There’s going to be a new (temporary? for now?) home for the WWE NXT brand. It’s going to be the Performance Center in Orlando starting with this Sunday’s NXT Takeover 31 event on WWE Network. That’s according to PostWrestling’s John Pollock and has been confirmed by other sources. In addition to that, 205 Live will be taking place at the Performance Center starting next week.
Since the global pandemic has caused WWE and many businesses to change the way they operate, NXT has continued to tape at Full Sail University in Orlando, which is their regular home. However, starting with Sunday’s Takeover, the home of NXT will be the WWE Performance Center. No fans are expected to attend the NXT shows, but the ring should be surrounded by other wrestlers making noise behind the plexiglass as we have seen for months now.
There were rumors that Sunday’s NXT Takeover event may take place at the WWE ThunderDome at Amway Center in Orlando, but that’s not going to happen.
During Wednesday’s NXT media conference call, NXT’s boss Triple H (Paul Levesque) said that Sunday’s NXT Takeover event will change things for NXT. Here’s what he said:
“So this Sunday’s Takeover will have a very unique look and feel, something totally different that hasn’t been done so far. You’ll find out more on Sunday, but it will be very unique, and I think hopefully, at least for us, game-changing.”
We are not sure what he means, but we will find out at Takeover on Sunday.
There have also been rumors that WWE may go live with NXT shows soon, but that’s just a rumor for now. The taping schedule for NXT usually is to tape two episodes every other Wednesday so one episode airs later in the day and the next episode would be the week after.
TJR Thoughts: That’s fine with me. I think the Performance Center has better lighting and might give NXT a bit of a fresher look. The move to the Performance Center from Full Sail University shouldn’t affect talent much at all. Everybody on NXT lives in Orlando and normally would be at the Performance Center during the week training anyway, so it’s just a case of being in a different building.
UPDATE ON WWE DEALING WITH THIRD PARTY DEALS WITH SUPERSTARS
There was a story last month about how WWE wanted their superstars to stop using third-party services like Cameo to make money for personal video greetings, like Twitch for video gaming and other things. The reason for that is because WWE felt like the company owns the names of the superstars based on contracts that the superstars signed. This edict by WWE was met with a lot of anger among fans while most talents haven’t spoken up about it publicly. There have been reports that a lot of the wrestlers involved are upset about it, but most won’t say anything out of fear of getting punished. There’s also the whole issue about if WWE can legally do this since WWE superstars are deemed “independent contractors” rather than employees. That initial story was four weeks ago.
In an update on the story, WWE talents were told this week that WWE will be taking over their Twitch accounts in four weeks. That’s according to WrestlingInc’s Raj Giri, who also noted that talent will still get a percentage of the revenue they make from Twitch. However, it will count against their downside guarantees.
This is something that former Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang spoke about publicly to WrestlingInc in the past:
“A lot of it is that wrestlers are afraid to speak out, and I’ve had wrestlers past and present reach out to me and say that Vince has been getting away with exploitation of wrestlers calling them independent contractors while controlling their activities for years and years,” Yang said. “A lot of it is just that they are a quasi-monopoly, and wrestlers fear that if they do try and unionize or organize in any way that Vince doesn’t like, that it will never work again.”
Here is NXT’s Roderick Strong noting (in a tweet last night) that his Cameo service is expiring today because WWE has put an end to that.
— Roderick Strong (@roderickstrong) October 1, 2020
Meanwhile, Reckoning (Mia Yim) had this comment that was likely about the same issue.
It will be interesting to see if more WWE superstars speak up about this or if it will be a private matter.