With NXT's move from WWE Network to the USA Network just around the corner, Triple H and Shawn Michaels sat down with Yahoo Sports this week to discuss their plans for the Yellow Brand going forward.
At one point in the interview the pair addressed the elephant in the room — starting on Oct. 2, NXT will go head-to-head every week with All Elite Wrestling's two-hour weekly live show on TNT. Fans have started referring to the competition between the two as the "Wednesday Night Wars," and Hunter (real name Paul Levesque) stated he welcomes the competition.
"For me, it's about putting on the best show we possibly can whether we had competition or not," Levesque said. "The winner, I think, is fans. Competition brings out the best in people and I think that's what will happen here. For me, the competition is with ourselves — to constantly raise the bar, to be something better -- and I don't just mean in-ring, I mean for the business in general, to be leaders. It's something I challenge everyone at the Performance Center to do every day, create the business the way we want it to be. When we say we are the future, that's what we mean."
He then pointed out how AEW is taking a page out of his playbook by referring to themselves as a revolution and an alternative for wrestling fans, given that was how he pitched NXT when the brand was relaunched as WWE's developmental system in the early 2010s.
"If you talk about the upstart [AEW], what they're going out and saying is that they're an alternative," he said. "We were that alternative five years ago. We opened the door for being an alternative, we opened the door to show people that it can be done on a bigger level and on a different basis. As far as being the alternative, great, go put on the best show you can put out, and we'll put out the best one we can put out."
Michaels, who now works as a trainer at the WWE Performance Center, said he feels NXT's current roster can take on any challengers.
"I think the NXT roster can go with anybody in the entire world," Michaels said. "There are a bunch of unbelievable talents. The wrestling business as a whole is in a phenomenal time.0comments
"There's an abundance of talent out there and I think the world is going to get to see it," he added. "I'm sure everybody likes to win, but everybody who has a brain can see that this is great for the business. We want to show what we've felt for quite some time and that's that we have the best talent in the world."
NXT will expand into a two-hour live broadcast starting on Sept. 18. Due to the final two episodes of the Suits series, the show will have to split time between USA and WWE until Oct. 2. As of Monday the first four episodes of television, all emanating from Full Sail University in Orlando, have sold out.