As mentioned, many fans are concerned about the NXT product. During an interview, Vince McMahon stated his intention of making NXT into mainstream Raw or SmackDown. But what changes could happen if Vince does get his hands on NXT? Here are some rumors and some predictions of things that could go down for NXT in months to come.
Less Creative Freedom With Vince McMahon’s Scripts
One thing that is a guarantee is less creative freedom. Vince likes total control. Just look at the example of this week, where Vince tore up the script for SmackDown Live and then discussed what he wanted over the telephone. God help us if this happens on NXT.
There are many things that make NXT great. Creative freedom is certainly one of them. Triple H does guide the wrestlers in terms of their entrances and some of the minor details, but many of the promos and additional material is down to the creativity of the wrestlers in question. It is what builds feuds and rivalries beautifully. If that disappears, we might as well tune into AEW.
Countless Name Changes
Remember the War Raiders incident? Vince McMahon did not want the tag team to come up with the word “war” in the name, so they underwent a number of name changes on the roster. First, we received the ridiculous name “The Viking Experience“. Then, we got “Viking Raiders”. Needless to say, there were a lot of name changes for something that did not need to be changed in the first place.
Vince also has a history of shortening people’s names. Mustafa Ali and Andrade Cien Almas are just some of his most recent victims.
There are many wrestlers on the NXT roster whose name is legendary; this includes the likes of Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa. Can you imagine if he were to shorten their names to just “Johnny”, “Adam” and “Tomasso”?
Less Time For Female Wrestlers
The women’s division is doing quite well on the NXT brand. They get plenty of time for promos and lengthy matches to boot. Considering Vince’s history with women’s wrestling on the main roster, this could be another change Vince implements.
NXT is counting on strong female competitors to drive forward the female division. A prime example from the past is Asuka, who broke Goldberg’s undefeated streak. However, soon as Asuka came to the main roster, her streak was broken and she barely got any TV time after that. If this happens in NXT, many of the women would never make it to the main roster…
Tag Team Terror
Looking at the main roster, the tag team division has a serious problem too. There are only two tag teams that managed to stay alive during the Vince McMahon reign, more specifically The New Day and The Usos.
Countless brilliant tag teams have disappeared on the main roster, or have been demoted to jobbers. Some good examples include The Ascension, The Authors of Pain, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, The Fashion Police, and many others.
Pardon my French, but if Vince McMahon gets his claws on the tag team division, can you imagine what would happen to the likes of The Undisputed Era or The Street Profits?
Big Guy Recruitment
Over the years, we have all come to notice Vince’s preference for big wrestlers. They do not necessarily need the best wrestling acumen or attitude, just as long as they are big and imposing. Lars Sullivan is one of those examples.
Of course, not all big wrestlers are horrible. There are plenty that have stood out over the years, such as The Big Show, Braun Strowman, and Bobby Lashley.
The big guy syndrome is a symptom of a bigger problem though. Once Vince likes someone, he will push them to ad nauseum, even if wrestling fans do not like him. The Baron Corbin experiment is just one of many examples and this might very well happen in NXT. Imagine if Adam Cole or Johnny Gargano would take continuous losses against Lars Sullivan. It would have a serious impact on their status as a serious competitor.
During NXT, you never really know for sure what will happen. This is one of the biggest attraction for me as a viewer and also one of the things that makes the brand so great. However, this could change again with Vince McMahon at the helm of NXT.
Watching the main roster, you usually know how things will go down and in what order; this due to the highly scripted nature of Raw and SmackDown. As there is more creative freedom on in NXT, it becomes more unpredictable. Even though I’m not going to claim that there is no script in NXT whatsoever, there is more input and freedom for wrestlers to bring their creativity forward.
Oversaturation Of The Product
Contrary to Raw or SmackDown, I always want to see more when I watch NXT. Raw on the other hand, takes a whopping three hours, during which it is extremely difficult to keep someone’s attention.
NXT does not have this problem yet, but airing time could increase if Vince wants to profit more from the brand. So, the smaller venue wrestling experience with passionate fans could soon turn into a commercial playing field where nobody is really interested anymore.
When we are honest about the situation, NXT is a brand that is meant for die-hard wrestling fans, not the casuals who attend a pay-per-view once a year and only watch WrestleMania. It is also not a brand for those who enjoy the current product on the main roster, as both brands are very different from one another.
If I would have to choose, I would choose Triple H’s NXT over any other brand out there. Unfortunately, if rumors are true and Vince starts to interfere in NXT, it might lose the product I have become to love so much. I just hope the talent will survive the changes…