If you’re a fan of wrestling and you remember the Monday Night Wars between WWE and WCW, get ready for a new war.
When AEW announced that it would run weekly live shows on TNT on Wednesday nights debuting this fall, speculation immediately began as to how WWE would respond. Unsurprisingly, WWE is responding with a major shift in their schedule to directly combat AEW.
According to the Wrestling Observer, WWE will be moving their popular weekly NXT show from the WWE Network streaming platform to cable television and the USA Network. NXT will also expand from a one-hour show to a two-hour show to go head-to-head with AEW. Most importantly, WWE will also beat AEW to the punch on Wednesday nights with NXT making its television return on Sept. 18, two weeks before AEW debuts their weekly show on Oct. 2.
— Wrestling Observer (@WONF4W) August 19, 2019
While the Observer says the formal announcement would come during this Monday’s episode of Raw, that was disputed by Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated. However, NXT to USA seems as though it’s a certainty at this point; it’s just a matter of when it’s made official.
Per multiple sources close to WWE, there is no announcement, as of this moment, planned for tonight’s Raw re: any potential move for NXT to the USA Network. That doesn’t mean the script can’t/won’t change before 11pm ET, but I trust the sources re: the holdup in the announcement
— Justin Barrasso (@JustinBarrasso) August 19, 2019
The USA move does come as a bit of a shock. FS1 had been rumored as a potential television home for NXT, but FS1’s deal with the Big East conference may have presented too many scheduling conflicts to put NXT on every week.
NXT launched in 2010 with its primary purpose being to serve as a platform for talent to get exposure in front of a televised audience and ultimately (hopefully) make their way onto the bigger WWE brands Raw and SmackDown! Live.
Fast forward to 2019, most wrestling fans prefer NXT over the other WWE products.