NXT and 205Live spoilers appear here.
So if you watch the current product weekly and want to know what IS happening, rather than what is yet to air on the WWE Network proceed with caution! You may have already seen our Breaking News article detailing some key events and announcements. Here I will look into the rumors and confirmations we have received so far.
As of late, there has been a lot of talk regarding the success of NXT and if it needs a second belt. A ‘mid-card’ title to allow for the plethora of talent to aim for a goal on their way to the NXT Championship unless of course they are part of a tag team and are searching for gold down that path.
The WWE United Kingdom Championship has semi served this purpose since it’s conception with sporadic defenses, albeit very good matches, and some fans were annoyed at the title being challenged for by stars other than those from the UK. Yet the United States Championship is forever being challenged for by foreigners, and it’s not like we got the UK show that we were promised. So I’m not sure where they will go yet with this Championship’s road to prestige. It’s also worth mentioning that the belt has been defended more times outside of WWE in independent promotions than inside of WWE.
On the subject of a secondary singles belt for the brand, many believe that the show would have to be made longer if a new belt were to be introduced, as a one hour a week show that already has a men’s, women’s and tag division would feel clustered with an extra belt.
I disagree as there can only be so many people at the top, no matter how good you are or how over with the fans you are, there is still a line of people that you have to join the back of and slowly make your way week by week to the front of the queue. I believe an extra belt would do wonders for this and also agree that a two hour or even 1.5hr show would enable the extra time to focus on a new division.
It has been revealed on the latest NXT tapings that we will indeed see a new championship added to the show, the NXT North American Championship.
Announced by William Regal on shows that have yet to air, the championship will be contended for in a 6-Man ladder match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, in a match that I’m sure, will be the talking point of the night.
Upon its reveal, we saw the debut of former TNA World Heavyweight Champion and kayfabe nephew of previous owner Dixie Carter, EC3. Greeted with chants of ‘NX3’, Ethan Carter III thanked Regal for creating a belt for his arrival and that he may as well just hand him the title. To which he was told that nothing is given, it has to be earned, announcing the ladder match.
Regal also announced that EC3’s opponents would be Adam Cole, Killian Dane, Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan, and Ricochet.
I, like most people, popped big for this announcement and cannot wait to see this match happen regardless of who wins. One word, epic.
I’m not sure exactly how they will balance out the UK belt with this new one, and we have seen stars of the United Kingdom added to the Dusty Rhodes Classic. As well as, challenge for the Cruiserweight Championship and make appearances on the main roster. So as much as I would like the belt to have its own home, I for one won’t be holding my breath.
I don’t think the North American Championship will be restricted to just North America and it’s wrestlers either, as we have seen with the European, United States and United Kingdom belts. Only time will tell, and we have until at least TakeOver to find out its direction.
It turns out NXT isn’t the only show to be getting a new belt either, as designs for a 205Live Tag Team Championship belt have been doing the rounds, so until it’s set in stone, this should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The rumor is that the new belts will be revealed at WrestleMania, and it’s worth noting that this past weeks show saw General Manager Drake Maverick team Akira Tozawa and Hideo Itami up to see how well they worked together indicating that these reports may be true.
I am not against a Tag Team division and was expecting one since Triple H took over creative for the show, and with no women on the Cruiserweight roster making a female division on the show impossible it was no surprise when the images of the supposed design surfaced indicating a Tag division.
I believe it is the right way to go, although I think there should also be a WWE Trios Championship that is cross-branded and a Women’s Tag Team division also cross-branded. I also believe that once 205Live has gained enough of a following that it too warrants a secondary singles title, it should be a TV Title that is defended weekly.
I used to want to see the return of the Hardcore Championship, but I’m not even sure it would be anything like the division of old. Where the chair shots and just about any weapon spot or gimmick match was bound to be brutal. Some totally crossing the line and leading to many people’s careers or quality of life going downhill, some leading to CTE and the premature deaths of different people.
For this reason, I think any kind of hardcore gimmicks should be reserved for specific and rare occasions that are well planned out to avoid injuries, also making them mean more when they do take place every now and then.
NXT and 205Live having smaller rosters help as well, in the way that on the main roster their lower card belts are often looked upon as an afterthought. Only here and there do we get meaningful reigns which we look forward to seeing evolve and can’t wait for the next week’s show to see what will happen. So hopefully NXT’s mid-card will be used in a much more efficient and meaningful way. I have no doubt that we will be in for a treat with both the North American and Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships.
All that is needed now is to continue with the formula they have and if anything continue to expand, eventually bringing them up to a level of contention with Raw and SmackDown for viewership or ratings.
I don’t expect that to happen this year or even next year. But I do believe that if they carry on following the methods they have been, it will only be a matter of time before NXT ceases to be seen as a feeder for the bigger brands and 205Live reaches the same level of development that NXT is now at.
Once out of its ‘developmental’ phase and it has a larger roster it could then also be included in drafts with Raw and Smackdown. 205Live would not be eligible as we can’t have Cruiserweights trades for heavyweights and there are, but a handful of cruiserweights on the main roster as most of them are already signed to the purple brand.
Whatever the direction of the shows regarding the bigger picture, I’m certainly impressed with the glimpse I’ve seen so far. I trust that in time, we will know that we have two masterpieces to marvel at.