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WWE NXT

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WWE NXT
NXT 2018--4a0aeccb28a6be65f0e28f6f4be7fa38.png
GenreProfessional wrestling
Created by
Written byJoe Belcastro
See list of NXT creative writers
Presented by
StarringNXT roster
Opening theme
Composer(s)CFO$
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons12
No. of episodes532 (as of November 6, 2019 (2019-11-06))
Production
Producer(s)Paul "Triple H" Levesque
Camera setupMulticamera setup
Running time
  • ~50 minutes
  • 120–180 minutes
    (TakeOver specials)
Release
Original network
Picture format
Original releaseFebruary 23, 2010 (2010-02-23) –
present
Chronology
Preceded byECW (2006 (2006)–2010 (2010))
Related shows
External links
Website

WWE NXT, also simply called NXT, is a professional wrestling television program that is produced by WWE and is broadcast on the USA Network.

NXT initially debuted in 2010 as a seasonal show which was presented as a hybrid between WWE's scripted live event shows and reality television, in which talent from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) participated in a competition to become WWE's next "breakout star", with the help of mentors from WWE's Raw and SmackDown brands.[1] Five seasons of this iteration were broadcast, with Wade Barrett, Kaval, Kaitlyn, and Johnny Curtis being announced as winners.[note 1]

In June 2012, WWE ended the seasonal competition format and opted to revamp the show. WWE NXT became the flagship television show of the NXT brand,[1][2][3] and has since received universally positive critical reception and high viewership, with praise directed toward the high quality of wrestling[4][5] and captivating storylines. Many consider NXT to be superior to WWE's flagship shows.[6][7]

The initial version of the show made its debut on Syfy on February 23, 2010, replacing ECW, but was replaced by SmackDown in October.[8][9] It then aired as an hourly webcast on WWE.com on the United States until June 13, 2012, before it was expanded to international markets on the WWE Network in 2014.[10] In 2019, NXT expanded into a live two-hour program on USA Network.

History

Formation

On February 2, 2010, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that a new weekly program would replace the canceled ECW in its time slot on Syfy. McMahon described the show as "the next evolution of WWE; the next evolution of television history".[11]

On the February 4 episode of Superstars, the new show's name was announced as NXT.[12] The name was later discovered to be trademarked already in the United Kingdom by National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) affiliate Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA) which also used "NXT" as their brand for upcoming stars. Both parties ultimately reached an agreement that resulted in SWA releasing the "NXT" trademark in favor of a new one before the show's debut.[13][14]

The show's format was revealed in an article by Variety on February 16, with a press release from WWE made shortly later that day.[1][3] NXT is the second reality-based series produced by WWE, the first being Tough Enough which aired between 2001 and 2004.[1] Due to WWE's nature of airing weekly shows without hiatus, the plan for NXT was to split the year's set of episodes into multiple seasons.[1]

Original format (2010–2012)

NXT was formed in 2010 when they paired up wrestlers from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (dubbed "Rookies") with wrestlers from WWE's existing Raw and SmackDown brands (dubbed "Pros"). Each episode featured the rookies being mentored by the pros as they develop their characters and performance skills in front of a live audience. The pairings also enabled the show to crossover into WWE's Raw and SmackDown programs.[1][3] As the length of each season differed, features of the competition occur at different times accordingly. In addition to matches, weekly challenges were held during the competition to further test the Rookies' physical and mental skills.[15]

Past physical challenges include a keg carrying contest, an assault course contest and a "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em" tournament.[15][16][17] Past non-physical challenges include making 30-second promos on a given topic and selling programs within a time limit.[18][19]

During the first two seasons, the winner of the weekly challenge receives a special prize such as a main event match, a talk show segment or a feature on WWE's official website.[15][18][19] One of the more frequent prizes given out to the winner is an "Immunity Pass", which gives the holder immunity from elimination in the next round of polls.[20][21] During the last three seasons a greater emphasis on challenges was placed on the show. Instead of awarding prizes to the winner of the challenges, points are instead awarded to the winner with a cumulative tally of points recorded before each of the first three polls. The Rookie with the most points before the next upcoming poll is awarded immunity.[22] In season three, one point is awarded for winning the challenge.[22]

In March 2010, WWE announced that their show SmackDown would move to Syfy in October, with NXT leaving the network at the same time.[8] The show aired its final episode on Syfy on September 28.[10][23] Shortly after their March announcement, WWE also stated their intent of looking for another channel to broadcast the show.[9] Despite their initial comments, WWE began to air the show as a webcast on their official website for American visitors as of October 2010.

