Has Vince McMahon Given Up on NXT Ever Beating AEW?

A little over a year ago, WWE moved NXT to the USA Network and expanded it to two hours with one purpose in mind: destroying upstart wrestling league AEW and their new show on TNT, Dynamite. It's impossible to know what WWE was thinking before the shows first went head-to-head, but after the first episode of Dynamite crushed NXT in ratings, WWE issued a statement congratulating them and referring to the contest as "a marathon, not a sprint." A year later, NXT has lost nearly every single week in both ratings and overall viewership, only occasionally pulling out a victory, usually with a boost in the 50+ demographic, and always because of putting on a free PPV-level show with huge matches.

The official logo for WWE NXT.
The official logo for WWE NXT.

And so, it seems, WWE has given up on ever defeating AEW Dynamite in a meaningful way on Wednesdays. Just look at the contrast between last year's Survivor Series and this year's. Last year, NXT was showcased during Survivor Series, invading Raw and SmackDown and turning the PPV event that normally sees WWE's two main brands go head to head into a three-way dance. At the PPV, NXT was heavily promoted, even at the expense of WWE's other two brands. But this year, NXT isn't even a part of the event.

On a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said that the decision comes down to Vince McMahon, and he speculated that Vince may have given up on ever winning "The Wednesday Night Wars" and is now just hoping nobody brings it up anymore. If true, and McMahon wants to put the whole ratings war behind him and go back to pretending competition doesn't exist, that could actually be good news for both NXT and AEW. There's been talk recently of moving NXT to another night, such as Tuesdays, which would allow both NXT and Dynamite to draw higher viewerships on a weekly basis. Though, it would be pretty bad for Impact, who would likely need to look for a new night if they were going to fave weekly competition from NXT.

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A prophecy once said that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

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