Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Triple H Talks NXT's Upcoming Debut on USA
With NXT set to debut a weekly two-hour show on USA Network next week, Triple H has been making the media rounds to spread the word.
In an interview with Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of Yahoo Sports on Tuesday, Triple H stopped short of mentioning All Elite Wrestling by name, but acknowledged what is on the horizon with AEW debuting a weekly show on Wednesday nights on TNT in October:
"For me, it's about putting on the best show we possibly can whether we had competition or not. The winner, I think, is fans. Competition brings out the best in people and I think that's what will happen here. For me, the competition is with ourselves—to constantly raise the bar, to be something better—and I don't just mean in-ring, I mean for the business in general, to be leaders. It's something I challenge everyone at the Performance Center to do every day, create the business the way we want it to be. When we say we are the future, that's what we mean."
Triple H also discussed the fact that AEW has presented itself as an alternative to what WWE gives wrestling fans on a weekly basis with Raw and SmackDown Live.
While NXT is technically under the WWE umbrella, The Game noted that it has still managed to be an alternative for far longer than AEW has been in existence:
"If you talk about the upstart, what they're going out and saying is that they're an alternative. We were that alternative five years ago. We opened the door for being an alternative, we opened the door to show people that it can be done on a bigger level and on a different basis. As far as being the alternative, great, go put on the best show you can put out, and we'll put out the best one we can put out."
Since AEW is set to debut on TNT on Oct. 2, NXT is getting the jump by debuting on USA two weeks early. That could help NXT establish an audience and take away some of AEW's potential viewers.
Whether or not that was WWE's goal when it moved NXT to USA, the fact that there is a pair of two-hour wrestling shows about to go head-to-head on Wednesday nights can only be considered a good thing for fans.
Kanellis Tweets Desire to Wrestle Punk
WWE Superstar Mike Kanellis took to Twitter on Tuesday to tweet about his desire to face an unlikely opponent.
Despite the fact that he hasn't wrestled since leaving WWE in 2014, Kanellis noted that he wants to have a match against CM Punk:
While there is seemingly little chance of that happening for multiple reasons, it was notable since it isn't often that current WWE wrestlers mention Punk.
Since leaving WWE, Punk has primarily been focused on MMA, as he had two fights for UFC and is currently an MMA announcer. He once again became the talk of the wrestling world during AEW All Out weekend, however, when he appeared at Starrcast.
Punk signed autographs and took photos with fans, and he also took part in an interview that aired on pay-per-view. Punk confirmed during the interview that he would not be appearing at All Out, but he also didn't shut the door fully on wrestling.
He told the interviewer that if Vince McMahon or Triple H were to ever call him, he would talk to them despite his messy departure from the company.
As far-fetched as a return to WWE in the near future may seem, Punk facing Kanellis is even tougher to fathom.
Kanellis has not been a big part of WWE programming since signing with the company in 2017, although he did recently partake in a storyline involving the 24/7 Championship that saw both him and his pregnant wife, Maria Kanellis, hold the title.
Fans won't hold their breath regarding a potential Punk vs. Kanellis, but the mere mention of Punk in relation to WWE always elicits a strong reaction.
Rawley Talks Superstars Wanting to Stay in NXT
NXT has long been considered the developmental system for Raw and SmackDown, but that perception has been changing.
That is especially true now that NXT is set to debut the weekly two-hour show on USA, which is the same channel that airs Raw, as well as SmackDown until the blue brand moves to Fox next month.
Even before NXT's move from WWE Network to USA was announced, there was often talk of some Superstars preferring to stay in NXT rather than getting called up. Mojo Rawley essentially confirmed as much in an interview with Brian Fritz of Sporting News:
"They are as unique as it comes and that's why they've been upgraded to this platform. Then, NXT was essentially a stepping stone, an opportunity to showcase what you've got with the only goal to get to the main roster.
"Now, there's guys on NXT that have no desire to move to Raw or SmackDown because a lot of people don't consider moving to Raw or SmackDown a vertical move anymore. A lot of people now consider it a horizontal move."
Additionally, there is no question that some of NXT's biggest stars have struggled to reach and remain at that same level on the main roster. Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, Asuka, Robert Roode and Sami Zayn are just a few of the Superstars who fit into that category.
With NXT moving to USA, the stars on that show have a chance to get as much exposure as those on Raw and SmackDown while retaining the benefit of NXT's quality booking.
It stands to reason that many of the Superstars who have been squandered on Raw and SmackDown may not mind going back to NXT when it debuts on USA Network, and Rawley may fit into that category.
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