Following the recent releases from the NXT brand as well as rumors about a change in direction for the brand, a new report has shed light on how the USA Network feels about them.
Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful first reported that a number of Superstars which included former NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed, Bobby Fish, and Mercedes Martinez had been released from their respective WWE contracts.
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.
Since then, more reports have swirled suggesting that the black and gold brand is in for a major overhaul. Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported that there has been lots of talk internally about NXT undergoing major changes. This reportedly includes a new logo, new lighting, a focus on younger talents, and a different format to the TV shows.
“The wording is “no more midgets, no one starting in their 30s and people who can be box office attractions and main characters.”
Meltzer also noted in his report that the decision to make the latest round of cuts on NXT was down to Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard, and John Laurinaitis with NXT head honchos Triple H and Shawn Michaels said to have nothing to do with the decisions.
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.