Tag Archives: NXT

NXT Takeover 2014 Opinions (spoiler free)

Well first off, my predictions were pretty inaccurate. The show was really enjoyable. The pre-show was good, no matches, but it had Renee Young with Paul Heyman and Christian at the desk. There was a special appearance by Ceasaro. You can skip the pre-show, but they had good interviews, including relationship counseling with Natalya and Tyson Kidd in a sit down interview with Michael Cole. It just made Tyson Kidd look weak, like his woman’s woman. Michael Cole was even hinting at it.

ADAM ROSE vs CAMACHO
This match had a high energy crowd. The chants never stopped. It was a comedy match and Camacho was the only guy not laughing. It wouldn’t be comedy without a straight man would it? It was a great match to warm up if not energize the crowd.

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: Champions, THE ASCENSION vs TWO LUCHADORES
The Ascension showed a lot of intensity, far more than I’ve ever noticed. They looked really good here. It is at this point that I realize its an advertisement for the WWE.

SAMMY ZAYN vs TYLER BREEZE
Its great, Tyler Breeze has a blonde bombshelle gimmick, but he’s a man. Its awesome. In the ring he’s always good in a Johnny Nitro soft of way. Sammy Zayn took a hard fall off the top rope and landed on the back of his head. Concussion? This was as good of a match as everyone thought it would be.

ALEXANDER RUSEV ANGLE
This was awesomely entertaining. Rusev is quite the over the top heel for having a bored awkward facial expression. I’m happy such a throwback evil character exists, even in a world that rejects corny and campy gimmicks like this.

PAIGE THANKS FANS
Eh. I was waiting for a heel to come out and save her from herself. It was like a graduation speech. She had white jeans. That’s her gimmick, she’s neon white.

VACANT NXT DIVA’S CHAMPIONSHIP: CHARLOTTE w/ RIC FLAIR vs NATALYA w/ BRET HART
A lot of people like the thought of Flair vs Hart in the corners. I don’t. I’d rather see female versions of Ric and the Anvil clash. Charlotte is shockingly graceful. Both women come out with new electrified versions of their elder’s themes. The commentary was great for this match as it is for every match, but they played up a lot of stories. Not just the Flair vs Hart, but the rich taught skills vs the home taught skills. Natalya let out an ugly woo, but this will probably be the women’s match of the year if not decade for WWE, NXT, TNA (maybe not SHIMMER). There was a lot of mat wrestling to contrast the high flying of the previous match. It was hard, painful wrestling.

This was a good match, because NXT allows it to happen. I’m not sure the WWE would allow it to happen. Just as TNA would often have 10 minute Knockout matches. I still predict huge things for Charlotte, maybe even bigger than the WWE Diva’s division. She’s a 6′ tall blonde bombshelle that can do a top rope backflip moonsault that plays a villain better than most men. It is a shame that the NXT and WWE Divas divisions are so shallow.

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP: Champion, ADRIAN NEVILLE vs TYSON KIDD
This match felt big with a lot of heat on it from a lot of directions. Tyson wanting to get into the WWE, Tyson’s wife just losing, Adrian on the rise, Kidd on the decline, Tyson was strong going in with a few wins over the past 5 or so weeks. When a match can feel so big, yet be so small in the WWE is astounding. These two would be cruiserweights on the bottom of the card, but here in NXT they are gods that people came to see. NXT is now what Smackdown should be, a place for guys to shine based on their wrestling merits. You don’t have to be tall, or cut the best promo. Bo Dallas and Paige should not have left the NXT nest. Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond dominated by giants and monsters?

As a match, it was great, on par with Sammy Zayn vs Tyler Breeze. Two quality, diverse matches. High impact match, an indie spectacular.

IN CONCLUSION
NXT is on fire and its only gaining momentum. They don’t have an over abundance of titles and every match serves a purpose. They only have one star vs star match per week, so these live events mean a lot more. Everything is focused around those titles and they don’t spend a lot of time on matches that aren’t for a title or for the #1 contendership. It is great to see a promotion that focuses on the important things.

