NXT started off as a game show type product that introduced wrestlers in WWE’s developmental programs to a wider audience. Interspersed between matches were weird games like keg races, soda chugging and obstacle courses. That would last three seasons on cable television before moving to Hulu exclusively. Seasons four and five were kind of the forgotten seasons, doing away with the game show format and becoming a typical albeit weird wrestling show, with season five running for what seemed like years.
Then the WWE Network was introduced to the world and NXT moved to the Network as well as another programming change. This time it truly was a developmental brand in front of a studio audience at Full Sail University. They debuting championship belts, kick started the women’s revolution in WWE, despite what Stephanie McMahon says, and began running four live special events a month.
NXT hit the vein that some fans were asking for. It turned into more a super indie than a developmental brand. The live specials were gaining higher praise than the main roster pay per views and NXT eventually spun off a sister brand in NXT UK.
In 2019, All Elite Wrestling came on the scene and fans described them as an alternative to WWE. The type of wrestling and type of fan AEW is aimed towards is the same fan that watches NXT. NXT has religiously ran on Wednesday nights for the last five years and AEW announced that in October they too would run on Wednesday nights. A “Wednesday Night War” is no rumbling I’m the distance, and it seems NXT is preparing for said war.
WWE’s five year deal with Fox begins this fall, with rumors of more WWE-centric shows happening across Fox’s sports channels. The rumor was that Fox was expecting to have NXT on their FS1 channel, to replace Fox’s UFC programming that they lost. It turns out NXT has more bargaining power than originally thought and an announcement on what station they will be on is said to happen this Monday.
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