Road Dogg jokes that he enjoyed saying NXT was developmental when AEW beat them in ratings

Brian 'Road Dogg' James weighs in on the conversation about whether NXT was a developmental or not during its black and gold era

Road Dogg looks back on the conversation about whether black and gold NXT was a developmental or not. 

In the fall of 2019, the head-to-head between NXT on USA Network and AEW Dynamite on TNT began. 

Over the years, multiple figures involved weighed in on the ratings coming out of those head-to-head shows and the conversation would come up about whether the black and gold version of NXT was considered a developmental or not. 

Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James looked back at that period of time during his ‘Oh…You Didn’t Know’ podcast. James does not know if he would consider that NXT a developmental or a third brand but thinks Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque saw it as a brand and Vince McMahon saw it as developmental. James joked that he liked calling it developmental when they lost to AEW in the ratings.

So this is up to me, this is a philosophical question [of whether NXT was a third brand or developmental in late 2019] and I can answer it anyway I want to but it doesn’t matter what I say. I always saw it as a… I don’t know that I looked at it as either to be quite honest with you but I’ll tell you who thought about [it], I felt like Hunter thought about it as a third brand and I think once we got that TV deal, that’s a legitimate argument, you know what I mean? This is a third revenue generator. So, is it a third brand? And so that’s definitely an argument to be made for that. I think Vince [McMahon] always saw it as developmental. Like oh, it’s small ball and look, I think to his dismay, he did that a little bit but I think there was some professional rivalry… because NXT was young and shiny and all the internet people were talking how great it was and so, I totally understand. For me, writing SmackDown, I used to get ticked off because they would bury my show and put over NXT and that was when it was the awesome black and gold and NXT was to be cherished at that time for a true wrestling fan and so, I don’t know. It’s a philosophical question and I think one guy’s philosophy was totally different than the other guy’s philosophy and for mine, I think it can be both. I think it can be developmental but it also can generate revenue and some of the… it made room for some of the people to come in like Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Some of the people that are on top of the world now kind of came, filtered through that system, by design and hey, here’s how we do things. We do things a little differently here in WWE than you did at OVW, ROH, wherever you used to wrestle, you know? And so, I thought it was a bit of both. A little developmental and revenue generator so I don’t know. It’s up to you to see how you like it. 

Well I’ll tell you what, I used to love to say it was developmental when they [AEW] beat us in the ratings [Road Dogg laughed]. What do you mean? You’re beating our third-string team. Good job guys. 

In early 2021, NXT moved from Wednesdays to Tuesdays. To catch up on the latest episode of NXT on USA Network, check out the Poisonrana crew’s review of the show

If the quote in this article is used, please credit the ‘Oh…You Didn’t Know’ podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription. 

About Andrew Thompson 6000 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.