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WHY NXT TO USA WON’T KILL THE BRAND (NOT BY A LONGSHOT), LETTING MOX WORK THE G1 WAS A RISK AEW SHOULD HAVE NEVER TAKEN AND MORE

By Dave Scherer on 2019-08-24 10:32:00

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I was really looking forward to Mox vs. Kenny Omega at All Out.  Now it won’t happen due to his injury.  Why would a billionaire like Tony Khan let one of his absolute top guys work a grueling tournament like the G1 when he was so vital to AEW’s success?

I guess Khan let Mox do it because Mox wanted to do it.  From what I have heard, but have not confirmed, is that he also thought it would be a way to get into New Japan’s good graces and work with them down the line.  I said months ago that if I were Tony Khan, I wouldn’t have allowed Mox to do it if I were signing him to a big money deal, for this exact reason.  What if he gets hurt before we go on TV?  Well, he did.  Mox is arguably the second most recognizable face (to the non-AEW fans) that the company he has.  His image on advertising will peak curiosity in fans.  I would have made him exclusive to my company if I were Khan (as I would with all my top talents), even if I had to pay him more.  I certainly wouldn’t have risked letting him work a tournament as physical as the G1 is.  Someone on Twitter said something like “well, the injury came back, what could you do?”  Well, I don’t know if it would come back or not, but certainly six weeks of pounding in the G1 brought it on faster.  If it were me, he would have worked for me in July, then been ready to go at All Out, then ready again on October 2.  If the injury came on after we went live on TV, that’s just the way it is.  He would have been at 100 percent for my launch, which is what was really important to my company.  Working with New Japan down the road is a great goal to have, but establishing your company and making it successful is the FIRST goal AEW should have.

I have followed your Twitter and saw the response from some AEW fans to your tweet.  What is wrong with some of those people?  Do they drink Kool Aid?

Here is the tweet you referred to:

As you mentioned, some of the responses I received bordered on insane, but you have to remember that fan is short for “fanatic”.  That perfectly describes some of the people that responded to my post.  Now obviously, WWE would take the threat of a billionaire starting up a wrestling company on TNT very seriously anyway, but when things get personal, it will make Vince McMahon fight even harder.  So now, AEW is going to have to deal with WWE’s thunder.  The flip side is that if they make it, they have beaten all the odds and should have a long and successful future.  As I tweeted the other day, they just chose to make it harder than I would have if I were them.  I would have just built on the great stuff my company was doing and not poked the bear, at least not until much later down the road.

With the announcement now official that NXT will be moving to the USA Network and going head to head with AEW it seems that many fans are declaring that this will be the death of NXT. Fans are also saying that Vince McMahon will be taking over the Creative direction of NXT instead of Triple H which I have not seen reported anywhere.  Is there any truth to this regarding Triple H stepping away from NXT in a creative capacity and also why do so many think that this is the end for NXT just because AEW is on TNT?  NXT is an established product with it's own fanbase and this move will get even more people watching NXT and to be honest what I have seen from AEW so far hasn't been overwhelmingly impressive. Yes there have been a few good matches and a couple of great ones but nothing to make me think that AEW is the "greatest thing ever" as some fans have proclaimed. 

Lots to get to there.  In order.

1) Triple H is still in charge of NXT.  Everyone assuming Vince McMahon will take it over and ruin it is just that, assuming. They point to things like WWECW and what Vince did to that.  Well, that was a totally different animal.  WWE was trying to resurrect a dead brand that they bought in a bankruptcy sale.  NXT is an established brand that has drawn big houses for Takeovers.  It’s also Triple H’s baby, that has to be remembered.

2) I think there is a good chance that very little will change, at least in the beginning.  I think we will see upgraded production, like we did at Takeover Toronto, but when the company is taking on a product that wants to give fans an alternative to WWE, which NXT also is, it would make no sense to change NXT to a WWE-like product.  That would make it easy for the fans looking for a different style to choose AEW.  Leaving NXT as is makes it harder, a lot harder.  This is my opinion, but everything that AEW has set it sights on being NXT already is.  It makes no sense to not use that in this war.  Plus, HHH knows how to navigate the Vince McMahon minefield better than anyone and has earned the right to have his voice heard.

3) Even if Vince does take over down the line, he has already given Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff power roles on Raw and Smackdown, and we have seen positive change on both shows.  He would absolutely give that role to HHH.  But again, that is getting way ahead of things.

4) Anyone who thinks that NXT going to USA is the end of the brand is being overdramatic.  If you look at it from a business perspective, it’s a brilliant move.  No matter what the audience split ends up being, it will hurt AEW.  AEW needs to develop an audience so that when they go for their next TV deal, they can get the contract that they need to be self-sufficient.  A revenue split, like they have now, isn’t the panacea that they need.  NXT is not in that position.  Even if running on USA costs them money, WWE is flush with cash from the Raw and Smackdown deals.  They can use NXT as a loss leader to hurt AEW (not that I am saying they are, but they could).  AEW will not get as many viewers now on Wednesday nights due to NXT and that will hurt them when the time comes to negotiate a new deal.  The more viewers they have, the more money they can ask for.

5) As you said, NXT is an established brand.  HHH has shown Vince that they can do something different and draw big houses.  It just makes sense to take that to the next level and unlike WCW or ECW, which were established elsewhere, NXT is a home grown WWE product.

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