WWE NXT TakeOver: Chicago 2 thrilled fans last week with their five-match card, including the main event of Tommaso Ciampa versus Johnny Gargano in a street fight match. While the WWE event was a big success, some took notice that some major wrestlers were not booked on the NXT TakeOver card, including two-time Impact World Heavyweight Champion EC3 (Ethan Carter III). In a recent interview with ESPN, NXT Producer Paul “Triple H” Levesque spoke about TakeOver: Chicago 2, and addressed this issue and other NXT questions.
Many considered the Ciampa and Gargano street fight bout to be the best match of the night, some say the best of the last several NXT special events, and Triple H gave his opinion. He said that all the pieces fit together like magic at Chicago 2, and that the two superstars told a great story in the ring. He also told ESPN why some major talent was left off of the five-match card.
“I’ve heard people say it to me, even on these TakeOvers, ‘How can you do this card and not put EC3 on? How can you do this card and not put Adam Cole on? That’s a disservice.’ No, you just don’t put everything on the show. You save something for the next one that’s even bigger. You save something for the episode that’s even bigger. To me, that is the ‘leave them wanting more’ part in it, and I think we do a pretty decent job of balancing it — but it’s always a work in progress.”
What many fans like about the brand is that unlike other WWE programming, NXT’s weekly Wednesday show is only an hour long. It has been rumored and speculated for a while now that the NXT show will eventually switch to a longer format. When asked if the format was going to be changed, Triple H gave a vague answer.
Paul Levesque said that there are parts of him that love NXT’s hour-long format. He pointed out that by the time fans get to Wednesday, assuming they watched Raw and Smackdown, they have already seen five hours of wrestling, and that’s not including WWE 205 Live. He remarked that “everybody’s got busy lives,” and that there’s a lot of WWE programming out there. Triple H also said that there have been times where he did wish there was more room to work with. He said that there’s a fine line between not giving enough content and leaving fans wanting more and that it’s a balance.
Time will tell if the wrestling brand will eventually change to a longer format, but if NXT follows the history of other WWE shows, then it may be a safe bet to assume that it one day will.