Triple H won't be changing NXT.
When it was announced that NXT would be moving to USA Network, fans of the brand were worried that the show would begin to look more like the main roster. Through one month of television, fan concern has been quieted as NXT, for the most part, has remained true to being an alternative to Raw and SmackDown.
“If I wanted to make it Raw and SmackDown, I would have already done it," said NXT founder Triple H in an interview with TV Insider. "But there is no intent in doing that, and there is no benefit in doing that. I feel in some way we are that band that signs with a major record label, but we’re not going to change what we do.”
Along with moving to USA Network, NXT moved from one hour to two, allowing more opportunities for more talent.
“That means al lot of talent will debut and be a part of this brand on a weekly basis but may not be on TakeOver events,” he explained. “You prove yourself in these storylines, you get to the bigger storylines. You go to TakeOver. This will be the brand where there will be no participation medals. You earn your spot and grow into your spot. We’re not going to make TkaeOver events longer because we have the bigger bandwidth for storylines. It’s keeping the product for what it is but making more opportunity.”
The premiere episode of NXT on USA on Sept. 18 drew 1.179 million viewers for the first hour (the second hour aired on WWE Network), which pleased those at USA.
“When those ratings came out after the first episode came out, I spoke to Chris McCumber [president, entertainment networks] at USA, and they were thrilled beyond what they were hoping for and expecting,” Triple H said. “Now it has becomes what we do, and I want to grow it bigger I learned early in the process of NXT when someone suggested we go to Barclays Center for a TakeOver, and it was the first thing I balked at when it was thrown at me. I was almost resistant to doing it, and it sold out immediately. It made me get to thinking outside the box and thinking bigger than this. I want to this every bit as a brand to where in some manner I want it to be bigger than Raw and SmackDown on a certain level.”
However, the debut of AEW Dynamite on Oct. 2, head-to-head with NXT, cut the gold brands viewership to 891,000 viewers. Meanwhile, AEW drew 1.4 million viewers for its premiere.
Week 2 of the Wednesday Night Wars is in the books and you can catch up on the action with Fightful's Wednesday Night War podcast. Ratings for both shows will be available on Thursday afternoon.