WWE made a lot of big changes to the NXT brand last September when they rebranded it as NXT 2.0 with the idea to use younger stars instead of veterans.
They’ve also changed the presentation of the show from the stage to graphics and storylines. Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast reported last month that the USA Network is happy with the current ratings of NXT 2.0.
Austin Theory recently spoke with Wrestling Inc about the criticism that the company has received regarding the changes as there is a lot more focus on character development instead of in-ring work.
“So, I know there’s a lot of hate, and there’s also some love for that,” said Theory. “I just think people don’t understand when change is happening, and they don’t really like that. But once they get used to that, they find comfort and enjoy.”
Theory said that there is more character development and he sees a lot of rising stars in positions that he thinks the brand needs.
“There’s always going to be some that don’t like it [criticism], But at the end of the day it’s a product, it’s a business, and what’s going to make the best superstars for the future. I think that’s something that’s heavily engaged on character development. To me, NXT 2.0 is great.”
Thus far in 2021, NXT has been averaging between 551,000 and 685,000 viewers on USA Network.