Welcome to the first installment of “The NXT Day”, where we take a look back at last night’s episode of NXT, aka the best wrestling show you can find on the WWE Network. Here on The NXT Day, I’ll share some thoughts on what we all witnessed, both in longer and “quick quips” form as well as pose some ‘discussion questions’ that we can tackle over there on, as Y2J puts it, The Twit-ahh! I won’t cover everything, since NXT seems to have found the secret to fitting a whole lot of action into a 60 minute show, but we’ll get to the good stuff, at least.
And Here. We. Go.
The Way It Should Have Been
On a recent major event, two wrestlers met in the middle of that very ring. On paper, it seemed like these two were a fairly equal match, although one seemed to be much more vicious than the other. Despite this, however, the match was, for all intents and purposes, and squash. It was brutal. Moves were repeated. In the end, one person very simply conquered the other.
Why am I talking about Lesnar and Cena on an NXT blog, you ask? I’m not.
I’m talking about Mojo Rawley and Bull Dempsey.
At Takeover, there weren’t 16 suplexes, though there easily could have been. There was, however, a “Thank you Bull” chant, just as Brock received similarly at Summer Slam. Dempsey ran over Mojo in convincing fashion, even if people took issue with his new finisher, the top rope headbutt.
Last night, Mojo demanded a rematch, just as Cena did at Night of Champions. However, in NXT’s case, the writing and storytelling was much better, much more realistic, so much so that WWE should sit up and take note.
Mojo had a bit more offense than we’d seen from him at Takeover, showing a more aggressive side that I frankly enjoyed a whole lot more than I usually do during a Rawley match. It mattered very little though, because “The Throwback” (Is that still his nickname?) quickly took charge and dismantled Mojo almost as easily as he did at Takeover.
This is what should have happened at NOC. There is no logical way (cue all my friends on Twitter sending me the “Vince Logic” meme) that Cena could do THAT much better in such a short period. Cena could have gotten in a bit more offense, but Lesnar still should have mopped the floor with him. The future NXT champion Bull Dempsey showed you how its done.
Take a lesson from NXT, writers of the “main” roster. In fact, take a couple, because. . .
Maybe not so much with the talking. . .
First of all, bonus points if you caught my West Wing reference just then.
NXT is a one hour show that featured, last night, 5 matches. 5! I’d venture a guess that if we went back in time and counted matches from the last 18 months of RAW’s, there’s a show or two there that only had slightly more than that with three times the length.
How do they do that? Well, besides quick and well thought matches that tell a distinct story in their short time, there are very few backstage segments. This is a good thing, because that Regal / Natalya bit was quite painful to watch. I’ve seen bad improv before. . .Been a part of some as well. . . And that had “bad improv” written all over it.
Besides that, to quote Vinny Mac, “total debacle”, the only other backstage pieces were quick interviews with Kidd and Zayn. For the rest of the hour, the focus was on wrestling.
When was the last time that happened on a Monday night? This is why NXT is quickly becoming the best wrestling program out there.
All Hail Lord Prince Baldo A-Train Jason Albert Tensai Guy
I thought it very peculiar to see Jason Albert start doing commentary. There didn’t seen to be any transition, there was certainly no retirement speech that I had heard. . . I thought it was just a way to keep him on the roster in some capacity.
The man who is now known as Jason Albert, however, is quickly becoming one of the better color commentators WWE has. Albert focuses on the action in the ring and gives the perspective of the former wrestler. This is what made Randy Savage good on commentary. Same with Zbyszko, Dusty, Booker T, William Regal and countless other guys.
You know who doesn’t offer that right now? Lawler and JBL. If you were listening to RAW for the first time, you wouldn’t know that either man had once laced up the boots. I’m not blaming them – they are just part of the new WWE storytelling machine. But it is refreshing to hear Albert talk about being on the receiving end of Justin Gabriel’s springboard moonsault and how it just takes the wind right out of you. You believed that by looking at Tyler Breeze’s face, and it made you feel closer to the match. Well done, hairy one.
- Baron Corbin’s promo was very good, but please don’t let him ride his motorcycle to the ring. Also, is his nickname going to be “Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin? It works for him.
- I like how Tyler Breeze now uses the Super(model) kick. Clever.
- I hate. . . . hate. . . HATE. . . How much I am starting to enjoy The Legionnaires. I dig their entrance music, the new outfits work for me, and Marcus Louis is making the absolute most out of being “the guy with no eyebrows” right now. They aren’t anywhere close to approaching my love for the Vaudevillains, but they are no longer an instant “fast-forward” when they appear on my screen.
- Tyson Kidd’s “fact” thing might be one of the last missing pieces to getting back onto the WWE roster. It gives his promos a structure and allows him to have a character, which is what was so obviously lacking in him up til now.
Discussion Questions (Join the conversation):
- Are the Lucha Dragons more WWE ready than The Ascension right now? What does this mean for the NXT and WWE tag title picture?
- Would WWE have been better off letting Justin Gabriel become Miz’ stunt double and giving Damien Sandow a more prominent role in storylines? Does Gabriel have another shot in the WWE?
- Am I the only one who is, so far, rather unimpressed with Hideo I-Kenta? The beatdown of Konnor might have been ill-planned camera wise, but so far I’ve seen a couple kicks and elbow strikes. Was I wrong in expecting more?
See you next week!