The television program NXT has given WWE fans one hell of an entertaining group of individuals to watch every Monday night on Raw: The Nexus. NXT has allowed these seven young men to become stars in this one stable and invade Raw and provide fans with one of the best storylines in a long time.
NXT is currently in its second season on SyFy. The ratings have not been as solid as the first season, but that’s expected because it was a novelty last season. Fans are now watching the same show with different names and faces. Let’s face it, people have a short attention span and if there’s no new element, they’re going to find something else to watch. The die-hard fans might watch, but even they might turn away if season 2 feels much like season 1.
If you’re a huge fan of NXT, don’t get too attached. A show like this does not have a long life span, just look to the Tough Enough franchise that ran on MTV for three seasons starting in 2001.The first season had lots of hype and did well in the ratings. The two seasons after that saw a decline in the ratings and MTV pulled the plug on the show.
Tough Enough was a reality show that offered more than NXT. Tough Enough (TE) offered more of a look into the training that goes on in the ring as well as a tremendous amount of interaction between the contestants in their lavish home.
For those that never saw TE, you might say ‘NXT offers more wrestling.’ Not true, NXT offers challenges in the ring and unexciting cuts. TE had a lot more to offer because it was a reality show that went behind the scenes in some ways of pro wrestling. TE4 was an abbreviated version of the original series tha moved onto Smackdown in 2004. It was billed as the Million Dollar Tough Enough and was a lot like NXT and not the previous TE’s. In terms of entertaining, it was the worst TE in my opinion.
In the end, these shows don’t last more than a few seasons. Even real die hard wrestling fans don’t like the game-show feeling TE4 and NXT offers. The real litmus test will be if after seasons 2 and 3 of NXT feel the same. If the seasons start to blur and they all feel the same, the show is in deep trouble. The WWE tried to change the format between TE3 and TE4, but even that didn’t work. Shows like this just don’t have a shelf-life that resonates with wrestling fans.
Think about it, most wrestling fans want good matches with compelling storylines that involve their favorite wrestlers. You cannot get that with these kinds of shows because they have limitations where Raw and Smackdown don’t.
I’m not saying good wrestlers can’t come out of these programs. Three seasons of TE yielded John Morrison. The fourth TE had the Miz finish in second place as well as a young Skip Sheffiled who went by the name Ryan Reeves. He of course is now with Nexus after season 1 of NXT.
All I’m saying is, if TE didn’t last longer than 3 seasons then NXT has no chance to do any better.