Good morning my little hero sandwiches. If you’ve decided to start reading these things because of the NXT Arrival special on the WWE network, welcome. There is a small snack selection on the table near the sink in the back of the room. As for everyone else, you know where the cheese sticks are.
This week’s episode was a very strange one to review, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First let’s talk hot indy wrestler signing newz.
HOT INDY WRESTLER SINGING NEWZ!
The word on the street is that reformed (?) death-match wrestler Drake Younger has signed a developmental deal with the WWE, which means he’ll be headed to NXT in the not so distant future. For those of you that don’t know Drake, he pretty much flies directly in the face of the idea that the WWE is only signing guys that are as big as Randy Orton. Dude’s about 5’ 9” or so and somewhere around the 200 pound mark. His personal story is pretty cool: one day he looked in the mirror and didn’t like what he saw, so he got clean and got ripped, dropping a bunch of weight and kicking his pretty serious drug addiction. Now he’s riding his positive mental attitude all the way to a WWE contract. Good for him.
Paving the way for Younger in that under-sized, big-hearted regard is the former Sami Callihan, another veteran of CZW deathmatches that will probably debut on NXT as Solomon Crowe in the next few weeks. Tonight he had a cameo as Adam Rose’s DJ, but I’m pretty sure everyone and their mom had a cameo in that segment. Anyway, if you see someone on NXT in the next month that looks like an emo troll, just know that everyone from Tommy Dreamer to Fit Finlay was singing the dude’s praises before he got signed.
Now, on to tonight’s show.
Fun show, right? I would say that…
NXT just hit the refresh button:
And man, is it so strange to watch a program that was a continuous, undivided wrestling show for so long suddenly complete its new goal and discover how to start things anew. For somebody that watches and reviews Raw each week I’m sure the concept of a wrestling program switching gears after a big PPV is taken for granted, but this is the first time since this version of NXT began that I’ve seen so many new feuds begin in one episode. It’s a little jarring!
To recap all the new feuds, Corey Graves is now picking a fight with Sami Zane, Charlotte has been rather hastily sent after Paige and….man, are there really not any more than that? I could have sworn the whole damn show get reset! I guess it just felt like everything changed with Neville now being champion and Dallas chasing the title. Speaking of that…
Here’s your new NXT champion, warts and all.
Tonight’s show opened up with Adrian Neville quickly defeating Camacho and moving onto a post-championship-win interview with Renee Young inside the ring. It was, objectively, not great and featured a couple awkward edits that probably covered up Neville’s mistakes. But here’s the thing: NXT is still a developmental show meant to help talent iron out the kinks in their presentation. Nobody is going to learn anything if they don’t occasionally get put out there to sink or swim. You make mistakes and you get better. I’m glad they, for once, have the patience to develop their talents this way instead of flushing them back off-screen the moment they falter. Hopefully Neville will take this experience and do better next time.
I might have to change my stance on Charlotte. Mostly.
…sometimes writing out your opinions online for the whole internet to see means you have to deal with the awkward situation where you change your mind about something.
Recently I questioned whether Charlotte would be on NXT without her famous father. I still question that, but I no longer have a problem with it because they’ve smoothed out some of her rougher edges. Instead of covering up her body in a way that was unflattering, Charlotte has now gotten gear that accentuates her figure. Also, boob window. In addition to boob window she’s embracing her inner Flair by being a tremendous villain, cheating to win and using her daddy as the ultimate evil doting father. Even her hair color and entrance theme work a bit better than they did before, so kudos to Charlotte for improving her character.
….though her finisher still looks like butt and her second backstage vignette of the night could have been delivered in a way that didn’t sound like reading lines. But, you know, baby steps and boob windows.
Adam Rose is the most NXT character ever.
This is not a compliment or praise. It just is what it is.
I admire NXT for its willingness to embrace silliness in a silly industry, but sometimes it feels like when they create characters they start from the entrance and pencil in everything else on the fly. This wild creativity does lead to very imaginative and unique entrances for new wrestlers, but unfortunately that effort doesn’t seem to carry over to figuring out what the hell to do with that character when they’ve gotten to the wrestling. Adam Rose’s entrance is awesome, an entire party of crazy people (and possibly Waldo?) accompanying him to and one point even carrying him into the ring. And then the bell rang and he did basic, jokey things, his two big moves, pinned the guy and left.
I understand that with a new character comes a certain amount of time spent introducing his or her shtick to the audience, but it feels like I could made a sizeable list of all the wrestlers on NXT whose entrance is way, way more important than anything else they do. In fact, screw it, I’ll make it right now.
The unifying factor amongst all those wrestlers is that they’re not the most flexible characters ever invented. Those that don’t stick to simple squash matches have had to fight that perception of not being able to handle doing anything else. I hate to be the fuddy duddy here, but I’m noticing that all these flashing entrance lights and fancy effects don’t seem to translate into anything substantial.
Speaking of substantial wrestling…
Corey Graves might have just clicked.
Tonight I watched Corey Graves grab the microphone, expected boring tripe to come out and got good presence and surprising speaking ability instead. Later I watched him saunter into the ring and realized I could see his character not give a s**t, instead of the wrestler. I even watched him lock up with Sami Zane and turn out a good match instead of a boring one.
Holy crap you guys, Corey Graves might have just figured out what he needed to do to be successful! Who’da thunk it!?
And that was NXT, people. What’d you think? Is Adam Rose that latest hot new thing? Will you miss Emma is she leaves for Raw full-time? Have you ever boobed a window before? Leave a comment and let us know.