Shawn Michaels has dismissed suggestions that WWE made a deliberate move to run NXT Battleground head-to-head with AEW Double or Nothing on May 28th.
In what promises to be a bumper weekend for fans around the world, Night of Champions will take place on May 27th, before NXT and AEW go against each other 24 hours later.
The scheduling clash raised a serious number of eyebrows both inside the industry and among fans, with many believing that WWE had chosen to pit NXT against Double or Nothing in a move reminiscent of the ‘Wednesday Night Wars.’
However, speaking to the media ahead of Battleground, Shawn Michaels said that the decision was far more straightforward. When asked by Nick Hausman of Haus of Wrestling whether the tactic was intentional and could happen again in the future, HBK said that it’s not something fans should get used to.
“Not to the best of my knowledge, no,” he said. “Look, for me, and for us, I think the WWE as a whole. Again, as I’m always honest with you guys, clearly there are people far more important than me that make decisions all the time that they don’t tell me about. But no, for us, this was about a big Memorial Day weekend for WWE, obviously.
And even though it’s a little bit switched around, and, for us, it’s a little bit of a throwback to, obviously, we used to have joint weekends. You know I mean? With NXT on Saturday, and Raw and Smackdown pay-per-views on Sunday. This is just sort of flip-flopped with Jeddah happening on Saturday, Night of Champions.”
Shawn Michaels Compares AEW To The NBA And NHL
Michaels said that the overall aim was to create a stacked weekend of wrestling for WWE fans with big events on both days. Moving back to AEW, the WWE Hall of Famer drew a comparison with the NBA and NHL, adding that the less direct competition a show has the better.
“Again, especially coming in the afternoon, everybody just felt that it was a good combination to have NXT on Sunday night, and just create a big WWE weekend for WWE fans. Look, I will say this, for me, personally, I would love to be able to have as many standalone weekends on us as we can get, you know what I mean?
It’s always better, no different than against the playoffs. You know, for the last several weeks, as much as I’m a basketball fan or an NHL fan, it thrills me when the playoffs are done. So, the less competition we can get the better.”
You can follow all of the action from Night of Champions, Battleground, and Double or Nothing, live with Inside The Ropes.
H/t to Haus of Wrestling