Why WWE Must Merge NXT with Main Event, 205 Live for 2-Hour USA Show

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

There is an excess of WWE programming, and it's going to get even more bloated come September 18.

NXT's debut on USA will add an extra 60 minutes to the show, bringing the grand total of in-ring content each week to a whopping 10 hours.

That's excluding pay-per-views, which added another 10 hours over the TakeOver and SummerSlam weekend, as well as WWE Network specials, YouTube content and more.

For everyone's sake, now is the time for WWE to trim the fat. To achieve a leaner presentation, the promotion should get rid of Main Event and 205 Live and incorporate the wrestlers who feature on those shows into the extra hour tacked on to NXT.


There's No Loss if Nobody Is Watching

With jobs and other interests occupying their time, it's too much to ask people to dedicate 10 hours per week on WWE, especially with how little variety the shows offer.

This forces fans to prioritize a show like Raw above the rest, and the viewership dwindles the less important it seems.

To gauge interest, fans were polled a poll on whether they watch 205 Live, Main Event, both or neither. The results were telling:

Keep in mind that the respondents to this poll are presumably among the more dedicated in the WWE Universe. Casual viewers are even less likely to care about these shows than the measly 8 percent who say they watch both.

There are dedicated followers of 205 Live who acknowledge it as one of WWE's best in-ring shows each week, but they are few and far between.

Some fans don't even know where to watch Main Event, which isn't surprising. WWE doesn't have it listed on its shows page and never promotes it on Raw or SmackDown. It's as if the show doesn't even exist to the company itself.

Obviously, getting rid of these shows wouldn't cause an uproar, as the few viewers could still enjoy their favorite Superstars on Raw, SmackDown, NXT and NXT UK, which have more dedicated audiences and more purpose.

Cutting 205 Live and Main Event is more about budgeting time rather than dropping a platform. Their sacrifice would not be for nothing, as it would help NXT with a major problem it will soon run into.

How is anyone expected to watch everything and still go to work or pursue other interests?
How is anyone expected to watch everything and still go to work or pursue other interests?Credit: WWE.com


A Bigger NXT Needs a Bigger Roster

It cannot be underestimated how much more taxing another hour of NXT every week can be on its performers. The roster is small, and they will be burned out fast once there is double the time to fill each Wednesday.

High-profile Superstars such as Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano will go from being used sparingly over the course of a month to being booked every week. Decreasing their downtime will increase their risk of injuries.

Without a bigger talent pool to draw from, everyone will be stretched thin.

Getting rid of Main Event and 205 Live would allow everyone who regularly appears on those shows to be put into the regular rotation of NXT performers to help to diversify the roster.

That would provide a wider variety of matches without having to rely on the unproven Performance Center recruits to fill in the gap. They are still learning and may not be ready for the proper NXT roster.

This is still a developmental program. WWE can't simply toss performers on to television and expect them to produce at the same skill level as the wrestlers who have more experience on Raw and SmackDown.

A bigger group of wrestlers at NXT's disposal will keep things fresh for the writers too, as there will be more characters to play around with and potentially strike gold.

Worlds Collide proved how many great matches can happen with more crossover.
Worlds Collide proved how many great matches can happen with more crossover.Credit: WWE.com


It Benefits the Superstars Just as Much

With more eyes on NXT, that extra hour will have more value than the two hours of Main Event and 205 Live combined.

Five minutes on Raw would mean more to the Dana Brooke vs. Sarah Logan feud than 30 minutes on Main Event. Those two have feuded for weeks in supposedly good matches that have garnered zero buzz because so few people are watching.

The best successes on Main Event are meaningless because "Main Event is where souls of the WWE go to die." Even the Superstars know this.

Cedric Alexander joked in May that he could just declare himself Main Event champion after following in the footsteps of others who were doing nothing like No Way Jose, Zack Ryder and Tyler Breeze, who poked fun at how he had been stuck on Main Event. 

But Prince Pretty chose to go back down to NXT and has already rejuvenated his career so much that Fandango has joined him to do the same. Others should follow suit.

NXT could breathe new life into Superstars like EC3, The Ascension, The Colons and more who never have anything to do on Raw or SmackDown. Perhaps then, WWE would care about the cruiserweight division too.

At the very least, it would be easier to fold more Superstars into that title hunt, with many of those on the NXT roster, such as Kushida, Mansoor and Raul Mendoza, weighing under 205 pounds. NXT stars Angel Garza and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott recently appeared on 205 Live, illustrating how useful that roster can be crossing over into the cruiserweight division.

Even the crowds will be an upgrade. Main Event tapes before Raw and 205 Live comes after SmackDown, so the arenas are never full, with people arriving and leaving as those matches take place.

Empty arenas are dead zones that drown out the sound. Meanwhile, the Full Sail audience is always passionate, loud and packed, with no sections needing to be covered up.

The trainees in NXT would benefit by working with veterans in a more hands-on environment to prepare them for the future. Everybody wins.

Getting rid of 205 Live and Main Event and putting those Superstars on to NXT gives the writers more talent to work with for the extra hour, the wrestlers get a hot crowd to perform in front of, people will actually watch them on television, there will be fewer chances of burning out the small roster with double duty and the fans would have quality over quantity.


Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.


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