Good evening, NXT fans! This week’s episode is a fun one, so let’s cut the crap and get right to it! If you haven’t seen the show yet, check out the video below and join the rest of us for the semi-witty commentary afterwards.
See? That was one jam-packed episode, chock full of momentum. To recap, everything revolved around the beat-the-clock challenge to determine Bo Dallas’s next opponent, which resulted in a series of quick matches featuring Big Cazz, Alexander Rusev, Tyler Breeze, Kassius Ohno, Adrian Neville, Aiden English, Sami Zane and Leo Kruger. In addition to that, Hunico and Camacho returned to NXT, squashed some jobbers and set themselves up to be the next challengers for the NXT tag titles. We also got some good promos and the debuts of some new interviewer-type people. There’s a lot to talk about, starting with….
Your main event returning with some stank on it:
I think the NXT creative people are addressing that issue I talked about a few weeks back, where they’ve got too many talented wrestlers and not enough slots to use them in, by just…not heavily featuring certain people every taping. It’s sort of brilliant, really. Well, I might be giving them too much credit, and maybe they’re just reacting to a recent set of injuries, but I’ll be damned if keeping Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn away from each other for an entire month hasn’t kept their feud just as hot as it’s ever been.
Tonight’s opening bit was another of Bo’s goober showcases, wherein he finds a lot of humor in just how much of a lame-O cheeseball he can be. I don’t mind when wrestling (or other forms of entertainment) find comedy in villainy, so I was pretty damn entertained. The addition of Sami and JBL to that mix resulted in another “authority figure sets up the direction of the show”, which gets done to death because it can work very well, like it did here tonight.
Also, the fact that Dallas screwed up his slideshow was hilariously appropriate.
Get better soon, you spastic, meathead prince, you:
Did anyone else notice how quickly the Full Sail crowd went from wild excitement to “meh” when Big Cazz came out and they realized Enzo Amore wasn’t there with him? Yeah…it’s kind of a sad story. It was mentioned tonight on commentary that Enzo is injured and that is indeed the case. I found out about it a couple weeks back but haven’t really found the right place to mention it. Dude broke his leg or something. And it just plain sucks.
Luckily, if this picture is indicative of anything, Enzo hasn’t let a little thing like a broken leg slow down his rampaging charisma.
Get well soon you buffoon of buffoons. We’ll keep the light on for ya.
You wanna know why I really dislike when the WWE introduces new heel characters whose sole character trait is “foreign?” Well too bad, I’m gonna tell you anyway. It’s because those characters bring out the xenophobic worst in people. This new Russian lady, Lana, is another in a long line of WWE creations that walk out and get booed because they speak a language other than English. It’s a pretty shallow reason to make someone a villain, isn’t it? That they have a different primary language?
Where this silliness is magnified is when the WWE’s good guys then make fun of the foreign villain for being foreign and our inner nastiness gets put on display for us to see and hear. Kassius Ohno, in his now futile attempts to play by the WWE system, is the culprit tonight, mocking a Russian lady for having a Russian accent. A wag of my finger for this being the basis of his short feud with Alexander Rusev. A tip of my hat for there even being a feud in the first place.
Speaking of Kassius Ohno….
Holy crap, did Ohno actually beat Tyler Breeze!?:
I read the spoilers and I still can’t believe Kassius beat Breeze tonight! I could have sworn the WWE had Ohno losing multiple times this taping in order to get the most out of him before his untimely exit. Shows what I know. Though that lingering shot of Tyler Breeze’s upset face as he left the ring does make me wonder if the vain one will be coming back for some quick revenge. Man, between beating Breeze and ruining Rusev’s title aspirations, Kassius Ohno sure is creating a lot of enemies lately.
…oh man….that’s so meta. I see what you did there WWE.
A gold star for Bayley, a gold star for Adrian Neville, a participation award for new interviewers:
Tonight featured a thankful return to the traditional backstage interview, the one Renee Young excelled at before she graduated to the greater WWE. Two new backstage interviewers were introduced, one male, one female. You really can’t judge them on one week of work, but let’s just say that they weren’t an instant success. Bayley, on the other hand, turned in an excellent interview, combining the aspects of her personality that make her who she is with enough confrontational elements to further her new feud with Charlotte and the other mean girls.
Adrian Neville also pulled off his best promo to date. If I had to point out one thing he did that really helped him out this time, it would be the slight edge of confidence he had when talking himself up. Dude’s an amazing athlete, he’s allowed to be a little cocky.
Also, while we’re handing out praise and pointing out new people holding microphones, the girl acting a ring announcer tonight is called Alexa Bliss and she had a cameo as the random chick Tyler Breeze talked to that one time. More importantly she was Scott Dawson’s partner in a funny promo video that got leaked to the internet. When Dawson comes back from injury, I wouldn’t be surprised if slash I hope Alexa suddenly morphs into her “My Name is Earl” inspired character.
Oh yeah, wrestling:
Before I go any more about characters and such, I should probably mention that the wrestling on tonight’s show was urgent, exciting and well-done. I know not everyone is a fan of the beat-the-clock concept, but I think it really helped NXT achieve a level of excitement that it sometimes lacks. The meaningful but quick matches worked way more than they didn’t and amidst all the lovely chaos Aiden English had his first proper match, something that needed to happen.
Now, Sami Zayn pinning Leo Kruger at exactly the right moment to tie Adrian Neville’s time was not what I was expecting to happen, but I like the idea of the two of them having to go one-on-one to earn their #1 contendership. Those little kinks in the storyline are what make things interesting.
Will Sami get another chance to become NXT champion? Will the Authority let him? We’ll have to tune in and find out.
What did you guys think of the show? Are you glad the Ascension finally have a real tag team to fight or is this combination of pseudo Mexican’s and pseudo Vampires weird and boring? Let us know.
P.S. This was taken during tonight’s NXT tapings:
And this video explains how Enzo Amore got a spot on NXT.