NXT 'won' the night at Survivor Series because WWE decided to put over their developmental talent at the expense of their main roster brethren. One could argue that, because the entire concept of 'brand loyalty' means nothing at all, their victory also means nothing. I disagree. And I think what WWE is doing here is deeply insidious.
Consider the fact that at this show, we have ostensibly been told the developmental brand is the superior brand. It's not its own equal brand at the moment, it's the brand that acts as WWE's minor leagues. Regardless of the match quality that often comes out of there, NXT is where WWE has its acts train and refine themselves before being brought up to the 'main roster.' True, this doesn't usually work that way. But NXT is, for all intents and purposes, equal to the role FCW played for WWE.
So we are now to assume that, within the confines of WWE, that the minor leagues are superior to the major leagues. This undercuts both 'main' brands, because why should we take them seriously if they can't, in storyline, defeat people who are meant to be beneath them? That's like a high school football team beating an NFL team. It doesn't make sense.
But the in universe stuff is less important, and less awful, than what WWE are slowly trying to do with the NXT brand now that it's on TV.
Consider what NXT superstars are paid. Consider that this is considerably less than what a 'main roster' superstar is being paid. Consider that this is ostensibly because when you are a member of NXT, the pitch is that you are in developmental and are thus going to be in a single place working day in and day out to improve for WWE's liking. Yes, you may travel for Takeovers, but you are paid less because you are ostensibly doing less for the company. Consider that, by being on TV, your 'main roster' compatriots are making more money than you are.
Consider that, as recent as I can determine, NXT stars are not being paid more for being on TV.
Essentially, WWE is slowly, methodically, moving the goal posts about what is 'acceptable' to pay their talent. It starts small of course. First it's NXT talent being told that they're going to do more shows across the country. Then they're told they're going to start doing more Worldwide shows. Then they get a TV deal, and WWE decides not to pay their talent more as a result. Then, WWE puts said developmental talent on a major PPV, and has them go over strongly over their 'main roster' talent. Talent that is locked down in long-term contracts that they cannot get out of.
The end goal of course, seems to be that WWE intends to slowly justify reducing the pay and compensation for their talent. After all, why pay someone on SmackDown more money when you can say 'well we're already paying our tv talent in NXT less.'
And it's a lot less. Consider that on average, the estimated NXT talent salary is between $50k to $150k, with an average salary of $80k.
Consider that the average main roster wrestler makes about $500k a year.
Look, business is business. All businesses want to make a profit. But if you're going to promote your developmental talent as being on par with your main roster talent, if you're going to have main roster talent on your developmental show regularly, then that talent should be paid main roster money. You shouldn't be allowed to pay your developmental talent less money while you treat them as being on par with your main roster talent.
That's downright vile. If you're squeezing more money out of them by putting them on TV every week, then you should be paying them according to their worth to you. It can be argued that your average NXT talent is not worth the same as your average RAW or SmackDown superstar. But again, I'm not the one saying that they are. WWE is the one presenting them as if they are. And if WWE wants to do that, then NXT superstars should be paid and compensated accordingly.
Because we, as consumers, should not simply allow WWE to move the goalposts as they make NXT talent play the role of main roster talent, with all the responsibilities and expenses, without compensating them accordingly.
If WWE wants us as fans to take their NXT brand and the talent it has as being equal to their RAW and SmackDown compatriots, then they should begin by treating them as equals when they aren't in front of the cameras.