In February, I wrote an interesting opinion piece about NXT being, and it still is, the most consistent brand of wrestling WWE has to offer, but that NXT was not as good as it once was. When I wrote that, a lot of people disagreed with me. A few months later and I was right all along.
NXT since “The Wednesday Night Wars” began has changed a lot – for better and worse.
The Tag Team Division is Still a problem
WWE, and this includes NXT, do not care for tag team wrestling. NXT, since the “war” began, has not put the attention and care into their tag team division as they once did.
People like to give the excuse that NXT lost a lot of power in that division with the call-ups to the main roster of Street Profits and War Raiders. NXT has had more than enough time to develop new tag teams and they’ve failed at this for months.
This division right now has no direction and very few people even care about it right now.
Rhea Ripley’s case
At the beginning of 2020, it looked like it was going to be Rhea Ripley’s year. However, the feud she had with Charlotte Flair at the beginning of the year did her no favors.
Ripley after the feud with Flair lost a lot of momentum and was never able to even beat her once. After that, she was off of TV for some time and returned to a program with Robert Stone.
Counter-Programming and Hotshot Booking
Since “the war” began, the yellow brand has been trying really hard to beat AEW on the ratings each week. The last major example was the Great American Bash.
NXT sacrificed the biggest match they had for a week’s victory over AEW in terms of overall viewers but did not beat them on the 18-49 age group demo (the demographic most important for advertisers).
Adam Cole vs. Keith Lee for both the NXT and North American championships was a great match but it should’ve been saved for a Takeover event. After this, the program seems to have lost a lot of momentum.
NXT several times during the head to head competition with AEW has booked episodes of their TV show with Takeover level matches. NXT is not thinking long term right now.