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NXT, do they not get it?

Scott,

Big fan, longtime reader. You had an emailer a couple weeks ago with the premise of "Do they not get it that...?"

Along those lines, do they not get it that a big part of the appeal of NXT is the fact that it is only an hour long show, once a week, and they have their special events every 2 months? Thus the same guys aren't shoved down our throats 5 hours every week, every month. Thus their bodies and characters will last longer?

Do you think they will ever relinquish the antiquated mindset that a wrestler HAS to appear every week and they HAVE to have a special event once a month? How much better would it be to have a wrestler only appear every 3 weeks on Raw and have slow burn feuds lasting a year?

Are you like me and long for the days of no Smackdown, no Main Event, no Superstars, and a just an 60-90 minute Raw? If I know you well enough reading your stuff for years, that will be a definite Yes.

​Yeah, but the TV business is a lot different now, and so is the entire business model.  The Monday Night Wars triggered an arms race and you can't just go back to an hour without destroying the whole business at this point. I'd like to think that everyone can understand that.  Should they go back to 2 hours.  YES.  Going back to 1 would pretty much signal the death of the company, though.  

I love NXT, but I love it as a nice alternative to the current product, not as something that's going to support stadium shows.  It would be like what happened when ECW tried to go national in 99.  Chaos everywhere, dogs and cats living together, etc.  ​

Comments

  1. Yeah, speaking as someone who loves NXT, its model cannot be replicated on the bigger stage because it's such a radical departure from the norm that a large audience wouldn't get it. That doesn't excuse WWE never thinking outside the box on Raw/Smackdown, though.

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  2. Some things just work better on a smaller stage.

    See: Rose, Adam

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  3. I'm dying to get down to Full Sail to check them out in person, or see them locally in Philly if they start touring. I've been a wrestling fan for 26 years, and NXT has me excited about seeing live professional wrestling in a way I haven't been in over a decade.

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  4. Some of the NTX model can be replicated. There is no need for stop-start pushes, commentators burying the product, putting Casaro over15 wrestlers on Sunday night and then stripping him of his most over move the next night. Cena doesn't have to win every fued, wrestlers don't have to job to exploding TV sets and the secondary titles don't have to be treated like crap. None of these things has anything to do with the business model; they because the company is run a senile old man and the writing team are a bunch of sleep deprived morons.

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  5. I just listened to Austin's podcast with Cena. It was taped after Royal Rumble '14. If Cena's answers are indicative of the company's overall thought process then they really don't get it. There is such a huge disconnect between WWE and the outside world that I'm wondering if anyone will ever be able to bridge the gap.


    It's quite obvious that the people running NXT have no connection to the WWE office's. It's like the Yankees New York division vs their Tampa division. Btw, why do the Yankees have a Tampa office?

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  6. "Do you think they will ever relinquish the antiquated mindset that a wrestler HAS to appear every week and they HAVE to have a special event once a month? How much better would it be to have a wrestler only appear every 3 weeks on Raw and have slow burn feuds lasting a year?"

    As always when this is brought up, I must remind you, e-mailer, that the entire reason the brand split ended is because USA told the WWE "uh, we need all your stars on every episode of Raw. How you make that happen is your problem."

    So, no, unless WWE weekly TV moves somewhere where there's no outside influence (like the Network, which would put the entire product behind a paywall, end the influx of cash from the TV rights and destroy the company in short order), there will never be a time where they only have guys appear every 3 weeks.

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  7. Also: Enzo/Cass, the Vaudevillains, Tyler Breeze...

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  8. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonMarch 8, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    I usually go to see Impact when I go to Orlando but I'm going to try to get to Full Sail next time I go down.

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  9. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonMarch 8, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    I actally hope that they are smart enough to keep NXT in the smaller venues like an indy promotion.

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  10. It's amazing and sad how many of these people who e-mail Scott just don't get how wrestling works.

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  11. Because a lot of old New Yorkers live in Florida

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  12. I don't understand why you can't work the 5 hour format in a reasonable way. Just break it down so that you have your time broken down into hour per division (for example)

    1- Main Event
    2- US/IC
    3- Midcard/Lower Midcard
    4- Tag
    5- Divas

    And just adjust as needed. Even on a 3 hour RAW (how much actual time is that without commercials?) you would only give the Main Event (if they don't appear on Smackdown) 20 minutes per hour. That's for matches, promos, angles, etc...

    And I'm talking about your main event stars, not just the main event program.

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  13. Never heard it. Can you give me the short version?

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  14. Yes, I'm sure the e would love to lose 75% of their revenue.

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  15. It's not about how much tv time they have, it's what they do with that time.

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  16. Oprah NoodlemantraMarch 8, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    Impossible! The first hour needs the 20+ minute Steph and Hunter interview where they say so much and yet say so little.

