The last couple of shows have left me worried about what NXT is going to be going forward. Let’s hope this week will be an improvement.
Looks like we’re starting with a match right off the bat which is never a bad thing. Here’s Enzo and Cass to do their shtick. The crowd chants along as though their big stars and they proceed to compare the Lucha Dragons to the Geico Lizard. Is that still a thing? After riffing about the Dragons saving them 15 percent on their car insurance, Enzo declares there’s going to be an accident. Which in itself is a pretty groan inducing line, but coming from the angry bearded guido works on every conceivable level. I’m really hoping that Enzo and Cass’ stuff gets over like this on the main roster. Their SAWFT bit could totally work as long as Vince and co. have the patience to let it grow.
Match # 1 Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy Vs. The Lucha Dragons
The crowd is nuts for our Italian friends. How nuts you ask? Well if the “how you doin’ ” chant wasn’t enough to sway you, Kalisto outwrestles Enzo to start completely cleanly and gets booed. If Kalisto, who is completely awesome is getting booed you know his opponent is a star. (in NXT) I’m curious if Cass changing his look to something more akin to Enzo would help or hurt the team. Something just looks off in their presentation, although I do like how the leopard print font on Cass tights ties in with Enzo’s scumbag look. Kalisto nails that crazy hurricanrana/ddt to the floor and I’m extremely worried about what happens to the Lucha Dragons when they go up to the main roster. With no cruiserweight division there’s really no reason to break them up as their chemistry is fantastic and Sin Cara’s transition to power guy has been cool to witness over the wicked weeks.(alliteration) The match moves nicely and the two teams work well together. Enzo gets his ass beat but in a cool spot, Big Cass comes in, cleans house, and proceeds to carry Enzo to the corner so he can make the legal tag. Big Cass lays a beating down and Enzo finishes with a great looking rocket launcher for the pin. Solid tag match.
I’m going to say this now and while it may sound extreme it’s the truth: if the guy in the front row actually paid for that 9.99 t-shirt there is literally no hope left for humanity. If he paid more than 9.99 then wrestling fans are the idiots that Vince McMahon thinks they are.
We get a graphic hyping Alex Riley vs. CJ Parker for later in the show. This is apparently the match in which Riley has to prove to Regal that he’s ready to face Kevin Owens. Really? One match against a jobber after two years off is all the prep you need?
HYPE FOR NEXT WEEK! NXT is on the road! Next week is Riley vs. Owens! Wait. What? I guess he proves himself later in the show. Way to spoil your own show ten minutes in. Seriously why does this promo have to air here? It’s one thing if a network like USA runs an add that spoils the main event of Raw, but to run a promo ON YOUR OWN NETWORK, that spoils a match later in the show is downright inexcusable. What kind of bush league shit is this?
We’re back from that insulting add break and we get another Jesus Christ… I mean Alex Riley package. It shows some great highlights of his career that really makes you stop and wonder for what reason they pissed away his potential. In the package Riley tells us “I’m here to entertain, that’s my number one objective.” If I were ever to make a list of my gripes about WWE, not only would it be the longest list in the history of mankind, but this would damn sure be near the top. Good thing he’s not there to win matches or titles! Wouldn’t want anyone to possibly misconstrue that this is a wrestling show with athletic contests happening.
Of course now we need to have a package on Kevin Owens. He’s destroyed EVERYONE! EVERYONE! CJ Parker (jobber), Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, EVERYONE! I hate this company.
Carmella’s out and she’s not nearly as good at the old catchphrases as Enzo. Good thing she has other assets…
And we’re taking another ad break for the network that we own to tell you about products you’re already going to receive for having already ordered said network. Why the fuck are they advertizing Wrestlemania (posemania) here? We’ve already bought the fucking network! We’re getting Wrestlemania!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Look at all these great characters that are going to be at Wrestlemania! Sure they’re not written as well as they would be in any other possible medium, including mime, but they’re having fun. And look at those poses! And those smiles! I feel like I’m losing my god damn mind watching this show. And this is the one I can stomach…
Match # 2 Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss
I get a real kick out of the Bliss fairy character, especially how she enters the ring. These ladies lock up and Albert starts talking about Charlotte and Sasha Banks. Hey! Tensai! Maybe talk about the match that’s happening. Imagine going to see a play and all the characters talk about is the play that was playing last week. It’s god damned ridiculous! The commentators barely call a move but between talking about Charlotte and Sasha and fun they try very hard to get over that Carmella is spoiled. Great. You know why Charlotte and Sasha are over? It’s because they’re good, but also because they’re not shunted into these terrible archetypes. Carmella can just be Carmella, she doesn’t have to be spoiled, or devious or anything else that will ensure she doesn’t get over. Just talk about what she does in the ring. Accentuate the positives. Maybe leave out the fact that she clearly throws “diva” punches, but at least TRY to get her over as someone who exists separate from Charlotte and Sasha. The girls continue to fight as the commentators , with absolutely no emotion I may add, talk about the main event, Alex Riley and Kevin Owens. Albert tried to reach out to Riley this week. Phew! Good to know. I’m so glad they’re talking about that instead of the stiff ass knees to the head that are being delivered in the ring. Bliss hits leg sweep, a bliss flip and a sparkle splash for the win. The commentators mention only the trademark moves so they can push their branding. Go fuck yourselves, you lazy, boring old has beens. You’re ruining the product.
