AEW announced that they are going to be on TNT starting on October 2nd. Then WWE announced that NXT is moving to Wednesday nights on USA Network starting on September 18th. That is the timeline, but WWE might like to think the story goes a little bit differently.
WWE has arranged it so NXT will debut on USA Network two weeks prior to AEW’s television debut. This makes it seem like AEW is starting after WWE’s product for the passive viewer.
The story goes even deeper as the company also sent Deadspin a reply to their article about WWE countering AEW. WWE’s response implied that AEW was countering NXT all along because they have aired that show on the WWE Network every Wednesday since the Network’s inception.
“The premise to your story is wrong. NXT has been on Wednesday nights since 2015 [sic] as I’m sure you know. It isn’t called counter-programming if you continue to air a series on the same day/time as it has been on for nearly five years. Perhaps you’ll ask AEW about counter-programming NXT?”
When Triple H was asked about this subject during a recent conference call he made the same kind of remark. NXT has always debuted new episodes on the WWE Network every Wednesday, but it’s a streaming service where most viewers do not watch as it airs.
WWE taking the stance that AEW is counting NXT adds a very interesting public relations twist to this story. We’ll just have to see where this leads, but the Wednesday Night Wars could be waged in the press just as heavily as on television at this point.