    Plus all their other segments...you need to add Authority to the title list. :)

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  17. Why would they want to do that? That's like 3/4 of all their money?

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  18. For me the perfect amount of current WWE product is 3 hours per month. The PPV. Anything else, eh no thanks, too crappy. But I'll watch the PPVs for sure if they are just going to give them away for free the back library. Why not? Although I still haven't seen Fastlane.

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  19. Austin asked about the crowd and Cena said something to the effect of "It was only like 1,000 fans that wanted to be the show and me and Randy got em back by the end. I wish I had the power to produce Daniel Bryan but I don't. He wasn't in the plan and I have no control over it." Not an exact quote but close enough

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  20. Even if the WWE wants Raw to got to a two hour show they can't, the network is the one that got them to extend to three hours not WWE.

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  21. There's a certain charm to small scale shows in almost any form of entertainment that you just can't hold onto when you move to larger venues.

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  22. The smaller stage argument lets creative off the hook for dropping the ball. Adam Rose would have worked fine if the WWE had given him something to do outside of just having Rosebuds and a lollipop. That's like surviving on garnish.

    I heard the same arguments about Punk, Bryan and Rollins when they were in ROH.

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  23. They can go back if they want... they just don't want. The 3rd hour of RAW represents something like $40 million of that contract they signed with NBCUniversal. Going back to 2 hours just means giving up a dumptruck full of money and that ain't happening.

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  24. You really can just watch PPV to PPV now more than any time in the past. They've made their TV irrelevant. At most just watch RAW the night after the PPV and you'll get what minor changes will lead to the next PPV. The following 3 weeks of TV are just remixes of that first show, which was itself 50% rematches from the PPV.

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  25. This. Three hours of Nitro were never boring, because they had a ton of stars and they let the midcard and cruiserweights do what they want and they didn't restricted everybody to work the same way.

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  26. That's funny, because on one side we complain about that 3 hours of RAW is too much but we also complain aboit 20 minute+ McMahon/Helmsley interviews, which means, that usually 1/3 of the show isn't wrestling at all...

    Remember that when they would cut RAW down to 2 hours, we still would get 20 minute+ interviews.

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  27. While I fully support going back to 2 hour RAWs -- and I'm sure most in WWE would agree -- what works on NXT isn't necessarily going to work on the main roster.

    It's also a lot more about the bottomline (and not because Stone Cold said so). If WWE can be a more profitable company with five hours of weekly TV instead of four, WWE will have five hours of TV. They have to justify that losing that third hour of RAW will boost ratings/ad revenues for the two remaining in order to cut it.

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  28. It has all been said, but I will summarize and possibly add something new. WWE isn't going to cut down TV. Revenue is revenue. So what you are left with is figuring out how to use those 5 hours of TV (Raw and SD, not getting into main Event or Superstars). Also we have established that USA demands the "big names" are featured prominently. Now to what level of meddling USA is doing? That's open to debate, but has been noted that several years ago they pressed for big stars on each Raw and more McMahons. Now is that the case today? Hard to say. Some folks claim USA just wants the best show possible, but much like clueless TV execs who still saw Hogan as wrestling long past his shelf date expired, "best show possible" may very well still mean McMahons and Cena ad nauseum to Bonnie Hammer and other USA execs with connections to Raw.


    So if you accept that they have to show big stars and do 5 hours of TV, including a 3 hour Raw, then work within that system. First off, simply build more big stars. Make more guys matter so that it doesn't have to be Cena and McMahons all the time. Second, continue the old school type booking of NXT. Third, don't be afraid to switch up how matches work. This requires a few "CJ Parkers" to get beat. Stop using your IC champ or your upper card guys like Ziggler to do jobs. Leave that to a cadre of lower card guys. Third, make a return to Vince Russo (the ONLY thing you want from Ruso) and make sure your entire roster has distinct characters. Fourth drop the legacy crap. No more talking about putting on great matches. Talk about winning. No more pointing to WM signs or talking about "stealing the show." You want to win matches, win titles, and get paid. That is how you present the product, mixed with personal feuds over issues.
    Cut down on the in ring promos and use more of the short, NXT style backstage interviews and quickie vignettes. Often times a well thought out 90 second promo is more effective in painting a character and a feud than a rambling 20 minute promo that drags and is obviously mostly about setting up a match for the main event (because professional companies always put on shows with no clue what the card will be {insert eyeroll}). Finally eliminate the heel authority figures and go with a William Regal type GM who is relatively neutral and expresses a genuine desire to see his wresters succeed and not have his promotion descend into chaos.


