There’s a lot of understandable excitement building towards the upcoming WWE draft, with the rosters set to be split once more for both Monday Night Raw and Tuesday Night SmackDown.
Now that SmackDown is going live, the brand could finally be getting a lot of importance which is something it’s lacked in recent times. Now that it can get out of Raw’s shadow, the WWE are still running a massive risk as it could be NXT that suffers the most from this.
TOO MUCH, TOO SOON
Triple H has already revealed that NXT could be ‘ransacked’ for talent to make up the numbers, and that could spell trouble for the developmental brand that has produced so many great stars and continue to do so.
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I feel that it’s too much to take in, especially in such a short space of time. It’s unclear how long the WWE have been planning this, either they’ve done a fantastic job of keeping it under wraps, which looks unlikely as every little detail and rumour manages to circulate online weeks before it takes place.
Or it was a last minute decision with the WWE realising they need to pull the trigger on this risky move, as it’s something the fans want and could change their fortunes regarding ratings. Regardless of what it is, it’s set to take place in July, and you can’t help but feel that it’s all moving too fast, and while Raw and SmackDown will begin to take shape, NXT will fall further behind.
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I get a bad feeling that with so much hype and importance surrounding the split, NXT won’t be able to keep up, and it could quickly lose direction despite being one of the biggest successes for the WWE in recent years.
LACK OF MAJOR STARS
If rumours are accurate, and the stars of NXT will be moving up to Raw and SmackDown, then it’s blatantly obvious that there will be a massive lack of major stars on the roster.
Gone are the days where the likes of Neville, Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze and more were the star attractions, and even the mid-card scene was full of stars destined for massive success on the main roster. It’s why we as NXT fans felt part of the show because we witness the journeys from the bottom right to the pinnacle of NXT, which could soon end.
With Enzo Amore and Big Cass no longer there, Kevin Owens and even The Wyatt Family were stars that made an impact, it looks doubtful that any future NXT star can have that sort of impact on the brand.
The likelihood is that the fan favourites will also be on the way out, Finn Balor and Shinsuke Nakamura should be set for the main roster which leaves Samoa Joe as the main attraction, but very little support for him. There aren’t any solid contenders or reasons why we’d pay good money to see them, so they’d face a task of building new stars up.
The same applies for the women’s division, if Bayley is on her way out there is nobody there the fans are 100% invested in. Of course, the potential is there with Alexa Bliss and Carmella for example, but the time isn’t there.
With valuable time winding down and a lack of the main stars emerging, this means the fans could quickly lose interest in NXT, especially with the majority of the stars moving on.
The fans have not only build a relation with NXT but the stars that compete on it so if our favourites are moving to Raw or SmackDown, we’d tune in regularly to those shows to watch them in action.
There’s no way NXT will be promoted as heavily as SmackDown or Raw; NXT takes place on the WWE Network while the other two are on the USA Network and ratings mean everything to them if they fail then it’s bad news for the WWE so they can’t afford to ruin this plan.
With so much attention being given to this, there’s a chance the quality of the show could deteriorate especially if Triple H has his hands full.
TRIPLE H'S FOCUS
It’s no secret that NXT is Triple H’s project, he’s the main reason why this has become a phenomenon, and he continues to show the dedication in the current crop of talent. However, there’s a slight risk that he may have too heavy a workload to be as committed to NXT as he is right now.
He has his private life; then he’ll be an active member on one of the flagship shows, he should be involved in storylines and in-ring action in some of the bigger events, and then he has to be backstage at the NXT tapings and almost every house show and tour.
That’s a lot to ask for anyone, and although Triple H is a hard worker he might need to delegate NXT tasks to others. That’s where the quality of the writing could fall, and it reflects bad on Triple H and on NXT itself, and it could slowly destroy NXT from the inside.
This needs to be avoided, in an ideal world all three of the shows will be a massive success, but we can’t sugar coat it and look at it as if we’re in fantasy land. There are potential issues, and they’re realistic issues the WWE will need to overcome, if not then it could mark the end for NXT.
Do you think NXT is in danger because of the brand split? Have your say in the comments section below.