Back in 2019 after the first week of ratings for the Wednesday Night Wars were announced, WWE issued an statement congratulating AEW for the premiere of Dynamite and ended that statement with the phrase “This Is A Marathon, Not A One-Night Sprint”. WWE with phrase predicted perfectly how each show would be throughout the Wednesday Night Wars.
The Wednesday Night Wars are almost coming to an end, with the pending move from NXT to Tuesdays and most likely to be officially announced on TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.
Now it’s the perfect time to look back at this “war” and what went down with AEW and NXT.
For NXT This Was A Sprint
The main goal of NXT during the Wednesday Night Wars was to stop the growth of AEW and to put the promotion in a delicate situation. Let’s just say NXT failed on this.
Since the move to the USA Network, NXT became a whole different show that the one we were used to watch in the WWE Network. So many of this changes weren’t for the best and could be one of the many reasons NXT “lost” the war to AEW.
NXT had for the longest time an unhealthy obsession counter-programming Dynamite on every opportunity they could. During this “war” we saw a lot of hotshot booking from NXT’s part and in the long run they burned out most of their money matches just for a overall viewers win here and there, but not getting nowhere near close on the 18-49 demo of AEW (The most important metric in TV).
Another thing this “war” expose was the lack of communication between NXT and the Main Roster. Wrestlers got the call-up but only to do nothing on the main roster instead of staying with NXT and help the brand in the long run.
There’s a lot of things that didn’t change for the better during the Wednesday Night Wars for NXT, like the tag team division for example that went from being a highlight of the brand to the weakest division they have.
A move to Tuesdays will help NXT in a lot of ways. They will finally focus on themselves and they will gain viewers by running unopposed.
For AEW This Is Still A Marathon
For AEW, this always was and still is about the long term. One of the things about AEW is they like to think in the future and step up things for down the line. Since day one, this “war” was a marathon.
Something AEW did really well was the fact they always take their time to build anything, from wrestlers to stories, it’s all a long process for AEW that will have a payoff someday. AEW rewards for patience and for those who pay attention to not only Dynamite but to their other shows like Dark, Elevation and even BTE.
One of the things that Dynamite has had over NXT is that it has the same energy Nitro had back in the day. Fun wrestling and that something is always happening on Dynamite and at the end of the show you are left wanting for more. For example, Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa was a feud build for months and with a clear destination, to be the first main event of Dynamite for the women’s division of AEW and they succeeded and they gained a lot after that feud and MOTY contender we saw on Dyanmite.
While the “war ” is about to end, this is still a marathon for AEW. The promotion still needs to think on the long term and build future stars. Fortunately it seems AEW won’t change much once they are alone on Wednesdays.
AEW still has a long way to go as a promotion and they still need to improve in some aspects and polish others, but the “war” helped a lot on the growth of AEW as a wrestling promotion.