It was reported by Jon Alba that WWE still internally views WWE NXT as a developmental brand, instead of as a third major brand, despite NXT airing weekly on the USA Network.
“Sources in #WWE tell me #WWENXT is officially viewed internally as “developmental,” rather than the third brand as Paul Levesque’s team has promoted over the past few years,” tweeted Alba.
This perspective is in sharp contrast to the message that Triple H has been pushing for years. Triple H has long said that he views the WWE as having three brands in Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, and WWE NXT, respectively.
Triple H has previously stated that he believes NXT has gotten big enough that some talents will be able to be successful without ever having to leave NXT. He said some talents may never appear on either Raw or SmackDown because there’d be no incentive to do so.
Triple H would not be the only person to object to NXT being referred to as a developmental brand, as a multitude of NXT superstars have addressed the topic in the past.
Johnny Gargano has gone on record multiple times to share his objections to NXT being seen as developmental. He has stated that, “anyone who says NXT is developmental, anyone who says NXT is less-than, you are wrong.” The first ever NXT Triple Crown Winner has also said that, “I think if you’re going to consider NXT developmental than RAW and SmackDown are developmental as well.”
Adam Cole has also spoke about the perception of NXT being seen simply a developmental stage for WWE. The inaugural NXT North American Champion has said, “I really do believe that we are on the same level as the guys on RAW and as the guys on SmackDown.” Earlier this year the longest-reigning NXT champion of all-time tweeted a reply to a fan that said, “WWE NXT is main roster. No debate. End of story.”
Despite the efforts of wrestlers, talents, and employees throughout the last few years, there is still a stigma surrounding the NXT brand. Some people still view NXT as a developmental source for future SmackDown and Raw superstars, including a WWE Hall of Famer.
Kurt Angle has stated in the past that despite NXT being a good brand, that it is still a ‘training ground’ for the other two main brands.
“I think NXT is a great brand. I think Triple H has done an incredible job with that. But you know what? It is still the ‘training ground’ for RAW and SmackDown,” said Angle.
It is worth noting that the WWE NXT brand also scored their highest rating in months this past Tuesday, despite strong competition from Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
You can view Jon Alba’s tweet below:
— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) July 21, 2021