Extremely enjoyable show, it makes me sad for TNA and Smackdown this 5 match show can be so good in 2 hours without anything bad. This show felt special, it felt like it mattered, it feels fresh, it feels like NXT is going somewhere.

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NXT Takeover 2014 Predictions

Oddly enough, I find myself caring more about NXT Takeover than WWE Payback this Sunday. NXT Takeover is the second live WWE network event for NXT and according to the poster three matches have been announced. Those three matches are:

ADAM ROSE vs CAMACHO
You might not believe this, but I’ve seen a lot more from Camacho than I have Adam Rose. To me, Adam Rose is just a gimmick with no real substance behind it. Camacho however, I’ve seen fifteen minute five star matches with him and Tyson Kidd. In WWE, I saw nothing with Camacho, but in NXT he has a chance to shine. While this match doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, I’ll pick Camacho.

NXT TAG CHAMPIONSHIP: Champions, THE ASCENSION vs EL LOCO & KALISTO
Well the NXT tag champions have received the call to go to the WWE. I do like how the tag division in the WWE seems to have fattened up over the past year. Kudos to you HHH for making the tag team initiative. I’d rather see four floundering guys in one match become stars than I would two not become stars. As for the match, El Loco and Kalisto are on fire. I see big things for them outside of NXT, but in NXT I see bigger things for them, so I predict El Loco & Kalisto to win the tag titles. As for the Ascension, I’ve never seen anything special about them outside of their entrance and gimmick. They should bring something fresh to the WWE tag division, but once they get stale, they’ll get cut.

SAMMY ZAYN vs TYLER BREEZE
I’d say the #3 and #4 guys in NXT right now. They lost a #1 contender match to Tyson Kidd. Very quickly here, I see Sammy Zayn going over Tyler Breeze. Remember how I said that I see nothing in Adam Rose? Tyler Breeze is a guy that is a gimmick, but in the ring he does have that ‘mean streak’ something extra that isn’t just part of the gimmick. Hopefully this match can make them both stars.

VACANT NXT DIVA’S CHAMPIONSHIP: CHARLOTTE w/ RIC FLAIR vs NATALYA w/ BRET HART
Paige is now the WWE Diva’s Championship, so she had to give up the NXT Diva’s championship. So there has been a month long tournament leading to this match, which is great. The big draw to this match is Flair and Bret Hart will be in the background and might potentially scuffle. To be honest, I couldn’t care less at the thought of two retired wrestlers getting involved. I’d much rather see Charlotte and Natalya. Both are very solid wrestlers and could rewrite women’s wrestling in WWE. I see giant things for Charlotte and I’m shocked that she wasn’t called up by the WWE instead of Paige. Charlotte will go over, because she’s on the rise and sadly Natalya is on the decline. Then Charlotte will carry the diva’s title for the next year.

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP: Champion, ADRIAN NEVILLE vs TYSON KIDD
Tyson Kidd came back, went over someone, participated in a #1 contender’s battle royal and then won a #1 contender match against Tyler Breeze and Sammy Zane to earn a title shot. That’s clean and simple booking. A guy that wins matches and it makes me happy to see that happening in NXT. As for the possibility of Tyson Kidd winning, I don’t give him much of a chance. NXT loves to keep titles on champions, and like Charlotte vs Natalya, Adrian Neville is on the rise while Tyson Kidd is on a decline. I really wish the best for Tyson Kidd, but he’s just a guy to make others look good. Again, I refer you to the amazing match Tyson Kidd had with Camacho. Simply stated, Adrian Neville for the win.

New NXT = FCW (6/2012)

So NXT has been revamped into something that looks and feels more like FCW. New NXT has a home arena (Full Sail University Arena) that they film 2 episodes at each TV taping (someone correct me if I’m wrong). Just like TNA did before it went live a month ago. That is a great idea to keep costs down and have your fans recognize your wrestlers. So now on with the show…

TYPICAL WWE LOGO
Yep its the typical WWE stamp logo… but John Cena is the champion?

