On September 18th, NXT will have its first live 2-hour show on the USA Network.
NXT going to 2 hours and going live has been rumored for years, but it’s finally here. Obviously they will eventually compete with AEW’s weekly show which will have the same time slot on TNT starting October 2nd.
While NXT has been one of WWE’s biggest shows for years, in the eyes of casual fans, it is still just developmental. Therefore, WWE needs to have a big show on Wednesday to attract the larger audience, and shed their developmental reputation.
Here are four things I think WWE should do on the first live two-hour edition of NXT!
The first thing I think WWE should do is further establish Rhea Ripley as the next big force in the NXT Women’s Division.
On this episode, it was announced that Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, Mia Yim, and Bianca Belair will compete in a #1 Contender – Fatal 4 Way Match. We have seen Shayna (convincingly) beat everybody in this match so I don’t imagine any of these four ladies will emerge as #1 Contender.
Instead, I think maybe in the middle of a good match, Rhea will come out and destroy everybody. They are clearly building towards this rivalry, and I think Rhea destroying every other challenger is the perfect next step. In this one segment, you can introduce people to Rhea, continue the story that’s already in place, and make an impact.
I think this would be a perfect opening match/segment to show off the brand.
Match of the Year Contender
I know, this one is a bit of an obvious answer, but I think it is super necessary.
Let’s be honest, when you look at the wrestling on AEW vs. WWE’s main roster, it’s obvious which one wins. However, I would put any TakeOver match and put it up against any AEW match that they’ve had so far. Problem is, when you look at AEW and NXT, AEW’s matches have had more exposure. I think there are AEW fans that don’t watch NXT simply because they’ve given up on WWE as a whole. So I think this show desperately needs a match that is going to get wrestling fans talking, and bring in more eyes.
Matt Riddle and Killian Dain are having a street fight on the first episode of NXT and I think that could be the match. Either way, this first episode needs to make an impact and in order to do that, they need a TakeOver-level match.
Now I want to make myself clear, I do not think this one is a necessity. The NXT superstars are more than capable to bring buzz to the brand on this show by themselves. However, this episode is going to be about bringing as much eyes to the product as possible.
How you get the eyes on the program is irrelevant as long as you can keep them. With that being said, I think a surprise appearance from somebody outside of the weekly NXT roster, would give the show a good boost. It could be somebody from the main roster like Seth, Cesaro, Owens, or maybe even Finn.
It could also be somebody from NXT UK like UK Champion Walter, or perhaps a British Strong Style invasion after the main event. Regardless of who it is, surprises have been a huge part of pro wrestling as long as it has been around, and a surprise appearance on this show could get a lot of attention.
Again not to say the roster can’t attract a weekly audience, but to have the show be unpredictable from the start is very good for ratings.
Undisputed Era Draped in Gold
I think this is the most obvious, but I also think it is the most necessary.
It has already been announced that Roderick Strong will face Velveteen Dream for the North American Championship. If you have read any of my pieces about NXT, going into this live show you know how I feel about Undisputed Era, and them being the face of this brand. NXT should absolutely be built around a gold-covered Undisputed Era.
Adam Cole has been talking for months about the prophecy of every member of the group holding gold. With Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish re-gaining the NXT Tag Team Championships a couple weeks ago, Roddy is the only one left. The “prophecy” being fulfilled on the night where they establish the brand is perfect.
Also as I mentioned earlier a British Strong Style beatdown or staredown after the match is possible too, War Games anybody?
What are you most looking forward to on the first live NXT? Leave a comment below!
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The Scrap’s Austin Luff is broadcasting student with a passion for watching and writing about mixed martial arts and professional wrestling. Make sure to follow Austin on Twitter (@Ginger_Guy_).