Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NXT Is on Tour for Real, Baybay

NXT comin'
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WWE has officially announced the first slate of tour dates for the NXT brand. The Albany date was leaked during RAW, but four other dates have been confirmed, including two return trips to Ohio and the long-awaited announcement of the Philadelphia date at a rather shocking venue. Tickets for all events will go on sale on Friday, May 1 at 10 AM Eastern Daylight Time, although I know of at least a presale for the Philadelphia event. The full list of shows and venues can be found after the jump:
  • Thursday, May 14 - The Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA (Philadelphia)
  • Saturday, May 16 - Washington Avenue Armory, Albany, NY
  • Thursday, June 11 - Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Friday, June 12 - Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH
  • Saturday, June 13 - LC Pavillion, Columbus, OH
The Philadelphia venue comes as a shock, because all signs pointed towards the show happening at the Liacouras Center on Temple University's campus, which has a larger capacity than the Tower. WWE may have gotten skittish about being able to sell out that big a building, however, and most of the other venues it has run have skewed to the more intimate. It's a show that does play well in a smaller room.

Still, the announcement of a full-on tour is incredible news. When Triple H dropped the knowledge that he wanted NXT to be a full-touring brand, many ears including mine perked up, but I didn't expect the show to hit the road this soon. It's also pretty amusing but not surprising given the grand response for the Arnold Classic shows that Cleveland and Columbus will be getting their second NXT tour dates before every other city in America outside of Philly, Albany, Pittsburgh, and San Jose have gotten their first.

Of course, it should also be noted that at least two of the above dates are playing in the same areas as prominent indie shows. The Albany date happens before a big 2CW event the next night in Rome, NY, and of course, the Philadelphia date takes place the night after the second of two consecutive Ring of Honor/New Japan Pro Wrestling jointly promoted cards at the ECW Arena. Conversely, both of those War of the Worlds shows have been on sale for a long time and are close to sold out. Still, while I doubt WWE can or even wants to kill the indies entirely, these tour dates may give older fans flashbacks to Black Saturday and the national expansion of the WWF. As many online goobers are wont to say, "Gotta hear both sides."