WWE, NXT & AEW TV Discussion – Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

WWE, NXT & AEW TV Discussion – Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, December 5, 2019
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Callum Wiggins and Robert DeFelice will be giving their opinions on the current landscape of wrestling television shows.

WWE continues to be the media juggernaut it has been for so long, however the quality of the weekly shows it presents has been lacking recently. AEW have firmly established themselves as an alternative to WWE, whilst NXT has developed into a viable third brand within WWE by moving to the USA Network. Which shows are thriving, and which shows are in dire need of reinvention?

Question 1: AEW Dynamite will this week host it’s 10th show. How successful do you feel the show has been, and what impact has it had within the wrestling world?

ALLSOPP: The show has definitely been a success, as the ratings are high for what is essentially a new product. The brand already has a cult fan base which is reminiscent of 90’s ECW, which can only benefit the company going forward. My issue with AEW Dynamite however, is how similar each show feels to the last. Yes, the shows are mainly entertaining, yet they struggle to carve out their own identity from week to week. NXT has stepped up their game in response, whilst other companies such as MLW now dare to dream of becoming bigger than they already are as a direct result of AEW Dynamite's success.

WIGGINS: I've enjoyed AEW Dynamite as a whole, and up until this past week, they've been pulling in strong viewership numbers, so I'd say it's been a success so far. There is clearly a strong desire among wrestling fans for an alternative, and that has driven a lot of the immediate engagement with AEW. Now, we'll have to wait and see if the quality of their product will keep that audience (and the new fans they've created) coming back for more, which I don't think we'll know for a good few months.

DeFELICE: AEW has exploded onto the scene with Dynamite. The lasting effects on the industry will be felt for generations to come, as younger talents begin to credit this era for their fandom. It's an entertaining show, which I have to cover weekly for WrestleZone, and the show is still in it's infancy and will continue to grow from here. I will say that the Jon Moxley’s and Cody Rhodes’ of the world do come across as much bigger stars than some of the wrestlers that are unknown.

Question 2: NXT moved to the USA Network in anticipation of AEW Dynamite starting on TNT. How do you feel the 2 hour run time has affected the product? Do you prefer the live 2 hour format?

WIGGINS: Oddly enough, I feel the switch to 2 hours has initially hurt NXT's ability to weave stories. In their old 1 hour, pre-taped version, they were able to create an effective narrative towards the next TakeOver that felt more structured and apparent. Of course, having the last TakeOver pretty much as an afterthought behind Survivor Series didn't help matters. But, I think it has helped the crowd investment, as usually by episode 3 or 4 of the previous tapings, the crowd would be dead on their feet. They now have the time available to build up new characters, which will be incredibly important a few months down the road.

DeFELICE: I don't think the extra hour has decreased the value of the show, but I definitely missed the 1 hour binging ability that the old format provided. That being said, I really feel like this brand is the best brand on television, and it still comes across that way with an extra hour.

ALLSOPP: NXT now has an element of unpredictability, especially as there are no taping spoilers to ruin surprises. Each show feels vibrant, and unlike AEW Dynamite, each show also feels different from the last. The 2 hour format has allowed for an increased focus on the NXT women’s division, whilst allowing more talent the opportunity to shine and show what they’re capable of. A 1 hour run time never allowed for as much storyline progression as 2 hours does, and it is this increased focus on storyline progression which is giving NXT the edge in the Wednesday Night War.

Question 3: Do you agree Raw should return to a 2 hour run time?

DeFELICE: Yes, yes, and a million times yes. 3 hours is too long on the creative game. It's too long on the talent, and it's too long on the audience. It's completely wrong, but what can you do when money talks.

ALLSOPP: I do, but only because WWE seem incapable of writing a compelling 3 hour show. Too often the show drags in places, often feeling like a chore to get through. Until storylines can be advanced in such a way that they utilise the 3 hour run time better, Raw should be 2 hours long. It worked well before, and no doubt it would work again in the current WWE climate.

WIGGINS: Absolutely, but I won't get my hopes up for it. Realistically, with the size and talent of Raw's roster, they should be able to create a solid 3 hour show more times than not. But their creativity has been lacking for years at this point, and frankly, most crowds don't have the energy or interest to stay invested in a weekly television show for that length of time. Reducing the run time to 2 hours would immediately make Raw more digestible and cut down the criticism it rightly receives, but due to their sponsorships and advertising deals, I doubt it will ever happen. In fact, I'd wager we're more likely to see it go up to 4 hours before we see a 2 hour Raw again.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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AUTHOR OF THIS POST: DALLAS ALLSOPP

Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.

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