Chris Jericho on WWE NXT's Ratings Win, Stone Cold Praises Brock Lesnar, More

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2019

OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 09: Chris Jericho looks on during the Dominion 6.9 In Osaka-Jo Hall of NJPW on June 09, 2019 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

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

    

Jericho Addresses NXT Beating AEW in Ratings

For the first time in the eight weeks that AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT have been going head-to-head on Wednesday nights, NXT won the ratings battle this week.

Outspoken AEW World champion Chris Jericho used that as an opportunity to speak out on Twitter:

Jericho's tweet seemingly referenced a statement WWE released last month after AEW Dynamite's premiere episode. WWE congratulated AEW in that statement and suggested that it was playing the long game in terms of ratings:

"Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night's head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint."

NXT came close to knocking AEW off two weeks ago, but it finally surpassed Dynamite this week by a 916,000-893,000 margin in terms of viewership.

Things were in favor of NXT on a couple of fronts. For starters, Wednesday's episode was the go-home edition of NXT prior to both NXT TakeOver: WarGames and Survivor Series, which means there was likely increased interest.

Also, NXT founder Triple H said there would be an open door for any Raw and SmackDown Superstar to appear on NXT, and many took him up on the offer, including Raw Women's champion Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins.

Jericho's tweet seems to be a jab at that and a suggestion that WWE overextended itself in an effort to score a ratings win. Perhaps there is some merit to the thought, but it should be noted that Survivor Series pits Raw, SmackDown and NXT against each other, so there was a storyline reason for the invasion to happen.

The big challenge for NXT will be winning the ratings battle again next week provided no Raw or SmackDown Superstars appear on the show.

   

Stone Cold Calls Lesnar Best Wrestler of Decade

With the decade just over a month away from reaching its conclusion, the debate of which wrestler was the best of the 2010s has been a hot topic of conversation.

Brian Campbell of CBS Sports interviewed WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin this week, and Austin expressed his belief that Brock Lesnar is the correct choice:

"You dang sure have to put Brock Lesnar on it because I think Brock is the guy. ... With Brock, you can say 'part-time' or this or whatever, but when Brock goes to the ring, I still get a sense of danger or I sense that I don't really know what he is going to do. How often does he go to Suplex City? How bad did he really hurt somebody? What's he going to do to this opponent or what is he going to to do to dismantle him?"

After eight years out of WWE, Lesnar returned in 2012, and he has been a dominant force ever since. While the argument can be made that he is only a part-time performer, there is no denying the massive impact he has made.

Lesnar has held the world title on multiple occasions since 2012, he ended The Undertaker's WrestleMania undefeated streak and picked up victories over a number of WWE's biggest stars, including John Cena, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan.

Stone Cold noted that a case can be made for Cena, but his money is still on The Beast Incarnate:

"Brock Lesnar creates more questions in my mind than anybody else who has walked into the ring for the last 10 years, no question in my mind. Cena is up there with the top of the top, but moving past that, Brock Lesnar, when he walks into an arena or steps into an Octagon, you always wonder what's going to happen with that guy.

"He might not be around as much as many people would like, but as far as impact and pure 'I have to watch this match' factor, it's hard to say a guy other than him."

Lesnar is the reigning WWE champion, and at Survivor Series he will face Rey Mysterio in a No Holds Barred match that could remove any doubt about whether he deserves to be called the top wrestler of the decade.

While Lesnar hasn't had anywhere near as many matches as some of the others who could be considered, everything he does is a big deal, and that fact is impossible to ignore.

    

NXT Reportedly Set to Change Live Event Schedule

NXT is reportedly looking into running fewer live events in 2020, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Raj Giri).

WWE runs NXT live events all over the country, but most of them are held in Florida since the WWE Performance Center is located in Orlando. Meltzer noted that live event attendance has been down across the board for WWE, though.

Specifically, NXT is reportedly looking to cut down on Thursday house shows since those ones tend to draw the fewest fans.

House shows notwithstanding, the NXT brand is on the ascent since it airs for two hours on USA Network every Wednesday night. This week, NXT finally beat AEW Dynamite in viewership as well.

With more emphasis being placed on the weekly television show, it makes sense that WWE may want to keep its performers fresh in addition to cutting the costs that come along with running live events.

   

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

Related

    AEW Fallout

    🔥 Jericho-Moxley feud heats up 👀MJF shoots at Cody

    WWE logo
    WWE

    AEW Fallout

    Chris Roling
    via Bleacher Report

    Who Won Wednesday Night: AEW or WWE?

    WWE logo
    WWE

    Who Won Wednesday Night: AEW or WWE?

    Jonathan Snowden
    via Bleacher Report

    5 WWE Stars Most Beloved and Hated by Fans on Twitter

    WWE logo
    WWE

    5 WWE Stars Most Beloved and Hated by Fans on Twitter

    Graham GSM Matthews
    via Bleacher Report

    Grading NXT Live 📝

    WWE logo
    WWE

    Grading NXT Live 📝

    Kevin Berge
    via Bleacher Report