When an episode of NXT starts as well as this one and continues through the way this did, I again start daydreaming about what SD would look like with Trip’s obvious vision, creative teams, and ability to actually know what the fans want. I truly believe that the more casual wrestling fans would be turned if they were exposed to beautifully crafted and executed shows like NXT on a regular basis.
Poppy is adorable and it was a really nice change of pace for the start of NXT. I’ve never been big on wrestling shows having live music, but that’s because most of the musical acts through the years haven’t made a lot of sense. I thought Poppy worked really well here and didn’t take up too much time from the actual show. It’s funny, the other musical group I thought did really well with the WWE was when Motörhead played Triple H to the ring during a PPV years ago.
Being me I have to comment on Candace’s hair. I love that she took care of her roots, changed up her hair color, and made it so she doesn’t have to touch it up each week. I really don’t like roots, but understand what a pain it can be to stay on top of them in my relatively boring life. Both women in this match have dyed hair, but both have looks that don’t require weekly touchups so they can focus on more important things.
Getting beyond all that hair, these two leave me in awe whenever they step into the ring separately, but together they have that magic that only those who know each other so well. These two kill it in the ring in a way that only a few on the main roster manage. Further, they have only recently become enemies, so their work together is so fresh and innovative to their styles. They’re both great wrestlers, but the times they’ve faced off since Io turned heel have been absolutely awe-inspiring. Taking it one step further each time they are in the ring together, and they are almost the perfect way to start NXT. The use of that chair was brilliant all the way around, including the ref’s parts in it all.
I’m not sure I understand Rhea into the ring to save Candace. Maybe she was just there to get into it with Io, but it seemed as much to protect Candace as to get in Io’s face.
Lastly, I want a minidress made out of the fabric of Candace’s ring gear. That fabric SCREAMS Kendra.
Johnny Watches Wrestling
Dang, he slammed The Fiend in a simple and lovely way. I have to say that I know he was talking about Queen and WR in this segment, but he is absolutely correct that he’s been so screwed on the main roster and that NXT is the place for Balor as McMahon doesn’t see the beauty in Balor that Trip gets and we all love.
One of the things that made this segment work so well is the opposite of what Trip is known for. This segment was short, sweet, to the point, and perfect! Trip is famous for his twenty-minute rants, but he seems to get that’s not what the NXT fans want and his creative team truly gets it.
Thorne absolutely has a look and a vibe that is both right on track for NXT, and very much all his own. He’s an interesting guy to watch, and I loved his cannonball in the corner on Reed! Nox needs to watch how Thorne hits that move and really learn to do it so it looks believable, rather than landing in the lap of whoever is sitting in the corner.
Reed moves like a guy half his size and impresses me each time I see him. The thing is that I don’t know a lot about him. Just the way Thorne enters the ring tells me so much about it, but I don’t get that from Reed and feel like I need to know so much more about him. I know he’s a mid-card worker that hasn’t been established beyond what we have seen from him in his matches, but I want more. He seems interesting and I hope they do more with him very soon as I think he’s a diamond in the rough.
I like how these guys really left it out there in this short match. They worked it hard, showed all they could in the time they were given. This is just one of the things that makes NXT so special – the superstars really want to make it, so they leave it all out there. On Raw and SD they think they’ve made it and sometimes, more often than I’d like, rest on their laurels. These guys did the opposite so that they would be remembered, and they will be.
The Mist Comes to NXT
I love the way this match was announced in the ring. The way they stood there being announced, the lighting, the fans, everything. The opening to this match felt like it was setting up a BIG PPV match, which is really cool for any given Wednesday. Since it’s me, I also have to mention that Asuka’s hair looks better than it has in months. She’s neatly dyed, no roots, and overall it looks like she dyed her hair as if readying for a big PPV match.
I have to say that it finally seems like Asuka and Sane are melding as a solid team. The heel turn helped that a lot, and they no longer seem as though they have just been thrown together for racial issues. Because of that and that Team Kick is so cohesive, I expected a lot from this match but the first half just wasn’t as fantastic as I expected it to be. Not saying it was bad, but I could see Kai calling moves, and it seemed as though they didn’t put everything I expected into it, and from the sound of the fans at Full Sail, they agreed. It wasn’t until Nox got the hot tag that things at all seemed to pick up, and even then I think the upswing was partial because of the fans in attendance getting back into the match.
