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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

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Replace Smackdown With NXT on Thursdays?

By @SteveSignore

What's Wrong With Thursdays?

It can be argued that NXT is the best thing going in wrestling today. It's understandable that NXT is the breeding ground for the WWE, but as time has gone on it's plain to see that it's essentially become a second brand for the WWE. Unfortunately, the only way to see NXT is by purchasing the WWE Network and that's a shame, for the WWE that is.

NXT basically provides fans with that old school feel and a product that could actually present similar ratings on television if given the opportunity. I don't know the WWE thought process at the moment, but maybe NXT will find itself on television at some point. Maybe the newest version of NXT (rumors of WWE working with EVOLVE this past June) will become the new staple of the WWE Network and this idea will come to fruition.

Last night my father asked me, "why is it every time I turn on Smackdown! it's the same thing"? It was a good point by a man who has become a casual fan through the years. It got me thinking, what can make the Smackdown timeslot more enticing? The answer is simple, replace it with NXT. This solves the WWE's "issue" of having three hours to fill on Monday nights.

You can trim the "fat" on the WWE roster by sending a handful of competitors to NXT to carve out a more romantic niche with the crowd. Would Fandango get over with the NXT crowd? I'm not sure. Would the team of Fandango and Heath Slater, capitalizing on their SWERVED appearance, take off in NXT? Absolutely. Look at Zack Ryder. Just when you thought the WWE was out of answers for the Broski, they sent him to NXT and formed the Hype Bros, a team that is quickly gaining steam.

By placing NXT on Thursday nights,  you develop a new roster of marketable faces while also presenting an arena atmosphere that most likely draws the attention of a casual fan. If you've sat in a Smackdown! crowd you know that the atmosphere is pretty tame compared to a Monday Night RAW. It's almost as the fan goes into a Smackdown! event with tempered expectations because of what it's become on television, which again has become a dull, repetitive program. The NXT crowd experience is something the viewer would want to be a part of.

If you kept the NXT roster in tact with acts like Tyler Breeze, Finn Balor, Baron Corbin, Samoa Joe, along with a returning Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami, this idea of NXT to Thursday nights could truly pay off. Add someone along the lines of an Adam Cole (RoH) or Bubba Ray Dudley, and you've created a product that could eventually become MORE enticing than the one RAW/Smackdown is currently presenting to the fans. And you can do the occassional crossover with WWE/NXT. The NXT crowd will truly create a heel vs. face atmosphere when someone like the Big Show comes down to NXT to face an Apollo Crews, for example.

What about the divas/women's division? You can keep the ladies on the WWE side where they're at, while continuing to grow stars like Bayley, Dana Brooke, Alexa Bliss, Emma, etc. Also, sending over someone like a Nattie and an Alicia Fox can help give the division some depth.

I'm sure this idea will be shot down by many, but with a stagnant program like Smackdown, what do you have to lose?



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