WWE announced back in August that, starting on Sept. 18, NXT would be airing a two-hour live show every week on the USA Network. However that's not exactly the case for the show's first two weeks of television.
WWE.com announced on Thursday that on the first hour (8-9 p.m. Eastern) of NXT will air on USA for the Sept. 18 and Sept. 25 episodes. The second hour of each show will stream live on the WWE Network immediately afterwards.
PWInsider's Mike Johnson followed that report by stating the show would make the complete move to USA on Oct. 2, the same day AEW debuts its weekly live show on TNT at the same time. The reason for the split is due to USA running the final two episodes of their long-running original series Suits on those same nights after the first hour of NXT.
Two matches have already been announced for the Sept. 18 show — Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Championship and Mia Yim vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair in a triple threat for the No. 1 contender spot for Shayna Baszler's NXT Women's Championship.
Triple H stated in a recent interview with talkSPORT that, even though NXT is moving to the same network as Raw, Vince McMahon will not be taking over the show's creative direction.
"People look at where it is today and sometimes say negative things and I'm like 'really?' because we've signed billion-dollar deals with FOX and USA, I'm not sure that it's crumbling! And he's [Vince is] also smart enough to understand the things that we do and where they go and how, the pieces of it," Hunter said. "If you're asking the simple term in answers? He's not involved. Yeah, he's going to have some say in some things as far as where the brand sits and the marketing of it within USA and all that stuff and clearly, whatever he wants to do at the end of the day also, but truth is at this point in time he has basically just said 'go and make this thing a success.'
"It's what he told me in the beginning 'go make this thing a success' and, you know, we pick up the phone every now and then and we see each other all the time but it's like 'how's it going? going good? excellent'. and we move on. But those who want to speculate on it, it's craziness," he continued. "A lot of it is silliness."
NXT Champion Adam Cole gave a similar sentiment in a recent interview with ComicBook.com.0comments
"I think an important recipe for NXT success, and I can tell you that our team feels this exact same way, is we need to keep and stay true to what made NXT NXT," Cole said. "Because this move to the USA Network is not a mistake."
"It's not by accident," he continued. "It's because of what NXT brings to the table already. So I think we very much recognize that keeping that formula and doing more of what this brand does better than anybody is how we're going to succeed on the USA Network. Of course, there's going to be some exciting new things happening in NXT, but at the same time, we know what brought us to the dance, and we're going to stay true to that."
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