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Rob: WWE NXT to TV? What It Means And Why You Do It

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NXT allegedly moving to USA Network has brought up a lot of questions. With the help of the internet & things in my own mind I think I have a few answers.

Why Do It?

After kicking it around a bit on Twitter, I think we have an answer.  Namely, NXT is more valuable as a TV product than a WWE Network offering.  The weekly show isn’t among the highest viewed show on the Network now, so contrary to what you may think there isn’t a large contingent of people with network subscriptions who watch NXT weekly but don’t watch Raw or Smackdown.  On the other hand an NXT special that was on USA Network a couple of years ago got a million viewers on USA, a number that they would love to have on a Wednesday night.  Right now USA has one show in the top 50 on Wednesday night, and that show (Suits) is ending now.  And it only has one other show in the Top 150 for Wednesday.  So like TNT with AEW’s show, USA is in a position where anything is an improvement over what they’ll have to offer (TNT has zero shows in the Top 150 for Wednesday, by the way) on Wednesday night.  And while there will be some potential viewers lost to AEW, that’s going to go both ways, and both shows will be bolstered by DVR viewings (you can expect both companies to tout the Live + 7 numbers when it comes time to discuss viewership numbers).

But what about the Network?

“I mainly have the Network for NXT” is something I’ve seen people say on Twitter, but like I said earlier the viewership numbers for the NXT weekly show do not support that.  Yes, the Takeover shows do great but that’s it.  And those are still going to be on the Network so the idea that losing weekly NXT TV is a big thing is kinda false.  Now those people who don’t have cable will have a problem watching it but it more than likely will be on Hulu so that shouldn’t be an issue.  And as far as what could take the place of NXT’s spot on the schedule, there’s Evolve, Progress, WWE affiliated indie shows, or some kind of reworked version of 205 Live should it continue on.  So there’s no shortage of content to work with.

And now the million dollar question…….

WHAT ABOUT VINCE???

This has got to be the stupidest take that has been thrown out there since the discussion became a real thing, that somehow Vince McMahon was going to ‘ruin’ NXT if it went to TV because he and Kevin Dunn would reportedly be more involved in the production.  Seriously, no I mean really now, come the hell on.  I even took to asking just what exactly would Vince do to ‘ruin’ it, and the only answer I got was that he’d make it like Raw and Smackdown.  Of course these are the same people who, if you were to ask them just what’s so bad about Raw and Smackdown would just say that it’s sucks and that’s why they haven’t watched it in years.

For one, Vince’s ‘involvement’ would likely be on the TV production side.  NXT as it stands right now is not up to the standards of a weekly TV show on broadcast cable.  It’s a step above ROH for sure, but it looks pretty low budget compared to Raw and Smackdown.  And that matters whether you think so or not.  I showed an ROH TV show to someone who’d only watched WWE and the first thing they said was ‘that looks bootleg’.  And if we’re gonna keep it 100, it wouldn’t shock me in the least if some people passed on NXT as it is now for that same reason.  The other good thing is that having Vince around more would mean him getting more looks at the people there, which can in turn make for an easier transition to the main roster once they get called up.  You do want that, don’t you?

But if you’re worried that Vince is going to ‘take over’ NXT (see what I did there?), I have to ask what’s so great about the NXT weekly TV now?  Yes, every few weeks there’s a really good match, even a great one.  But if you’re going to be totally honest you’ll admit that Raw and Smackdown have those, too.  You worried Vince is going to rewrite everyone’s promos at the last minute?  That might be an improvement in some instances.  I mean yeah, there is some good promo work n NXT from some people but a lot of it is just adequate.  The whole ‘scripted promo’ thing is a convenient internet boogeyman that’s been blown way out of proportion and I bet the percentage of bad promos in 2019 isn’t much different than it was back in the day when we thought everyone came up with all their own stuff.  The idea that everything on NXT’s TV is so awesome right now and that Vince would just mess it all up is a joke.

So why do you really want it to stay as is?

Other than human nature, or not having cable, what’s your issue?  You can disagree but I don’t think the quality of the show is going to be affected.  I don’t think Vince is going to force Hunter to put a bunch of 300 pound guys at the top and squash all the smaller guys or run a succession of blondes as the women’s champion.  No, I think the hidden problem is that right now NXT has been a cool kids club, and that part of the charm and allure to said cool kids is the myth that Vince has nothing to do with it therefore it’s somehow better.  And I think that’s nonsense – first of all, Vince approves everything that gets broadcast and second of all, the TV is not better than Raw and Smackdown no matter what anyone on the internet tells you.  No, NXT’s weird existence just allows you to not feel like a square when you’re surrounded by indie wrestling loyalists who ask ‘how does anyone still watch WWE?’ and if Evil Vince gets involved any kind of way that illusion is gone up in smoke.