COMMENTARY TEAM
Jim Ross & William Regal. You can’t go wrong with that. Regal is very good with information and history of things. Jim Ross hasn’t lost his step, but there won’t be any big moments for him to call.

NEW NXT OPENING
The opening recaps great WWE moments and says that these are the fresh crop willing to step up to one day have their moments. Then they go into the intro of the show which has some good music.

JIM ROSS INTRODUCES THE INTERUM GM
Oh good there’s a GM on this show. Sour taste already. Its a good choice though, but he doesn’t need to be a GM. I won’t spoil it for anyone. Someone announces Tyson Kidd vs Michael McGillicutty on paper seems like a terrible main event.

BO DALLAS VIDEO
Bo Dallas is the something of IRS and Blackjack Windam. Wait is that the fat guy or is this the fat guy’s skinny brother? Its gotta be the fat guy’s skinny brother. Anyway… smiling gorgeous face, put him on RAW in a tag team with Evan Bourne.

BO DALLAS vs RICK VICTOR
8 minutes in and we get the first match. Which is typical of TNA and WWE of most weeks. Bo Dallas vs some guy. The other guy looks more like IRS than Bo does. Regal mentions Bo Dallas is the last guy to come through Stu Hart’s Dungeon? Perhaps I heard him wrong and he means Tyson Kidd. I actually see some William Regal & Chris Benoit in the jobber Rick Victor. Camera work feels fresh and more in your face, but not nearly as in your face as old ECW. Bo Dallas seems fast if not basic… but he’ll lose speed in the 2 years it takes him to get to WWE.

SETH ROLLINS VIDEO PROMO
Seth Rollins looks like Chris Hero or an emo CM Punk. I see big things for Seth Rollins. Thank goth he has a name like Seth.

DAMIEN SHADOW vs JOBBER (in a match that never happens)
Hilarious. He holds the mic like a glass of wine. He gets plenty of What chants. Every time there is some audio from the crowd the camera cuts to a close up so you can’t see people saying things. And Damien walks away from the match without it even starting wtf?

THE ASCENSION VIDEO (corny)
So the tag team Ascention they show… I think they’re Batman’s children mixed in with some Underworld. Corny thing.

ANTONIO CESARO VIDEO (he’s coming next week)
Good videos for Cesaro and then Alberto. Ceasaro was banned from Rugby for excessive violence and he’s coming next week.

20 MINUTES IN…
So 20 minutes in and I’ve realized this show is a fucked version of FCW. It follows the WWE / TNA model of more talk and clips than matches and NXT is to train your guys to be ready for WWE. They need more matches in the show. Superstars fit 6 matches in every show.

THE ASCENSION vs 2 JOBBERS (they’ll get better) 
The Ascension… quite the ring entrance…. that takes way too long. The Ascension should just destroy these jobbers with an effective double team finisher… and they do double team beat downs that don’t really show anything. Stomps and quick tagging. Plenty of double team beatdowns and there’s the finish. The finisher was meh, but they’ll get better. 1 minute squash.

HUSKY HARRIS VIDEO (in da bayou)
Meh video for Husky Harris… even if the character will be dumb. Ah his name is now Bray Wyatt.

BACKSTAGE WITH WHO… and WHO? (terrible acting, terrible segment)
Backstage with someone I don’t recognize. Oh good he found someone in the men’s room. Acting… forcing them to act. Christ. Don’t let wrestlers act. If you want them to act, send them to improv or acting classes and don’t ever show it on TV. This was terrible and whoever thought of it should be shot. Didn’t make me want to watch the match. Didn’t introduce me to anybody. ‎I think I recognized someone in the segment, but I don’t know.

