Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Richard Staple, Robert DeFelice and Chris Holden.
NOTE: Every writer on the site was given the option to contribute to this, per usual, but NXT UK apparently had such little interest that people didn’t even opt to answer only the very first question to say why they don’t watch the show. That speaks volumes to how little viewership and buzz this brand is actually getting right now, sadly. Keep that in mind when seeing the answers below and the lack of enthusiasm!
1) “If you don’t watch NXT UK, why is that? / If you do watch NXT UK, how do you think the brand is going so far?”
MANGO: I’m kind of between watching and not watching. I cover it as best I can, but I often find myself just sticking to the spoilers and the pure results and not actually paying much attention to the shows themselves. Nine hours of wrestling at minimum each week is exhausting and NXT UK hasn’t given me a reason to fully invest in it, yet, the same that I do with other shows. I don’t think it’s going poorly, but I do think being pre-taped in such massive advance has killed its momentum and they can’t do that ever again.
STAPLE: Bottom line is there is far too much content to keep up with between RAW, Smackdown, NXT and 205 Live. The thing with NXT is familiarity and the intensity of the storylines. I don’t think NXT UK has as many marketable stars as MXT. I did like the tournament to crown the first ever UK champion with Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. But quite simply, the characters there don’t intrigue me all that much.
DEFELICE: I watch sporadically. From what I’ve seen, the brand is a lot of fun. When I don’t watch, it is in a case of me not liking the product rather there’s just too much to watch and therefore I don’t keep up with every brand as much as I would like.
HOLDEN: I’m already panicking trying to figure out what I’m going to have to drop from my life to fit AEW into my schedule. As it is, I probably consume an average of 10 hours a week of wrestling between live television and online replays. Probably because I’m in North America, if I did find more time to devote to watching another brand, it’d probably be 205 Live. I don’t feel I’ve been exposed to a lot of NXT UK, which is understandable, I doubt I’m in their target market.
2) “Do you like how WWE uploads two episodes of NXT UK back-to-back, or are you hoping to see them cut down to one per week?”
MANGO: They definitely need to cut down to one episode. Two is too much. The only reason two made sense right now is that they needed to catch up with programming, but even then, they should have just started airing this stuff two months earlier. One per week will be much easier on the production crew and easier to digest as a viewer.
STAPLE: They’re both one hour so I consider like watching Smackdown, but it’s so hard to invest three hours for RAW, two hours for Smackdown and another two hours for NXT viewing. I don’t mind it all that much, but I’ve become so accustomed to NXT television, the UK brand has become a bit foreign to me.
DEFELICE: The double airing of episodes is fine for now, but I hope they catch up to a point where this is no longer needs it as one of the special things about NXT is its one hour runtime.
3) “When do you think NXT UK should have its next TakeOver special?”
MANGO: At most, they can only have one other event this year, and it needs to be far away from here. Depending on how the rest of the event schedule works out (as they haven’t announced much), I think the primary target area should be sometime around July at the earliest, or maybe September.
STAPLE: Tough question to answer, because it all depends on whether or not they want to consider themselves an extension of NXT, or just an exclusive brand. It certainly cannot be around any Big 4 PPV weekends, so it’ll probably have to be around one of WWE’s normal PPV’s so they can plug it. I wouldn’t mind having them get a Post-WrestleMania spot in March or April.
DEFELICE: I think sometime in July would be a good time for the next special. WWE doesn’t do too much in July outside of the Extreme Rules show.
4) “Are there any stars you’d like to see move over to the NXT UK brand?”
MANGO: I like how they’ve used Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel, Dakota Kai, Danny Burch and a few others sporadically, but I don’t think anybody should be a permanent fixture on NXT UK. It’s too small of a brand and I’d like to actually see the NXT UK people on the other shows, rather than vice versa. It would be nice to see anybody who has any sort of UK ties to them be utilized for cameos on NXT UK from time to time, though. Give me one random match featuring Gentleman Jack Gallagher, for instance. That would be fun.
STAPLE: I haven’t kept up with NXT UK, all that much, but since this will be my first time watching any UK programming from start to finish, I should have a better answer after the show.
DEFELICE: I would like to see Paige move over into a General Manager position. Outside of that, I don’t know the scene well enough to suggest names.
5) “Which match are you most excited to see on this pay-per-view?”
MANGO: Overally, I’d probably give the slight edge to either Toni Storm vs. Rhea Ripley or Pete Dunne vs. Joe Coffey, but the tag title match may steal the show for me, too.