Good evening Sports-fans! Lonestar here, feeling the holiday spirit and gifting you your weekly NXT review. I've got some yule-logs to split out in the real world, so let's make like a quick one.
Yep. This week was NXT's 200th episode celebration. Damn. It's crazy to think this show has been around for 200 weeks, or the entirety of Daniel Bryan's WWE TV career. Looking back, the show has run the gamut from terrible to awesome and aggravating to epic. Tonight's episode was focused more on the important milestone of 200, and not necessarily the immediate satisfaction of quality matches and storylines, but there was still some enjoyable wrasslin’ entertainment. Such as…
The Return of New Jersey’s Finest:
Hells to the yes, Enzo Amore is back and as ridiculous as ever. His leg still seems to be broken, but his answer to that problem appears to be an electric wheel-chair. I admit it, I giggled when I saw his new ride.
In their backstage vignette Enzo and Cazz crossed paths with Aiden English. All that personality interacted wonderfully together, which makes me hopeful for their future feud…or series of song-battles or whatever it is Cazz and English are going to do together
The Complicated Debut of the American Pitbulls:
Tonight’s episode also saw the Ascension take on Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, who I could quickly and unfairly describe to the uninitiated as two of the most ROH wrestlers ever. Obviously that’s simplifying their styles, personalities, and personal histories, but the bottom line is that they are both former ROH World Champions (and tag champions) that don’t fit the WWE mold of what professional wrestlers are supposed to look, act, or sound like. They are also currently undergoing (according to the always accurate internet) what is easily the most unique signing situation I’ve ever heard of.
Basically the deal is this. There are parties in the WWE that are interested in the duo, known as the American Wolves on the indy scene, and there are parties that are not. After attending and impressing at recent tryouts, they weren’t signed to a developmental contract, but they also weren’t really told to buzz off either. Supposedly they’re now undergoing an extended tryout of sorts, where they’ll be paid to work NXT for the next few months, and are also free to participate in various independent shows. ROH, however, seems to be the exception to that rule. Edwards finished up with them at their “Final Battle” event on Dec. 15th and Davey Richards was…kinda not invited to participate, for reasons unrelated to the WWE. The Wolves now essentially have the opportunity to sway the opinion of the naysayers and get themselves WWE contracts…or not. They’ve been given a unique chance and only time will tell if they make the best of it.
The same websites that were talking about the Wolves/Pitbulls’s strange contract situation are also saying tonight’s match against the Ascension was a test of attitude, and I could both agree and disagree with that statement. At this point everything involving these two is probably a test, but I wouldn’t say they were buried by the booking. Really, for a team that has never been seen before on WWE TV, they got some good offense in and got a pretty good crowd response as well. They did way better the random teams the Ascension usually fights. Overall the match ended up being a pretty fun little bout, marred by one of the scariest miscommunications I’ve seen in wrestling in quite some time.
I blatantly took this picture from another blog (withleather.com) because it was worth taking. If you didn’t watch the match, this situation came out of a simple back-suplex spot and, yes, Richards’s landing was very, very scary. I assume Richards was supposed to flip out of the suplex and land on his feet, since it’s what they did immediately after Richards recovered from his fall. However, Victor seemed to hold on to the suplex the first time, preventing Richards from turning properly and knocking off a crucial 180 degrees from his movement, which resulted in that nastiness above.
I’m not gonna point fingers and lay blame, because I will never really know what was supposed to happen, but I will point out that there have been quite a few, obvious mistakes involving the Ascension over the past couple months and they all seem to center around the disposable guy with the weird contacts.
The other quick, fun wrestling matches:
Honestly, I think I enjoyed the main event of Adrian Neville against Bo Dallas the least out of the four matches tonight. Besides the crazy spot at the end where Neville jumped onto eeeeeveryone, the match mostly existed as a way to get Neville away from Dallas and mixed up with Tyler Breeze. When the story is that obvious it kind of detracts from what’s going on in the ring.
The opening tag match and the divas match on the other hand were the solid wrestling matches we’ve come to know and love on this revamped NXT. Both were action-packed and neither overstayed their welcome.
But let’s be honest, good matches were not what NXT was always known for. I could reminiscence about the show in its various incarnations for quite a while, but let’s keep it simple and keep the discussion in the comments section. Tonight we saw video recaps of three major events in NXT history but what are your greatest memories of the show over its 200 episodes, both positive and negative?