TYSON KIDD vs MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY (shockingly good match)
30 minutes in and its the main event. Did William Regal say Marty McGillicutty? Hopefully Tyson Kidd goes over. Tyson had his first match at 12 years old? McGillicutty = MR NXT. One day he might even get off the show. Tyson Kidd gets a lot of oos and ahs from the crowd. You know what the shame is here? This is clearly a surprisingly good match, but the shame is that I don’t care. It feels like a chore to watch these two. No matter how good the commentary and match is I just don’t care since it has been 10 minutes since the match started. Great NEAR finish with Tyson Kid doing a standing moonsault off the top. McGillicutty uses a sharp shooter… yes McGillicutty. These two can wrestle a B+ match. Wow Tyson Kidd pulls out a new version of a sharp shooter called the dungeon lock. Impressive finish for a match that went 12+ minutes.

IN CONCLUSION (it could be a lot better and might be)
NXT = mini WWE and that’s a huge problem. Thank goth there were no old NXT flaws like putting your contestants through stupid challenges (even if the challenges are to prove qualities other than wrestling). Too many WWE clips when people watching this are watching RAW. They can wedge another match in here. They had a nice crowd, that I feel will dwindle as time goes on. 3 matches, the main event was good to great even if they are two wrestlers I don’t care about.

PROS

  • Good main event
  • The Ascension has a great look
  • Ceasaro is coming
  • Jim Ross & William Regal on commentary

CONS

  • NXT doesn’t need a GM no matter how good he is
  • Ascension is corny
  • Too much like FCW
  • Too few matches for a show that should be getting guys ready in the ring
  • Terrible backstage acting…
  • Main event between 2 guys I don’t care about and that’s the failure of WWE for 2+ years of jobbing both guys

Idea for the WWE Network that could be the American Idol of Wrestling

TNA has its Gut Check, which is all fine, well and crazy when it has potential stars lose then try to look like a winner the next week. I have pitched several show ideas around on forums, but I think I have a winner.

Each episode is 30 minutes long and has 2 matches on it with a winner at the end of each episode. Mick Foley is the host along with three judges. The catch is that both matches per episode are conducted between two friends instead of strangers or rivals. They work together against one another to put on the best match possible and judges critique them, but at the end of each episode, have the judges reveal who they felt had the better match. The judging is on the match, not who won or who lost in that match. The match as a whole is judged. Each match gets 5 minutes to either cut a promo with a match or just have a match with no promo or a promo afterward. The bottom line is each ‘segment’ (match and or promo) gets 5 minutes.

Here’s an example:
Worker A vs Worker B
Worker C vs Worker D
End of show >> Worker A vs Worker B had the better segment, so they will appear in a future episode.

Winners would return like in a tournament. They would go up tier after tier. 8 episodes would have 32 workers competing. The 16 winners from those first 8 episodes come back to do 4 more episodes. So you see the same match 2x… but participants can work a storyline into things. It continues down to 2 episodes with the same match 3x like the conclusion of a feud and then the hour long finale. This would make for 15 episodes per season.

Even though each episode is 30 minutes long, have 2 episodes back to back for a full hour of entertainment. However, with only 15 episodes, the season will be over in 8 short weeks.

Contestants would send in tapes of their previous work and even have tryouts to make sure they can wrestle and they won’t just get on TV to sing and dance for their 5 minutes of fame. If anything the judges can just throw out the match or segment.

What is in it for the contestants? Money… fame… exposure… to be seen by the WWE and have them critique what would probably be your best match since its with another worker that you bring with you.

The twist in the final episode is that there can only be one winner out of your pairing. I don’t mean a shoot to the death or anything, but judges pick the best worker out of the winning pair. Have them cut promos on one another for all the money at the end. If its money, they’ll shoot down their friend that helped them get to the end.

What are your thoughts?

Watching NXT and finding faults it shouldn’t have (and how to fix them)

In 20 minutes into watching NXT and I’ve only seen 1 NXT guy and 5 pros. Maybe that’s for better matches and better promos… but 2 segments in… there is ZERO crowd heat. No one cheers, no one knows the pros.

