The rumors that WWE NXT would become a two-hour live show on USA are now more than rumors and All Elite Wrestling‘s Chris Jericho has some thoughts about that. Actually, he had some thoughts about it when it had yet to be officially announced, but the take he gave on Busted Open Radio yesterday with the assumption that those reports were true is still relevant and combines what a lot of fans are thinking with a bit of putting over his new home promotion.
Here’s how Jericho thinks this new format could harm NXT (transcript from 411mania) and why promotional wars are dumb:
… by adding another two hours, that really dilutes their product. It dilutes their mindset. It dilutes their focus. It’s a reactionary move. It’s done by a guy who wants to start a war when we don’t care if you want to start a war. That was never our intention. There’s no war for us. We’re just doing what we’re doing. Some people don’t like that and they’re reacting to it. And it just dilutes their own product.
Two live wrestling shows airing at the same time is reminiscent of the Monday Night Wars between WWF and WCW and Jericho points out some dumb things about that heyday of wrestling:
Do you remember in the ’90s, Nitro would start at 7:57 and RAW started at 8, and the reason why they got that three minutes early is because we wanted our pyro to be before theirs. Who gives a crap? Who cares what the pyro is? What’s the show like? Don’t worry about what the other guy is doing, worry about your own stuff.
Jericho also says that AEW not making these types of moves will be to their benefit:
I don’t care about any other wrestling company in the world. I want everyone to do good, everyone do what you want to do, be the best you can be, whether it’s WWE, or Ring of Honor, or Impact, or New Japan, or AAA, or friggin’ George Swanson show down at the Armory on a Friday night. Do your thing. We don’t care. And I think that’s one of the reasons, it makes us cool, it’s a typical thing, the more other people do, the more it makes us look revolutionary and cool and we haven’t even started yet, just wait until we start.
Of course, pointing out that AEW and its wrestlers aren’t above some inter-promotional sniping is way too easy to do. In-jokes about WWE have been a staple of Being The Elite for years now, including a DX-esque parking lot invasion of Raw in 2017. Cody smashed a throne that looked like the one from a Triple H WrestleMania entrance with a sledgehammer on AEW’s first PPV. Jericho hasn’t been above this behavior either, having made snarky remarks about WWE on Twitter.
That being said, as far as we know, AEW hasn’t done anything as dramatic as move and fundamentally change a television show in order to counter the competition at this point, and it’s possible Triple H might even agree with some of Jericho’s points.