Next wee could be pro wrestlings most significant in a long time. I hesitate to say ever, because that’s a really heavy statement, and I am not a historian. I don’t want to gloss over those eras and events from the past that I either do not know as well, or at all. So to keep it simple, we can probably all agree that next week sure looks to be a big one, no?
We’ve got the “season premiere” of Monday Night RAW  (that notion is funny, since RAW has no off-season). NXT has it’s first full show entirely on the USA Network. All Elite Wrestling is making it’s debut on television. And on Friday, SmackDown debuts on it’s new night and network. Then, the week after begins with Hell In A Cell, with perhaps a few title changes?
It’s going to be busy. Hopefully it will be good. And it should be significant. So, how and why is that what I am thinking?
WWE Gets Competition
This is the obvious statement, even if WWE has said they don’t see or worry about AEW as competition  (though their actions say otherwise).
Competition is good. Look at WWE before WCW Monday Nitro. RAW was taped-it was entertaining, but it was taped. Then Nitro came along and was live every week. They brought in unhappy guys and gave them control over their characters-things WWE didn’t do. The Monday Night Wars kicked Vince McMahon’s tail for quite a while before WWE was able to fire back and eventually get back on top.
But that competition? It helped a lot. It made WWE fix a complacent product. So will AEW do the same? Maybe. That remains to be seen, but the chance is there. Of course, right away, we won’t get a Monday night war….because AEW is on Wednesdays.
NXT Versus AEW?
I’ve long been a fan of NXT . It has been, in my opinion, the best WWE has to offer, and has been for a while now. TakeOver shows are consistently better than the main roster PPV that follows on Sunday.
So now, NXT is flipped to a two hour, live, Wednesday show on USA. This is programmed to compete with AEW. Instead of a Monday Night War, we may get a Wednesday Night War…but I am not so sure about that.
Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, when the last big promotional battle took place? Streaming and DVRs weren’t really a thing yet. Media consumption is very different. It’s entirely possible fans will watch one and DVR the other. Heck, if they are crazy enough, fans could watch one show on a TV and stream the other via their tablet, thus watching both live. Technology is so different today, fans really don’t have to choose one or the other-and some won’t.
Either way, NXT getting a spotlight is a good thing. Some guys in NXT might never be what Vince wants for the main roster, but they are talented and fun to watch and deserve an opportunity.
AEW deserves it’s own shot too, for the same reasons. Honestly hoping the competition is good for all involved.
SmackDown Goes Big
New home, new night, big anniversary show. Sounds like October 4 could be big for the blue brand. Of course, we have to tune in to find out, but that’s kind of the idea, isn’t it? Personally I am hoping for a few unannounced surprises (like, The Rock ? Or perhaps Ronda Rousey?), but there seems to be plenty of pomp and circumstance to make that debut show a must-see program for the week. Hopefully the excitement of being on Fox keeps things fresh for a while.
In the end, we’ve got a bunch of things happening next week. Three shows we’ve had, one is new. One is moving, one is going to be 100 percent on cable for the first time ever…and fans all around the world should be the winners.
Next week is going to be big. It hopefully will be good. And it should be the start of an interesting (and hopefully entertaining) new era in professional wrestling.