As previously reported, NXT is experiencing a steady weekly decline in its viewership from the debut on the USA network in mid-September. For two weeks, there was no AEW Dynamite to compete with them. However, there has been for the past four weeks, and NXT on USA has dropped nearly 60 percent from week 1.
On a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Live, a discussion occurred of whether Full Sail was one of the biggest reasons why NXT is experiencing the decline in viewership.
“If the fans are behind it, and I think there are aesthetic things that they can do to that building to do some different things, and I’m not saying that they should get out of it and tour. Do I think they can? Absolutely…
“But, I don’t think it’s at negative as people think because the bottom line is, if Randy Orton, or if John Cena came back, or if it was Roman Reigns in NXT, and you have it on USA, I think you’re gonna have a little bit of a different change if people realize they’re there for a couple weeks. I think that changes the numbers.”
Mike Sempervive added that, no matter what, NXT is still the third brand, and moving to other venues and touring will not change that fact.
At this point, there has to be some changes made to create a spark in the product to not only retain current viewers, but gain new ones. On the previous version of NXT, former NXT Champion and Universal Champion Finn Balor shocked the audience and most likely those watching at home by turning heel for the first time in his WWE career, attacking Johnny Gargano and spiking him on the steel ramp with his 1916 signature move.
With former Universal Champion Finn Balor now a part of the NXT brand, the star power has indeed improved. Moreover, other names such as Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura would also be beneficial additions to the brand. The bigger questions relate to whether Vince McMahon and Triple H would be willing to relinquish a top star, like Roman Reigns, from SmackDown to NXT, for the sake of trying to increase viewership.
Seemingly, that is highly unlikely, and NXT is just going to have to try to retain viewers with the talent currently on the roster.
Please credit any quotes to Chris Featherstone of Wrestling Rumors.
Follow Chris Featherstone on Twitter @chrisprolific and the Pancakes and Powerslams Show @cravewrestling.