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WWE Moves NXT to Tuesdays Starting April 13 as Part of New USA Network Contract

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com.

WWE announced Tuesday that NXT programming will move from Wednesdays to Tuesdays beginning on April 13 and continue airing on USA Network.

It was noted that the move is part of a multiyear extension of NXT airing on USA Network and that it "furthers WWE and USA's nearly three decade-long relationship."

NXT aired weekly on WWE Network from 2014-19 before officially debuting on USA Network on Sept. 18, 2019.

NXT's debut on USA Network occurred just two weeks before AEW Dynamite made its debut on TNT, sparking the beginning of what some fans have dubbed the "Wednesday Night Wrestling War."

Harkening back to when WWE Raw and WCW Nitro went head-to-head on Monday nights from 1995 to 2001, it marked the first true competition between WWE and a rival wrestling company in nearly two decades.

While NXT scored some ratings wins here and there, All Elite Wrestling consistently won the battle for total viewers as well as viewers within the 18- to 49-year-old demographic on the strength of well-known stars such as Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley and Sting.

NXT often stayed within 100,000 in total viewers, however, and it can be argued that it effectively capped AEW's viewership potential, as Dynamite hasn't reached the 1 million viewer mark since September 2020.

Some might argue that AEW's success forced NXT to change nights, but in reality, the change has been expected for quite some time and has nothing to do with wrestling.

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NBCUniversal announced in January that it would be shutting down NBCSN at the end of 2021, leaving Wednesday Night Hockey without a home for 2022 and beyond.

USA Network is the most logical landing spot for Wednesday Night Hockey, and by moving NXT to Tuesday nights, USA has essentially created a vacancy on Wednesdays that the NHL will be able to fill.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding why NXT is moving, it could prove to be a positive thing for both NXT and AEW Dynamite in the long run, as the shows won't siphon viewers from each other and will now have the opportunity to grow at a greater rate.

NXT's final Wednesday show on USA Network will air April 7, and it will be a big one as the first part of the two-night NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver event will take place.

Several huge matches are being advertised for the show, including the main event pitting NXT women's champion Io Shirai against Raquel Gonzalez.

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

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