More details have emerged on the relationship between WWE and USA Network, the current home of Monday Night Raw and NXT 2.0.
Earlier this year, it was reported that WWE had some heat with its TV network partners, with USA reportedly unhappy with the unbalanced nature of the rosters.
As per Fightful Select (subscription required), a USA Network source pointed to the Hell in a Cell matches that both aired on SmackDown (Fox) and Raw (USA) surrounding the June pay-per-view as WWE working with both networks as best they could.
On the topic of NXT, Fightful and Andrew Zarian of The Mat Men podcast collaborated to report that individuals within USA have responded positively to the recent changes to the brand. A source reportedly cited the jump in production value and viewership rise as reasons why the network is viewing the reboot favourably.
The report noted that USA sources mentioned their familiarity with current NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa, seemingly putting an end to rumors that the network wasn’t keeping tabs on NXT.
USA sources reportedly acknowledged the decline in viewership for Raw, as compared to the figures the show was producing at the start of the deal. Sources dismissed the idea that USA doesn’t care about the quality of the product, noting that they’re aware of viewership trends.
The report noted that a source stated that Raw’s viewership declining, when “the competition” hasn’t been affected to the same degree, is something that they’d like to see addressed. The same source revealed that a number of individuals at USA had grown tired of “scapegoats and shortcuts” in the two years before the pandemic, and wanted to see changes with WWE’s return to touring.
The sources reportedly cited the likes of multiple drafts in the same year, and brand switching rules as innovations that they aren’t opposed to, but they don’t want them to see them used as crutches.
Fightful noted that these sources do not represent USA Network as a whole. You can read the full report here (subscription required).