Well, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this…..ok, who am I kidding, I’m not sorry, but change is good.  It will look better, it will allow for more of NXT’s roster to get on TV, and it just might draw a bigger audience.  So please save all of your ‘the end is near’ takes until you actually watch the new version, ok?


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Cook’s Top 5: Miz Moments

Cook brings the most must see Top 5 of the week! Is it obvious or a MIZtery?

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The Miz WWE

This week is all about our new WWE Champion, The Miz!

Let’s be honest, Miz might not hold the Championship for too long. He’s got a big match with Bobby Lashley next week. We wish him luck, and maybe something unlikely will happen resulting in Miz holding on to the title longer than anybody expects. Still, I feel the need to get this particular edition of the Top 5 out there as soon as possible.

Here are the Top 5 Miz Moments!

5. Main Eventing WrestleMania

The match itself…not so great. Miz was obviously the third most important person in the match. He also suffered a concussion. But the guy still main evented WrestleMania and beat John Cena, which is something that not too many other people can say. This will remain Miz’s biggest WrestleMania match unless they get Bad Bunny to wrestle him this year.

4. A Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler

Miz & Ziggler have quite a bit in common. Both hail from the Cleveland area. Both prefer to think of themselves as being from Hollywood. They’re both egotistical characters that make up for what they might lack in size with ego. They’ve been in WWE forever with limited changes to their character, pretty much on the same level of the card. Naturally, they get along pretty well & have good chemistry.

2016 saw the best incarnation of their on-screen issues, with Miz & Ziggler trading the Intercontinental Championship back & forth. The Ladder Match ending the feud at TLC is considered by most to be Miz’s best match. I don’t have a ton of other options off the top of my head, so we’ll go with that.

3. The First MITB Cash-In

You always remember your first. At this point in time, much like here in 2021, Miz wasn’t seen as the most believable choice to be WWE Champion. However, the man had a briefcase, and, importantly, this was back before the briefcase gimmick was completely run into the ground. So when Miz ran down at the end of Raw to cash in on Randy Orton, it got a tremendous reaction.

People were either really happy or really angry. I was on the angry side of the spectrum, especially since I had a cold and was writing a news column during all of this. Man, I remember when the week or so a year I would a cold was the only time I really felt like crap.

What can I say, Miz has grown on me over the years.

2. Feuding with The King

A lot of old school wrestling fans found it hard to believe that The Miz had become WWE Champion when more deserving wrestlers from their childhood never had been. Heck, Jerry Lawler, a God of Memphis rasslin who piledrove Andy Kaufman into oblivion, had never even gotten a shot at that title, even though he’d worked for WWE for nearly twenty years. Seemed wrong to a lot of people, but nobody expected that wrong to be addressed.

Lawler was celebrating his sixty-first birthday the week after Miz defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. One thing led to another, and Lawler got his very first WWE Championsgip opportunity. In a TLC match! They got the fans believing that Lawler could win the title…until that pesky Michael Cole kept Lawler from climbing further up the ladder.

It was nice to see the King get another important run on WWE television long after we thought it was possible. A large part of the reason it was possible? The Miz. He portrayed himself as just beatable enough that the title change could happen. Also held up his end of the bargin in the promos, which was never easy for Lawler’s opponents.

I know everybody likes a title change, but this was the best work Miz did during his first WWE Championship reign by a wide margin.

Honorable Mention: Marrying Maryse

You knew I had to mention this, right?

1. Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan

I’ve always been a Daniel Bryan guy. Back when he was Miz’s “rookie” on NXT, I thought the idea that Miz would have something to teach him was a bit outrageous. It was an interesting pairing though, and the Miz/Bryan relationship/rivalry has provided plenty of compelling moments over the years.

None moreso than the night where Miz did something that a lot of people didn’t think was possible: make himself seem right & Daniel Bryan seem wrong. The way Miz defended himself in this tirade was pretty much impossible to argue with. Maybe Miz doesn’t wrestle the way that hardcore wrestling fans would like, but he is pretty much the prototypical WWE Superstar of his era. He always works hard, is never hurt, and you don’t have to worry about him embarrassing himself or the company.

This promo raised Miz’s character to another level at the time, and definitely added some fuel to the fire for Bryan’s eventual return. If you want to see one Miz promo that sums up who he is & was, this would be it.


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Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE Elimination Chamber 2021

Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!

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WWE Elimination Chamber 2021 Kevin Owens Jey Uso

Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!

Due to the short build between the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, there was a general lack of excitement from fans heading into the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View, especially with the lack of established matches on the card. Despite this, the Elimination Chamber was still a solid show to watch, mainly due to both chamber matches being fun to watch, with the last chamber match, having a shocking but awesome twist.  So as we leave the Elimination Chamber and take yet another step forward on the Road to WrestleMania, let us look at the top 5 moments that stood out on this short but solid show.

