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''WWE NXT'', also known as ''Tuesday Night NXT'' or simply ''NXT'', is a professional wrestling Television show, television program. It is produced by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, featuring performers from the promotion's NXT (WWE brand), NXT WWE brand extension, brand division. The show currently airs live on Tuesdays at 8 pm Eastern Time Zone, ET on the USA Network. ''NXT'' initially debuted in 2010 as a Television program#Seasons.2Fseries, 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 (WWE brand), Raw and SmackDown (WWE brand), SmackDown brands. Five seasons of this iteration were broadcast, with Wade Barrett, Low Ki, Kaval, Kaitlyn (wrestler), Kaitlyn, and Fandango (wrestler), Johnny Curtis being announced as winners. 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, and has since received a positive reception and high viewership, with praise for its high quality of wrestling and captivating storylines. Many consider ''NXT'' to be superior to WWE's flagship shows. The initial version of the show made its debut on Syfy on February 23, 2010, replacing ''WWE ECW, ECW'', but was replaced by ''WWE SmackDown, SmackDown'' in October. 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. In 2019, ''NXT'' expanded into a live two-hour program on the 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". On the February 4 episode of ''Superstars'', the new show's name was announced as ''NXT''. The name was later discovered to be trademark 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. The show's format was revealed in an article by ''Variety (magazine), Variety'' on February 16, with a press release from WWE made shortly later that day. ''NXT'' is the second Reality television, reality-based series produced by WWE, the first being ''WWE Tough Enough'' which aired between 2001 and 2004. 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 TV season, seasons.


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 (WWE brand), Raw and SmackDown (WWE brand), SmackDown WWE brand extension, brands (dubbed "Pros"). Each episode featured the rookies being mentored by the pros as they develop their Gimmick (professional wrestling), gimmick and performance skills in front of a live audience. The pairings also enabled the show to crossover into WWE's ''WWE Raw, Raw'' and ''WWE SmackDown, SmackDown'' programs. 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. Past physical challenges include a keg carrying contest, an assault course contest and a "List of American Gladiators events#Joust, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em" tournament. Past non-physical challenges include making 30-second Promos (professional wrestling), promos on a given topic and selling Programme (booklet), programme within a time limit. 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. One of the more frequent prizes given out to the winner is an "Immunity Pass", which gives the holder Reality television, immunity from elimination in the next round of polls. 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. In season three, one point is awarded for winning the challenge. In March 2010, WWE announced that their show ''SmackDown'' would move to Syfy in October, with ''NXT'' leaving the network at the same time. The show aired its final episode on Syfy on September 28. Shortly after their March announcement, WWE also stated their intent of looking for another channel to broadcast the show. 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. In the result of a tie-break, the audience is then asked to vote for the Rookie they want to get immunity. 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. In various weeks, polls were held to evaluate the success of each Rookie and determine the winner of the competition. The poll rankings are entirely determined by votes from the Pros and starting from season 2, votes from fans via WWE's official website. In the Pros' votes, each of the Pros vote for their favorite Rookie, but cannot vote for their own Rookie. Their votes are based on the following four criteria: * 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. However, since August 17, 2010 only the elimination is revealed. 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. Season 2 was set to use this format, but was changed to have the first poll an elimination poll. Season three also used the second season's format. 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. The prize for the winner is a WWE contract as well as a championship match at any list of WWE pay-per-view and WWE Network events. 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. Starting in 2012, the all-rookie competition was abandoned with the show now featuring past and present rookies alongside lower cardmembers 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, 2012, 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 (wrestler), Big E, Seth Rollins, Damien Sandow, Sin Cara, Bo Dallas and Adam Rose as the season's rookies, but ultimately was cancelled before airing.


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. 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. ''NXT'' was then aired exclusively on Hulu and Hulu Plus in the United States while continuing to be broadcast internationally. ''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. 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. Due to scheduling overlap with the final episodes of ''Suits (American TV series), Suits'', the second hour of the program was aired on WWE Network until October 2, when it began airing in its entirety on USA. This would start the Wednesday Night Wars. Beginning with the March 18, 2020, episode of ''NXT'', WWE began filming all of its programs without an audience at Full Sail University as a result of restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for initiating the COVID-19 pandemic and from October 4, 2020, all shows of NXT, including NXT TakeOver specials, have been broadcast live from the WWE Performance Center, which was modified and is now known as ''Capitol Wrestling Center'' with a capacity of nearly 100 members of the audience and few people appearing for the show through the virtual screen similar to the WWE ThunderDome. In March 2021, the news was broke by Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast that the brand would be moving nights from Wednesdays to Tuesdays starting in April 2021. On March 30, 2021, WWE officially announced that NXT would be moving to Tuesday nights starting on April 13, 2021, following WrestleMania 37.


Special episodes


On-air personalities


Authority figures

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

; Notes # Matt Striker became the alternate color commentator on ''NXT'' beginning due to Regal's increased in-ring schedule (Regal would continue as commentator when he was not wrestling). This ended on the episode of ''NXT'' when Regal would return to the announce table as normal. # Michael Cole served as special guest color commentator on ''NXT'' for the broadcast substituting for an absent William Regal. Cole would also substitute for Regal again on commentary on the broadcast due to Regal and Striker competing in a match that night. # Matt Striker and Josh Mathews were guest commentators on ''NXT'' for the 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. # Matt Striker and William Regal commentated the episode of ''NXT'' due to Mathews being absent. # Following the absence of Josh Mathews from ''NXT'' after being attacked by Brock Lesnar on the episode of ''Raw'', Matt Striker was joined by several guest commentators for one night on ''NXT'': Hornswoggle, AJ Lee, and Curtis Axel, Michael McGillicutty. # On the episode of ''NXT'', Josh Mathews was substituting for an absent Todd Grisham. This repeated on , but this time he was substituting for an absent Jack Korpela, who would later be released from his WWE contract. # Jim Ross only called the main event. # 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. # When McGuinness was feeling under the weather, so only Ranallo and Watson called the event. # When McGuinness was absent for the birth of his daughter, so only Ranallo and Watson called the event. # On the Christmas episode of ''NXT'', Ranallo/McGuinness called some of the show from Full Sail, While Phillips/Phoenix called the other half from Brooklyn.


Ring announcers

(*) If Chimel was absent from the ''NXT/SmackDown'' tapings, he would have been substituted as ring announcer by ''Raw''’s Justin Roberts or ''WWE Superstars, 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 (band), Slipknot, being announced by Triple H on social media. "Welcome Home (Coheed and Cambria song), 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 (NXT Arrival, 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. During season three, the show's opening theme song was "You Make the Rain Fall" by Kevin Rudolf. "Vices and Virtues (Art of Dying album), Vices and Virtues" by Art of Dying (band), Art of Dying was also used as bumper music during the initial five seasons of the show.


Broadcast history


See also

* WWE Performance Center, WWE's training facility, which is close to Full Sail University. * Wednesday Night Wars


References


Notes


External links

* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:WWE NXT WWE NXT, 2010 American television series debuts 2010 web series debuts 2020s American television series Syfy original programming WWE Network shows, NXT WWE webcasts, NXT American web series USA Network original programming Hulu original programming