Greetings sports-fans! Because of extra work shifts and a rare bout of “social life”, this week’s review is a little late. I would apologize, but I am biologically incapable of regretting tacos, so we’ll just have to respect each other’s differences and move on.

Here’s this week’s video.

For those of you not following along at home, NXT had a busy episode this week and featured squashes matches by the Ascension, Mason Ryan and Alexander Rusever, as well as more competitive contests between Paige and Sasha Banks and Bo Dallas and Colin Cassady. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize that…

Tonight’s show as jam-packed.

It was nowhere near TNA levels of ADD, but tonight’s episode had a pretty long checklist of people to feature, whether in the ring or through pre-taped vignettes. This meant lots of squashes. Two of them (the ones with the Ascension and Mason Ryan) were pretty much the same thing we’ve been seeing for a while now, but I was actually impressed with Rusev’s match against Xavier Woods. Part of that was Woods fighting back and surprising Rusev to shake things up, but I also think Rusev’s presentation is starting to grow on me. The new trunks work, the wild hair works, the advanced Rock Bottom works well as a set up for his finish; I only have a couple small nitpicks to point out.

  1. Rusev dropped his fighting stance waiting for Woods to get cleared for the match (Tyler Breeze sort of did a sneak attack) but he shouldn’t have. Standing and waiting patiently in a weird-ass stance is an awesome and odd way to communicate how scary confidant you are in your abilities.
  2. I ain’t a wrestling scientist, but I’m pretty sure that Samoan drop wasn’t supposed to look like that. What I assume was a botch sort of took me out of the moment.

Other than that, good squash match. Even in 2014 that phrase doesn’t have to be an oxymoron.

Sami Zayn is a real boy.

We’ve been discussing Sami Zayn’s character and promo skills (or lack thereof, depending on your view) in the comments section for a little while now, and I think after tonight’s show I can properly express what Sami’s deal is and why I like it. Yes, he does not speak like a pro wrestler, and in fact sort of sounds like a normal human being.

…that’s it, that’s what appeal to me. He communicates with and responds to others like a reasonable person would. In this he is unique, because he’s surrounded by hyper-aggressive, catch-phrase spouting, CGI-animated facsimiles of humans. He is the guy who can talk in a way I can connect with.

Speaking of promos…

Gold star for promos.

I can’t think of anybody who had a vignette this week that didn’t do a good job with it. Sami’s invisible cameraman conversation felt fresh and natural and kept his feud with Corey Graves going. The divas vignette, meanwhile, was impressively long, in a way that reminded me of the stuff they pulled off during NXT Redemption. I’m not sure I’d say Bret Hart only had one notable match in his whole career, but it is a very heelish thing for Charlotte to say boob window.

…actually, I take the header for this section back. Mojo Rawley’s omniscient camera promo was weird. I know being amped up is his thing, but pacing back and forth and talking to yourself are strange practices to be showing a babyface doing and even weirder when they form the basis of a segment.

Colin Cassady’s best effort was still pretty boring.

I appreciated tonight’s main event in certain ways. I thought it was one of Colin Cassady’s better showings. I thought Bo Dallas did a good job working all the holds he put on. Buuuuuuuuut, it wasn’t exactly a thrilling match, was it? Both men put forth the effort, but I’m not sure with the clash of their styles they needed quite as much time to tell the story they wanted to tell.

And that was NXT! What’d you think of this week’s show? Do you disagree with my opinion that Sami Zayn has charisma outside of the ring? Did you notice Sasha Banks almost grab Charlotte’s boob? Or for that matter did you notice a few weeks ago when Alexander Rusev understood English? Leave us a comment or forever hold your piece.