We get an interview with Riley backstage. He asks , “What if you were locked in a cage for two years? What if you constantly had to hear there’s no room for Alex Riley? This is my one chance…” He’s full of emotion and completely believable. It’s a very solid promo, which makes me want to see him fight, and win. He says he has to impress. Why? He’s already fighting Owens next week.
Tyler Breeze calls out Hideo Itami. He’s going to fight him. He calls himself the King of Cuteville. Tremendous. Make a shirt of that NOW.
CJ Parker is out in his Tatanka vest. He wants to talk about the world for a second but is immediately interrupted by Alex Riley’s awesome music. Riley looks great and has all the intensity of a champion. Albert is sure to mention that he’s faced Riley many times before. Huh? Where? Japan? He also says that Riley NEEDS to impress… but we already know that…
Match #3 Alex Riley Vs. CJ Parker
Riley is almost immediately taken down into a headlock, which must have really impressed William Regal. For all his rage during his entrance, Riley shows none of it during the actual match. It’s fine for what it is, but Parker gets waaaaaay too much offence for something that exists only to get Riley over. A-Ry hits a nice blockbuster for the win and if this was the match that impressed Regal enough to put him in there with Owens then Regal is in for a lawsuit when Owens murders Riley in the ring. He has destroyed EVERYONE!!!
Here’s Owens. ” You’re the dumbest man in NXT. If that horrible back tattoo isn’t enough to prove that, fighting me sure will. I’m going to put an end to your in-ring career as well!” Hey! That exact exchange was in the promo twenty five minutes ago! Am I harping on this too much????? Owens is going to kill Riley, then move on to Finn Balor. I’m glad to see Owens focusing on the importance of his title through this side feud with Riley. Owens leaves and Riley cries in the ring. Nice to see some genuine emotion from someone in this company.
Commercial time! The Vigilante versus the KING! Jesus Christ…
Match #4 Hideo Itami Vs. Tyler Breeze
Breeze should totally be on the main roster. His entrance screams superstar, but again they would need the patience to stick with it so that he doesn’t become another Adam Rose. Why is it that everyone who is Asian needs to have music that tells us that they’re Asian? We start with a lot of stalling. A lot. Breeze is at least bothering to reference their last match on the stall but it\s stalling none the less. Breeze cinches in a headlock, and while it’s properly applied, it brings the match to a screeching halt. I hate the standard WWE match format that they’re clearly forcing on these guys. There always need to be at least three or four slow parts of the match as though the audience isn’t smart enough to follow. It’s always two rest holds and at least one spot where someone’s legs are wrapped around the post. Just such homogenized shit. At this point I want Itami to juts quit and go back to Japan or ROH. They’re never going to let him wrestle the way in which he would win over the entire crowd. This match is so slow, but very now and then there’s a bit of solid action punctuating it. That’s our window. In between the crap they make them do we get a small glimpse of what Breeze and Itami CAN do. Out of nowhere Breeze wins with the beauty shot. I have NO issue with a guy like Breeze going over strong, but why make that guy Itami? I just don’t understand.
I guess Regal was impressed? The show goes off the air without even addressing it. They build for Riley needing to impress Regal the whole show then don’t give us the payoff? What a pile of shit. Good thing they gave us that promo for next week earlier…
Best Match: Hideo Itami Vs. Tyler Breeze
Worst Match: Carmella Vs. Alexa Bliss
Best Promo/Skit: Alex Riley locked in a cage.
Worst Promo/Skit: Every word out of Albert Tensai’s mouth
MVP: Enzo Amore
What Worked Really Well
– Enzo and Cass are great and very over.
– Tyler Breeze has potential to be a huge star.
– The Riley backstage promo really made me feel for the character.
What Sort Of Works
– I would like to see a little more from Riley in the ring. They way the showcased him didn’t really help.
– I need to see more of Bliss as well. She seems like she could be the one to give us a true triumvirate of great women’s wrestlers.
What Didn’t Work
-The commentary is un-listenable.
-They build to something for a whole show and don’t pay it off. Garbage.
-Why are they holding back/jobbing Itami?
-Seriously the commentary is fucking dreadful. I have to spend an hour with them each week and it makes me not want to watch the show any more.
So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?
The only reason you should watch this show instead of Raw is that it’s one hour instead of three. The bullshit on commentary coupled with all the jobber matches are killing what used to be the best wrestling show on TV every week. They need to go back and take a hard look at what made them great and go back to that. Brutal show this week. Weak shit WWE. Weak shit HHH. I shouldn’t be this angry watching wrestling.