If you took a poll of WWE Network subscribers asking them what aspect of the network they enjoy most, you’re likely to get a variety of answers, as there is a lot of programming that makes WWE Network more than worth its 9.99 price tag. From the current material to a collection of most of WWE’s library of pay per views, the options are seemingly endless.
Yet it is in their original programming that the network really shines. Although Legends House and The Monday Night War have been met with praise for their entertainment value, more and more subscribers are getting their wrestling fix from another source of original programming: NXT.
The Future Is Now: Why NXT is Taking Over WWE Network
Like a phoenix, NXT has risen from the ashes of a once goofy and embarrassing C show to become one of WWE’s hottest properties. How did this happen? What is it about NXT that has made this show a favorite of network subscribers (including myself)? Why are we so much more excited to watch NXT than Raw or Smackdown?
Some would point to the in-ring action and say these talents are unrestricted, giving their all to impress with a style that differs from what we see on the main roster. While it is a logical theory, and I’m sure everyone on the roster is hungry for a main roster spot (and money), NXT is a training ground; meaning their work inside the squared circle is modeled after the WWE style. The same style that we see presented every Monday and Thursday night.
I present the theory that there are a multitude of others reasons why NXT has captured the collective imagination of the WWE Universe. If it was only about what we see in ring, then it’s possible that episodes of Nitro or ECW or even WWF events would be the programming everyone is talking about. Let’s take a deeper look into why the stars of tomorrow are making an impact right now.
It’s new (sort of)
WWE doesn’t deviate. They have a successful formula and they stick to it. That being said, we are seeing new faces in the mix doing things we haven’t seen on the main roster lately, so it’s a bit of a mind trick. It’s the same old song and dance with a new artist. NXT has an advantage over the main roster because they are constantly putting new faces in front of us. Once a guy gets called up, someone takes his place, the cycle starts a new and things feel fresh again.
The crowd actually LIKES it
The crowd is a HUGE part of NXT’s enjoyment factor, primarily because they seem to eat up everything put in front of them. They’re enthusiastic about the product and haven’t become jaded and cynical like much of the main roster crowd. There are no annoying CM Punk chants, no disrespectful boring chants, and no one sitting on their hands. It must be something in the water in Florida, since TNA Wrestling has benefited from cynic free cards when they film in Universal Studios.
Part of the reason the crowd is so passionate is because NXT is filmed at Full Sail University. It’s a small setting so 500 rowdy voices easily sound like 1000 when put in that space. It also gives it a sense of community for those fans. This is OUR house, OUR guys, OUR product. It builds brand loyalty. You don’t get that with WWE, who visits your town maybe once or twice a year if you’re lucky.
It’s only an hour long
The difference between filling 40 minutes of TV every week compared to filling 140 minutes every week is indescribably huge. When you finish an hour of NXT, you’re ready for more. When you finish RAW or a PPV, you’re drained (at least I know I am). NXT doesn’t have time to spare so they end up being all killer and no filler. You don’t need to do as much each week to keep fans happy, and speaking of keeping people happy…
There’s only one boss.
In my opinion, this is the biggest difference between a show like RAW and NXT. On RAW, WWE has to consider the wants and needs of Vince McMahon, the live audience, the TV audience, the sponsors, the network, and the shareholders. That is a LOT of people to please. In NXT, all you have to please is Triple H (under the watchful but hands off eye of Vince McMahon). You don’t need to do dumb skits to push your new toy line, or mention twitter constantly, or fill time to meet network requirements. In NXT, all you have to do is focus on getting the talent ready for the main roster. In this day and age when choice is in abundance, sometimes the best thing you can do is one thing really well. To use a restaurant analogy, without so many cooks in the kitchen, NXT can focus on putting out the best burger in the whole world, where as RAW has to prepare a four course meal every week. It makes a world of difference.
If you haven’t seen NXT yet, I highly recommend you find a way to watch it. There are actually a number of ways you can do so. Hulu carries episodes for US viewers and if you live outside of the United States, NXT is available in a number of different countries on regular cable. Now if you do have the WWE Network and you haven’t watched NXT yet? You’re really doing yourself a disservice by not giving it a chance.
I only touched on a small number of reasons why I think NXT is so popular. Maybe you have a different take, or an idea I missed? Maybe you just want to show NXT some love? No matter what you want to say, have your voice heard and use #WhyNXT
Photo from WWE.com
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