Speculation about such a move began last fall when conflicts on their respective networks’ schedules placed AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT on different nights - and both seemed to perform better without direct competition from the other. Noise around a possible move got louder when NBCUniversal announced plans to shut down their cable sports network and move programming like its Wednesday NHL game to USA.
With the move looking likely to happen next month after WrestleMania 37, AEW Executive Vice-President Cody Rhodes was asked about it on his pre-Revolution media call this afternoon (Mar. 3).
Rhodes couldn’t help but fan the flames of the rivalry with a joke or two, but mostly stayed focused on his own company:
“If we’re no longer going to be opposed on Wednesday night, I’m sure we’ll come up with some wonderful statement. What could I say? ‘Congratulations to NXT on a successful move to Tuesday nights. The real winners are the fans who can watch NXT and Dynamite live every week as this is a marathon and not a one-night sprint.’ I could say that, but I don’t want to be sassy or a jerk because I think them moving, perhaps something else will end up on Wednesdays
“AEW Dark would potentially be opposed. That’s why we can’t get into a matter of being reactionary. We just have to put out the best show. If they want to beat us, they have to put out a better show. It’s honest competition. Yeah, there are digs and they are fun and light-hearted. Believe me, all the locker rooms tend to love each other. It’s more the management that is pointed at one another. Even that, there is a friendly relationship. Tony [Khan] is a different type of executive. I would love us to be alone on Wednesday nights, but I’m prepared for something else to be in that spot.”
Quips about the statement WWE released when Dynamite won the first battle in the Wednesday Night War aside, Cody raises an interesting point. Could putting NXT Prime on Tuesdays just be the first move from WWE? Perhaps so they can put something like NXT UK or the rumored “NXT Evolve” show somewhere on Wednesdays? Maybe on FS1, or even Peacock?
It wouldn’t have the same effect as the main NXT brand, but if the goal is just to siphon off as many viewers as possible, it could still make a dent.
We’ll see. In the meantime, ready your best smart-ass statement about the move for AEW PR’s consideration.