WWE | Pro Wrestling

Is WWE NXT Arrival A Mistake?

One of the big selling points in promoting the WWE Network was the presence of NXT. The development center will be welcomed with a special and more attention than it ever received which may or may not be a good thing.

I don’t want to focus on the event itself. I want to take a look inside the idea of NXT and NXT Arrival. The WWE needed original programming on its network. It looked internally and took a program it had already been producing and repurposed it. While NXT has been available on Hulu, it was never pushed by the company up until now.

I saw this as a huge problem from the start. My argument was that the company was taking all of this green talent and exposing them before they were ready. Were they already exposed to the Hulu audience? Yes but that was not the WWE Universe. NXT is now being pushed to the entire universe, the same audience that watches the major league WWE productions. It is a different ballgame.

The idea of NXT is a developmental company. The WWE will sign wrestlers and send them to NXT to get them ready for the big show. Some of the talent already came in seasoned, yet the WWE feels the need to change their style and until their previous style is completely gone, they will remain in NXT. Some of the talent have worked none to a handful of matches and are being trained from the ground up. Those are what I would refer to as Triple H’s gambles.

The whole advantage of NXT is to take your talent and keep them away from the core audience until they are ready. NXT is a place that allows the talent to learn and hone their craft. Heck some talent are just sent down there to be repackaged like Bray Wyatt after a failed first shot as Husky Harris. The key is anonymity and unfortunately that anonymity is gone.

If NXT is going to be pushed as a weekly television product to the same audience who is watching RAW and SmackDown, than what is the point of NXT? No longer can a rookie pay his or her dues and show up to the main roster with a clean start. Fans will now see these superstars from the second they enter the company whether they are ready or not and that is not a good thing.

I have heard some theorize that this is WWE’s attempt to take over the independent wrestling scene. I don’t know if I believe that as I don’t see NXT expanding, especially with all of the money invested in Florida. I think this is simply a short sighted business move to reallocate one of the company’s resources. While the savings in cost of taking an already produced product and repurposing it are minimal, the bigger costs to the talent are huge and should not be taken lightly. If these guys and girls were ready for this kind of attention, they should be out of NXT so I have to assume that if they are there, they aren’t ready.

How can anyone be developed at this point? Would Bray Wyatt have worked if fans saw him crafting the good and bad of this gimmick for months prior to his arrival? Can anyone come up from NXT and get a fair shot on the main roster without some kind of prejudice? I don’t think they can and that is not a good thing at all.

The only benefit besides the finances is the chance that the WWE finds lightning in a bottle. What if someone like a Prince Devitt signs and comes to NXT who is ready for the main roster and develops an early following? This gives fans the chance to get behind someone at the beginning and invest emotionally into their roller coaster ride to the top. If done right, there could be huge money in telling the story of someone who came from NXT to WrestleMania. There is always that shot but those opportunities aren’t going to come along often.

I am happy for the talent whom work so hard down at NXT to get the opportunity to show their stuff. I am also fearful for that same talent for the same reason. NXT on the WWE Network is a novel idea, but sacrificing your next generation of stars in exchange for cheap programming may be one of the most miscalculated blunders since the XFL.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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