The poster for the FCW and NXT tapings on May 17th at Full Sail University. Photo via pwtorch.com.
Ever since Triple H put the kibosh on the rumour that WWE was going to close down its developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) we've been anxiously anticipating his promised major announcement about revamping their feeder system. A couple of ideas that had made the rounds was firstly to move FCW's television tapings to the state of the art facilities in Full Sail University and secondly to turn NXT into a show that predominantly used talent from FCW. According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com (click here at your own risk), WWE has decided to go ahead with these plans, effective immediately:
WWE NXT will be graduating to its own tapings, combined with WWE developmental Florida Championship Wrestling starting on Thursday 5/17 at 7 PM.
The tapings will be held at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL (near Orlando) at the Full Sail Live gym....
I am told one of the reasons the tapings, which will be branded as "WWE Superstar Showdown", are being moved are to make it easier to integrate WWE developmental talent into the mix for NXT. The hope is that the University feel will give the show a chance for better crowd reactions as well as help upgrade FCW TV to a "grander" look than the FCW Arena in Tampa can provide. The plan is to upgrade NXT and give it more attention as opposed to it being a secondary show on the Smackdown tapings.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Vince McMahon told his stockholders that he hoped to put NXT back on a cable station in the U.S. shortly, so this expensive overhaul of NXT may be a sign that a deal has been struck with somebody. If that isn't the case, then one must presume that the show is still pencilled in for the WWE network and that they want any kinks in the new format to be sorted out before the channel's debut.
To guarantee a packed house and a hot crowd for their first of many tapings at the university, WWE are sending out the big guns for dark matches. Triple H, who will likely be running things behind the scenes, will make a live appearance, while Sheamus will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio and new WWE Tag Team champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth will defend their belts against former holders Primo and Epico. So it should start off with a bang despite the very short notice.