitors.
While they will never have the star power to draw on Raw or Smackdown!, they put on great matches. The idea of using them as jobbers is a waste of talent. The only way to properly utilize them is the reformation of the Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight division.
If they are going to compete in a WWE ring, there should at least be a purpose other than to put over the bigger stars.
Both of these shows are also a great time to push the Tag Team and Women's divisions. Letting The Uso's and Epico and Primo have enough time to put on a quality match would show the talents of both teams while also bringing some legitimacy back to the Tag Team Championships.
Granted, the WWE Divas aren't the best competitors we've ever seen, but women like Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Tamina and Eve Torres can put on a decent show.
What that division really needs is someone like Fit Finlay, who helped to train Divas in the early 2000's. Unfortunately, we can only dream of having women's wrestling up to the par of Trish Stratus and Lita. A change in belt design for both divisions wouldn't hurt either.
The WWE has great talent. If they were to alter their two Internet shows, that talent would shine a lot brighter and all of their wrestlers would look like serious, legitimate competitors.
The reason Indy superstars are so adored is not because of gimmicks but because they're given the time to showcase their craft, and true wrestling fans appreciate that.
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