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WWE NXT on USA Network Debut Rumor, Sasha Banks-Lawler and AEW-Schiavone Buzz

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 06:  Sasha Banks attends WWE's First-Ever Emmy
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe. 

     

NXT to Debut on USA on Sept. 18

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported WWE will announce NXT is moving to USA Network beginning Sept. 18 on Monday's Raw. The major announcement had been rumored in recent weeks and gained steam as WWE looks to counterprogram against AEW's debut on TNT.

What this means for NXT is completely up in the air. Meltzer noted he expects live dates for the events to also be announced Monday night, though it's possible NXT will continue running taped programming until a tour schedule can be announced.

The NXT brand itself is likely in for a seismic change. Rather than being the boutique product that brings people to WWE Network, it's now going to be a full-fledged program that USA expects to draw ratings. The near-autonomy of people down in Full Sail is likely to end, with USA and Vince McMahon poking their head in for suggestions/demands/rewrites.

Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio to expect McMahon to be heavily involved—something he has not been as NXT has become one of the most respected "independent" brands in the world while still under the WWE umbrella.

It's unclear what that means for Triple H, who has spearheaded NXT and helped turn it into a brand strong enough to take to weekly television.

     

Sasha Banks to Appear on King's Court on Raw

The Boss will be making her first public comments since returning to Raw last week in a King's Court segment hosted by Jerry Lawler on Monday. Banks made her first appearance since WrestleMania last week, attacking Natalya and Becky Lynch while turning heel. 

“Sasha is a very unique star,” Lawler told Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated. “There is no denying her talent, and she’s so different than so many of the other female talents I’ve known in this business. Sasha has a lot of great qualities that have led to her success. She is so confident, and when she steps on screen, she’s also so flamboyant and arrogant. Last week opened up a lot of questions between Sasha, Nattie, and Becky, so it will be a great moment to hear an explanation from Sasha.”

Figuring out how much WWE wants to blur the lines between reality and kayfabe will be the most interesting part of the interview. It's no secret Banks was unhappy after she and Bayley dropped the women's tag team championships to the IIconics at WrestleMania, threatening to quit the company and then disappearing from television for more than four months.

If WWE allows her to go borderline shoot with the interview, it could be a transformative look into the psyche behind Sasha Banks. If the King's Court winds up being a simple interview about Banks' heel turn and return to NXT Boss mode, it'll still likely be fun but not nearly as enrapturing.

    

Tony Schiavone Joins AEW in Undefined Role

The voice of Monday Nitro is headed back to TNT. Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported Tony Schiavone has agreed to a contract with AEW. 

Schiavone's role is yet to be defined, but his AEW contract will allow him to continue announcing for Major League Wrestling. Johnson wrote there will be "a lot of Schiavone on cable TV in the months ahead," so it's likely he'll have some part in AEW's weekly television program.

The 61-year-old was one of the main voices in World Championship Wrestling from 1990-2001 and rose to prominence during the Monday Night Wars. He left professional wrestling altogether after WWE purchased WCW in 2001, making a brief appearance in TNA in 2003 but essentially stepping out of the wrestling world until being brought back by MLW in 2017.

AEW now has the two biggest voices of the Monday Night Wars era, with Schiavone joining Jim Ross, who has provided lead commentary for its first three televised events.