In season four, the number of points vary on the difficulty of the challenge.[24][25] In the result of a tie-break, the audience is then asked to vote for the Rookie they want to get immunity.[26] Season four also saw the introduction of challenge matches involving the entire roster of Pros or Rookies where the winner would be given the chance to swap their respective Rookie or Pro for another.[27][28] In various weeks, polls were held to evaluate the success of each Rookie and determine the winner of the competition.[29] The poll rankings are entirely determined by votes from the Pros and starting from season 2, votes from fans via WWE's official website.[30] In the Pros' votes, each of the Pros vote for their favorite Rookie, but cannot vote for their own Rookie.[29] Their votes are based on the following four criteria:[31]

  • Win-loss record within the show
  • Strength of opponents
  • Work ethic
  • "It" factor

Initially, in the first two seasons the full results and rankings from the poll were revealed.[32] However, since August 17, 2010 only the elimination is revealed.[33] The first poll, usually held a third of the way through the competition, determines the Rookies' rankings. Subsequent polls are held several weeks later near the end of the season, where the lowest ranked Rookie without immunity is eliminated.[32] Season 2 was set to use this format, but was changed to have the first poll an elimination poll.[21][34] Season three also used the second season's format.[22] The show continued until the season finale, where the final two or three Rookies appear. One or two final polls were then held to determine the winner of the competition.[32][35] The prize for the winner is a WWE contract as well as a championship match at any pay-per-view event.[32][36] Outside of the polls, Rookies could still be eliminated via an executive decision from WWE management, as the first season saw both Daniel Bryan and Michael Tarver eliminated by management for a lack of self-confidence.[37]

Starting in 2012, the all-rookie competition was abandoned with the show now featuring past and present rookies alongside lower card members of the main WWE roster. William Regal would also take over as the authority figure and match coordinator, with Matt Striker being retained as the show's host. On May 30, 2017, it was revealed that a sixth season of NXT under its original format was set to air. The season was supposed to star Big E Langston, Seth Rollins, Damien Sandow, Hunico, Bo Dallas and Adam Rose as the season's rookies, but ultimately was cancelled before airing.[38][39]

Revised format (2012–present)

In May 2012, the show's format was revamped. The show began using more talent from FCW as well as talent from the main roster. The first four episodes under the new format were taped at Full Sail University on May 17.[40] Starting with NXT Arrival in February 2014, NXT occasionally aired live episodes on the WWE Network, which effectively serve as the NXT equivalent of main roster pay-per-view shows. WWE continued to air NXT Redemption, hoping a new television deal could be made. WWE.com revealed on June 13 that the new version of NXT would be made available online via WWE.com and YouTube beginning on Wednesday, June 20, when WWE would begin airing the episodes they taped at Full Sail on May 17. However, WWE removed all of the NXT material from their website on June 19.[41] NXT was then aired exclusively on Hulu and Hulu Plus in the United States while continuing to be broadcast internationally.[42][43] NXT began airing on the WWE Network on February 27, 2014, with a live event called NXT Arrival.

NXT returned to cable on December 20, 2017, airing a 1-hour special on USA Network.[44]

In August 2019, WWE announced that NXT would permanently move to USA Network and be revamped as a live, two-hour program on Wednesday nights beginning September 18, with replays available the following day on WWE Network.[45][46][47] Due to scheduling overlap with the final episodes of Suits, the second hour of the program was aired on WWE Network for its first two weeks. Beginning October 2, NXT was shown in its entirety on USA Network.[48]

On-air personalities

Authority figures

Authority figure Position Date started Date finished
Matt Striker Host February 23, 2010 (2010-02-23) June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13)
Ashley Valence Co-host June 22, 2010 (2010-06-22) August 31, 2010 (2010-08-31)
Maryse Co-host March 8, 2011 (2011-03-08) July 26, 2011 (2011-07-26)
William Regal Match Coordinator February 29, 2012 (2012-02-29) June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13)
General Manager July 31, 2014 (2014-07-31) present
Dusty Rhodes Interim General Manager June 20, 2012 (2012-06-20) September 25, 2013 (2013-09-25)
Commissioner
August 29, 2012 (2012-08-29)
John "Bradshaw" Layfield General Manager September 25, 2013 (2013-09-25) July 31, 2014 (2014-07-31)
Michael Cole Interim General Manager
November 25, 2015 (2015-11-25)

