With the news of WWE announcing the first ever steel cage match to occur in NXT history at 'NXT Takeover', it is arguable that it's developing into much more than a developmental territory.
The aforementioned match is due to occur between reigning NXT champion Samoa Joe and fan favourite Finn Balor, in a rematch, with the latter looking to regain his title which he lost earlier this year.
With exciting wrestlers such as Joe and Balor, along with, other recent additions such as Austin Aries, Shinsuke Nakamura and Eric Young from other wrestling promotions, it begs the question, is WWE slowly shaping NXT into its third brand?
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Here are some theories as to why that might be the case.
Is Finn Balor staying put?
We all expected Finn Balor to make his hotly anticipated jump to the main roster, especially considering the hint he gave fans after losing the NXT title to Samoa Joe when he told them they'd see him on Monday, referring to him being present at a Raw taping.
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It appears this was simply a tease and his main roster debut is not likely to occur anytime soon.
Many fans speculated that he might debut and join The Bullet Club, considering the fact that he used to be a member in previous promotions, and whilst this may still occur, WWE may have other plans for the superstar.
As mentioned before, Balor is a fan favourite in NXT and WWE may want to keep him on the roster in order to increase the draw they receive for NXT shows.
If WWE does plan to make NXT its ‘third brand’, it will want to create some exclusivity between itself and the main brands ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown’.
By keeping superstars such as Balor on the NXT roster, this may keep fans engaged with the NXT product.
Separate from WWE Main shows
NXT is a completely different type of product in comparison with the main shows. It doesn’t have the large scale production of the main shows, and it doesn’t have the same sort of capacity in terms of fan attendance either, yet it maintains a sort of ‘independent promotion’ vibe in comparison with the main shows.
This is probably WWE's intention for the product, but even the style of wrestling is different to the main roster.
NXT has proven the WWE slogan ‘Anything can happen in the WWE’ completely right by enabling Samoa Joe to capture the NXT Championship at a house show.
So we can conclude that NXT is being shaped in a way that is purposefully in contrast to its main show counterpart shows.
Triple H’s recent comments on NXT
Triple H was recently quoted in an interview with 98 FM Dublin as saying the following:
‘It has gone from what was being kept at one point in time, considered our developmental brand, where we were just grooming stars for the future, to really becoming a third brand that tours globally alongside WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE SmackDown.’
So in consideration of the aforementioned quote, we might conclude that Triple H is planning to push NXT into becoming the third brand of WWE, with an eventual goal of making it equal to the main shows.
Whatever the case may be, NXT certainly has exciting times in store for the future.
Should WWE have NXT as a third brand? Or is it better as a developmental procedure for upcoming talent? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!