WWE NXT as we know it may never be the same thanks to what the WWE plans to do in the near future. NXT is one of the shows which will take on a different look.
Just in case you have lived under a rock for the past few days, changes are coming to the WWE. According to WWE.com, WWE Smackdown will now air live on Tuesdays beginning July 19th. Once Smackdown goes live, there will be a designated roster who will compete on the show.
Since WWE Smackdown debuted on a Friday night, on August 26, 1999, it seldom aired live. All of the matches were handled how the weekend shows ran, with a broadcast from a previous day. That day had been usually on Tuesday. There was even a time when the WWE acted as if Smackdown was a live event. This ruse went on for years. It was not until leaks reporting Smackdown results on a regular basis, did the WWE give up and admit that the show was taped.
In March 2002, the WWE split the roster in two. Half of the WWE superstars, albeit the most popular ones went to Monday Night Raw, while the others went to Smackdown. It was then that they would work exclusively for those shows. The new draft is slated for July 11.
Each show had its own championship title, identity, and style. Everything worked well with two exceptions; it was clear that Raw was the more heralded show and Smackdown was pre-recorded.
the draft that will separate RAW and SMACKDOWN will be held on July 11 on Raw with special presence of Brock Lesnar pic.twitter.com/LYWquqTpgT
— Roman Reigns (@Roman_Empire_76) May 26, 2016
The way WWE Smackdown was in 2002, is like how WWE NXT today.
WWE NXT is regarded as one solid segment of wrestling. Much like Smackdown, NXT has its own stable of wrestlers, titles and most importantly, style. NXT is something of a throwback to the days when watching wrestling was greater than cool. It is the perfect marriage of action and personalities. With Smackdown going live and a split of brands about to take place, the personalities part might be in jeopardy.
It is a guarantee that the head honchos will poach some of the talent on the NXT roster in an effort to fill out both Raw and Smackdown. The split could damage the WWE’s third brand.
NXT stars such as Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, American Alpha, Asuka and Nia Jax might get plucked for various reasons. Popularity, experience or just being on the cusp of getting added to the main roster would be the reasons. The main reason the roster raid will take place is because of the overall competition.
Samoa Joe, Nakamura, American Alpha and Finn Balor are going to be called up in the draft… pic.twitter.com/Nj0Iix5Zs1
— Riz. (@johncenaAm) May 26, 2016
There are several WWE superstars who are on the main roster who are seldom used. They will get more work once WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown split up, though there is a reason why the seldom used wrestlers hardly get television time. Most of them are in limbo as far as their character is concerned.
The WWE going forward with making Smackdown a live show will give some of those superstars a chance to show what they can do. It will also give other superstars an opportunity to reach main event status.
Since A.J. Styles made his WWE debut at the Royal Rumble he has risen to the top quite fast. It helps that he was a well-established professional prior to agreeing to join the WWE. The problem is, he would have to wait a long time to don the WWE Title. Under the new changes, A.J. Styles could become the champion for the brand that he is representing.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) May 27, 2016
Cageside Seats released a possible leak of a WWE Smackdown card which features A.J. Styles, The New Day and Dean Ambrose. If this holds true, could Styles or Ambrose wind up with their first WWE Title (not sure what the Smackdown title would be called) run?
A.J. Styles, The New Day and Dean Ambrose are exciting names, but they alone cannot carry the Smackdown brand, without more superstars. More developmental talent is added to the pool regularly. The WWE can afford to promote Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and the other superstars mentioned without destroying NXT, as long as they replace them properly.
WWE bosses might take a look at some of the talent that have left TNA over the last months. The Inquisitr reported weeks ago that Eric Young and Bobby Roode were at the WWE NXT Thursday tapings. Either of them could be pushed to the Raw or Smackdown roster, leaving the NXT roster mostly intact. Or, they can earn their stripes the way Samoa Joe has.
Changes are coming to the WWE and most of them could not have come at a better time. Most of the changes that the WWE are making will have a positive reaction. Making WWE Smackdown live was long overdue. Splitting up the brands will have a few lasting impressions, which will have some long-term gains. One of those gains is overall health. The WWE superstars will have an easier workload with the change.
The biggest concern is how will the WWE’s decision to make Smackdown live and the brand split, affect WWE NXT. Fans have to be wondering the same thing.
[Photo by WWE NXT Twitter page]