In 2010, Paul “Triple H” Levesque started an alternative pro wrestling brand following the dissolution of ECW. Driven by his futuristic vision, the nascent WWE NXT brand soon boomed into a global phenomenon and began competing with WWE’s very own main roster itself.
Today, NXT is no longer the alternative. Instead, the developmental brand is being perceived as a stand-alone company as it prepares for its grand debut on the USA Network next week.
During a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, Triple H discussed the competition that NXT will be facing from rival promotions, more specifically, AEW’s TNT show on Wednesday nights.
“For me, it’s about putting on the best show we possibly can whether we had competition or not. The winner, I think, is fans. Competition brings out the best in people and I think that’s what will happen here. For me, the competition is with ourselves — to constantly raise the bar, to be something better — and I don’t just mean in-ring, I mean for the business in general, to be leaders. It’s something I challenge everyone at the Performance Center to do every day, create the business the way we want it to be. When we say we are the future, that’s what we mean.”
The Godfather Of NXT didn’t hesitate to take a jab at AEW by noting that the yellow-and-black brand was the first real alternative to have ever existed in the pro wrestling business 5 years ago.
“If you talk about the upstart, what they’re going out and saying is that they’re an alternative. We were that alternative five years ago. We opened the door for being an alternative, we opened the door to show people that it can be done on a bigger level and on a different basis. As far as being the alternative, great, go put on the best show you can put out, and we’ll put out the best one we can put out.”
AEW may be using the “alternative” catchphrase to draw a bigger audience, but whatever the outcome of the WWE NXT vs AEW war turns out to be, the fans are the clear winners here.