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NXT, used to promote up-and-coming WWE talent, has been pre-taped and aired on the WWE Network for years. With the new move, it will be a live two-hour show starting at 8 p.m. That’s the same time AEW will be on TNT starting Oct. 2.
Did Vince McMahon and Co. do this intentionally to pull viewers away from AEW? It’s hard to tell, but wrestling fans have certainly been fanning the flames of another potential wrestling war. It’s been more than 20 years since WWE had any legitimate competition (sorry TNA, you just didn’t cut it).
The fans aren’t the only ones reacting to the news, as wrestling stars have made their opinions known on social media. Chris Jericho, former WWE champion who will face Adam “Hangman” Page on Aug. 31 in a bout to crown the inaugural AEW champ, implied AEW’s rising popularity caused Vince to make the move.
Congrats to @WWENXT for making the big move to the @USA_Network! Runners always race faster when somebody is right behind them. Gonna be fun to see which team the world decides to join! #ChooseJericho @AEWrestling @AEWonTNT
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) August 20, 2019
He also wasn’t the only AEW star to make a statement, as tag team The Young Bucks made their feelings known in a blunt tweet.
Perhaps one of the most interesting tweets came from AEW star Britt Baker, who is dating current NXT Champion Adam Cole (Bay Bay).
Battle of the messy buns and Wednesday nights. ??♀️ pic.twitter.com/8tUq18M0on
— Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. (@RealBrittBaker) August 20, 2019
Their dinnertime conversations will surely be interesting.
Can’t describe this announcement in any other word than PROUD.
Proud of everyone involved from day one.
Proud you’ve let your voice be heard and carried the banner of this brand.
Proud you’ve loudly & clearly said #WeAreNXT.
And I’m proud to say, we’re just getting started. https://t.co/GAF34LZGeT
— Triple H (@TripleH) August 20, 2019
Competition is always good for business, and it’ll be interesting to see which promotion wins the ratings war in the early weeks.