After yet another successful NXT Takeover show this past week on the WWE Network, the popularity of WWE’s NXT developmental brand continues to grow and sometimes outshine the main roster. It appears that the WWE is ready to capitalize on the growing popularity of the NXT show, as Triple H (Paul Levesque) told reporters during a conference call this past week that WWE has plans to make NXT a full-time touring brand for the WWE by the end of 2015 or early 2016.
The goal of NXT touring would be to give the wrestlers within the developmental brand a chance to live life on the road and get a feel for that before being brought up to the main roster. It would also help get the NXT wrestlers exposure working in front of different crowds. Under this plan, NXT would tour throughout the United States every weekend. Triple H also spoke of the possibility of sending wrestlers who aren’t being used much on the main WWE roster down to participate in the NXT tours to help freshen up their characters.
“If you’ve been on the main roster for six or seven years, and you need a refresh, this is a great opportunity to put a guy, and have it not seen as a demotion, to go back down here (to NXT) with looser guidelines and come back up fresher.”
This would be similar to when MLB teams send players who are struggling down to the minor leagues to get more experience before bringing them back up to the big show. There are positives and negatives of doing this when it comes to a wrestling roster.
One major positive is that it would expose NXT talent to different crowds and different sized buildings, as they are typically used to working the same building in Florida in front of roughly the same crowds every week. Sometimes the NXT talent struggle to adjust when they are pulled up to the main roster and don’t have the same die hard NXT fans that fill the arena in Florida every single week in front of them.
A negative would be that this move would make the schedule a lot harder for NXT talent, perhaps even more so than wrestlers on the main WWE roster. While WWE talent get to go home and rest when they are off the road during the middle of the week, NXT workers are expected to train at the WWE developmental center in Florida full time during the week. So NXT talent would be touring full time every weekend, while also training full time during the week in Florida. NXT would be a place where you wouldn’t get many days off.
The idea of running NXT as it’s own national brand started to pick up steam after a NXT show scheduled for March 5 in Columbus sold out the day tickets went on sale. This will be the first time that WWE has run an NXT show outside of Florida. After the successful NXT on-sale in Columbus, WWE quickly added a second NXT show for March 6 in Cleveland.
Taking NXT on the road full time as a third brand would not be something that is entirely new for WWE. The company (unsuccessfully) took their reincarnation of ECW on the road full time in 2006 for a couple of months. The failure of ECW on the road could be a bad omen for NXT touring, as ECW had nationwide television every week. NXT is seen by far less viewers as it only airs on the WWE Network and Hulu.
[Image via CoolWrestlingNews.com]