NXT’s new theme song and intro carries forward from the ArRIVAL special last week. Speaking of, ArRIVAL was incredible. The Cesaro/Zayn match will go down as one of my favorite matches of all time and the Paige/Emma match is by far the best women’s match I’ve ever seen.
Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips & William Regal on commentary. Hopefully this week Regal can maintain the face persona.
Neville d Camacho – 2/5
I guess with Hunico taking over the role of Sin Cara, they’re going to have to figure out what to do with injury prone Camacho. It’s a shame because the guy has the right build and look for the main roster but just can’t seem to stay healthy enough for a legit push. This match didn’t really help him as he jobbed to Neville in less than five minutes.
Post-match Neville promo w/Renee Young
Neville cuts a very amusing self-deprecating promo before turning around and leading a “No Mo Bo” chant. I did notice that it doesn’t seem to matter who is holding the title, it’s just prone to fingerprints and smudges. I looks horrible for such a well-designed layout, one of the production team should really be breaking out the silvo or some other polish and taking care of that title better.
Bo Dallas comes out and cuts a very cringe worthy promo, but sticks resolutely to character.
Emma promo w/Renee Young
This was part of the post-show interviews for ArRIVAL that went up on WWE.com and their YouTube channel. Emma played the face contender well, getting a little choked up at her loss. Ric Flair comes into frame and informs everyone that the next champ is going to be Charlotte.
Oh…you mean the third wheel in the catty BFF stable?
No offense here, but the only time Charlotte gets any attention or pushes are when her Daddy comes to visit. So unless Natch is going to stay sober long enough to move to Florida, this will be another short lived push that will likely evaporate after a couple of aired matches.
Paige promo w/Renee Young
Another Flairs interruption so that Charlotte can get another minor push. Strap in folks, she’ll eventually make it to the main roster. Not because of skill, but politics. I don’t really care how wrestlers get into the business, or how they break into the WWE.
I hate that I feel this way about Charlotte, I wanted to like her since she’s a Flair. I didn’t like David, I liked Reid and I wanted to like Ashley. Unfortunately, I don’t. She’s athletic and easy on the eyes, but she just can’t wrestle and her promos are woeful at best. Hopefully time can improve both of those things, but given the family history I’m not holding my breath.
Paige is fantastic though and she sells the holy hell out of this “anti-diva” gimmick they have her using.
Charlotte d Emma – 0.0
Renee Young joins the commentary team for the Diva match and her byplay with Regal and Saxton is gold.
Now, Emma manages to get good matches out of Summer Rae who is a legit dancer turned wrestler and yet can’t manage to get a good match out of Charlotte. The ending was fine, but the match itself was horrible. Charlotte looks great physically, she’s attractive and an excellent gymnast. That doesn’t make her a wrestler. She’s been there well over a year now and should be much better than this. Given her parentage, she should be the one carrying matches…not the other way around.
Sami Zayn promo w/Renee Young
Neither Zayn, nor Cesaro will reveal what was said between them after their historic match, but Zayn does reveal that he got what he wanted. That would insinuate respect. I can’t imagine that is a new concept from Cesaro or the guys in the back. So take that for what it’s worth.
Corey Graves d Yoshi Tatsu – 0.0 as a match, 4/5 as a promo
There’s a pre-match promo from Graves who calls out Sami Zayn and solidifies his heel turn that began months ago when he turned on his tag team partner Adrian Neville.
Ultimately this wasn’t a match, just a promo that peaked when Zayn’s music hit.
Adam Rose promo w/Devin Taylor
For those of you keeping score, this is Rose’s third gimmick rebranding, proving that as long as you maintain your physique, WWE will keep throwing money away trying to find a gimmick for you that will go over. To his credit, he’s jumping in with both feet and selling it.
Xavier Woods promo w/Renee Young
Woods cleverly finds a way to remind everyone that he used to be Creed in the indies and TNA. Normally we get fun Woods, way too much energy Woods or goofy Woods. It was nice to see Austin break out the serious again.
Alexander Rusev & Lana promo w/Renee Young
I’m glad that Lana is no longer trying to speak Bulgarian and just adopting an accent, it saves the character. I still feel like WWE is missing the boat not making her a spoiled American rich kid who’s hired the “Bulgarian Brute” to be her muscle. But, I don’t mind this gimmick as long as it’s just the accent for her so that she doesn’t get destroyed in the main roster by the fans.
After Rusev talks for a few minutes in Bulgarian (which isn’t Russian folks), Lana is asked to translate and simply says; “Rusev says, he accepts.” Gold.
Adam Rose d Wesley Blake – 3/5
Tensai replaced Regal on commentary for this match and is better able to stick to gimmick.
First of all, his new gimmick is ridiculously hilarious. I love it for the same reason I love Tyler Breeze’s gimmick, it’s ludicrous but sold so hard that I can’t help but admire the effort that takes.
Wesley Blake’s airing debut, in dark matches he’s part of a cowboy tag team with no name.
This was more or less a squash match, which is fine but disappointing. A point and a half is going to the entrance alone.
Sami Zayn d Corey Graves – 4/5
Regal is back on commentary, one of the few flaws with a pre-taped product.
A lot of people believe that Graves has been underused. I disagree; his build has been slow and steady, but hardly underused. He’s a two-time tag champion, works his gimmick flawlessly both in promos and in the ring. He got injured a couple of times and since making his return has put on a good 10-15 lbs of muscle. Some people get hot-shotted up to the main roster, others need more time to iron out all of their little bad habits. His gimmick is tailor made for the main WWE audience, so if he can stay healthy and has a good attitude backstage, I see no reason why we won’t see him on the main roster. It wouldn’t surprise me if Zayn and Graves are in the same batch of call-ups.
During this match Tom Phillips really came into his own on commentary, dare I say reminding me of JR calling move names, reacting to big spots and having a lot of life in his voice. When he first arrived I wasn’t a fan, but he’s come along so well in the past year.
The match itself was great. There were plenty of nearfalls and submission attempts and the ending left the feud wide open for future matches, which is great news for fans since both of these guys can go.
Overall NXT this week was good. I felt like there were too many promos, but that will happen from time to time especially since NXT is effectively starting a new season. They need to build new feuds since all of the old ones were put to bed on ArRIVAL, which is what WWE should be doing on the main roster by the way. PPV’s, or big arena shows, were designed to be the end or beginning of feuds…not the house show the day after.
Just one marks opinion mind you.
David “DarkFox” Temrick is a published author and one of the hosts of Mark Out Radio which can be heard live Wednesday nights from 11pm-1am EST on www.morelikeradio.com/live