WWE's decision to move NXT from the WWE Network to the USA Network sent shock waves around the wrestling world on Tuesday. But some fans of the Yellow Brand quickly brought up a concern — if NXT is now on USA, how long until Vince McMahon starts micromanaging the booking decisions?
Up until now the show's creative direction has been spearheaded by Triple H, and reports have since come out stating that the product won't change its creative direction despite it being on cable and now a live, weekly broadcast.
Chris Jericho, who played down the importance of NXT's move by saying there won't be a legitimate "Wednesday Night War" between it and AEW's TNT show, said during his Busted Open Radio appearance this week that if McMahon gets his hands on NXT's booking, the show will feel just like Raw and SmackDown.
"If it's an official, legitimate, nationwide cable show on the USA Network, do you think Vince McMahon is going to be involved in it? Of course he is!" Jericho said (h/t Wrestling Inc. for transcription). "It's Vince McMahon; he is a genius. But here's the thing — I think the appeal of it is that it's its own little entity outside the WWE, and when Vince McMahon gets a hold of it and gets involved with it it is going to become another SmackDown and another Raw.
"I think you are going to see all three of those shows interacting with one another," he contnued. "I think it's going to be just another WWE show, so whatever the appeal is with NXT, whatever the specialness of it is is going to be changed to another RAW and another SmackDown. I think if you like RAW and SmackDown then you're going to like NXT on Wednesday nights. If you don't, then I don't think you're going to like NXT on Wednesday nights because there's no way that Vince McMahon is going to stay home and not be involved with it. That is what he does, so, great. I think it's another 2 hours of incredible WWE programming on Wednesday nights."
NXT will debut on USA on Sept. 18 and is scheduled to take place at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida each week. AEW's TNT show will premiere several weeks later on Oct. 2 on TNT in Washington D.C. From that point on, the two shows will air at the same time each week, effectively starting the "Wednesday Night Wars."