That’s a big problem. Not just the only problem. Since this is a net show showcasing rookies it should suck… but this sucks on a different level.

OPENING SEGMENT JTG & TOILET BRUSH (DARREN YOUNG) with USOS
It kicked off with JTG and a “rookie” the toilet brush. JTG cut down the fans and the fans had no reaction even when being insulted. Now that was sad. I actually say the toilet brush rookie he was with (formerly CM Punk’s rookie in season 2) is better known than JTG. Terrible segment that went on for 8 minutes. A match is setup later.

YOSHI TATSU vs JINDER MAHAUL
This match should have had heat. Jinder punched in Yoshi’s teeth on a different episode… which should have been shown before this match. This was a squash match when they should really be showing off Yoshi’s high-flying and still have Jinder win.

William Regal (on commentary) explained a real life story that he was at Jinder’s christening 25 years ago! Wow! That’s crazy if its true.

TITUS ONEIL BACKSTAGE WITH AJ
Yep they sure were…

PERCY WATSON vs TYSON KIDD
Wow they changed poor Percy. Now he looks like everyone else only black. There is nothing that makes him stand out. His attire is devoid of color and flair. Maybe it was some on air thing where they stripped him down.

Where is Tyson Kidd’s rookie? His rookie was eliminated, but the rookie still needs to be there. Speaking of rookies… Darren Young’s (toilet brush) pro is Chavo Guerrero who was released from the WWE. JTG’s rookie was eliminated so they must have teamed up. Where was Percy’s pro??? Is Percy a pro himself? If he’s a pro then why is another pro vs pro match on NXT?

This was probably Tyson Kidd’s best match in the past year. It made him look like a star by jobbing out Percy Watson. The one thing I got from Percy is he jumps high… so does Kofi Kingston and Shelton Benjamin. It’s like a check box for black athletes.

INTERVIEW WITH JINDER MAHAUL
Yawn. He has the look of a young Rock. He says that tonight marks his return to greatness. This probably should have been before his match, but whatever.

USOS vs JTG & DARREN “TOILET BRUSH” YOUNG
Lets recap before we start this… 2 rookies, 6 pros. According to the WWE there are 3 rookies left. 1 of which is Darren Young. The others are Titus ONeil who was backstage with AJ for 1 minute and the last rookie to still be on the show is Derrick Burkman, who is Daniel Bryan’s pro. Daniel Byran is someone this whole show can be built around. Out of everyone he actually feels like a star. He’s been with the company 2 years, he can wrestle, the fans get behind him, but he’s not here… so whatever.

The main event was around 10 minutes long and had the fans interested. The right team won… and afterward 2 more pros jumped them to quickly close the show.

IN CONCLUSION: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Its like the WWE is swimming backward. WWE has this show for rookies, yet they only had 2 rookies (if Percy isn’t a pro). Only 1 of the rookies had not been eliminated. They should have all of the finalist rookies getting victories on this show to build them headed into the finale. Job out the guys who have been eliminated. Don’t have current WWE “stars” go over them. Once they get integrated into Smackdown or RAW (or Superstars) have them do jobs to the WWE stars. This is NXT and the pros can dominate their show on WWE Superstars (online).

WWE should keep that in mind for next season, but the WWE will do what it wants and bury guys they’re trying to make.

Since there is zero crowd heat, NXT needs a star to tie everything together. Like a host. Jim Ross comes to mind. He can be the guy everyone pays attention to so there is a crowd reaction. He can have in ring interviews. It’s either that or have a wrestler host or have a weekly guest host to make it interesting. CM Punk hosts one week. John Cena hosts another, Christian hosts another. This would pop the Internet ratings and by pop I mean 500 extra views and it will get people paying attention. That superstar would take a hit considering he doesn’t get his 1st appearance pop on Smackdown and he might feel stale before he appears on Smackdown.