WWE Rumors: Latest on NXT Possibly Moving to Wednesday vs. AEW

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2019

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JULY 11: WWE Superstar Triple H attends 2019 VidCon at Anaheim Convention Center on July 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Jerod Harris/Getty Images

WWE is reportedly considering airing NXT on USA Network every Wednesday night in an effort to combat All Elite Wrestling's weekly television show on TNT.

According to PWInsider (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), a pitch over the last 48 hours has suggested that NXT evolve into a weekly two-hour show that runs from 8 p.m. ET until 10 p.m. ET, just like AEW on TNT.

While PWInsider reported that NXT on USA Network may debut Oct. 2, which is the same date as AEW's debut on TNT, Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that NXT may debut on USA even earlier in order to "get the jump" on AEW:

NXT would reportedly continue to take place at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, but there have reportedly been discussions about alternating between live and taped episodes.

Meltzer noted that while there was originally talk of NXT airing on FS1, the fact that it airs Big East basketball on Wednesday nights would interfere with WWE's plan to compete head-to-head against AEW.

Since 2014, NXT has aired a one-hour, taped weekly show on WWE Network every week, as well as sporadic pay-per-view events called TakeOver.

While the current version of NXT began as a developmental system, it has truly developed into a third brand to the point that it has ready-made stars who would already be recognizable to a national viewing audience.

The likes of Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle, Shayna Baszler and Io Shirai are arguably already near or beyond the level of AEW's top stars such as Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho, which would make NXT legitimate competition.

Also, NXT tends to blow away WWE's main roster from a storytelling and in-ring perspective, although some of that may have to do with the fact that fans are left wanting more with a one-hour show weekly.

Increasing it to two hours could prove challenging, but NXT undoubtedly has enough talent to make it work and keep the product compelling.

The biggest question relates to who would truly be in charge. Triple H essentially has autonomy in running NXT, but it stands to reason Vince McMahon may take a more hands-on approach if it moves to television.

If Triple H remains the chief decision-maker for the brand, however, AEW will have some massive competition on its hands every Wednesday night.

It has been nearly two decades since WWE bought WCW and ended the Monday Night War, but if WWE goes through with the reported plan to air NXT up against AEW, the Wednesday Night War will commence.

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