Smackdown vs NXT: A WWE Live Event
Last week I had the opportunity to attend not one, but 2 WWE live shows. One being the taping of Smackdown 15 minutes down the street from my house and the other was NXT in Salina, KS 185 Miles and 3 hours away. To compare these 2 products is like trying to compare a cheeseless hamburger w/ no condiments to a double cheese, extra cheese and all the fixins. There is no comparison, but I will try.
Smackdown is Smackdown. It is what it is. WWE Smackdown would be the third tier program for the main roster falling under RAW and the WWE Network monthly PPV’s. If you’ve never been to a WWE taping it’s a lot like interactive television. In theory you’re attending a live Pro Wrestling event, but in reality you could of had the same experience sitting on your couch at home. You’re going to a live wrestling show. One could assume that wrestling would be the focus of the event, but that’s not the case at all. A ticket buyer could assume that the Wrestlers main focus would be to entertain YOU, the audience, but again that is not the case at all. The primary focus of WWE and all participating members are the fans watching at home. They stand toward the cameras. They Perform for the cameras. They push story lines based on how they want the audience at home to feel. Obviously there is an entertainment value to the show, or people would of stopped going years ago. You get to cheer for your favorite superstars even if they’re just cutting a promo and not booked in a match, you still get to see them and still get to pop when their music hits. Obviously you’re going to see some matches. They might not be 20 minute battles and they might not have a winner, or a clean finish, but you’re going to have a few good matches.
An NXT house show on the other hand is exactly the opposite of everything we just mentioned. You bought tickets to a wrestling show and and that’s exactly what you’re going to get. Two and a half hours of amazing non stop in ring action. You’re not there to fill somebody else’s agenda, nobody is performing for the camera’s, nobody is performing for people who aren’t in the building and the fans appreciate every second of it. The energy at an NXT live event has only been topped by that of a PWG show which is the rowdiest 400 people in the country. A large part of the NXT live experience is definitely the fans. The NXT fans are smart, energetic, friendly, fun and give it up for everybody. When is the last time you heard the crowd chant “Both these Guys! Both these guys!” at a WWE Show? Then again when’s the last time you had Tyler Breeze vs Shinsuke Nakamura on Smackdown?
Now maybe it’s not fair to compare a live television taping to a house show, but let me tell you this. I have attended MANY WWE house shows and again.. There is no comparison. The NXT Audience gets the trump card every time. If you have the chance to see NXT even if it’s a 3 hour drive to get there I highly recommend you go.