Class Is In Session: #NXT Review

Because music video premieres are so big today. From Redbullrecords.com

Because music video premieres are so big today. From Redbullrecords.com

The show opens with a recap of last week’s must see NXT Takeover event.

Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and William Regal welcome us to the show.

Eden Stiles announces that Tyler Breeze has entered the building.

Mojo Rawley vs. Aiden English

I said last week that Mojo does nothing for me and tonight he did even less. There is just nothing about him that stands out to me. Well nothing good anyway. Aiden English has a great voice for high school theater. That’s about all there is to say about him really. One of the many things that bugs me about Rawley is that his offense consists of other people’s signature moves. He used a Stinger Slash in the middle of the match. He was cut off shortly after that and English took over with the most basic offense known to man. For all of the successes of the NXT program, they’re also pumping out a number of talents who are just an entrance and English certainly fits that bill. Rawley makes his comeback and finishes English with Naomi’s Rear View followed by an Earthquake Splash for the win. He doesn’t have the ass for either by the way. Match was there.

Recap of the aftermath of Tyson Kidd’s failed attempt to win the NXT Championship from Adrian Neville last week.

Devin Taylor interviewed Natalya about her husband’s lack of sportsmanship after the match and she defended his actions.

Charlotte w/ Sasha Banks vs. Bayley

Decent back-and-forth match between these two. I know I rail against most of the goofy gimmicks so I’m going to come off like a hypocrite here but I like Bayley’s act a lot. I think she has done a great job getting tougher while still keeping her innocent persona. This match was not the greatest showcase for Charlotte but just the fact that so young into her career she can have a match with zero mistakes is impressive. The finish came when Summer Rae made her return which actually distracted BFF stablemate Charlotte long enough that she was almost pinned by Bayley on a roll-up. Charlotte was able to use her gymnast skills to roll out of it,kick Bayley in the knees,and hit Bow Down to the Queen for the win.

After the match Summer got into the ring with Charlotte and Sasha and after an awkward stare down she began kicking away at Bayley. Charlotte and Sasha joined in despite not looking like they are not happy to see Summer back at all. Paige and Emma run down for the save as I wonder why exactly Paige had to give up the Women’s Title if she is going to still be at every NXT taping anyway.

Two guys I swear I’ve never seen before are in the back cutting a promo. No graphic ever appears on the screen to alert viewers as to exactly who these gentleman are. One of them identifies himself as Tye Dillinger which I do remember after hearing it but his face was not something I have ever stored in my memory bank. That’s something to work on NXT creative! His partner never is identified in this segment.

Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan vs. Stuart Cumberland and Phillip Goujlar

Now that we have identified both of their names, let’s work on their move set, their characters, and their look so this does not happen again. Their opponents are jobbers who have committed the ultimate jobber sin in my opinion: having boring and difficult to pronounce names. Anyway this match was nothing. Just a squash where the squashers did nothing to stand out from the pack at all. Jordan won with the Jordan Slam which is of course an Angle Slam  because using maneuvers so specifically identified with a major star of the past is working out great for Mojo Rawley.

CJ Parker is shown in the crowd with one of his hippie environmentalist signs. This isn’t working either.

In the BFF locker room, tension continues to mount as Summer is obviously back to take back over the leadership position in the group. But Charlotte, the Women’s Champion, obviously sees herself as the leader now. Sasha Banks calls herself “The Boss” so that’s all there needs to be said about that. This is working and I look forward to where this goes.

Tyler Breeze makes his way to the ring for his music video premiere. He really has this gimmick down pat and this is one that will translate to the big stage because it is a modern takeoff of an old gimmick that has worked for 30 years. He refers to Sami Zayn as “Seth Rogan’s less good looking little brother” which was funny. He says that he is the number one contender and can take his shot whenever he wants it but that he is going to make Adrian Neville, who he called “the man that Maybelline forgot”,  wait for it. He then introduced his music video calling it a “3 time MTV Euro Music Award Winner”. The video opened with the words “this one goes out to all my fans, even the uggos.” The song and video are what they are supposed to be, corny and cheap, while being presented by Tyler as being extraordinary and extravagant. Great stuff here from Tyler and the NXT production staff.

Not so great stuff from the NXT production staff as the graphic for the non-title main event between Adrian Neville and Justin Gabriel is incorrectly labeled a No Disqualification Match for the title. I didn’t even realize until after the match that was a mistake.

The NXT production staff then completely redeems itself with an awesome music video tribute to Bo Dallas’ last night in NXT 2 weeks ago. The music is pitch perfect 80’s cheese. We are treated to never before seen after the match shenanigans between Bo and the crowd as they tell him to “Bo-Leive” and he tells them to get out. After a hilarious back-and-forth Bo says that he is getting campus security and walks off. Watch this segment!

Adrian Neville vs. Justin Gabriel in a non-title match

They have a good baby face match which confuses me since I thought it was No DQ and Gabriel had turned heel at some point. I do not do play-by-play for this show and there isn’t much to say about it besides that it’s good and you should watch it. Neville wins with the Red Arrow.

After the match, Tyson Kidd returns to confront Adrian Neville and challenge him to one more NXT Championship Match. Neville accepts and they finally shake hands. The show goes off the air with a title match made for some time in the indeterminate future.

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Random NXT: The Arrival Thoughts

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The opening match of NXT Arrival made absolute sense. There was no way this match was going to disappoint and really it was bound to upstage anything else on the card. Placing it first with plenty of buffer matches in between allowed the Women’s Title match as well as the NXT Title match to still make an impact.

Wow, that was just great stuff. Cesaro winning never seemed like a forgone conclusion even though he has been heavily featured on WWE programming. Sami Zayn is going to do big things when he gets the call up and after that match it seems like a forgone conclusion he will be up sometime after WrestleMania.

Thus starts the “Not ready for the big show” part of the event.

Mojo Rawley has the look of Nikoli Volkoff. That works for the 80’s but now it makes him bland. His gimmick of the over excited, hyped, frat brother isn’t going to work in the big show but it does make him standout in the smaller NXT.

CJ Parker’s promos crack me up but the overall gimmick will get lost like Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. Yeah I used Reks because they both have dreads.

William Regal is awesome.

The Ascension; yuck name. What does The Ascension even mean as a tag team name? Their gimmick is right out of that awkward transition period between the early 90’s and late 90’s. Pairing them with Too Cool though made both men look huge and absolutely intimidating. Despite the criticism this was a solid, formula tag team that did its job in showcasing The Ascension. With the right tweaking they could be up on the main stage soon enough.

There was something totally different about Stephanie McMahon. Her character was totally different and dare I say she looked like she was totally enjoying herself? Oh and maybe basking in a tad bit of pride over her husband’s baby.

William Regal is awesome.
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