The press release finally confirming what we’d been hearing for weeks - that NXT would be moving to Tuesday nights starting April 13, ending their Wednesday Night War with AEW Dynamite after 18 months - contained some of WWE’s spin on the schedule change. Paul “Triple H” Levesque added a little more when he spoke to Variety’s Joe Otterson about the move, and the extension of NXT’s contact with USA Network that came with it.
As he’s maintained from when the show first moved from streaming to cable in the fall of 2019, Trips told Variety NXT was on Wednesdays because they’d always been on Wednesdays. WWE didn’t want to confuse viewers who used it to watching NXT on the Network, so they stayed mid-week despite the head-to-head competition from Tony Khan’s new promotion.
With a year-and-a-half on TV, he says that’s changed:
“We now feel like we’re in a good place where we can move that consistent fanbase over to Tuesdays. We believe they’ll follow us. That way we can grow the brand more given the lead in from ‘Monday Night Raw,’ which we’ve seen in the past.”
The Game is unsurprisingly bullish on what the move, and WWE’s transition to Peacock in the United States, will mean:
“The ability for us to be on [Peacock], a bigger platform where so many more people have the opportunity to experience it and and to let it grow into something more, is very exciting. And once you sample it, we believe that the product is something that people will stick with and become involved in.”
It’s good spin, which I’m using as a term of art rather than an insult. AEW & TNT will undoubtedly have their interpretation of the news, too, which will also be spin - albeit fewer people will doubt or joke about theirs because of how one-sided the Wednesday Night War was in the ratings.
NXT’s move to Tuesday is a win from wrestling fans, and all of WWE & NBCUniversal’s statements about it being a win for their business very well could be true, too. But would they have rather crushed Dynamite from the jump and kept the nationally televised wrestling business largely to themselves? Absolutely.
We’ll see how they do on Tuesdays, and Hunter is right that the black-and-gold brand is positioned to take off in their new home.