I came across this interview with Triple H from two years ago and thought it was pretty interesting as to what he’s saying about NXT.
I’ve always respected your knowledge about the business and your opinions. I have to ask, from the sound of it, does he have visions of WWE and NXT being the two brands years from now as opposed to RAW and Smackdown? He’s clearly saying in this interview he doesn’t want NXT to be the 3rd brand like ECW, he wants it to be the new WCW of the business.
Granted, his plan is still far-fetched two years later because of NXT is still trying to shed that feeder/developmental image. However, as he says in the interview, he WANTS to shed that image. And they’ve made huge strides since then. If this is the plan, how exactly do you think he would do this? Obviously one of the brands would become NXT, but how do they do that with the USA Network execs breathing down their neck? I understand that when the interview was taped there wasn’t a brand extension, however, the return of the roster split has been in the plans for quite a while.
I’m not sure I agree 100% with your detective work, there, Lou. The brand split was basically something they came up with at the last minute when USA decided to take Smackdown live, not something that’s been in the works for a while. In fact it’s clearly eroding RAW’s ratings further already. As for NXT, I don’t see it yet. They’re drawing one big crowd per quarter, but the Florida spot shows do 100 people, maybe? It’s not really a business model that lends itself to being a major "brand" at the moment, especially when the roster gets gutted at Vince’s whim. Also, look at what happened to the TV show when the head writer went to Smackdown…it’s basically a bunch of squash matches now and it’s completely skippable. There’s nothing WRONG with that format, but really the only buzz comes from the Takeover specials at the moment. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what HHH’s vision for the company even is going to be, because there seems to be a lot of them. NXT is supposed to be HIS development as a leader as well, so that’s fine, I guess.