    It is possible to improve Raw despite the fact that until he retires Cena will get his screentime and Raw will be 3 hours. It ain't going to change, but you can certainly book better, put on more variety, create more guys who don't lose constantly, etc.

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  29. One of the things I liked about Impact back when I used to watch TNA is that not every top guy was on the show every week. One week may not have Jeff and RVD, the next no Angle and Bubba, and so forth. It did a great job in making each appearance feel fresh and not trotting them out each week just because they're there, which is how I feel about Orton, a guy I like but doesn't need to be there every week

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  30. USA Network: We need all your stars on every episode of Raw.

    WWE: (thinks about it) OK. You'll see Cena, Triple H, Stephanie, Big Show and Kane every week.

    USA Network: (confused) That's ALL your stars?

    WWE: Yes. We'll make sure of that.

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  31. USA Network: What about this Daniel Bryan guy?

    WWE: Not a star. B+ player at best.

    USA Network: What about this Roman Reigns fella?

    WWE: Well, "Fella" is actually Sheamus...but he's not really a star either. And, as far as Roman Reigns goes...we'll give him some stupid things to say and not make him look cool. Shouldn't need to worry about him.

    USA Network: We're not "worried" about him. We'd actually like it if you HAD more stars.

    WWE: Well, we could ask the New Age Outlaws to come back...

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  32. Battle Kat LitterMarch 8, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    "dogs and cats living together"

    MASS HYSTERIA!

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  33. You lost me at no more sign pointing.

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  34. I have seen shit that will turn you white

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  35. Those three-hour Nitros were also overall, let's not look at things through rose-coloured glasses

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  36. He lost me at the "everyone has said this before" :)

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  37. This, a thousand times over. Take CHIKARA and put it in a 12,000 seat venue? It does a horrible death, even if the place is packed (somehow). 50% of NXT is a slightly less silly CHIKARA.

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  38. I gotta assume a lot of guys just didn't want tobtake the Swing. Its gotta be hell on your knees, probably takes a ton of core strength, and speaking personally i'd yak all over the ring if I tried to do it. I would never be a Swing victim.

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  39. Nah. It was a huge mistake to go "small" with his debut (still have no clue what they were thinking going "small" with such an over-the-top act), but it's a one-note character. Same thing with Fandango. Stuff like that can attain a cult following on a small stage in front of the same people week to week, but it's gonna get dismissed in short order once it goes national.

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  40. yeah nitro was better at 2 hours

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  41. Anyone else think that maybe Tyler Breeze should start...I don't know...hitting people with the selfie stick?

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  42. Sometimes it's literally the same angles ,just with worse ring work on NXT.
    But yeah,a lot of what I like about Chikara is diving out of the way so I don't get landed on by a wrestler. Vince can't do that without lawsuits. Cena's not going to stand around and sell you t-shirts in character ,he's got a mansion to get back to.

    I'm not even holding it against WWE,it's just life. I've met the Misfits after a show,but I'll never meet Metallica.

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  43. You live in Philly,you've got plenty of access to indy wrestling.

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  44. When was there no Siperstars and a 1 hour Raw? I'm 35 and I don't remember it ever being like this guy is saying. Pre Raw there was a1 hour Superstars,1 hour All American ,1 hour Wrestling Challenge,and a 2 hour (?) Prime Time. And it was all endless jobber squashes.

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  45. That's me now. I watch NXT every week + the NXT specials and then just the "WWE" PPVs. And frankly even some of the PPVs are slog to watch - if it hadn't been for the final match I'd have switched Fastlane off an hour in from sheer boredom.

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  46. Harlan Leverage IIIMarch 9, 2015 at 1:10 AM

    My gut tells me Tyler Breeze will be fine. "Pretty Boy Heel" is an evergreen character.

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  47. Yes its true..... this man has dick

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  48. They could tape RAW and SD as if it is one 5 hour show, so that not everybody will be in it.

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  49. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 9, 2015 at 4:54 AM

    I recommend watching Superstars. It's only an hour long, it recaps all of the salient points from Raw, and the latest episode has ZACH RYDER in a featured match.


    It's the Raw that everyone who is sick of Raw clamours for.

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  50. "Ween" Dean AndrewsMarch 9, 2015 at 4:56 AM

    Best comment.

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  51. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!March 9, 2015 at 6:42 AM

    He said he wants to see NXT. Not flippity-flops and fat morons hitting other fat morons with garbage cans.

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  52. Belee_Matt!_INDEED!!!March 9, 2015 at 6:42 AM

    ....which doesn't even work all that well on a smaller stage.


    See: Rose, Adam

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  53. Yeah I know the quote just fucked up typing it. Posting while drunk = mistakes lol

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  54. TheOriginalDonaldMarch 9, 2015 at 8:56 PM

    That's where they have their spring training.

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