On August 24, 2011, Maryse underwent surgery for an abdominal hernia and was on medical leave from WWE, therefore Maryse's role as co-host ended. She would later be released from WWE on October 28 and would not return to NXT. As of November 2011, there is no official co-host. Dusty Rhodes was named Interim NXT General Manager on June 20, 2012, which coincided with the rebranding of NXT into a full scale developmental promotion. On the August 29 episode (taped July 29) of NXT, Rhodes was noted as NXT Commissioner. On September 25, 2013, Triple H relieved Dusty Rhodes of his duties and replaced him with John Bradshaw Layfield. On November 25, 2015, the Raw lead commentator Michael Cole replaced William Regal as NXT General Manager while Regal was recovering from neck surgery.

Commentators

Commentators Date started Date finished
Michael Cole and Josh Mathews February 23, 2010 (2010-02-23) November 30, 2010 (2010-11-30)
January 18, 2012 (2012-01-18)
Michael Cole, Josh Mathews and CM Punk
September 21, 2010 (2010-09-21)
Todd Grisham and Josh Mathews December 7, 2010 (2010-12-07) March 1, 2011 (2011-03-01)
Todd Grisham and William Regal March 8, 2011 (2011-03-08) April 12, 2011 (2011-04-12)
April 26, 2011 (2011-04-26)
May 17, 2011 (2011-05-17) May 24, 2011 (2011-05-24)
June 7, 2011 (2011-06-07) August 23, 2011 (2011-08-23)
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker1 May 3, 2011 (2011-05-03) May 10, 2011 (2011-05-10)
Todd Grisham and Michael Cole2
May 31, 2011 (2011-05-31)
Jack Korpela and William Regal September 6, 2011 (2011-09-06) November 3, 2011 (2011-11-03)
Jack Korpela and Michael Cole2
September 13, 2011 (2011-09-13)
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker3 November 9, 2011 (2011-11-09) December 28, 2011 (2011-12-28)
Matt Striker and William Regal4
November 23, 2011 (2011-11-23)
January 4, 2012 (2012-01-04) January 11, 2012 (2012-01-11)
Josh Mathews and William Regal6
April 19, 2011 (2011-04-19)
November 16, 2011 (2011-11-16)
January 25, 2012 (2012-01-25) June 13, 2012 (2012-06-13)
Matt Striker and guest commentators5
April 25, 2012 (2012-04-25)
Jim Ross and Byron Saxton June 27, 2012 (2012-06-27) July 4, 2012 (2012-07-04)
Byron Saxton, William Regal and Jim Ross7 July 11, 2012 (2012-07-11) October 17, 2012 (2012-10-17)
Jim Ross and William Regal
June 20, 2012 (2012-06-20)
October 24, 2012 (2012-10-24) October 31, 2012 (2012-10-31)
Tony Luftman and William Regal October 24, 2012 (2012-10-24) October 31, 2012 (2012-10-31)
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Tony Dawson and Brad Maddox8 November 7, 2012 (2012-11-07) July 31, 2013 (2013-07-31)
Tony Dawson, William Regal, Tom Phillips and Alex Riley8 August 7, 2013 (2013-08-07) September 20, 2013 (2013-09-20)
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Byron Saxton, Alex Riley, Jason Albert and Renee Young September 20, 2013 (2013-09-20) April 3, 2014 (2014-04-03)
Tom Phillips, William Regal, Byron Saxton, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley, Jason Albert and Renee Young April 10, 2014 (2014-04-10) July 24, 2014 (2014-07-24)
Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Renee Young, Rich Brennan, Alex Riley and Jason Albert July 31, 2014 (2014-07-31) September 11, 2014 (2014-09-11)
Rich Brennan, Alex Riley, Jason Albert and Renee Young September 18, 2014 (2014-09-18) December 11, 2014 (2014-12-11)
