Leaving NXT out of Survivor Series is the right call at a time where the brand is treated as less than compared to SmackDown and Monday Night Raw.
The WWE Universe is less than a month away from the 2020 edition of Survivor Series. The match card was announced on this week’s Monday Night Raw and one thing stood out: NXT was missing from all the matches. After last year’s strong performance, many wondered if the black and yellow brand would be welcomed back. The answer is a clear no. However, looking at the current landscape of WWE content, this is the right decision to make.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday there seems to be more questions and complaints after WWE shows. Outlets such as this one question the booking decisions and directions made involving the names on each roster. Ever since NXT’s move to the USA Network, that show has become less like the beloved “Indy darling” and more like the red and blue brands. After Survivor Series 2019, many had the idea that NXT would be treated equally, especially since it was going head-to-head with All Elite Wrestling. The last twelve months have shown wrestling fans the exact opposite. But keeping NXT out of Survivor Series may seriously be a blessing in disguise.
For starters, look at the decision made to not include NXT stars in the WWE Draft. While there were not any stars moved from either Raw or SmackDown to NXT, that also meant that the biggest names available on NXT were not moved as well. This allowed players like Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Io Shirai, and the Undisputed Era to stay put. That is a benefit to NXT that does not have the built-up depth that it once had, even within the women’s division which is recognizably deep. The decision to keep NXT out of the draft protected the men and women on the roster, but it did not elevate them to the same status as their main roster colleagues.
That decision, whether intentional or not, gave the perception that NXT was a step down from SmackDown and Monday Night Raw. This would translate to Survivor Series in a way that fans would hate to see.
In 2019 NXT stole the show at Survivor Series. They won four of the matches that evening, giving that brand “supremacy” bragging rights for the year. Now fast forward to where NXT is today. It is hard to see them being booked in the same fashion. Outside of Io Shirai, who would be placed against Sasha Banks and Asuka, it is very difficult to expect any of the NXT champions to be booked on the same level as their counterparts on either SmackDown or Raw. The treatment of recent NXT callups shows that their value is being underplayed, so giving them a marquee spot for Survivor Series would have potentially led to them taking many one-sided losses at a time when they are within a heated Wednesday rivalry.
Fans were right to hope for NXT’s involvement in Survivor Series. However, looking at the current climate of WWE booking, it is in the brands best interest to be left off the show in 2020.