WWE NXT 1/8/2014 Review
Hey NXT peeps! Twas kind of a sad day here at the TJR NXT office/broom closet. Kaitlyn, winner of NXT season 3 and part of the comedy team that made NXT Redemption so damn memorable, has left the WWE. I had the “pleasure” of covering her season of the show for this website, which means I’ve watched her go from likeable but totally unseasoned fitness model to likeable and capable wrestler. She hasn’t been featured much since her solid feud with AJ Lee, which is a shame. I know there will be more in-depth tributes to Kaitlyn on this site in the coming days, so I’ll keep it simple and wish her all the best with her future adventures.
SPEAR!!! (from WrasslerMonkey)
Tough crowd, eh?
To recap, Bayley beat Summer Rae, Aiden English beat Colin Cassady, Alexander Rusev beat Xavier Woods, Tyson Kidd beat Baron Corbin and The Ascension beat Hunico and Camacho. We also got backstage interviews from Xavier Woods and Adrian Neville/Tyler Breeze…whether or not we should have. It really did feel like a long show. Part of that was the…
Return to aggravating commentary:
Alex Riley and Tom Phillips: kind of a chill, relaxing commentary combination.
Alex Riley, Tom Phillips and William Regal: an improving team with an appropriate amount of color and believability.
Alex Riley, Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton: Schizophrenic, three-headed monster.
I about muted the commentary tonight. Alex Riley was back to being an annoying NFL-referencing mook and Saxton somehow morphed into his antagonistic mirror. It was really, really grating. Stranger still were their random alignment changes. During the first match Byron sided with the mean girls so tenaciously that I wondered if the guy that had been bullied by Antonio Cesaro a month earlier had suffered from some sort of stress-induced memory loss. Then the main event happened and Riley was siding with the Ascension and Saxton with Hunico and Camacho.
…is someone actually choosing to produce these commentators this way? Is this something decided in meetings by people being paid oodles of money? Is anybody else listening to this crap!?
But hey, Bayley won!
Annoying commentary couldn’t completely kill the opening match for me, because Bayley vs Summer Rae was quite enjoyable. Bayley is just so damn loveable and Summer so wonderfully silly. It really worked. Is Summer doing this much dancer-based offense on any of the other shows? She really should, it fits her character very well.
I was surprised Bayley won, which I think was the point of the match. It’s her first big win on NXT! Now maybe she’ll get some revenge on Charlotte or maybe be the next contender for the Divas title? We’ll see.
Not everything backstage needs to be an interview.
So new interview lady is interviewing Adrian Neville when he gets a phone call that he feels the need to pick up and it ends up being Tyler Breeze, who’s like five feet away. The interview gets high-jacked by their conversation, which begs the questions, “Why was this even set up as an interview?” Couldn’t a camera just have found Neville backstage playing chess with Oliver Gray or something and gone through the rest of the vignette from there?
The vignette itself was decent enough, referencing the flimsy reasons Neville and Breeze found themselves in conflict with each other. It warmed me up to Breeze a little bit.\
The Passion of the Woods:
I have two notable things to say about the Xavier Woods segments tonight.
First, if you’re going to reference something from the 90s, maybe you should do it in a way that’s not so jarring? “It’s over 9,000!” is a Dragonball Z quote from Vegeta about Goku and how he’s way more powerful than he expected. Appropriating it for your own purposes and switching the meaning to yourself being powerful is kind of silly.
Second, I don’t see much of a reason to address the storyline where Xavier Woods tried to help Big Show get his job back since they already s**tcanned it on the main shows, but I appreciated Kane’s Big Corporate persona. Seriously, dude might be one of the most flexible actors they’ve ever had.
This is your flailing tag team division:
I couldn’t help but watch The Ascension and The Mexican’s of Questionable Heritage brawl through a mostly boring Tornado Tag match and question recent decisions regarding the NXT tag team division.
The latest word on the e-street is that the WWE passed on Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards. Maybe it was the big botch that happened in their match with The Ascension. Maybe certain people in charge just weren’t going to change their mind about what types of wrestlers were needed in the company. Who knows? But that whole “extended tryout” thing seems to have quickly evaporated.
Again, this is just me repeating what I’ve heard on the internet. It could all be bulls**t. Edwards and Richards could show up for the next NXT taping and all the dirt-sheets could subsequently post stories about how this was the plan all along. But if it’s really true and a ready-made, exciting tag team was sent packing when the entire division is just four people that can barely put together an eight-minute match, consider me very disappointed.
As for the main event sans context, when Hunico actually started to do stuff it became a little more exciting. His roll-up into a powerbomb is still awesome. But a few cool spots wasn’t enough to save the whole match. The first few minutes were painfully boring, but things picked up a little bit in the end, to the point that the audience seemed to be making some ironic noise. People still don’t react to Camacho in any way and the Ascension still can’t make their finisher look natural.
By now I’m sure you can tell I wasn’t too big on this show. I wasn’t. It really did feel like a B-episode, full of unimportant matches and seeds being planted for next week’s show. But what did you think? Are you as big a fan of Bayley as I am? Did you find it sort of weird how similar Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are when it comes to their interactions with Alexander Rusev? Yay or nay on Lana’s outfit tonight? I say yay. Let me know!