by, 08-30-2011 at 01:03 AM (3190 Views)
With NXT not showing any sign that it will come to an end and have a definitive winner, is it time to move on to the next level of NXT?
When Vince McMahon and the WWE conceptualized the NXT show, is it possible that they had no end game in sight? NXT started in February 23, 2010, replacing ECW. After a 4 year run, ECW was not producing the same ratings, which prompted Vince McMahon to make a decision that ECW was going to be replaced by a new show which would be the “next evolution of WWE; the next evolution of television history”. On February 9, 2010, it was announced that the title of the new show was going to be NXT, and that the last ECW show will be on February 16. So on February 23, the world was introduced to NXT.
NXT is a hybrid of reality television and WWE scripted programming. Each comprises of a set amount of wrestlers who are paired with WWE Superstar, called Pros, serving as mentors. From season 1 to season 2, the rules of the competition changed from the Pros determining the winner to the Pros and the WWE Universe determining the winner. Season 3 and 4 followed the same format. Now we are in season 5, but apparently things have changed.
The uniqueness of NXT is that it was a “time-based” wrestling competition. Unlike RAW or Smackdown, where the wrestlers are involved in storyline-after-storyline, NXT had a definite end, or should I say it used to have a definite end. Season 1 of NXT ran for 15 weeks. Season 2, 3, and 4 ran for 13 weeks. Currently being in season 5 which started on March 8, 2011, the show has gone beyond the 13 weeks and has yet to give a hint that the season will finally end.
THE PURPOSE OF THE SHOW:
When WCW and ECW were bought by WWE, so was gone any viable competition to the WWE product. Without any competition, there is no way to gauge your level of success since no alternative product was being offered to the public. Since WWE had the sole wrestling product for the people, television ratings and overall revenue went down. This prompted WWE to create separate brands under the WWE banner. At that time, it was RAW, Smackdown, and ECW. Ideally, a certain number of wrestlers were designated to one of the three brands and these wrestlers would only perform on their respective shows. It was set-up this way so as to create a variety of wrestling shows for the public. This wasn’t always the case as sometimes wrestlers would show-up being using on another show aside from their designated show. All the while, ECW was also considered at the bottom of the totem pole, and with it being on a smaller cable network, ratings were never high.
Another drawback of the lack of competition is that there were fewer places where wrestlers can hone their skills and can improve in the ring. In the mid-2000s, many of wrestlers that were signed to developmental contracts with the WWE tend to have had a few years experience in the ring on the independent circuit. So, it wasn’t that hard for the WWE to find people who can perform well in the squared circle. Now, with WWE’s constant push to find more unknowns whom they can mold into the WWE product, we tend to find more developmental wrestlers in the WWE, who are far from the quality of wrestling that the WWE Universe has been accustom to.
With experience being the best teacher, there had to be a way to test the up-and-coming WWE Superstars in a way that explains their lack of showmanship in front of a WWE audience. So, with a dying ECW show and a number of wrestlers who have yet to gain in-ring-WWE-Arena experience, the NXT was born. Any flaws that these contestants would have in front of a live audience would be explained as them being Rookies.
The start of NXT appeared to have met it’s purpose for the WWE. It gave exposure to new WWE wrestlers. It gave them the opportunity to work in an arena with thousands of thousands of viewers. It gave the higher ups the opportunity to see who had to potential of being on Raw or Smackdown. The problem with NXT was that it created a new Superstar under the show, but when they arrived to Raw or Smackdown, their shine was dulled because they were used as jobbers. That made the time and effort they invested in these wrestlers counter-productive.
Also, being a rookie and promoted ahead of long time veterans rubbed many veterans the wrong way with many opting to leave the WWE for other promotions. Of course, no one can tell Vince McMahon who he should and should not promote, but these problems are seen by many of the WWE Universe who constantly complain regarding these problems. If the problems are not addressed, this will only turn away people from watching WWE programming.
Another problem with NXT is that there is only a certain number of developmental wrestlers in the farm league at FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling). There will be a time when there is not enough wrestlers to enter the next season of NXT.
The best compromise is to elevate NXT 1.0 (being a competition) to NXT 2.0 (being an independent brand with it’s own title). For those who are keeping up with NXT, we can already see how those involved are getting away from foolish competitive games like an obstacle course or question-answer games. Storylines have begun to develop amongst the competing contestants. Though we are reminded that this is a competition, there is very little acknowledgement as to when the competition will end. This can only go on for so long. It’s been far beyond the 13-Week time frame like the previous seasons. Apparently, the WWE is stuck at this point in the competition and have yet to decide as to where to go from here. This is where transitioning from a competition to it’s own brand with a title will make complete sense.
The only way for a future WWE Superstar to reach the next level is by working with/against another future WWE Superstar. Only by testing your talents against another person can a WWE Superstar find his voice and his personality. Only by playing that created storyline can you see if it the two wrestlers can get over with the audience. If either of them get over with the audience, then we know that they can hold their own on Smackdown or Raw. If they do not get over, then it is better that the WWE have known this rather than promoting them to Smackdown or RAW and having them fail.
With the RAW and Smackdown being stacked, there are many fan favorites who are not in the main event story angles or on TV. To put a Rookie into a main storyline ahead of these fan favorites only angers the fans. When fans are angry, they turn off the TV and do not buy tickets. So, by keeping the rookies on NXT in a feud and letting them gain the fan support on that level, the fans will not be so turned off when the time comes when he or she is promoted to RAW or Smackdown.
Also, transitioning NXT from a competition to a show (NXT 2.0) would eliminate the need to continuously find new contestants for the next season. If there are any FCW talents who show promise or if any of the higher ups want to see that person react in front of a live arena audience, NXT 2.0 would give them that opportunity to test the waters. NXT 2.0 would be the perfect buffer between FCW and RAW or Smackdown.
Right now is the perfect time to transition NXT 1.0 to NXT 2.0. With Triple H as the COO, he is also in charge of NXT. With “The Board of Directors” not having “confidence” with Vince McMahon, it is Triple H’s duty to fix anything that the “Board” deems not working. So, the show announces that it will now declare a winner. Before the winner is announced, Triple H shows up on NXT and vents his disgust over the show. He does a promo on how obstacle courses and word games are NOT what make a person a WWE Superstar. He puts the blame on Matt Striker. Matt Striker says that he’s only following what he was told to do. Triple H says that, that was during Vince’s time and that the Board wanted him (Triple H) to fix this, and since he (Matt) was in charge to over see it and doing a piss-poor job, he tells Matt to FIX IT or else he’s fired. From that point on, Matt becomes the GM and comes up with an NXT Championship Belt. He says all the NXT Redemption Contestants are now going to have a tournament for the belt. After that, NXT 1.0 has now become NXT 2.0. Also, to get a NXT 2.0 wrestler to go to Raw or Smackdown, their roster can be a part of the WWE Draft which is done after Wrestlemania.
Thanks for reading my fantasy booker plans. Only if, right? Feel free to leave your comments below.