I will admit I was a bit bummed to be watching NXT like over AEW Dynamite, but I was so invested in the show from the opening moments that I was quickly okay with it. Such a solid episode at the start and end with only a few issues in the middle. The problem is that people are not watching the greatness live as they should be. No clue how to change that, but Stacy said something interesting early in the show. He said that while he’s not invested in the wrestlers the way he is on Raw and SD, because he knows them so well, but that the ringwork in NXT, like AEW, is so much better that you can’t help but watch. These people are there to wrestle and give a great show as they do at indie shows, but the people on Raw and SD are there being top stars, and that takes away a lot of the greatness in the ring. I have to agree and am hoping Stacy will write an article about it with me, as he has some great thoughts on the matter, but basically it all comes back to that one word I scream about – grit! That’s exactly what separates raw and SD from AEW and NXT. Both are great for what they are, but they are very different things.
RIP Road Warrior Animal
While WWE did right by showing the opening for Road Warrior Animal. Hopefully, they do something bigger for him on SD. He more than deserves a tribute video for the work he, Hawk, and Paul did for tag team wrestling and the industry as a whole. More than that, they’re a huge part of pop culture in the 90s.
Poison Pixie Prevails
What a way to open NXT! Let me just say, because I am who I am, I have to give a few props to some great superstars, one I have no clue who she is! Dark hair, one-piece ring gear with long sleeves in green and yellow. I have no idea who she is, but her ring gear was so striking on her figure, and she sold beautifully on her elimination! She stole the first part of this match for me. Her ring gear caught my attention as only Naomi has made that look work in the ring – for me – but beyond that, she emoted and told a story, short though it was. I need to know more about this one.
The other superstar who blew me away in this match was Kofi. I mean Kacy. She killed it outside the ring as much as inside. She’s impressed me since I saw her on Ninja Warrior, but didn’t put it all together in my head until this match. I love how she enters the ring, and I adore her partner. The two of them are great together, as they proved with Carter helped Kacy back into the ring. I do wonder if the camera specifically missed Kacy falling when she grabbed a piece of pixie glass and looked like she could have hit the floor, but with no actual fans in attendance, we don’t know for sure. Either way, they’re setting her up for the Royal Rumble in a major way. Hopefully, Naomi is healthy (which she should be as her surgery shouldn’t slow her down for long) and the two of them could blow us away in the Rumble. Just thinking about it makes me giddy.
Lastly, I loved the end of this match. They really struggle to find new ways to end matches like this, as there’s only so much that can be done to end a Battle Royal, or so we thought. This was a fun new change of pace, and both of them sold it beautifully! I wanted Shotzi to win this one after her great match with Io last week, but the Poison Pixie is the perfect person to win this and face Io. Further, I love that Trip is cool with spouses celebrating in the ring. Yes, this is also part of the storyline with them, but even if it wasn’t, that he’d be out there with his wife is so adorable to me.
Priest is impressing me more and more. At first, it was his look and how he worked the ring, but now I love listening to him. He has a great voice and knows how to use it. He emotes beautifully, and his character is rounding out beautifully. I loved him hitting on the interviewer. It felt real, something too many of those segments rarely feel, especially on Raw lately when everyone’s been badly hitting on the blonde back there.
I honestly had no clue what Dingle, as he’s affectionately known in my house, was trying to put across in his silly way, but in doing his schtick he gave me a gift in Regal. I love Regal’s sense of humour when it comes through the TV. The best was years ago backstage on either Raw or SD where he was asked a question off-handedly and gave a rant about his albino Siamese twins locked in his attic. As much as I adore Dingle as local boy made big, it’s Regal who I truly swoon for.
After this match, I did a little reading on Jake Atlas and he’s a very impressive kid. If you have the time, read his wiki page, I think you will be impressed at how quickly he’s come up and made it into the ring against of NXT all-time greats in Ciampa. I loved the chemistry between these two. Now Ciampa can work with anyone and make them look all that much better, but I don’t think Atlas needed Ciampa to look better. Impressive young man in the ring with Ciampa who is only ten years older, but with that beard, his build, and his scraggly face (which I love for its personality and strange charisma, he looks at least twenty years older. It was actually Stacy who commented on their ages after I looked up Atlas. He thought Ciampa was older than he is as well. Anyway, their work was hard-hitting and really impressive for this new kid who really hasn’t been wrestling that long. I think it shows that some people have it and some don’t. He debuted in the ring just over four years ago and looks great in the ring with Ciampa, Nyla Rose has been in the ring for eight years and can barely gets out of her own way.
