I think this is the first time I’ve posted about a show in a month that I didn’t have help from Botch, Mitch, or both. Botch is still adding notes next to things as I get my footing and because I won’t make him totally let it go. I still feel a bit guilty taking this from Botch, but I’m having so much fun writing about NXT. I’ve always enjoyed the show, but fully admit that I didn’t specifically make the time to watch it every week. Now I’ve gone back to rewatch the best of it and realizing just how much greatness I need to soak in.
The WWE has made such a big deal about working with Susan G. Komen and how they are all pink for the month, but NXT isn’t. They have little logos on the ring and the Tron, but nothing like the pink ropes on Raw and SD.
He Can Wrestle Too!
I’m a huge fan of Drew Gulak and have been thrilled with him as CW Champion. Or should I call it the NXTCW Championship now? Anyway, as much as I love Gulak, Lio Rush is downright amazing in the ring. The more I see of Rush the more enthralled I am. He was supposed to have this horrible reputation backstage where everyone hated him almost as much as they hated Enzo, but it looks as though either those reports were bunk or Trip decided to give Rush a chance in NXT since it appears as though the CW Division will be connected to them now.
It’s looked like Gulak told Rush that he deserves it. A handshake means a lot, but the look on Gulak’s face, the obvious respect he had there, and talking to Rush the way he did, it was pure sportsmanship from someone I didn’t expect (character) to show it. Then again Trip is better about them breaking kayfabe in moments like that, and for that, I respect Trip that much more.
Note from Botch: I completely agree with Queen. Lio is just incredible. Who knows what of the backstage stuff was real or not. All I know is he gets it done in the ring. I was expecting this to be a bit more of a contest than it was as Lio won with relative ease. Still, it was time for something new and I’m thrilled that it’s now Lio’s time.
I am really excited to see Tegan in the ring next week. I have to wonder if the Women’s Tag Team Championship will continue to float between the two shows with all the issues between who USA wants on their shows and who FOX wants on their show. It would be horrible if the straps ended up stuck on a specific show due to the network the show is on because Tegan and Dakota might be a great team to fight for the straps.
Rhea’s Gonna Kill You
And she about did just that to Aliyah! That was a show of force and exactly what Rhea needed to do to take the strap off Shayna. I’m thrilled to see Rhea getting the push she deserves. That hold and finisher left me in awe. Aliyah deserves serious props for how she sold that match. She’s a tiny little thing but showed personality that’s larger than life, and did a great job of trying not to be steamrolled by the most dominant female – other than Shayna – on the NXT roster.
Note from Botch: Rhea got next. She has a darkness to her that I absolutely love. Shayna’s could very well be in trouble with this one.
Not just Fandango who had some off moments, but also Forgotten Sons (sorry, I’m not sure which one – possibly both) had some issues in there. It wasn’t a botch-fest, but it was close and could have been a travesty if it had been any worse than that.
Note from Botch: Are you catching the irony of Kendra forgetting the Forgotten Sons. I was gonna jump in and fix it but it’s far more entertaining this way….LOL!!!! I hate that Breezango did the job here as I see nothing in the Forgotten Sons at all. They just don’t matter to me.
More Like A Kid
Something about this segment with Keith Lee, he felt like a little boy trying to claim why he should be a big name wrestler. I still haven’t been able to put my finger on why, but I’m not getting Keith Lee at all. If anyone has any ideas as to why you think I have such issues with him – how he does things, he reminds me of another wrestler and I’m not seeing it, I’m just biased for no obvious reason. Most of you know me well enough to see some of these things that I might not be seeing.
(Note from Botch: I have been watching Keith Lee for years on the indies and I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s articulate, amazing in the ring, and he’s beyond ready. My hope is that he’ll get a serious push. He can definitely get it done. Still, Queen’s is most certainly entitled to her opinion).
The hat is steampunk, but Hubby said he’d be a good undertaker in a western movie. Then there’s the western font on the tron. I don’t get Grimes or why he’s been squashing – yet.
Why did Dain go after Boa? Am I missing something? I love Dain, he’s a favorite of mine from his sAniTy days, and he’s married to my favorite (in the top five active wrestlers in the WWE) woman of late on the main WWE roster. They are both really tough, funny, and creative. They’re also both adorable, especially when together. I guess I just don’t know where they are going with Dain right now. Hopefully they won’t go too long without a direction.
Note from Botch: He’s in a thing with Riddle now and that’s what this was about. He’s mad at the world and had Grimes stuck around, he’d have gotten some too.
I Dispute This Win
Strong catching Scott in midair the way he did shocked me. I was watching this match and about to start writing about how much I really like Scott and who does he remind me of, then Strong caught him and hit that backbreaker and left me in awe. Then Scott came back and really worked Strong over in a jaw-dropping way. If not for Undisputed Era, Scott had Strong. This match really impressed me and showed me that what I’ve seen on the tiny screen I watch the WWE Network on normally is too small to really show me some of the work done by some of these guys – which I previously mentioned – but both these guys really impressed me. That being said, there’s something about Scott that has really piqued my interest. He’s someone to watch!
Note from Botch: Scott worked the indies for years as Shane Strickland and he’s a BAD man. This match was amazing and I’d have graded higher than our Queen myself.
