After more than a decade of dominance as the premier TV program in professional wrestling, WWE Raw is getting trampled in ratings war against rival NXT.
It’s a cruel irony, given that NXT was intended to be a feeder system through which hopeful rookies could potentially ascend to the Raw roster — not, as it has turned out, to become Raw’s fiercest competition.
Wrestling pundit Dave Meltzer says it is “100 percent certain” that NXT will run Raw out of business by Decemeber.
NXT has been aggressive in luring away Raw’s core viewership by using clever attention-getting ploys, such as putting on exciting matches performed by talented wrestlers of whom fans have not yet grown bored.
NXT commentators Renee Young and Alex Riley have even used the underhanded technique of revealing Raw results in advance, thus discouraging fans from tuning in: “Triple-H will open Raw with a 15-minute speech, and John Cena will pander,” said Young. “That’ll put a lot of butts in seats.”
Although the next WWE pay-per-view, Night of Champions, was originally scheduled to feature main-roster WWE talent, it has been completely rebooked to exclusively feature NXT matches.
The pre-show dark match will see John Cena face Brock Lesnar.
WWE also faces stiff competition from rival promotions Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling and Ring of Honor — a situation that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has trouble addressing without fits of uproarious laughter.