The announcement didn’t come on the Aug. 19 Raw as was predicted, but it did arrive less than 12 hours later.
There are still a lot of questions - and, as the “agreement in principle” wording suggests, details to be ironed out between the two business partners - but this answers the biggest ones:
BREAKING: @WWENXT MOVES TO @USA_Network@WWE & @USA_Network today announced an agreement in principle to air WWE’s weekly Wednesday night show, @WWENXT live on USA Network at 8/7c starting Sept 18. The new two-hour weekly show will continue to emanate from @FullSail in Orlando. pic.twitter.com/t311jefTjI— WWE Public Relations (@WWEPR) August 20, 2019
The article about the move on WWE.com includes quotes from company Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon and USA’s President promoting the move as a win for both. Not surprising but worth noting that neither mentions All Elite Wrestling on TNT, the live weekly wrestling show NXT will now go head-to-head against in what we kind of have to call the Wednesday Night War.
“The move to USA Network provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with NBCUniversal and further build the NXT brand,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “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.”
“USA Network and WWE have one of the longest and most successful partnerships in television history,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks – USA and SYFY. “As the No. 1 cable entertainment network, we’re excited to add NXT to our weekly lineup alongside powerhouse flagship Raw and to bring a new generation of Superstars to a wide audience.”
The main thing we’ve learned from the announcement that wasn’t clear from the preliminary reports is that the show will continue to be broadcast from the cozy confines of Full Sail Live in Winter Park, Florida every week. That may disappoint some hoping to see the black-and-gold brand stretch its wings a bit filming in bigger & varied buildings, but should ensure WWE can pack the house with regulars and students every week.
For cord-cutters wondering about when new episodes will hit WWE Network, an email sent to subscribers contained that information - as well as an incentive to keep paying $9.99 per month for TakeOver events:
This mostly leaves questions about what to expect from the new show. How much will the show change? Will the booking and producing team remain the same? Which main roster stars will move to Wednesday nights? Are NXT stars getting raises? Will Mauro Ranallo still handle play-by-play as it now requires getting to Florida weekly instead of once every 4 - 6 weeks?*
We’ll have to wait for answers to those. But with a Sept. 18 premiere date, we won’t have to wait too long.
Excited? Afraid? Both?
* UPDATE: Mauro says he’s there every week, and the announce trio will remain him, Nigel McGuinness & Beth Phoenix.