clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Triple H dismisses the ‘imaginary war’ between NXT and AEW

Now that NXT has a new home on Tuesday nights, it is no longer directly competing opposite AEW Dynamite.

During an interview on Cheap Heat with Peter Rosenberg, Triple H offered his thoughts on NXT’s permanent move to Tuesday:

“The promotional opportunity for us is much better on a Tuesday. And also then not having to have a narrative where it’s just constantly about an imaginary war, or this imaginary battle. And people can say what they want, but the truth of the matter is you compete against everything. If you are creating a television product or content, that is the world we live in, is content not television, not internet. It’s everything. So you’re constantly competing for eyeballs and time against everything under the sun, including sleep and time to do other things, and video games, and Tik Tok and everything else that’s out there. So, having your own space sort of where you don’t have to then have an added imaginary kinda nice.

But the bigger fact is having a lead-in...this is a great opportunity for us to have that lead-in from Monday Night Raw, get that promotional window from Monday Night Raw.”

Triple H’s dismissal of the Wednesday night competition between NXT and AEW as “imaginary” is hilarious, because right from the start in October 2019, NXT’s primary objective was to keep AEW from growing an audience.

WWE was clearly averse to the idea of the competition gaining even a tiny foothold. That’s why once AEW announced the official launch date and time slot for their Wednesday show on TNT, NXT was quickly added to the USA network’s television lineup in the same exact time slot. WWE was the big bad wolf and assumed they would wipe the floor with the new guys. It backfired, with AEW winning the ratings battle nearly every single week from Oct. 2019 through Apr. 2021, and NXT’s numbers struggling in comparison.

It’s also hilarious because last summer Triple H directly admitted that “obviously there are counter-programming decisions” made for NXT in response to what AEW Dynamite has lined up. And that’s exactly how NXT should have approached it, because it would be silly to pretend that they were not directly competing for largely the same audience as Dynamite.

That history is why to some folks it looks like AEW sent NXT screaming and yelling off of Wednesdays. Triple H is now opting to pretend that AEW Dynamite was no different than any other thing competing for one’s time, like video games, Tik Tok, and sleep. Sure, there are lots of different forms of entertainment out there that can take audience away from a television show, but AEW and NXT were obviously taking significantly more audience from each other than anything else. You know, because the battle between the two shows was very real, and nothing close to imaginary. It’s insulting to pretend otherwise.

Going back to the way WWE handled their victory over WCW in the monday night ratings war, I think I see WWE’s playbook here:

  • If we win the ratings battle, repeatedly drill the point home that we are the best and the other company is the worst.
  • If we lose the ratings battle, just pretend that it was all imaginary, and that we were really competing against a critical human body function like sleep. Sleep is super important, so who can really blame us for losing that battle?
  • Regardless of whether we win or lose, make sure to talk about eyeballs.

I’ll end my rant there for today. Given Triple H’s strange insistence that Monday Night Raw is a great promotional lead-in for a television show that airs 24 hours later, I’m sure there will be many more opportunities to continue scratching my head over whatever nonsense Triple H is trying to sell.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats