WWE and USA Network have announced that the company’s Wednesday night offering, NXT, will be moving to television.
Starting September 18, NXT will debut on USA as a two-hour weekly show while retaining its original Wednesday timeslot at 8/7 Central (1 am UK).
“The move to USA Network provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with NBCUniversal and further build the NXT brand. Over the long term, our goal is to develop a following that can be monetized to the same level as our flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown.” – Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO
NXT’s departure leaves a huge void in the live WWE Network programming schedule. NXT has been by far the Network’s most popular show for years in that Wednesday timeslot.
However, WWE has announced that episodes of NXT will be available on-demand on the WWE Network 24 hours later with TakeOver events still exclusively on the Network.
The move has caused undoubted excitement in the WWE ranks with NXT head Triple H saying:
Can’t describe this announcement in any other word than PROUD.
Proud of everyone involved from day one.
Proud you’ve let your voice be heard and carried the banner of this brand.
Proud you’ve loudly & clearly said #WeAreNXT.
And I’m proud to say, we’re just getting started. https://t.co/GAF34LZGeT
— Triple H (@TripleH) August 20, 2019
Other NXT stars shared their excitement too:
I’ve said since the beginning that I was going to do everything in my power to help get NXT the recognition it deserved.. but I couldn’t do it by myself. WE built this thing, WE made the world take notice and now WE are gonna make history.
— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) August 20, 2019
I told you…@WWENXT as a brand is bigger, better, and stronger with the #UndisputedERA in it. You can thank us for the move to @USA_Network on September 18th. Only the beginning…#BayBay #AdamColeBayBay pic.twitter.com/pLdTOxhalV
— Adam Cole (@AdamColePro) August 20, 2019
I had the honor of being part of the first #SmackDownLive broadcast on @USA_Network I am even more excited to be part of the @WWENXT broadcast team with @McGuinnessNigel & @TheBethPhoenix on USA! WE’LL DO IT LIVE! 😎❤️🙏🏻
— Mauro Ranallo (@mauroranallo) August 20, 2019
The news of the move was not unexpected though. It had been rumoured for the last couple of weeks that WWE would look to move NXT onto a national television stage ever since All Elite Wrestling’s television deal was announced with TNT.
With the start date of the new NXT/USA relationship set for two weeks before AEW’s premiere episode on October 2, WWE are hoping to get a march on the competition. That has got fans salivating over what is being dubbed the ‘Wednesday Night Wars’.
It’s crazy how even though Dusty Rhodes is no longer with us, his presence will be felt in a big way soon when AEW, the promotion his son is running, goes head-to-head with NXT, the promotion he helped reshape and launch into one of the hottest promotions in wrestling.
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) August 21, 2019
— MulleeTheManc (@MulleeTheManc) August 20, 2019
The real winner is US!!!
— Mr. Exxtra (@MrExxtra) August 20, 2019
Even one of the Executive Vice-Presidents of AEW, Nick Jackson, responded to the news:
We aren’t scared. https://t.co/7mMS8zC1KQ
— The Young Bucks® (@NickJacksonYB) August 19, 2019
WWE has confirmed that the live two-hour show will continue to emanate from Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida with the same high work rate, quality wrestling to be expected.