The last thing I need to address in this match is Asuka’s mist. I said this in the Raw DD this week and will say it again, the green capsule Asuka is using is too big for her because the mist is WAY too dark. She needs a smaller capsule to work with. I will say that this was the best aim we have seen from Asuka as Kai’s face was completely covered.
Io, Ripley, and Bianca, Oh My!
Io attacking Rhea the way she did here made the attack after the opening match makes so much more sense. In fact, this segment made me so giddy that I had to split it off from the Tag Match. We so rarely see things go all higgledy-piggledy with the women, and I have to admit that I was bummed when Regal stopped all the insanity, but his announcement made me even happier. I had both hands over my mouth when I heard the War Games announcement, and they stayed there through the entire commercial break and into Bate’s entrance.
The Black Hat and the Non-Finish
When Bate punched Grimes in the face last week, I was thrilled for this match but I’m still reeling from the women – so much so that I have to wonder if they should have made the Women’s Tag Team Championship Match the main event this week so they could end on that announcement. I’m writing this as I’m watching NXT, so something really huge could change that opinion before the show is over.
Bate is a fantastic little force of nature who I’ve been a fan of since I first saw him, and am always blown away by his ring work. He’s a natural in the ring the way few are. It’s as if he was born to do this, and every move he hits is exactly how he should. He always leaves me in awe.
Those punches, those moves, what can I say? Further, these guys gave me that thing I always want but haven’t been getting as much as I want from the main roster of the WWE – emotion! These guys, especially Grimes, gave us so much emotion in this match. These two hit moves that we don’t see on the main roster and did so in such an effortless way.
Dain! What a great way to end this match so that neither went over completely clean, but there was a true ending to it so the fans weren’t disgruntled. A brilliant way to end a brilliant match!
The Undisputed Era is that dominant faction I’ve been begging to see on the main roster for years. It honestly feels as though the WWE, or maybe it’s Vince McMahon, who doesn’t want to build really solid heel factions the way they once were built. Yes, we have seen what can happen when a heel faction runs too rampant and grow too big, but if half of the roster doesn’t join the faction, then there is little issue of a heel faction going the way of nWo. Yes, there has been a couple of three-man teams that have done quite well in the WWE in the past decade – specifically The Shield and New Day – but they’re three-man teams, not true heel factions as I think of them.
I will give Lee props for his work when he got the hot tag in this match. I’m not saying I suddenly like the man, but he did show me a bit more about why people like him. Even though his moonsault missed, he flew the way a man half his size would. It was an impressive move and Lee worked this match well at times, but I’m still not a fan of him. I’ve not said he doesn’t have skills; just that there’s something about him I’m not feeling.
Riddle’s twisting moonsault outside onto UE was beautiful in every way except that UE had to wait for Riddle to get up there and fly onto them. Normally NXT is better about that type of thing, but it happens. I’d rather have them look a bit foolish waiting than not be in position to catch Riddle when he flies.
Lee coming around the ring and taking down Cole the way he did was sick, but it didn’t help his team win this match. That is part of the beauty of a well-built heel faction is that they work together to win matches like this.
Ciampa makes me smile each time he comes out. There was that worry about his ability to return (briefly) so seeing him in the ring like this makes me giddy. Like Balor, Ciampa’s mic work is short and to the point and I think that’s one of the things that makes him and NXT so special. Honestly, right now as I finish this up Miz, one of the best talkers in the WWE, is chatting away on SD. That’s great and he has his schtick, but his schtick is more Trip-twenty-minute than NXT-two-minute that is so wonderfully crisp and refreshing. This isn’t a hit on Miz or SD, it’s just a totally different type of show.
Shut Up Mauro, I’m Talking!
I will admit that I’ve not always been a Triple H fan, but the more he does, the better he gets. I love that they’re doing Raw vs SD vs NXT at Survivor Series. It will give Trip’s kids a chance to shine as we know they will. I could go on and on about how great this is going to be, but we all know what we are looking forward to. My biggest hope is that they truly build this as three BIG brands, not SD and Raw knowing they can take out that little brand down there. The tiniest bit of SD I’ve seen is giving me huge hope, but I’m holding off until next week to see who shows up on NXT from Raw and SD to see how much they’re really going to build NXT as they should be.