5. Riddle becomes United States Champion

Heading into this match, it seemed highly unlikely that Riddle would beat the United States Champion, Bobby Lashley. Even though the match was a triple threat match and Riddle did not have to pin Lashley to win the title, fans had seen Riddle lose to Bobby time and time again, making it seem the only real threat to Lashley’s title reign in the match was Keith Lee. However after Lee was taken out and John Morrison won a match on the pre-show earlier in the night, things seemed somewhat possible for Riddle.

All three men looked good in this match, as Lashley dominated the start of the match, helping fans get their breath back from the opening Elimination Chamber. This would force Riddle and John Morrison to team up on Lashley, despite being teamed up on Lashley would fight back and seemed to have things won as he put the hurt lock on John Morrison, only for Riddle to attack Lashley with the crutch belonging to MVP and pin John Morrison to become United States Champion

Yet again, special credit has to be given to MVP as a manager, he serves a purpose and actually looks like he’s being effective in helping Lashley. An example of this was MVP encouraging Lashley to stay outside the ring to recover as Riddle and Morrison treaded blows inside the ring.

4. The Tribal Chief reigns supreme for now

Instead of defending the Universal Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns would use his power to face the winner of the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match, straight after the match. This was yet another great heel move from Roman as it once again showed how much power he has backstage due to his bloodline and role as a main-event player.

After Daniel Bryan survived a brutal chamber match, Roman Reigns would come out straight after the match, giving Daniel Bryan little time to recover. Roman would go to spear Daniel, only for Daniel to reverse it into the Yes Lock, making the impossible seem possible, only for Roman to counter and punish Daniel, locking in the guillotine for the win.

After holding the Universal Title, Roman would be hit with a spear by Edge, who seemed to copy Roman from earlier on SmackDown as he whispered in Roman’s ear, before pointing to the WrestleMania sign, giving fans his answer on who he’s gonna face at WrestleMania.

3. An Awesome finish

After The Miz won the Money In The Bank briefcase at Hell In A Cell against Otis, it seemed like every Pay-Per-View he would give Drew McIntyre a threat, stating he was going to cash in, however as time went on, it seemed more unlikely he would ever successfully cash in the Money In The Bank briefcase and win the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre.

Each after he pulled out of the Elimination Chamber match, it still seemed unlikely Miz would cash in successfully, especially with it being so close to WrestleMania. However, after we saw backstage footage of The Miz talking to MVP backstage before the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, things started to become interesting.

After McIntyre had won the Elimination Chamber match to retain his WWE Championship, Bobby Lashley would come out and dominate Drew, leaving The Miz to cash in on Drew, allowing Miz to win the WWE Championship, putting a massive twist on the Road to WrestleMania.

2. McIntyre survives the Elimination Chamber   

The Elimination Chamber match was filled with heaps of sub feuds, especially with the WWE Champion, Drew Mcintyre who had old rivals in Randy Orton and AJ Styles, as well as a new feud with his former best friend Sheamus, despite this, Drew would keep a level head and dominate everyone in the match, before eventually hitting a claymore on AJ Styles to win the match and retain his title before The Miz would cash in.

Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton would start the match before Drew would come in and dominate both men. Kofi Kingston would come in next and hit Orton with a roll-up to score a shock elimination. Orton would RKO both Hardy and Kofi, allowing Styles to have an advantage as Omos helped destroy his pod, so Styles could enter early in the match. Kofi would be eliminated by Sheamus, as well as Hardy who was eliminated by Drew.

AJ, Sheamus and Drew would trade blows, with Sheamus hitting Drew with a Brogue kick, only for Styles to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Sheamus to eliminate him. With Drew now battered and broken Styles would attempt a Phenomenal Forearm on Drew, only for Drew to hit a Claymore Kick in mid-air to survive and win a great Elimination Chamber match.

1. Daniel Bryan goes the distance 

Despite the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship being a great match I personally found the opening chamber match earlier in the night much more enjoyable. It felt much more smooth and natural than the later chamber match with all 6 men involved looking strong with Daniel Bryan, being the clear MVP of the match as he entered the chamber first with fellow dark horse Cesaro and went on to win his third Elimination Chamber match.

Cesaro and Daniel would start things off slow as they entered the match first. King Corbin would then come out, followed by an irate Sami Zayn who could not believe we entered forth. Corbin would be the first eliminated after Cesaro put him the Sharpshooter. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso would then come out with Owens eliminating Sami. As Sami exited the ring Jey would trap Kevin’s arm in the Chamber door, superkicking him then eliminating him.

Cesaro would then mount a comeback only for Jey to ruin his momentum as he superkicked Cesaro and hit a splash to eliminate him. Jey would then attempt a splash of a wounded Bryan, only for Bryan to get his knees up and hit Jey with the running knee to win the Elimination Chamber match.

These were my top 5 moments from the Elimination Chamber. What were your top 5 moments and what did you think of both Elimination Chamber matches? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 


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