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.
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.