It looks like Vince McMahon isn’t wasting any time on showing All Elite Wrestling who’s boss in the wrestling ring.
Earlier this summer, the upstart wrestling league announced a TV deal with TNT, set to air on Wednesdays starting October 2nd. And it’s already begun winning over audiences, selling out TV taping locations left and right. But McMahon, unfazed, has apparently already got some major competition in place with a TV deal with USA Network – and NXT.
The popular wrestling group, which has been airing on WWE Network over the past few years, will make the move to the channel for the first time ever, according to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer. He confirmed that the show will switch over from one hour to two hours, and will air on the channel starting on Wednesday, September 18. And that will give the show a two-week jump on AEW before its premiere in October. It’ll air from 8 to 10 PM EDT.
But there’s an interesting catch-22 with that, and it comes with Vince’s potential control over the program. There’s been a rumor in the past about McMahon possibly taking over NXT, something that Paul “Triple H” Levesque has firmly handled over the past few years with great success. However, moving to TV, McMahon may actually feel the need to take the reigns himself, so that the “quality control” is on the same level as Smackdown and Raw when they make the move to Fox in October. And, as you might see by the title above, here’s where there could be a problem.
That’s because NXT is doing just fine in the hands of Triple H, and continues to be as popular as ever. This past week’s Takeover was a well-received show, with some of the best matches of the year, including a 2-out-of-3-falls match between Adam Core and Johnny Gargano that brought down the house. And rising stars are continuing to join the league regularly, with returning stars like Tyler Breeze and Fandango (Breezango) continuing to see success as well. If Vince comes in to “mess” around with formula, as it were, for the sake of trying to make it work his way – that could result in big trouble for the brand, with fans possibly losing interest. And that means more potential interest in AEW.
So this is something that Vince McMahon will want to think about verycarefully. While a two-hour block for NXT does give stars a chance to gain more exposure and a chance for storytellers to expand upon what they can do, as well as give superstars the opportunity to shine where they cannot on Raw and Smackdown, it can also be screwed up veryquickly if Vince doesn’t understand what made it so popular in the first place. Remember, he doesn’t attend tapings regularly, and Triple H is very hands on with the show. So shifting control to someone that doesn’t “get it” isn’t the smartest move out there.
Here’s hoping they get it figured out soon, because NXT is set to premiere in just a few weeks’ time on September 18. Fingers crossed. Maybe know when to let Triple H handle something, Vince. Please.