After another stunning TakeOver show, this time coming from Bridgeport, NXT is riding the wave of success.
It’s very often the highlight of my weekend when it comes along. This one felt unusual in that it happened in isolation rather than being associated with a main roster Pay-per-view. However, is NXT on the crest of a wave? What’s next for the Black and Yellow brand other than the much awaited collaboration with Wiz Khalifa? Does anyone other than me still remember this song? This and many more questions will be both posed and answered.
Firstly, can this level of success be sustained? Wrestling is experiencing a boom as a whole, and if as a company you aren’t moving forward, then you’re going to be left behind. I’m going to assume that Trips and friends will want to continue growing the NXT brand, but what can they do to progress? Here are my strategy points for the continuation of their success.
One strategy would be for NXT to make their shows two hours long. That could potentially leave the creative struggling to find material to fill the shows. Thus comes the second part of this strategy – incorporate the 205 Live brand to make a concerted show. If the cruiserweights were to be treated as part of the former’s roster, with the Cruiserweight title as another alternative singles title, this would help 205 Live immeasurably. It would also help the shows seem less rushed, as currently fitting as much material as NXT does into a solitary hour is difficult. Furthermore, having the cruiserweights as part of the NXT roster would enable a chance at character development and I would wager it would increase exposure for them as NXT is watched by more people than 205 Live.
Another stratagem would be to push some of the talent that aren’t regular features of the weekly programming. Wrestler one to push to the top would be the longest-reigning NXT UK titleholder and TWM favourite Pete Dunne. It’s without dispute that he’s a top level talent, having headlined War Games II, but since the inception of NXT UK he’s been largely missing from the show coming out of Full Sail University. He has shown that he can carry a brand, and to my mind him finishing his storyline with WALTER and Imperium can’t come soon enough.
The next wrestler I would push would be the mighty Babatunde. He’s been in NXT for a while, but he’s rarely been seen outside of one appearance at the Greatest Royal Rumble. He has all the look of a wrestler who would be pushed to the moon in WWE. There are suggestions that he is being paired with Court Moore as his manager and this combination needs screen-time and pronto.
The other wrestler that I would give a platform to is a man who starred this weekend just gone in his match with Velveteen Dream. That man is Tyler Breeze. He’s superbly talented and has had a full range of matches from working as part of the tag-team Breezango, as well as taking on Jushin Thunder Liger in TakeOver: Brooklyn. It’s not going too far to say that he has been underutilised in his time on the main roster so far. He could be doing so many great things, and as the Fashion Police, he had a niche. That didn’t last unfortunately, and Tyler has struggled to solidify his place as a singles competitor. My plea to WWE is that they make his transferral to NXT permanent.
In fact, I want them to go one further and have more main roster competitors move across to NXT and make that their home. I would also like NXT to no longer be implied to be lesser than Raw or Smackdown when they are collectively referred to as ‘Main Roster’. NXT is equally as tough as the Red or Blue brand and although its function is a feeder, to openly reference this cheapens the brand when they have some of the best output of WWE’s weekly shows. Henceforth – to get all legal – I’ll group Smackdown and Raw as Network TV as that’s the main distinction between them and NXT.
In treating NXT as on a par, it may encourage more talent sharing between the shows. If some of the wrestlers were encouraged to, they could even gain a new lease of life for potentially stale characters by moving to NXT.
That is my strategy for what NXT will do next, but only time will tell what they really do next. All I know is that I look forward to seeing how the best output from WWE progresses and develops. Long may TakeOvers continue to be the highlight of each weekend they’re involved in, and long may NXT blaze its trail.
You can find me on Twitter @PBWrites92. Thanks for reading.