Rich Brennan, Alex Riley, Jason Albert, Renee Young and Corey Graves December 11, 2014 (2014-12-11) January 21, 2015 (2015-01-21)
Renee Young and Corey Graves
December 25, 2014 (2014-12-25)
Rich Brennan, Tom Phillips, Alex Riley, Corey Graves and Jason Albert January 28, 2015 (2015-01-28) March 4, 2015 (2015-03-04)
Rich Brennan, Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Jason Albert March 11, 2015 (2015-03-11) March 18, 2015 (2015-03-18)
Rich Brennan and Corey Graves March 25, 2015 (2015-03-25) April 22, 2015 (2015-04-22)
August 26, 2015 (2015-08-26) September 9, 2015 (2015-09-09)
December 30, 2015 (2015-12-30) January 6, 2016 (2016-01-06)
Rich Brennan, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton April 29, 2015 (2015-04-29) August 22, 2015 (2015-08-22)
September 16, 2015 (2015-09-16) December 23, 2015 (2015-12-23)
Tom Phillips and Corey Graves January 13, 2016 (2016-01-13) November 30, 2016 (2016-11-30)
Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Percy Watson December 7, 2016 (2016-12-07) February 1, 2017 (2017-02-01)
Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson February 8, 2017 (2017-02-08) June 21, 2017 (2017-06-21)
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson June 28, 2017 (2017-06-28) April 11, 2018 (2018-04-11)
May 16, 2018 (2018-05-16) May 8, 2019 (2019-05-08)
Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson
November 29, 2017 (2017-11-29)
January 31, 2018 (2018-01-31)[1]
April 18, 2018 (2018-04-18) May 9, 2018 (2018-05-09)[2]
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson
June 20, 2018 (2018-06-20)
October 24, 2018 (2018-10-24) November 14, 2018 (2018-11-14)
Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness
November 28, 2018 (2018-11-28)
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness and Beth Phoenix May 15, 2019 (2019-05-15) present
Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness
June 12, 2019 (2019-06-12)
Notes
  1. ^ Matt Striker became the alternate color commentator on NXT beginning May 3, 2011 (2011-05-03) due to Regal's increased in-ring schedule (Regal would continue as commentator when he was not wrestling). This ended on the May 17, 2011 (2011-05-17) episode of NXT when Regal would return to the announce table as normal.
  2. ^ ^ Michael Cole served as special guest color commentator on NXT for the May 31, 2011 (2011-05-31) broadcast substituting for an absent William Regal. Cole would also substitute for Regal again on commentary on the September 13, 2011 (2011-09-13) broadcast due to Regal and Striker competing in a match that night.
  3. ^ Matt Striker and Josh Mathews were guest commentators on NXT for the November 9, 2011 (2011-11-09) broadcast substituting for the absent William Regal and Jack Korpela. Striker and Mathews returned to commentary the following two weeks because Jack Korpela's contract with the WWE had expired and he opted not to renew.
  4. ^ Matt Striker and William Regal commentated the November 23, 2011 (2011-11-23) episode of NXT due to Mathews being absent.
  5. ^ Following the absence of Josh Mathews from NXT after being attacked by Brock Lesnar on the April 23, 2012 (2012-04-23) episode of Raw, Matt Striker was joined by various guest commentators for one night on NXT. The following is a list of the guest commentators who joined Matt Striker on April 25, 2012 episode of NXT.

