Favourite Five

Five Reasons AEW is better than NXT

Daniel McIver gives us five reasons why AEW is better than NXT.

The wrestling landscape is currently split in two over in North America; with a battle-ready to commence come October.

In one corner you have NXT- WWE’s developmental brand with some of the best in-ring performers in the world and a reputation that cements it as one of the best wrestling products on the planet. The other, the newcomer- All Elite Wrestling with…ok ALSO some of the best in-ring performers in the world. But this article is going to detail why I personally think AEW could be better than NXT come this fall.

5. New Faces

This is a bit of an unfair one on NXT but is one of the biggest ‘aces in the hand’ of Tony Khan’s men. WWE’s performance center has simultaneously managed to produce some of the best athletes in the industry today; most notably Velveteen Dream, but also has brought in a boatload of talent from the independent scene. Therefore, many people may be bored of seeing the same people week in, week out. So what do AEW have to offer?

An entire locker room full of untapped potential. Sure, a lot of people know who Cody, The Bucks, PAC, Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho are but apart from that, most wrestlers are nameless to the wider audience. Therefore, it means fans watching for the first time over the first few months, they can be introduced to fantastic talents such as Derby Allin, Private Party, Nyla Rose, Priscilla Kelly, Orange Cassidy and countless more.

4. ‘Work-rate focused’

Whenever someone mentions NXT, the first thought that comes to mind is the idea that WWE’s developmental brand caters to the wrestling fan that cares about the in-ring work above all else. The more ‘hardcore’ of their fanbase. And while this is certainly true (I mean, just look at how good NXT Takeovers are from a purely in-ring perspective), take that perception and multiply it by ten when it comes to the All Elite boys.

When AEW was founded, Nick and Matt Jackson stated that they wanted to ‘Make tag-team wrestling must see again’. Cody stated that they wanted to offer the best wrestling on the planet and Tony Khan said they wanted to be the difference. And with their locker room and fan perception- they absolutely can do that.

3. TV-14

I’m not going to spend too much time on this because I hate the argument of ‘BAH, PG IS RUBBISH AND WRESTLING WILL NEVER BE GOOD UNTIL WE GO BACK TO THE ATTITUDE ERA’ because it’s just plainly false.

Some of the best storylines in recent memory have operated under PG restrictions (Daniel Bryan’s journey ahead of WrestleMania XXX and Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa instantly spring to mind). But, it is clear to see from recent All Elite Wrestling shows that TV-14 has added to their story-lines. Moments such as the Dustin/Cody match, the hardcore aspect of the PPVs and the reality of stories told could not be as prevalent under PG rules. So whilst not a major aspect, it’s still there.

2. Clear storylines

Again, you’ll look at this point and think “What are you talking about? NXT stories are great” and you’d be right. NXT doesn’t suffer, generally, from the same afflictions, the WWE main roster does when it comes to telling stories but I can honestly say, apart from literally anything Gargano is involved in, I haven’t been invested in anything NXT has done as much as I have with Cody vs. Dustin. The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Brothers. Cody vs. Spears. Every major story, so far, that Khan’s men and women have produced has felt real, raw and made me invest much more than their counterparts over at Full Sail.

Additionally, NXT weekly TV is not must see. You can easily just watch the Takeovers and fully appreciate and understand everything going on. Obviously, going to two hours with live programming and competition will change that but it has meant that, for a number of years, the weekly television product hasn’t been anything special.

1. Hunger

This is my main point. Many people will look at this list and say “He clearly hates NXT and is just a massive AEW fan” which honestly couldn’t be further from the truth. As of right now, NXT is the only WWE programming I consume due to how much I love it. I think it’s the best brand of wrestling in the world and has been for several years.

However, All Elite Wrestling have a point to prove. They’re the underdogs. They’re the ones who people are desperate to see fail due to either who’s running it, who’s working for them or just because they don’t want to see competition. As a result- this creates a hunger, will, desire and drive that NXT just won’t have, at least in the short term.

When The Young Bucks and Cody stated they’d sell out the Sears Center last year, many doubted them. And they did it. When they announced they were going to form their own wrestling promotion, many expected them to fail. And it hasn’t. So on October 4th, when AEW comes to TNT, they’re going to be coming with a starving hunger that NXT has to match, otherwise, it could be a shaky couple of initial months for the black and gold brand.

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