USA Network Reportedly Concerned About NXT Changes

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After NXT suffered the recent round of WWE roster cuts in the company as well as a possible change in direction for the brand, a new report suggests that USA Network is not too happy with what lays ahead.

Fightful’sSean Ross Sapp broke the news that thirteen members of the NXT talent roster were released by the company. The full list of talents released in this latest round of budget cuts was Bronson Reed, Bobby Fish, Leon Ruff, Tyler Rust, Jake Atlas, Mercedes Martinez, Asher Hale, Giant Zanjeer, Zechariah Smith, Kona Reeves, Ari Sterling, Desmond Troy, and referee Stephon Smith.

Further reports have since suggested that NXT could be in line for some major changes. Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported that talks have taken place internally regarding NXT with possibilities for the brand’s future including a new logo, new lighting, a focus on younger talents, and a different format to the TV shows.

Dave Meltzer also mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio that the standards for hiring on the brand are also set to change:

“The wording is ‘no more midgets, no one starting in their 30s and people who can be box office attractions and main characters.'”

Meltzer went on to say that NXT heads Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and Shawn Michaels had no say in the cuts to the roster with these overseen by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, Executive Director Bruce Prichard, and Head Of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis.

Now Andrew Zarian of The Mat Men podcast has discussed the perception from the USA Network as regards the current situation on NXT:

“The perception from many is that these upcoming changes will be negative. Perception means everything especially when you are working with partners who are not pro wrestling fans and don’t have deep knowledge of the talent. In reality are the changes coming to NXT a bad thing? Time till tell.”

NXT began airing on The USA Network in September 2019 on Wednesday nights – the night it had previously aired on the WWE Network. This came just a few short weeks before the debut of AEW Dynamite on TNT which ignited the ‘Wednesday Night Wars.’ These wars ended after WrestleMania 37 when NXT moved to Tuesday nights.