Clashing Of Personalities
Triple H has such a great handle on the fans and what we want. I’d been begging for a faction like Undisputed Era on either Raw or SD for a very long time, yet we’ve only gotten a few wimpy factions that haven’t gone far. These four hold the gold and flaunt their egos in a very Attitude Era way, but in a way that works. There has been so much negativity about the Attitude Era over the past couple of years, but one of the things that were done really well at that time was solid heel factions. Love them or love to hate them, factions can work really well and UA is one of the best we’ve seen since the AE.
Dream has charisma that few can even touch in any of the WWE and I’m thrilled that he won’t be called up (I hope) to either Raw or SD because he’s on TV and isn’t being watered down the way McMahon would have done. I honestly would have said that no one could have followed that performance but Ciampa’s simplicity at that moment was the perfect way to end that segment. Somehow it shouldn’t work, but he makes it work.
Note from Botch: The Dream is…a dream. He’s just dripping in charisma and his work is incredible. I enjoy any feud he’s in.
I Have No Idea
That right there is that simplicity that makes Ciampa so great. The more I see of him the more I want to go back and watch his evolution to where he is now from when he first debuted. I will get there as I started NXT from a certain point, but I honestly wish there were a way to watch just DIY, their segments, promos, and matches, following them from debut to now. I think it would be a great addition to the watching of the WWE Network.
Battle Of Braids
Normally I’d love on Kai’s natural hair, but now I just want to brush it and put it into braids that will actually stay. She’s so talented and so adorable, but her hair is killing me. Hair shaming is the last thing I want to be doing here, and I wouldn’t have said a word about it if I didn’t find it so distracting during her matches as she’s always pushing it back from her face. On a whim I looked her up and was shocked to read that Kai is (half) Samoan and from New Zealand. I have no clue how I missed that, but I did. Now I want to hear her on mic to check out her accent!
I’m sure some will think that’s funny as so many dislike Bianca’s braid, but I love it. Okay, I love the braid but I worry about her hairline being pulled back with the traction alopecia that she’s obviously dealing with already. It’s not healthy to pull your hair back so tightly all the time, it makes your hair break and not grow back in. More than her braid, I’m constantly impressed with Bianca in the ring. That girl has, pound for pound, strength that Cesaro has and it leaves me in awe. What I also find interesting is that Bianca doesn’t look incredibly muscular much of the time, but when she had the mic after the match she looked ripped. I don’t know how that happened as I’ve not noticed her to be as visually muscular as she so obviously is.
Note from Botch: Bianca and Dakota are both beasts in the ring. Bianca’s strength in particular is unmatched by most men on the roster, let alone the women. Didn’t know she was half Samoan until Queen mentioned it here. Wow…
No, Not Forever!
Hearing Dominik talk about fighting Keith Lee forever brought back images of the feud that would never end – Orton/Cena, but I know Trip won’t do that to us. I hope that it’s over after their match next week as I’d like to see Dominik in the ring with someone other than Lee.
Note from Botch: These two could fight forever and I’d be fine with it. Both matches involving them are absolute classics and I can’t wait for another. The chemistry between them is undeniable and watching men that size fly around the ring is just bizarre in the best way. More, please.
I forgot what a teenager Dunne looked like when he did what Trip said, make a name for himself. His face has matured over the past couple years, as has his mic work, his ring work, and his charisma. I know why I didn’t like him early on, he reminds me of my ex-husband, but I’ve gotten past that in my personal life and have truly become a fan of all Dunne does within the WWE.
WALTER’s Gonna Kill You!
I love that the fans chant WALTER in the same way they chant Goldberg. Normally when a group of fans chant a name that way – at least that’s how it was when I went to Triple A minor league baseball games when I was in my single digits – so it took me a bit aback when I heard the Goldberg chants, but now I get pro wrestling fans and what a wacky sort we are.
Kushida, the way Rey used to, somehow makes it look viable when he’s going over WALTER, and that’s a true talent. He’s so creative in the ring, so seeing him work against a ground and pound guy makes him work in a different way from when he’s working against guys his size and similar style. I love it. Other than the BLEEPING Mama Mia from Mauro, the way Kushida came off the corner with WALTER in an arm hold was awe-inspiring. Then Mauro keeps screaming about what NXT is all about, not the amazing match we were all watching.
I’m blown away at how long these two worked this match together. On paper, these two shouldn’t be able to go the way they did, which made this match that much more tantalizing. This was an unexpected and beautiful main event from two guys who wouldn’t have been given the time to work such a match on the main roster in WWE.
Shut Up Mauro, I’m Talking!
I’m starting to think we might have a Fatal 4 Way Match for the NXT Championship. It’s the only way they can do things with three superstars coming after Cole. The thought of Cole, Ciampa, Dream, and Balor in the ring together makes my head spin in the best possible way.
Then again each week NXT on USA has made my head spin in the best possible way. I’m not saying every match has been great, every segment has been perfect, and many of us worried that NXT would struggle to move to two hours, but they really haven’t. Triple H and NXT have really kept the vibe and work rate that made NXT such a huge success with the hardcore fans, and it seems as though some of the more casual fans are seeing the light as well. Fingers crossed that they continue as they are, impressing fans and leaving us breathless ever week.