NXT Debuts on the Main Roster

In the week following Survivor Series, there were five call-ups from the NXT roster, and one in-ring return. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose shockingly showed up on Monday Night Raw accompanying Paige, who was making her long-awaited, long-debated return to WWE after a neck injury. Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan made an impact the next day on Smackdown Live.

In a time where WWE is struggling to stay afloat, with viewership and ratings constantly dropping, the company is finally doing something right with the women’s division. I am a strong proponent of building and expanding the women’s division to hopefully one day become truly equal to the men’s division. I am talking the same amount of women on the roster, creative and challenging match conditions, and fans whose all-time favorite wrestlers are women. I am elated by the new prospects these women will bring to Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live, and I am thrilled that there are now five more openings on the NXT roster for new female wrestlers to continue to change the scene.

While I am so excited about Morgan, Riot, Deville, Rose, and Logan, I do question why these women were brought up to the main roster. I was expecting the Iconic Duo to debut on Smackdown after Raw’s new additions. However, I do understand that it is rather difficult to transfer talent from NXT to either Raw or Smackdown because the higher-ups do not want to change the atmosphere of NXT. And as fans, we do not want NXT to change either. We want it to remain an intimate, indy-like setting, apart from (but also connected to) WWE.

I have previously expressed my desire to transfer the entire NXT roster onto the main roster and start from scratch with a fresh batch of talent on NXT. But this would be risky, and WWE knows it, which is why all call-ups must be strategic and perfectly timed. NXT must have some of their big names carry the show while introducing and building new characters, until they – and we – are ready for them to pass the torch.

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Pay-per-views in 2017

I read somewhere that there will be fewer WWE pay-per-views in 2017. While pay-per-views are exciting – due to superstars putting on their best performances, and the possibility of superstar returns – I think this decision is in the company’s best interest. Since the 2016 draft, where the brands were split, and each show was given its own pay-per-views, there has been a pay-per-view event about every 2-4 weeks. Just take a look at the pay-per-view schedule over the past few months:

 

September 11, 2016 Backlash

September 25, 2016 Clash of Champions

October 9, 2016 No Mercy

October 30, 2016 Hell in a Cell

November 20, 2016 Survivor Series

December 4, 2016 TLC

 

Now, just two weeks after TLC, Roadblock will be held (on December 18th). Typically, fans would think “the more pay-per-views the better!” and “at least I’m getting my money’s worth from the WWE Network,” but are more pay-per-views really better? Since there is a very short time frame between pay-per-views, there is not enough time to create new rivalries. Therefore, pay-per-view matches are oftentimes basically the same for two or more events. For example, Charlotte and Sasha have been rivals since July, and they have faced each other at almost every pay-per-view since then.

Just looking back since August, Sasha and Charlotte competed against each other at Summerslam, Clash of Champions (triple threat with Bayley), and Hell in a Cell. That’s three pay-per-views. This rivalry has lasted for five months.

Since the amount of time between pay-per-views is short, matches feel repetitive and old. Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles have been facing each other (with John Cena in the mix at one point) practically since the brand split. WWE needs to limit rivalries to two to three months max. Especially with a three hour show, it is easy for viewers to lose interest.

In my opinion, there aren’t enough superstars on the roster to have such frequent pay-per-views. If they had more superstars, they would be able to show different combinations of matches at pay-per-views. They would be able to have shorter, more diverse story-lines. They should consider hiring back old superstars, AND making the most of the rosters they have now. WWE, you do not need to use every superstar you have on every episode of Raw. Surprise the audience when a superstar appears on Raw for the first time in a few weeks – the way NXT does – in order to up the excitement and give the show an element of surprise. Then nourish a rivalry between them and another superstar for a few weeks. When that fizzles out, repeat with another superstar.