Road Dogg Comments On Current NXT Being A “Tryout Thing”

The Road Dogg

The Road Dogg has commented on NXT 2.0 coming across as a tryout territory for WWE, and that he feels the original black and gold brand was never in competition with AEW.

With AEW putting its flagship weekly show Dynamite on Wednesday nights to go up against NXT, WWE quickly made moves to get their show moved on to the USA Network rather than just being on the WWE network, creating a head-to-head not seen since the Monday Night Wars.

The move gave the chance for fans to follow how each company was doing in the ratings and what moves they’d make to boost ratings each week, with AEW for the most part picking up the victory in the numbers. This went on until just after WrestleMania 37 in 2021, when NXT moved to Tuesday nights and removed the competitive element.

Speaking on Busted Open Radio, The Road Dogg – who had significant behind the scenes clout during the perceived war – gave his take on whether the two companies were really going head to head, as well as how NXT has changed under its 2.0 guise.

This is how I look at that. I’m trying to calm down a little before I react or respond. I don’t think NXT lost the head-to-head battle. I don’t think it was ever meant to. I think things got out of hand a little bit and USA agreed to a deal for NXT and Vince (McMahon) wanted that to be what it is now. He wanted it to be a total tryout thing. ‘Put these people on TV, we’ll see if they stick, and we’ll get them up here.’

Hunter has a different philosophy. ‘Train them, make sure they’re good to go before you put them on TV.’ It’s two totally different philosophies. Speaking from NXT, and I say this from sitting in every meeting when it was Black & Gold and writing, producing, and directing, we never once thought we were competing with those guys. We looked at ourselves as a developmental program.

The Road Dogg did also note that even as the black and gold brand, NXT was a developmental territory and he hopes AEW didn’t think they were achieving anything by getting better numbers.

I hope for AEW they weren’t thinking that beating a developmental program was a notch in their belt because it was people nobody had ever heard of on a Tuesday night against Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley.

I always thought that was apples and oranges and you can tell I take it personally because I worked there. Of course, we wanted to beat them, but we never thought we were in competition or had to write for competition. We just wrote the best show we could.

With thanks to Fightful for the transcription.