NXT is the shining star of sports entertainment due, mainly, to it’s simple storytelling and impressive matches. Everyone on the roster can do the basics extremely well and can write a good story in the ring.
Something which is becoming more prevalent in WWE are the talk segments to throughout the show. This week’s NXT started with Samoa Joe in the ring talking about his title win. I thought it was bold of the brand to give away the first 10 minutes on a talk segment, but it was worth it for the surprise entrance of Eric Young. Ten minutes is all we needed for Joe to gloat and then Young to state his intentions. A very nice way to start the show (RAW writers, take notes).
Someone I am glad to see back in the ring is Nia Jax. It seems like an age since her last good run on TV and she seems to have faded since TakeOver: London. A quick match with Tessa Blanchard – who could be set for great things in the future – showed that she means business. I am very much looking forward to when she steps in the ring with Asuka.
It always strikes me as odd that every young talent in the NXT roster needs a gimmick. One such gimmick which is amazingly, totally over with the crowd is Tye Dillinger‘s. The “Perfect 10” is most certainly a fan favourite, and squaring off with Austin Aries made for a very good match. However, I think this gimmick may be holding Dillinger down, as he has had potential to rise to the top of the show on many occasions during his time at NXT. I would like to see him rise to main event status before he moves on as he is a very hard worker, a great talent and extremely charismatic. Similarly, AA has all these traits, but coming in as a well known free agent gives him an immediate boost which may just keep some of the younger guys down.
The pairing of Zach Ryder and Mojo Rawley has always seemed a strange one to me. Mainly this is due to the fact Ryder is incredibly well loved by the WWE Universe, whereas Rawley just isn’t likable for me. He came across as annoying on the documentary Breaking Ground, and hasn’t really got the ring skills to make me change my mind. This didn’t stop the two putting on a decent match with The Revival, who’s current path of destruction is a building momentum. The Tag Titles rematch will be a very interesting watch.
Sometimes there are strange choices of wrestlers who get pushed. No Way Jose is an example of this. I’m sure the guy is very talented and a good worker, but given the number of promos we were shown building up to his debut, I was expecting something… different. He reminds me a little of Fandango in his approach, but lacks the moveset to become a real threat. The Baseball Punch is even worse than the Superman Punch.
The main event saw Eric Young‘s first match on WWE TV since 2003. EY took on the man he confronted at the show’s beginning, Samoa Joe. The two former TNA fighters put on an excellent display to close out the show. Joe showed why he is NXT Champion by putting on a clinic, allowing Young to pull off very few moves before submitting to the coquina clutch. With Finn Balor due to return to our screens next week, the “Samoan Submission Machine” proved a point that he is unstoppable.