NXT made the jump from the WWE Network to the USA Network back in September 2019, and since Oct. 2 the brand has run as a two-hour weekly live show from Full Sail Live just outside of Orlando. During the Annual Shareholder's meeting last week, Triple H (who has run NXT since it took over FCW as the new developmental promotion) was asked about the future of the brand as well as how it has performed so far. The Black and Gold brand has gone head-to-head with AEW Dynamite for 42 weeks but has only brought in a higher viewership eight times.
"So I think if you were to look at the NXT brand, it would be both," Hunter said. "While it is, as Frank mentioned earlier, a third global brand, along with Raw and Smackdown, and our partners at USA, it is also the place where we make new stars and increase our talent and stars for the future, of both Raw and Smackdown. So that is the pipeline, and that is the — if you wanted to say, 'the feeder system', it is that, but it also has become its own third brand.
"As far as the ratings go, I'm very happy with them, especially in the current circumstances," he added. "Everything is going well. We look at the long-term of that, not the short-term of that. And the long term is very exciting. We have a lot of stars. There are a lot of hungry young athletes, and the pipeline to bring in more as they continue to train and get better is very exciting. The future is very bright in that regard."
He was also asked about AEW and gave the Jacksonville-based promotion a glowing review.
"To me, there's a moment in time when you begin something and it's very exciting and it's fresh and there's some interest in it, certainly," said. "But it's a big world. We continue to be focused on our product, continue to be focused on the development of our stars and our performers. And as Vince said earlier, we have a very long track record of doing this incredibly successfully for many, many, many years, and we will continue to do so."
This week's NXT will feature a triple threat between Finn Balor, Dexter Lumis and Timothy Thatcher, Johnny Gargano vs. Roderick Strong and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Mercedes Martinez. Keith Lee will also appear on the show to address Karrion Kross.
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