Temporary Commentators

Commentator
Hornswoggle
AJ Lee
Michael McGillicutty
  1. ^ On the April 19, 2011 (2011-04-19) episode of NXT, Josh Mathews was substituting for an absent Todd Grisham. This repeated on November 16, 2011 (2011-11-16), but this time he was substituting for an absent Jack Korpela, who would later be released from his WWE contract.
  2. ^ Jim Ross only called the main event.
  3. ^ The pairings of Dawson/Luftman (Dawson and Luftman were the same man) and Regal and Phillips and Maddox commentate on alternate shows. Riley replaced Maddox in August 2013 after Maddox became the Raw General Manager. Scott Stanford serves as narrator.
  4. ^ When McGuinness was feeling under the weather, so only Ranallo and Watson called the event.
  5. ^ When McGuinness was absent for the birth of his daughter, so only Ranallo and Watson called the event.

Ring announcers

Ring announcer Date started Date finished
Savannah February 23, 2010 June 1, 2010
Jamie Keyes June 8, 2010 August 24, 2010
Justin Roberts
December 7, 2010
March 8, 2011
September 13, 2011
Tony Chimel* August 31, 2010 November 30, 2010
December 14, 2010 March 1, 2011
March 15, 2011 November 30, 2011
December 28, 2011 January 11, 2012
January 26, 2012 June 13, 2012
Eden Stiles
July 12, 2011
November 9, 2011
December 7, 2011 December 21, 2011
Lilian Garcia
January 18, 2012
Caylee Turner, Summer Rae and Chris Russo June 20, 2012 October 17, 2012
Howard Finkel
Main Event, July 29, 2012 (aired August 29, 2012)
Summer Rae and Byron Saxton October 24, 2012 February 14, 2013
Byron Saxton, Kendall Skye, Alexa Bliss, Eden Stiles and Veronica Lane February 21, 2013 September 19, 2013
Eden and JoJo September 26, 2013 October 10, 2014
Byron Saxton and JoJo October 16, 2014 November 6, 2014
JoJo November 13, 2014 April 29, 2015
JoJo and Greg Hamilton May 6, 2015 July 15, 2015
Greg Hamilton and Dasha Fuentes July 22, 2015 August 24, 2016
Andrea D'Marco and Mike Rome August 31, 2016 January 4, 2017
Mike Rome January 11, 2017 April 5, 2017
May 3, 2017 August 23, 2017
Dasha Fuentes April 12, 2017 April 26, 2017
Christy St. Cloud November 29, 2017 March 16, 2018
Mike Rome and Kayla Braxton August 30, 2017 April 11, 2018
July 4, 2018 August 15, 2018
Kayla Braxton April 18, 2018 June 27, 2018
August 22, 2018 present
Alicia Taylor April 24, 2019 present

(*) If Chimel was absent from the NXT/SmackDown tapings, he would have been substituted as ring announcer by Raw’s Justin Roberts or Superstars’ Eden Stiles, who would also serve as SmackDown’s ring announcer for that week's episode. Effective December 8, 2011, Chimel has been replaced by Lilian Garcia on SmackDown and Eden Stiles has picked up Chimel's NXT announcing duties until December 13, 2011. On December 21 prior to NXT being uploaded on WWE.com, Stiles announced that she asked for her release from WWE a day after her final Superstars and NXT appearances had been recorded.

Theme music

Since April 4, 2019, the official theme song for NXT is "All Out Life" by Slipknot, being announced by Triple H on social media.

"Welcome Home" by Coheed and Cambria was used from the show's relaunch on June 20, 2012 to February 24, 2014. "Roar of the Crowd" by CFO$ served as the official theme song for NXT since its arrival to the WWE Network from (February 27, 2014) to April 5, 2017. A remix of the same song was used starting on June 15, 2016. From April 12, 2017, the theme song was "Rage" by CFO$, followed by "Resistance" by Powerflo; which was first used on the May 31, 2017 episode.

In its original incarnation, the American Bang song "Wild and Young" had been used for each season with the exception of the third.[49] During season three, the show's opening theme song was "You Make the Rain Fall" by Kevin Rudolf.[50][51] "Get Thru This" by Art of Dying was also used as bumper music during the initial five seasons of the show.[52]

International broadcasters

Country Network Ref.
Arab World OSN [53][54][55]
Australia WWE Network [56]
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka Sony TEN [57][58][59][60]
Cambodia Cambodian Television Network [61]
Canada Sportsnet/SN 360 [62]
France Action [63]
Germany
Austria
Switzerland
Luxembourg
Liechtenstein
WWE Network [64]
Italy Sky Italia [65]
Japan J Sports 1 [66]
Latin America Fox Sports Latinoamérica [67]
Malaysia Astro SuperSport [68]
Mexico Viva Sports [69]
New Zealand WWE Network
Philippines Fox [70]
Poland Extreme Sports Channel [71]
Portugal WWE Network
Romania Sport.ro
Singapore SuperSports
Taiwan Videoland Max-TV [72]
Turkey WWE Network
United Kingdom WWE Network

See also

References

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Notes

  1. ^ In the later stages of season five, the all-rookie competition was abandoned with no winner being officially named, although Derrick Bateman was the final remaining rookie on NXT Redemption after both Darren Young and Titus O'Neil were moved to the SmackDown brand.
  1. ^ Replays of new episodes continue to air on Hulu.
  2. ^ Replays of new episodes continue to air on the WWE Network.

External links