WWE Announces NXT Will Move to USA as Live 2-Hour Show Starting Sept. 18

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10: Paul Levesque attends the Premiere of 20th Century Fox's
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WWE announced Tuesday that NXT will begin airing as a live two-hour show every Wednesday on USA Network beginning on Sept. 18. 

WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said the following regarding the change: "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."

NXT has aired weekly as a one-hour show on WWE Network since 2014.

WWE noted that NXT will continue to take place at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, which should make it a less costly venture than Raw and SmackDown, which tour nationally and sometimes globally each week.

Moving NXT to USA Network on Wednesdays from 8-10 p.m. ET will be viewed by most as a shot across the bow at All Elite Wrestling.

AEW is set to begin airing its weekly television show on TNT on Oct. 2. AEW on TNT will also be a two-hour show from 8-10 p.m. ET on Wednesday nights.

When rumors of the NXT move surfaced Monday, Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks was among the AEW personalities who reacted:

The Young Bucks® @NickJacksonYB

We aren’t scared. https://t.co/7mMS8zC1KQ

There hasn't been legitimate competition for ratings in professional wrestling since WWE bought WCW in 2001, thus ending the Monday night war.

With NXT moving to USA Network, however, the Wednesday night war is about to begin.

While it is difficult to say how much of WWE's audience is familiar with NXT and its Superstars, WWE's third brand will now have an opportunity to ascend to the same level as Raw and SmackDown.

The likes of Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Johnny Gargano, Shayna Baszler and Matt Riddle will have more exposure than ever, and adding a second hour to NXT will also ensure that more of its developing stars receive increased screen time as well.

Triple H is the brains behind NXT, and while speculation is running rampant regarding whether McMahon may usurp his power, the fact that McMahon made Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff the executive directors of Raw and SmackDown, respectively, likely bodes well for Triple H.

WWE Network is losing its top weekly show with the move to USA Network to some degree, but WWE noted that NXT will be available on demand every Thursday night on WWE Network, and the network will also continue to be the exclusive home to NXT TakeOver.

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