In the beginning, the WWE did not take the AEW threat seriously at all. Inf fact, it was reported that Vince McMahon and other members of high management had a good laugh about it during a meeting. However, it seems like management is now taking the threat seriously.
WWE Moves Finn Balor
One of the biggest indicators that the WWE is taking AEW seriously is the recent move of Finn Balor to the NXT roster. Even though he stagnated on the main roster, he was far from a low-card superstar. So, his return was as shocking as it was wonderful.
Demon Balor was severely underused on the main roster, so the move to NXT is probably the best thing to happen to Balor in recent history. The brand also turned him heel now, which might lead to higher viewership ratings.
Losing the AEW Rating Battle
NXT has not done too brilliantly against AEW in the ratings war. AEW Dynamite has been beating NXT’s rating for weeks now. Even though they saw a loss of 5% from the previous week, last week’s episode drew 963,000 viewers. NXT only drew 698,000, which is a considerable difference.
The loss in viewers is not that unusual, as both brands had to compete against the MLB World Series. As the world series gathered 11.8 million viewers, it is clear that both brands have a lot of work ahead of them.
Pro Wrestling Versus “Real” Sport
There has always been a stigma around professional wrestling, even though it consists of top athletes who put on some amazing feats of strength and agility. Wrestling fans see wrestling as a real sport, but not everybody does.
The WWE has attempted to change the perception of die-hard sports fans, something we reported on earlier in the week. They started to take the approach of MMA, mainly by interviewing veterans, more professional commentary, and other small changes.
On the other hand, AEW has very much stayed true to the original product. However, the brand is creatively very different. In an historic interview, Cody Rhodes admitted that AEW is far from scripted. Instead, they count on the creativity of their talent. Evidently, this shows when you look at the product and compare it to WWE’s main roster.
Scripted Versus Free
NXT is a little more free than main roster WWE, but this does not mean that there aren’t any issues. The product remains under the management of the big brass, despite the fact it is mainly run by Triple H. If Triple H were to have complete power over NXT, things might be a little different. Nevertheless, HHH is doing a marvelous job and enables NXT to compete with AEW.
Despite the success of NXT in the past, there is no doubt that many disgruntled WWE fans have made the switch to AEW. To ensure continued success, World Wrestling Entertainment will need to make sure it eliminates all the scripted madness and trust a little more in the skill of its wrestlers and their own creativity. When this happens, then the battle between AEW and NXT can truly begin.
Categorized: Ringside Intel Sports Wrestling