In a perhaps not all that surprising announcement, WWE announced, in a Survivor Series teaser, that this year’s PPV would continue the theme of brand vs brand as it has ever since the company reinstituted the brand split in 2016. The surprise, however, came in the form of a third brand entering the fray as for the first time ever, Survivor Series will feature SmackDown vs Raw vs NXT.
If having their own specials, selling out huge arenas such as the Barclays Center, the formation of NXT UK, absorption of 205 Live, getting their own television deal, the return of Finn Balor…If all of that wasn’t enough to convince you of something Triple H has been espousing for a long time now, that NXT is a third brand, equal to Raw and SmackDown, then maybe their PPV debut in the form of Survivor Series will be.
#RAW vs. #SmackDown… vs. @WWENXT?!#SurvivorSeries streams LIVE Sunday, November 24, at 7e/4p on @WWENetwork! pic.twitter.com/AUkVe4LIV4
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) October 31, 2019
And maybe just maybe, the term “developmental” as it relates to NXT, as well as the idea of superstar “call-ups” can finally be put to rest.
“…At the same time, the developmental term makes it sound almost less than, and the, I don’t even like the word ‘call up.’ It just sounds, it’s wrong. There’s three brands to me within the WWE,” Triple H said in a recent interview with Sportskeeda. “It’s just a different brand. There are three global touring brands. Legitimately. And that’s really what it is.”
From the moment NXT aired its first TakeOver special, it was clear that this product was on its way to being something extraordinary and special. It set out to give fans something different, a unique experience. And it absolutely did just that as NXT offered somewhat of an indie feel but with the slick WWE production. The stories were told exceptionally well and the talent represented the future of not just WWE but the entire wrestling industry. Then, it was customary for wrestlers to receive their call-ups to what was considered the big leagues of Raw or SmackDown. But while that was the terminology used, NXT felt for a very long time, like a superior product. It wasn’t a minor league entity by any stretch of the imagination. And as the years went by, the more obvious that became.
The opportunity to be part of Survivor Series is no doubt an incredible one and just the next step in NXT’s evolution. Sure, the black-and-yellow brand started out as a developmental system for WWE to both groom homegrown talent as well as show indie veterans the WWE style. But, that was years ago. As evidenced now by the return of Balor to the brand that made him among WWE fans, NXT is a third brand, one that stands as an equal to Raw and SmackDown. So when it comes to a battle for brand supremacy as Survivor Series has become, NXT absolutely deserves a seat at the table.
At this point, it is unclear how NXT will factor into Survivor Series and whether or not their involvement with the show will change anything about how the prior night’s TakeOver: War Games would be presented. All that is known now is that Survivor Series 2019 will be a historic night, and perhaps, one of the biggest ever for NXT. But if the versus formula remains, that means Survivor Series could feature a series of triple threats. Imagine, Brock Lesnar vs The Fiend vs Adam Cole. Or Bayley vs Becky Lynch vs Shayna Baszler. Or AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura vs Roderick Strong. The dream matches that could happen are no doubt to have fans excited about the prospect of NXT’s involvement in the PPV.
The sky is the limit for the black-and-yellow and they’ll have a chance to showcase that in front of a PPV audience for the first-time come November 24th.