The Wednesday Night Wars may finally be coming to an end, with news emerging that NXT has taken the decision to move to Tuesday nights.
The Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast revealed in a tweet that a “very reliable source” had broken news of the upcoming move to them. Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast is considered to be a highly trustworthy source in the pro wrestling world, having broken major stories in the past.
Hearing from a very reliable source that NXT will be moving to Tuesdays starting 4/13.— Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast ? (@Matmenpodcast) March 2, 2021
Should be announced fairly soon. pic.twitter.com/FCnLhdZ8Ms
The news was also backed up by wrestling Journalist Dave Meltzer.
This was definitely a topic of discussion in WWE quarters on 2/24, but at least at that point it was not final. https://t.co/r8QoVhyAgR— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) March 2, 2021
NXT originally began airing 2-hour live shows to compete alongside AEW Dynamite. Before this, NXT was a taped 1-hour show, but was bumped up in order to steal viewers away from AEW and keep their demographic down.
Since both shows began airing in October 2019, AEW Dynamite has consistently beaten NXT in the ongoing ratings war. Even when NXT brought in major stars such as Finn Balor, AJ Styles and Edge to the Full Sail arena, viewership didn’t see a significant increase.
Whenever one show ran unopposed against the other, that respective show saw a major increase in cable viewership numbers. It’s possible that WWE have realized that the only way to pump their figures up is to run unopposed, although they will still be competing against AEW Dark and IMPACT Wrestling if they switch to Tuesday nights.
This will almost certainly mean that AEW’s (and NXT’s) viewership will increase to around the 1-million mark. Regardless of whichever side of the fence you sit on, this is good news for the wrestling community as a whole.
It’s unclear as to the motives behind the rumored move. The news comes only weeks after NBC announced the upcoming closure of the NBC Sports Network, which regularly hosts NHL and NASCAR events. Most NHL games are played on Wednesday nights, so the USA Network (another NBC-owned channel) may be bumping NXT in favor of NHL, which sees much higher viewing figures than NXT.
While the news is uncomfirmed as of yet, Mat Men’s original report has been retweeted by a number of reputable sources, including Fightful.com.
With this new change, can AEW Dynamite consistently maintain 1-million viewership or more? This could bring them a little closer to competing with Raw and Smackdown’s cable numbers.