Despite the ‘Wednesday night war’ between AEW and NXT not ending too well for WWE’s black and gold brand in 2021, the company may be ‘pushing’ for the now-Tuesday night show to once again compete with AEW’s flagship program.
With NXT’s recent viewership helped by main roster integration seeing viewership numbers that come close to – and in some cases even surpass – Dynamite, it seems as if the recent success is not only aiding WWE in their TV rights renewal for NXT, but is also providing hope that the show may be able to beat AEW more consistently.
Writing in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Dave Meltzer details WWE’s internal reaction to NXT’s recent success, saying:
The two points most talked about by different people were that this is a contract year so these gains are coming at a great time for the renewal price, and those in NXT who are definitely pushing for the idea of doing numbers that beat Dynamite.
In early June, WWE President Nick Khan detailed the company’s strategy to implement NXT as more of a third brand rather than just the company’s developmental show.
The key component of this approach was the implementation of main roster talent on the gold brand as well as crossovers from NXT stars on both Raw and SmackDown.
This is something we have seen in spades even in the short amount of time since that interview, with several top stars such as Seth Rollins and most recently The Judgment Day appearing on NXT TV.
Judgment Day’s recent crossover in particular seems set to become a more long-term move, especially following Dominik Mysterio’s North American Championship win over Wes Lee (July 18).
‘Dirty’ Dom’s big win helped NXT see a large boost to their viewership, scoring a total of 746,000 viewers, their second highest rating since 2021, with the only one beating it in that period being the June 20 episode that featured Rollins vs Bron Breakker which drew 773,000.
For comparison, last week’s July 12 episode of AEW Dynamite (not this week’s Blood & Guts episode as that was naturally higher than a normal episode) drew 825,000 viewers.
Of course, the Mysterio and Rollins episodes of NXT were higher than normal episodes too, so for NXT to beat Dynamite right now, it would likely have to be a special episode of NXT vs a normal – if not lower than normal – episode of Dynamite, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
With Dom now set to stay on Tuesday nights, he may have his hands full as numerous different rising stars look set to try and take his newly won championship away from him, including former champion Wes Lee.
To find out Lee’s first comments since losing his prized North American Championship after a 269-day reign, click here.
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