From the NAI Archive – August 3, 2015 – Musing Monday – Titus O’Neil could be World Heavyweight Champion

From the NAI Archive – August 3, 2015 – Musing Monday – Titus O’Neil could be World Heavyweight Champion

Remember when Hulk Hogan and race in wrestling was all anybody could talk about? You know. . . About 10 days ago? How quickly things change in this social media world, for in less than a fortnight, we’re now talking about Piper (obviously, that would have happened no matter what), Ultima Lucha and some team that may or may not be called ‘Beef Mode’.

For those who wondered how Hogan survives the fallout of his released audio, the answer is in the previous paragraph. Today’s society has a massive case of collective ADHD – We automatically move to the next shiny thing that captures our attention. If Hogan were to disappear from the public eye for a while, only to come back in 18-24 months with a series of tell-all interviews, giving a total mea culpa for his actions and showing us that he is actively seeking forgiveness, a lot of people would break out the red and yellow boas and welcome him back with open arms.

It might seem ludicrous right now, but its true. It could, and possibly will, happen.

From the NAI Archive – February 14, 2015 – Re-Watched Rival: DC’s Network Diaries

From the NAI Archive – February 14, 2015 – Re-Watched Rival: DC’s Network Diaries

They say that you’re only as old as you feel. I’m not sure if that is entirely true, since I feel pretty good for my 31 years, but considering my sleep schedule, I’m either a radio host for early morning drive-time or an octogenarian. Based on my slightly stammering performance on my first (and hopefully not last) appearance on NAIpod, I think we can all safely say I’m no radio host.

The point I’m trying to make is that I started falling asleep during the Zayn / Owens main event on Wednesday’s NXT:Rival. I know, I know, that’s shameful, but its true. It wasn’t that the match was bad – far from it, though I do think the number of reverse chinlocks might have had something to do with it. Besides, its not like this is the first time. Ask Doc Manson (@DocManson); I’ve been falling asleep during wrestling shows for close to a decade now.

Like I said… I’m an old man.

So this morning, at the bright eyed and bushy tailed hour of 5 AM (which is when my body naturally woke up, I’ll have you know), I decided to re-watch NXT. Not just the Owens and Zayn match, which I still hadn’t seen the end to, but the entire card. NXT is that good.

I also wanted to WATCH it. The first time I was live tweeting it, and as any of you who have done that knows, you’re not really watching wrestling when live tweeting. You’re listening to it while typing, which is perhaps why Michael Cole is so reviled among the NAIWC – most of the time during RAW we’re only hearing his voice.

So replacing my Chromebook with an actual looseleaf notebook, I sat down to record an NXT version of DC’s Network Diaries. As always, this isn’t a review or a recap. This is simply a few of my thoughts. I’ll share a Highlight, a Lowlight and a So What?, a takeaway from the match. All set? Onwards, then!

From the NAI Archive – December 12, 2014 – Too Good to Tweet – Winners and Losers from NXT Takeover: R-Evolution

NXT superstar Kevin Owens has his hand raised in victory following his debut victory at NXT Takeover: R-Evolution

In many ways, the current WWE product is tailor made for the age of social media. . . Quick matches, a LOT of commercial breaks, plenty of time to live-Tweet, poke fun, and as the New Age Insiders proclaim, to Be Heard.

Last night’s NXT extravaganza, Takeover: R-Evolution was not, by definition, “current WWE product.”

From the NAI Archive – December 5, 2014 – The NXT Day: Top Ten Talents on Takeover Trajectory

NXT Superstars Sami Zayn and Neville

It’s no secret that the WWE’s “minor league” system is my current favorite hour of wrestling a week, and while my first few editions had WAYYY too much bias in them, I’d like to think I’ve sorted that out a bit.

It’s OK, Bull Dempsey. . . I still love you. . .

Anyway, I base my top ten rankings on a number of factors. Current storyline, ability to connect with fans and most importantly, WWE potential. Please remember that this is my own rankings. You’re more than welcome to post your own below.

From the N2C Archive – September 19, 2014 – NXT Top Ten: Edition 4

From the N2C Archive – September 19, 2014 – NXT Top Ten: Edition 4

Welcome to the NXT Top Ten, edition 4. It’s been a little while since our last rankings, and a whole lot has happened. We had arguably the event of the year, Takeover: Fatal 4 Way. We’ve had some debuts, both of new NXT talents and of some top tier developmental guys on RAW. Actually, that has required some tweaking, since at the onset of this rankings, I said I wouldn’t include any NXT guys with WWE experience. Since that would mean getting rid of three rankings stalwarts, we’ll now adjust that to say I won’t include any NXT talent who has had a significant WWE run.

From the N2C Archives – September 13, 2014 – NXT Takeover: Fatal 4 Way – Event of the Year!

Tyler Breeze, Sami Zayn, Tyson Kidd and Neville do battle at NXT's 2014 Takeover: Fatal 4 Way

I’ve always hated how wrestling announcers always seem to say “We are witnessing history in the making!” Tony Schiavone was famous for this kind of thing. Every WCW Monday Nitro (Now available on the WWE Network!) was the biggest one of all, or we just witnessed the most amazing match of our entire lives, and even as a 15-16 year old kid, I knew that was horse manure.

Plus (and this is me just being a pain), EVERYTHING is history. I went out this morning to pick up breakfast for my family, which was, technically, history in the making. It’s just not a history anyone would want to read.

So I usually get my Teacher’s knickers in a twist about that kind of thing. . .

From the N2C Archives – September 11, 2014 – The Teacher’s Book: NXT Takeover and Thoughts on Improving WWE’s Best Product

Promotional artwork for NXT Takeover: Fatal 4-Way

What began as a simple fantasy booking session turned into a rant about the best product WWE has to offer.

It all started so simply. . .

The Scene: NXT Takeover – The Main Event

After 20-30 minutes of some of the most amazing wrestling you’ve ever seen (seriously folks, this match is going to be tremendous), each wrestler has hit their finisher and kicked out of someone else’s. All four men stagger to their feet, facing each other, exhausted, the crowd going crazy.

And the lights go out.

From the N2C Archive – August 9, 2014 – NXT Top Ten: August 9th Edition

Hulu advertisement for NXT on the WWE Network, featuring the then tag champions The Ascension.

I love NXT. In fact, I think it’s my favorite wrestling show of the week. RAW has become too long and drawn out, and while Main Event can be fun (haven’t brought myself to watch Superstars yet), NXT is fresh and new. Each week, I can count on seeing at least one thing I haven’t seen before, which is a rarity when you’re a longtime wrestling fan.