From the NAI Archive - January 4, 2015 - A dream for 2015 - Re'branding' and expanding NXT

One of the hot button topics of the last few months has been "What should WWE do with the growing popularity of NXT?"   Thanks to the influx of new talent and the success of R-Evolution, people can't seem to get enough debate over how WWE should capitalize on it.

There are many out there, Jason and Liam included, who seem to think that doing nothing makes the most sense.  These folks, and they're not wrong, mind you, don't want to mess with a good thing.  The dangers of overexposure and what not.  Like I said, they're not wrong, and I can totally see their points, but I'm a greedy type of person, and I want more, damnit.

Others, and I've subscribed to this theory now and again, suggest that NXT becomes its own brand, taking over Smackdown.  This would cut down on the overexposure of WWE stars, increase TV time for the young guys, and everybody is happy.  Again, not an idea I'm totally against, though it also has its faults.  Putting NXT on SyFy (Smackdown) means they now have to answer to corporate masters, so the quality of the program might suffer.  For those rabid NXT fans (much like the ECW fans of the mid 90's), this just can't be.

Today I'm going to offer a third alternative, my vision for WWE and NXT in 2015.  It is just a vision, and I invite you to point out faults or offer alternatives in the discussion below or on Twitter.   Much like a Reese's, there's no wrong way to plan this out.

Schedule Changes

NXT takes over both the Main Event and Superstars hours, moving to 2 hours a week.  WWE keeps both RAW and Smackdown, but in my way of doing things, we lose almost all of the 'replays' that bog down these secondary shows and focus on new content that works to grow stars, both in NXT and in WWE.

This also means that the NXT roster (or, the roster I'll list later) travels with the "big boys", filling the same time slot that Superstars or Main Event normally would.  (Hour before RAW taping, hour before Smackdown)

"But DC," you're saying, "What about the NXT block itself?  What happens to that hour?  Also, what about Full Sail?"

Glad you asked.

NXT was originally designed to be a DEVELOPMENTAL territory, for new guys to work on promos, matches and gimmicks.  While these things have happened, I think we can all agree that the talent and content in NXT isn't anywhere near "developmental" level.

So, Full Sail University still hosts NXT tapings and broadcasts on the Network, but these guys are really and truly developing talents.  This Shoot Nation stable, Dash Wilder and all those enhancement level guys would get the chance to actually have competitive matches.  The real "new generation" gets time to shine.  What's wrong with that?

Alright, you all with me?  1 hour of truly 'developmental' wrestling, 2 hours of NXT, 4 hours of WWE.  Should be more than enough for everybody.

Ok, onto the rosters.  We start with. . .


Everyone keeps saying its time to focus on the youth movement, so we need to talk the talk.  Even if one of these breaks my heart.  The following four talents all move on to future endeavors.

Big Show - Nobody really wants to see him in the ring anymore, and he's amazing on commentary.

Kane - He's wanted to go be an insurance guy for a while now, let's let him do it.

Mark Henry - Can't stay healthy, it seems, and it's just time for him to go.

R-Truth - Honestly, I was shocked he was still on the roster.

Goldust -  This hurts a lot, but its true.  His brother needs to soar on his own, so Dustin can go back to being an agent or a trainer.  Just make sure he gets into the Hall of Fame.

With these four off to greener pastures, that frees up TV time for some younger guys, no matter how you slice it.

NXT Roster

Some of you may have wondered "So if NXT takes over the "B" shows, what happens to that "B" talent?"  Well, for most of them, they pull an Axel and join up!   You'll see them as I go through the roster.

Singles Division

These guys are vying for either the NXT Title or a midcard belt.  Maybe Finn Balor answers an open challenge by Rusev one time, shocking him and winning it, bringing it to NXT.   Or perhaps they create the "Network" belt, some version of a TV title.  Who knows?

Adam Rose
Curtis Axel
Darren Young
Jack Swagger
Justin Gabriel
Zack Ryder
Baron Corbin
Bull Dempsey
CJ Parker
Finn Balor
Hideo Itami
Marcus Louis
Kevin Owens
Mojo Rawley
Sami Zayn

My thoughts - While I could make a case for "future endeavoring" a lot of these WWE guys, I think it adds depth and veteran experience to the roster.  Plus, really, NXT is going to be the HideoFinnKevinSami show for 2015.  We know this, right?

NXT Women's Division

Eva Marie
Tamina (when she's healthy)
Alexa Bliss
Becky Lynch
Mia Yim
Blue Pants

My thoughts -  Paige takes over the top heel role and gives her the chance to get herself back on track.  Really not a bad division when you look at it.

NXT Tag Division

New Day
Slater Gator
Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy
Enzo and Cass
Jason Jordon and Tye Dillinger

My thoughts -  Really solid division.  New Day would play well with Vaudevillains, or with Enzo and Cass if they eventually turn heel.  Which they're going to, right?  Don't they have to?

OK, so that's the NXT gang.  Time for the. . .

WWE Roster

Singles Division

Cody Rhodes
Adrian Neville

My Thoughts  - While I have loved the Stardust gimmick, its time for Cody to be Cody.  Slimming down the main roster allows for more focus on these guys over the four hours.

WWE Women's Division

AJ (for now)
Alicia Fox
Brie Bella
Nikki Bella
Summer Rae
Sasha Banks

My Thoughts - Charlotte better hope AJ stays around just so she has some competition.

WWE Tag Team Division

Lucha Dragons
Cesaro / Tyson Kidd
Miz / Tyler Breeze

My Thoughts - There would likely be another team mixed in.  Maybe Barrett and Sheamus, or Barrett and Neville.  Who knows?

Final Change - The "WWE Network Events"

We generally all agree that there are too many WWE "PPV's", and perhaps not enough NXT ones, so we're changing that as well.  Actually, with my system, there are pretty much the same number as now (12-13 WWE PPVs, 3-4 NXT ones)

WWE gets 8 events a year - This means they're staggered about 6-7 weeks apart, which gives more time for solid writing.  Whatever that is.

NXT gets 6 a year -  This is about what we have now, except my versions are 3 hours long and scheduled every 8 weeks.  Since they have less TV time, they need longer to build concrete believable feuds.
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