Deadspin’s David Bixenspan has an article on the WWE NXT vs. AEW Wednesday Night War that is about to kick off in October. The article includes an email statement from WWE on claims that they are counterprogramming against AEW.
WWE’s original plans were to air NXT on Fox Sports 1. However, Big East Basketball would have prevented them from starting until after October and Vince McMahon realized that USA was the better network to be on since that network is available in more homes than FS1.
This week, WWE announced NXT’s move to USA and many pointed out how WWE is making this move now that AEW is set to debut on TNT in October. Although WWE will say publicly that they are not counterprogramming AEW, that is not what Vince McMahon has said internally when the NXT discussions have come up in recent weeks.
A WWE spokesman has gone on the record with Deadspin to say that the NXT move to USA and expansion to two hours has nothing to do with AEW. “The premise to your story is wrong,” the WWE spokesman said. He added, “NXT has been on Wednesday nights since 2015 [sic] as I’m sure you know.”
The spokesman continued, “It isn’t called counter-programming if you continue to air a series on the same day/time as it has been on for nearly five years.” The email closed out with “Perhaps you’ll ask AEW about counter-programming NXT?”
Bixenspan says an AEW spokesperson declined to comment on the story.
Any way you slice it, the Triple H jabs at AEW at the WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony, Vince McMahon’s “blood and guts” comment on the investor conference call, Sami Zayn being told to mention AEW on Raw a few months ago and the latest move to expand NXT to 2 hours on the USA Network are all things that are helping AEW. Any reaction from WWE will only help generate more buzz for AEW.
Click here to read the Deadspin article.