Unless you have been living under a rock one of the biggest stories in the wrestling world right now is the deal that sees Ring of Honor broadcasting a weekly one hour show on Destination America, which starts tonight. With Impact Wrestling also moving to Wednesday nights directly after the Ring of Honor broadcast this got me wondering what impact this would have on NXT? After all, NXT has not had any real competition to go up against since the new format of the product began airing. Could we see the Wednesday Night Wars beginning to brew between these three companies? Or will there be no real change or impact on any of them and things will continue the way they have been plodding along at?
I wondered originally if the was a deliberate move from Destination America to have Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling move to Wednesday and air at the same time as NXT? It's not unlikely the network and two companies didn't have this discussion at some point as they would want to compete with WWE for the share of the audience. However, given the lack of any ratings increase for Impact Wrestling since their move to the network I find this surely cannot be something the station thought would be too beneficial for them or Impact Wrestling. Are Destination America maybe seeing the success of former Ring of Honor talents in NXT and hoping for a similar success for the current roster? It's likely this is the case because Ring of Honor has given us some of the best talent seen over the years in the business including CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Samoa Joe. And with the young, up and coming talent base Ring of Honor currently possess they will likely be hoping for a repeat of the past success the company has seen.
Is the WWE Network perhaps going to become a hindrance here for WWE when it comes to their fans viewing the product? Some fans love to watch their products live and have never really been given the chance to watch Impact Wrestling, or Ring of Honor, on the same night NXT has aired but with the fact fans know they can just watch NXT on demand after Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling, this has to give Destination America an advantage in terms of pulling in the majority of the audience and potentially boosting their viewing figures. In counter to that though it may not have any affect on how fans watch NXT because the core of WWE's audience may not watch NXT as it airs live anyway. I tend to watch the show on demand, mostly due to the fact I'm in the UK, but if I were given the chance to watch all three products on the same night then I would certainly give watching Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling a watch first because I know I can come back to NXT at any time after the show airs.
The move could be looked at as an almost suicidal one from Destination America, mainly because it could ruin viewing numbers for both shows and set them up to fail before they even get off the ground but equally it could be quite beneficial for everyone concerned and the wider industry. To compete with WWE, both Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling are going to have to step up their games in terms of their story lines, production, and in ring action to match the high quality product coming out of NXT. This also means NXT cannot rest and relax because they don't see any legitimate competition here as they will need to increase the level of the product quality to make the product even stronger and enjoyable to watch. I know it's hard to believe NXT could get much better given the production levels, interesting characters, great wrestling, and gripping story lines but I think if WWE are pushed hard enough they would respond in a similar fashion to how they did back when WCW dominated them during the Monday Night Wars.
Could we see a talent raid from any of the sides involved in this competition? It's unlikely, but if there is any kind of talent raid it's more than likely it will be for the more established names in each company. What I think this opportunity gives though is of great benefit to the business because it gives young up and coming talent another potential platform to get noticed on and establish themselves as a star of tomorrow. These three companies are going to have to compete to sign the best up and coming names to continue to strengthen and grow their products for a successful future. I can see some big battles coming should the Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling moves to Wednesday night prove successful for both companies for the signatures of tomorrows talent. It's an exciting prospect to potentially watch play out before our eyes and can again only be a good thing for the talent and the industry in the long run.
Do I honestly believe there could be a Wednesday Night War? Probably not in terms of the one we saw back in the late nineties between the WWE and WCW, but I feel there could well be something brewing here between NXT, Impact Wrestling, and Ring of Honor.Of course the possibility of a war hinges on the future of Impact Wrestling on Destination America as much as anything but that's another article in itself. Anything that breeds and encourages competition between companies to showcase their product and prove why they are the stand out company of the lot really is good for the wrestling business as a whole and I hope that this little bit of competition between the three companies really encourages a healthy increase in productivity in WWE's main product too as well as across the industry as a whole as part of the bigger picture.