With All Elite Wrestling’s weekly show reportedly set to debut on TNT this fall, it appears that WWE has some plans to win the ratings battle if the rival program airs on Wednesday nights as rumored. These might include the eventual use of top-tier main roster superstars on NXT, a brand that was originally launched and marketed as WWE’s developmental territory.
According to WrestlingNews.co, recent developments behind the scenes suggest that WWE is planning to move the NXT show to Fox Sports 1, in an effort to “counter-program” AEW’s upcoming weekly show. This show has yet to get an official name and schedule on TNT, but the outlet noted that AEW previously filed for the “Wednesday Night Dynamite” trademark, which could hint at a midweek schedule for the program. This, as noted by Dave Meltzer on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, could force WWE to take drastic actions in order to ensure the NXT show — in the event it airs on the same day and time as AEW’s weekly show — gets higher ratings.
“As far as competition goes … absolutely, the plan is to use main roster guys,” Meltzer said, as quoted by WrestlingNews.co. “If this show goes to head with AEW, [the plan] is to use main roster guys on the NXT show to help boost the ratings.”
Although Meltzer did not specify which wrestlers might be appearing on NXT if WWE allows its main roster wrestlers to do so, WrestlingNews.co speculated that the company could allow top-tier talents such as Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins to return to the yellow brand in order to boost ratings.
FOX is in talks with WWE to put NXT on TV in the hope of going head-to-head with AEW:https://t.co/PXoTfsejX8
— WrestleTalk (@WrestleTalk_TV) July 18, 2019
At the moment, there are still a lot of unknown variables that might come into play and affect the feasibility of WWE’s rumored plans. Per WrestlingNews.co, it remains unclear whether Fox Sports 1 will allow the NXT show to be aired live every week from 8 to 10 p.m. Likewise, it’s still unsure whether the NXT roster would have to go on the road on a weekly basis or if the brand will adapt shinier production values similar to those on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live.
As for AEW’s weekly show, Comic Book cited Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter late last month, writing that the program is expected to debut on Wednesday, October 2, which is two days before SmackDown Live moves to its new Friday night schedule on Fox. The outlet also noted that WWE reportedly plans to invite various celebrities to watch the show live and to introduce two new cameras for the initial Fox broadcast, in an effort to make AEW’s program look “minor league” in comparison.