After another resounding success of the latest instalment of NXT, WWE’s developmental territory TakeOver PPV that came live from the Barclays Centre in New York City; Hot on the heels of one of WWE’s main events ‘Summerslam’, I have a question for you: After consistently out doing WWE’s “main brands” (the red brand that started it all ‘RAW’, the blue brand ‘Smackdown Live’ and Smackdowns little brother ‘205 Live’ – Is it now time for WWE to put a higher focus on the brand or is NXT just serving as a kind of “best of the indies” showcase spectacle as a fluffer to the main ”BIG MONEY PPVs” and to cash in on the vast worldwide talent pool that they’re currently is all over the globe, and to stave off any competition that they may have from ‘rival’ companies?
The question has to be asked: is the talent really being groomed for great things in Smackdown, RAW or even 205 live? Or is it now just showing up the booking skills and match making decisions of the higher-ups on said main brands?
The terrible booking has all but ruined talent that has ‘called up’ stars such as Shinsuke Nakamura and after a great start Bray Wyatt, Bobby Roode, The Ascension… The list really does go on and on, however, the likes of Alexa Bliss, Seth Rollins, Bayley and Charlotte Flair (the now seventh-time women’s world champion) have flourished. Being the juggernaut that the WWE is and has always been it is a very real possibility that by signing an ever-growing roster, hoovering up all the best available talent, even bending they’re own rules on drug policies to sign guys like Matt Riddle the ex-UFC fighter turned pro wrestler (who was dismissed from the UFC for multiple drug infractions), are they just simply eliminating competition?
With such a lacklustre main-event scene with a polarising feud between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, a storyline that had been holding up the main event matches on RAW for over a year now. Leaving many on the brand without any TV time and being booked into the ground.
And no one really of note on the blue brand Smackdown stepping up to legitimately challenge AJ Styles although his clash with Samoa Joe at Summerslam was an instant classic and set up for a big feud going forward for the world title, while trying to revive a stale tag team division, And also suffering with with a meandering mid-card and with not really any ‘call-ups’ from NXT making a dent. Is it fair to say that now Vince McMahon, Chairman and owner of WWE has his sights set on his reimagined ‘XFL’ Football league is it’s time to hand the reins of the company over to Paul ‘HHH’ Levesque? Brainchild of NXT and a former 14 time world champion in his own right, he is the husband of the boss’s daughter Stephanie and also Executive Vice President of talent and live events/ Creative also the mind behind the turn around of the failing 205 Live show which has been tremendous as of late, and has spearheaded the move into expanding NXT into the UK, showcasing some of the very best we in the UK have to offer, but not only that he has also had a hand in making the Rock/Metal connection even stronger with pro wrestling by bringing it over to not only arenas in the UK but the mighty Download festival. if that isn’t an impressive enough resume I don’t know what is? Who wouldn’t want to see they’re favorite NXT stars on the ever-growing main roster PPVs to challenge the elite of the respective ‘main brands’ rosters, even John Cena a stalwart in the company himself has proclaimed that he would like to face the likes of EC3 and the Velveteen Dream who are already stars in there own right on the only hour-long NXT weekly show.
Personally I think a big shakeup needs to happen and happen soon or we could be looking at a mass exodus of incredible talent who have been lashed with the golden brush of the WWE and landing in the likes of the very much on the up ‘IMPACT WRESTLING’ who themselves have an already pretty impressive roster from across the globe even crossing over into the newly relaunched ‘WOS’/World of Sport roster that has launched on ITV on a prime time slot or test they’re worth over in NJPW, or even in upstart promotions like Blackcraft Wrestling.
What do you think? you can catch NXT every Wednesday on the WWE network RAW, Smackdown Live have started airing on fox every monday and tuesday respectively and 205 Live on the WWE network Tuesdays which by the way is FREE for the first month, what are you waiting for? get stuck in.