After shedding its reality television skin, NXT became and continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most popular brands in professional wrestling. The yellow brand provides an alternative to RAW and SmackDown Live by offering a shorter show that is easier to digest. NXT also calls to fans of independent wrestling by staying focused on the in-ring competition.
NXT has become a developmental powerhouse without any doubt. The TakeOver events receive better reviews than traditional events on the WWE Network. Many already established talents, following the likes of Bobby Roode and Finn Bálor, continue to join the NXT ranks, demonstrating the level of prestige the brand carries. What's more, NXT has received a 5-star match award by doyen of pro-wrestling journalism Dave Meltzer - WWE's first since 2011.
It's as though the third brand can do no wrong, and will remain beloved forever. And that’s precisely what WWE would like you to keep thinking. But for everything that makes NXT great, there are aspects that cast a shadow over the Florida-based promotion, many of which dive beyond the surface of high-quality matches.
8. Hemorrhaging Money
As a former lead booker for Ohio Valley Wrestling and perpetual kibitzer, Jim Cornette takes interest in almost everything that goes into running a professional wrestling promotion, from the booking to the financing.
With that in mind, he recently received the yearly and quarterly reports for WWE and made a major reveal:
"In all honesty, 2016 they lost $13 million, 2017 they lost $19 million... can you imagine what me and Danny Davis could've done with Ohio Valley Wrestling if they said, 'OK guys, you can bring in anybody that you want that's not on the main roster or signed to New Japan and you can lose $32 million over the next two years'?"
$32 million is not the end of the world for WWE, but it's a loss they'd much rather keep under wraps. While NXT may be an important branch in terms of developing future superstars, the losses are hard to ignore. WWE is a publicly-traded company, after all, and NXT isn't turning a profit.