The Future is NXT


For my money, NXT is the best wrestling show going today. I love all things wrestling but WWE and TNA have become too formulaic. NXT brings a different flavor of professional wrestling that presents great action while getting a sneak peek into the future. This is the first installment of a weekly blog about all things NXT.

NXT is the developmental system for WWE. Prospective future superstars in this program train at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Their goal is to get called up to the main roster. Episodes of NXT stream every Wednesday, exclusively on Hulu Plus and are filmed at Full Sail University in Orlando.

One of the things about stands out about NXT is how you will get a mixture of wrestlers from the NXT Universe and the WWE Universe on the show. Matches are given a decent amount of time to tell a good story. Even the short matches are entertainingly effective in getting their point across. Also, you can feel the enthusiasm of the crowd which enhances the viewing experience.

– Episode 11/27/13

The show opens with a highlight package of last week’s beat the clock challenge where Sami Zayne and Adrian Neville won their matches at the same time of 4:18. NXT General Manager, JBL, announced a tie breaker between these two where the winner gets a shot at the NXT title held by Bo Dallas.

– Match #1: Antonio Cesaro defeats Yoshi Tatsu via pinfall.

This was the Antonio Cesaro show. Tatsu might have landed a few punches but he was quickly put away with a twenty-three rotation giant swing followed by The Neutralizer. This was the kickoff to a Antonio Cesaro/William Regal feud which is surprising since the status quo is for a veteran to feud with someone who is close to being called up to the main roster. Maybe this is some sort of test for Cesaro? Time will tell.

-Devin Taylor interviews Bo Dallas who is excited to see the “youngsters” compete for a chance to wrestling him for the title. CJ Parker, who portrays a psychedelic hippie, stumbles into the frame. Dallas is upset over the interruption and pokes fun at Parker’s win/loss record while claiming “I didn’t know you were still employed”. Parker challenges him to a non-title match and Dallas accepts.

Last year, Bo Dallas eliminated Wade Barrett from the Royal Rumble in his WWE debut and pinned him the next night on Raw. Without warning, Dallas was sent back to NXT. Watching him over the last couple of weeks, I can see why. He is excellent in the ring and he knows how to put together a personality with his “Bo-Nuts” and “Bo-lievers” catch phrases. However, he seems very timid and unsure of himself when cutting promos and having to portray that personality. He will have to get over that hump in order to find a permanent residence on the main roster.

– Match #2: NXT Champion Bo Dallas defeats CJ Parker via pinfall

There was some decent back and forth action until Dallas planted him with his version of the Bulldog called “The Bo-Dog”. It was quite creative as he runs up corner while holding the head, twists in the air and springboards into the bulldog. It’s a good set up move but it lacks that certain quality to be a great finishing maneuver.

-Devin Taylor interviews Emma, an Australian native and Lance Storm trainee, who is probably the most popular NXT diva. Her gimmick is that of an inept club dancer who is completely oblivious to her apparent lack of skill. The Aussie’s adorable persona easily allows fans to give her a pass on her dancing as they are in full support of the Emma-loution. A hilarity filled feud with Fandango practically writes itself.

-Backstage segment sees NXT Diva’s title holder, Paige, accusing Natalya of neglecting her in ring priorities since she is now on Total Divas. Natalya is shocked and this leads to a future title match between the two. Paige looks kind of like a Goth character but she comes off super bratty for that to be the case. She is a member of a stable called BFF (Beautiful Fierce Females).

– Match #3: Tyler Breeze defeats Kassius Ohno via pinfall.

This match was ten seconds long with Ohno looking like a chump. This was not surprising considering Ohno was recently released from developmental. Breeze’s bleached blonde hair is similar to Dolph Ziggler and does a vain pretty boy gimmick who constantly takes pictures of himself. The finish saw Breeze hit the “Beauty Shop” after an assist from Alexander Rusev.

-Backstage: BFF members Summer Rae and Sasha Banks are acting like they are so hot until Bayley, who plays the lovable loser who likes to hug it out, comes in and demands to know where Charlotte is. The heels insult her until Bayley challenges them to a tag team match. Summer Rae dismisses the notion that she has any friends which in wrestling logic means she most certainly has. 

-Devin Taylor interviews Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville as they talk about their number one contenders match. Zayne insists their past won’t get in the way of what needs to be done. Zayn plays it kind of cocky and believes he is the favorite to win.

– Match #4: Hunico & Camacho defeat The Ascension when Hunico rolls up Viktor for the pin.

The result of this one surprised me. This was Hunico & Camacho’s return to NXT and they faced the Tag Team champions who have an Undertaker style entrance. The characters of Konnor and Viktor’s are on the darkside of things. It would be interesting to see them introduced as protégées of the Undertaker since this upcoming WrestleMania maybe his last. The WWE will always have a dark character and one that gets the stamp of approval from the dead man could be the way to go.  

– Match #5: Adrian Neville defeats Sami Zayn to become the #1 contender for the NXT Championship.

This was an awesome match with lots of good high flying action. Renee Young inexplicably went from babyface to heel as Bo Dallas joined her and Tom Phillips for commentary. Even the harsh words of “your pretty smart for a Canadian” couldn’t quell her admiration for the champ. Renee’s sudden character change gets a pass because this is a developmental system where new things are tested.

Sami Zayn is ready for prime time and perhaps, he was ready before he signed his developmental contract. Adrian Neville is super close to being ready but needs a tad more work in the personality department.

Until next time, this is your NXT update signing off.


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