The Rebranding of WWE NXT - A Mistake? - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

The Rebranding of WWE NXT - A Mistake? - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, September 16, 2021

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, Greg Coleman and Bodeen Green discuss the recent rebranding of WWE NXT.

NXT 2.0 debuted this week in a haze of bright lights, but was it a rebranding that was necessary?

Question 1: What do you think to the aesthetic changes on the production of the show? Was it necessary to make a change?

ALLSOPP: Do you recall how Moe Szyslak on The Simpsons loves ‘the dank’? That’s exactly what I feel now I have seen the monstrosity that is NXT 2.0. There was no real need to change up the aesthetics of the show as it stood out compared to the polished feel of Raw and SmackDown. I now feel I’m watching a child friendly imitation of NXT, as opposed to a grungy underground show that I loved. I am not happy at all, but I’ll have to begrudgingly accept it.

COLEMAN: I liked the changes they made visually and presentation wise for NXT 2.0. The new arena reminds me of watching WCW Saturday Night from Center Stage, or the early days of TNA. I don’t believe the changes were necessary, but if you’re starting new, why not make aesthetic changes while you’re at it.

GREEN: As much as I loved the black and yellow version of NXT as it felt gritty, I know that I will hopefully grow to enjoy the new NXT 2.0. Whilst it's overdone colour pallet can be a bit too much, just like the Thunderdome, it's only a matter of time until fans get used to it. However, I am curious to see how this presentation will work with TakeOver events.

Question 2: After watching the first episode of NXT 2.0, how do you think the show will differentiate itself going forward?

COLEMAN: I think the show will differentiate itself from the previous era of NXT in that more matches and feuds will involve established and veteran talent working with less established and newer talent. You already saw flashes of this with Bron Breakker (a terrible name) working with LA Knight. Jim Ross says frequently on his podcast that a wrestler doesn’t get better working with wrestlers at or below his or her level. I do still believe TakeOver events will be bolstered by Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Io Shirai, Pete Dunne, and other top talent, but there will be an addition of Performance Center trainees who management deems ready for television.

GREEN: I feel that NXT 2.0 will be a mix of NXT veterans such as Tommaso Ciampa, Pete Dunne, and Johnny Gargano giving the torch to the next generation of talent. Whilst NXT was great, there was only so much time for such a talented roster, and as a result, many names got moved up and wasted. By almost starting from scratch in a sense, it allows homegrown stars to be built and gives them a launching pad.

ALLSOPP: I feel it will truly be a show closer in line to Raw and SmackDown, which may initially seem to be a negative, but I’m optimistic about it. Why? Because I feel this will give NXT promotions a better chance of success on the main roster. Yes, some of the underground and darker elements of the show may remain, but I feel it will truly become a development route for wrestlers to become mainstays on the main roster.

Question 3: Was Tommaso Ciampa the right choice to win the vacant NXT Championship?

GREEN: Whilst the status of Samoa Joe's injury remains unknown, this was a hard choice to pick between Pete Dunne and Tommaso Ciampa. Although it would have been great to see Dunne win and start a new chapter in NXT, Ciampa is an NXT legend, and hopefully NXT has a plan for the next TakeOver event(which will no doubt be focused on newer talent) where either a rising star will beat Ciampa, or Kyle O'Reilly will finally get his big moment.

ALLSOPP: No, and I say that as a big fan of Tommaso Ciampa. I felt this was the perfect opportunity for Pete Dunne to finally win the gold, setting up NXT 2.0 as a viable show to watch over the coming months. Ciampa is not necessarily a wrong decision, but The Bruiserweight was a much better option to reflect the change in the show.

COLEMAN: Tommaso Ciampa was a great choice to win the vacant NXT Championship. Whether Ciampa was the right choice to win the belt, in my opinion at least, will depend on where they go next. I actually thought LA Knight would’ve been a better choice because he’s a really good heel, and he has never been NXT Champion, which I felt would’ve lined up better with going in a new direction. However, if the thinking is to have a wrestler who is one of the best wrestlers in the history of NXT in order to boost the talent who eventually beats him, then Ciampa was the perfect choice. Ciampa is a legend, and if a newer talent such as Carmelo Hayes was to beat him for the NXT Championship, that would be a pretty big feather in their cap.

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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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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