In 2010, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon ended the WWE version of ECW to bring in NXT. The show was based on some of the top stars and many mid-card wrestlers mentoring “rookies”, even though these “rookies” competed in the Independent scene (Daniel Bryan for example), while others like Wade Barrett fought in bare knuckle brawlng to get more widely known for the WWE.
The entire product failed with only three men still retaining a job; Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan, Smackdown Commentator David Otunga, and half of the Smackdown Tag Team Champions, Heath Slater.
After WWE Superstar C.O.O Triple H took over NXT, he ended their developmental territory of Florida Championship Wrestling and rebranded it into NXT. this brought in some of the top indy stars and future stars coming in from 2011 until now such as Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and more. It didn’t take long for this to have success, as Rollins would enter and win a Gold Rush Tournament to become the first NXT Champion.
As for TNA, Jerry Jarrett and his son would start off the NWA’s Total Non-Stop Action in 2002. For over 10 years, they would sign some of the biggest and upcoming top wrestlers such as Kurt Angle, Sting, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Eric Young, Jay Lethal, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Ethan Carter the Third, Drew Galloway and even A.J Styles.
In my opinion, when people say that NXT is the new TNA, I feel like it is a lie. This is because the WWE is a billion-dollar company that can do and get anything and anybody they want, while TNA has had its fair share of struggles.
The last time Vince McMahon bought a company, it was in 2001, when he purchased Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling and Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling. He would go on to make an invasion storyline, where his son Shane McMahon bought WCW and his daughter Stephanie McMahon bought ECW and feuded for ownership.
But now the question becomes if WWE does buy TNA, what happens next? Will we see a WWE versus TNA storyline? Who is staying and who is leaving?
In my final opinion, if it does happen, I’d actually enjoy it.
Imagine The New Day or Gallows and Anderson of WWE versus Decay or The Broken Hardyz of TNA. The potential matchups that could be created within this scenario could lead into a major amount of success.