I normally don’t comment on promo videos, but something about this one really caught my eye. I’ve not been overly impressed with Holland so far, but it might be the bricks on his trunks that are throwing me off. They’re just horrid! But in this video, he impressed me. He has an interesting look, amazing cheekbones, and a charisma that I really liked. He went from not even being close to being on my radar to now being someone to watch in my book.
Who With Who?
I think if I was more invested in any of these guys in this match I would have cared. It was interesting to watch how tag team partners worked with other tag team partners other than their own, but I think I’d care more if I actually cared. The problem is I really don’t. I love Onay, but have little if anything for Burch. Strong has never been a fave of mine. Aichner and Mendoza I barely know at all. It just wasn’t my favourite part of the show because I’m not invested enough.
Boot To The Head
Something about Theory bugs me. Between his perfectly quoifed hair and that arrogant smirk, he could be a great heel, but I just want to boot him in the head. It’s hard to believe someone as a heel if you can’t get past his face. As much as I love Gargano, this just didn’t have the chemistry needed for it to work, and I couldn’t get past Theory’s face here.
Generic Title #9
I’m better with Theory in the ring, but his hair and arrogance that bother me. Botch would say that he’s doing his job because I dislike him so much, but this isn’t anything Theory’s doing, it’s just one of those things. You know that person you see and you instantly dislike them, whether they subconsciously remind you of someone, or some alarm bells go off in the back of your head for no obvious reason. Botch will point and laugh, saying that I’m having my feelings again, and I’ll be shocked if he’s the one who edits this and doesn’t add his own blurb, but Theory makes the hairs on the back of my neck prickle, and I hope he just reminds me of someone I can’t put my finger on, because there is something there that tweaks me out.
Then there’s Priest, who I said earlier I was unsure about early on, but have really come to enjoy his work all the way around. Like a few others on the roster, Priest has had a stellar year when most of the rest of the world is wallowing in the armpit of absurd horrors.
Something Happened In The Ring
Earlier in the show, I was so pumped up on Holland, but then he was in this nothing of a match. Only because Hollands cheekbones that I’m not failing this and walking away shaking my head.
Poison Pixie Against Priest
Luckily it was followed up by this segment. While Io isn’t Asuka on the mic, I like her quiet way of speaking. It’s very much how she comes across all the time. She’s not a screamer in the ring and has a lovely soft voice on the mic. To work against that you have Poison Pixie who is not at all soft-spoken or at all in the background with her hair and look. Add in Gargano and Priest and there was lots of fun. I’m loving this feud, both sides of it.
Gauntlet Of Greatness!
Another great multi-superstar match to end the show. The Battle Royal and this Gauntlet Match were the perfect bookends to this show. The start of it was solid, but four minutes in when Bronson Reed, another who is having a fantastic 2020, things really started to pick up. Reed is the man to watch in NXT right now. I think the only reason he didn’t win this is that either they’re not ready to push him in that direction, or they think Balor and Reed wouldn’t be able to make it look believable for Balor to go over in a strong way against such a big guy. I’m so impressed with Reed and expect massive things for him if he can stay healthy.
I’ve been holding back on my feelings for Thatcher as I’m not getting him yet. Not getting any bad feelings about him, I just don’t get enough of anything from him. His whole look is terribly boring, and he’s given me no reason to even notice his existence, until this match. I noticed how he moved when he takes bumps and blows. He contorts in interesting and strange ways. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing yet, but it’s something for me to watch for, possibly a reason to keep me interested in him.
Then there’s Grimes, who I was rooting for in this match. Him, along with Orton, Reed, and Priest are the men having a stellar year, out of the blue. I honestly didn’t think O’Reilly had a chance to win this after Grimes came in and Reed was eliminated. He just didn’t seem like enough of a force to me, but I see why they are going there. Personally I want to see a great feud between Grimes and Balor at some point, for the strap or not, but I think it would be amazing. It would be the type of match that leaves us talking for weeks after, an unquestionable MOTY, but it will have to wait for the time to be right. I’m just thrilled I got to watch this match because it really was so much fun. I also loved how UE came out to celebrate with O’Reilly, and how Balor came out and glared.
Shut Up Shatner, I’m Talking!
This episode of NXT was really good – mostly. There were some segments and matches that were not great, but the rest was so top-notch that it was a great show to me. I’m excited to see where they go with all the women in that match and all the men who fought so hard in the main event. So much greatness in NXT right now.