Evolve recently debuted on the WWE network. In a media call on Thursday Paul “Triple H” Levesque announced that viewers can expect to see more independent wrestling shows on the WWE network. Levesque also addressed the counter programming claims since NXT may be moving from the WWE network to FS1 on Wednesday nights, which is the same night as All Elite Wrestling on TNT.
On July 13th Evolve 131 aired on the WWE network, making it the first independent show to air on the platform. “The (Evolve) 10th anniversary show was planned for a long period of time. The plan to put it on the network was there for a long period of time. Evolve shows and different shows, brands that we have alliances with and everything else, will factor into the (WWE) network in a big way,” said Levesque on Thursday’s media call.
“The Evolve show was spectacular. I thought it was great. Obviously, a huge deal for a bunch of young talent that are trying to make a name for themselves and step up to that next level and it’s a proving ground of, if you want to be a WWE superstar, if you want to make it in this business. Evolve is a place that you should be trying to get to.”
“Much like Progress in the UK, ICW, wXw. Those are places that are cultivating talent, helping to teach talent to get to that next level and we are excited to work with it to bring the next generation of talent forward in the business and give them that platform. The WWE network gives them opportunity to expose them in a way like they never had before around the world. I think Gabe (Sapolsky) and Sal (Hamaoui) have a lot to be proud about with the brand that they built,” said Levesque.
“I’m excited that they came up with something together that really has showcased these young guys and girls at a level where they are really trying to break into the business and really make a name for themselves and get rolling and progress to NXT and the WWE and everything else that goes along with it. As you see this move around the world in different markets, you are going to see a lot more of that as time comes. The WWE will be the one stop shop for everything that you could ever need or want in the industry.”
In addition to the product on the WWE network, the WWE product is also on television and NXT may be moving from the network to television. “There’s always planning. There is always a changing landscape. The internal discussion of where content goes is a constant. We look at this wheel of options of distribution that we have across all platforms, whether that be television and being a part of that world, whether it be a Facebook, something like that or USA or Fox. There is our digital presence and where you put things out in that manner and our VOD, our network, direct to consumer,” said Levesque.
“Where you put content is up for debate. How much content, what content and we are constantly working on it. There’re plans for the short run, plans in the long run. It’s constantly being evaluated. When it comes to NXT, the reason that I talk cryptically about it, is because there’s a lot of exciting thoughts and ideas out there but we are constantly debating the ebb and flow of where things go. There is a lot of thought that goes into it because they all affect each other, and you want to put the right amount of stuff on each one of those pieces of the wheel to make sure that you are getting the maximum out of all of them. When it comes to NXT growing as a brand and everything else, there’s a lot of options on the table,” said Levesque.
Levesque did not mention All Elite Wrestling by name in regards to counter programming. AEW will be on TNT Wednesday nights. “We have content all over the place and if people want to talk about counter programming and bring that up in the conversation, Wednesday has been the home of NXT forever. That’s where it sat. It’s been on our network on a Wednesday’s time slot now forever, and when other people announce Wednesday, you don’t hear talk about counter programming, you just hear the announcement for us. Everything is counter programming. We plan things long in advance. We worry about doing our business.”