Greetings, yellow rope fans! Last week was so sweet, Imma ask for your input again! Now that we have a brand spanking new comment system, you should totally discuss the show in the fancy comments section at the bottom of the page. Disagree with my review? Agree with my review? Think giant humanoid robots are an inefficient way to fight equally sized monsters? Let us know!!!!!
NXT opened with a match. I think? Maybe. Dem Jersey boys (you know who) got their butts kicked by Tons of Funk and Mason Ryan. I don’t think a bell sounded but a good guy dance party did, in fact, happen. After that Summer Rae, Emma and Paige met with Dusty Rhodes and set up a dance battle between Summer and Emma to take place on next week’s show. Yep. Lotta dancing going on. Charlotte then beat Sasha Banks. Tyler Breeze spoke with Renee backstage while being unknowingly video-bombed by a man in dreadlocks. More on him later? The Wyatt family appeared to destroy some jobbers (to one hell of a reaction, I might add) and cut a farewell promo. After an awkward backstage vignette with Graves and Neville, Corey made short work of Scott Dawson. Then the Shield of all people showed up and talked some smack, the results of which means we’ll see Dean Ambrose vs Adrian Neville on next week’s show, with the US title on the line.
In the main event of the evening, Leo Kruger and Antonio Cesaro defeated the team of Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn when Kruger pinned Dallas. Next week Kruger faces Dallas for the NXT title!
Got all that? It was kind of busy show. Let’s dicuss.
Mason Ryan is still trying to happen:
Oh Mason. I’m glad you look like you’re enjoying yourself and I’m glad Enzo Amore and Kazz (now featuring a more…..Enzo Amore-ish accent) are doing their bestest to make you seem palatable, but man, you are just muscular lameness. Your new-found friendship with Tons of Funk doesn’t exactly help matters on that end either. Speaking of dancing…
Random Dance Party:
Nostalgia Chick of ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com fame described this idea way the hell better than I will but with all the dancing seen, previewed or mentioned on this week’s show I might as well talk about it. Have you ever seen a Dreamworks animated movie? They basically all end with some kind of random dance party in order to send the crowd home happy and fill the void of an otherwise less impactful ending. Shrek’s finale would be the perfect example of this idea and also the start of the trend.
It’s fun, it’s peppy and it’s a storytelling tool so cheap, simple and easy we used it every week for the overnight skits when I worked as a camp counselor at the zoo. Needless to say, a method that’s effective in entertaining a six year old doesn’t exactly have the longest legs when it comes to a weekly episodic whatever the hell WWE is, (insert John Cena joke here) which is why it should come as no surprise when I tell you that Tons of Funk is pretty much the Random Dance Party as wrestlers. They’re fun, they’re digestible and good lord they’re meaningless. Like a McDonald’s ice cream treat or chicken nuggets. Okay, maybe digestible doesn’t work for this analogy…..
Sasha Banks is now officially the NXT diva with the least momentum, which is unfortunate because she does some things very well in the ring. But every other lady currently on the show has a more defined character. Sasha at the moment is generic happy underdog lady #2, which is probably why her match against Charlotte tonight got small and sparse reactions, even though both women were doing some fairly complicated stuff. It wasn’t until Charlotte hit a chop and pissed Sasha the hell off that people got into the match. Sasha suddenly becoming the heel was interesting and deserves some further development, especially with Summer Rae halfway out the door, but Charlotte picked up the win before anything else could go down.
Speaking of Charlotte, last week’s match incorporated her great, raw athleticism smoothly into the boundaries of wrestling. This week’s match did not. Some of what she did was a little too complicated and a little contrived. It might be worth noting to her that the chop she gave is what got the biggest reaction. I mean, for heaven’s sakes lady, you’re Ric Flair’s daughter! You can use his stuff within reason.
That random dude in the background:
It was CJ Parker, someone we haven’t seen in a while (maybe ever?) but his random videobombing of Tyler Breeze during the dude’s “LOOK AT ME I’M CONCEITED” vignette made me laugh out loud. How many times have we seen people doing a backstage vignette or interview and nobody else walks by in the background? This was a goofy acknowledgement of that fact, done so in a way that gave people like me something shiny to react to while Tyler Breeze hammer-pounded in his character in the foreground.
Also, kudos to Renee for the faces she made while Breeze was talking. Cute, smart and expressive? She’s a keeper.
Farewell, demon inhabiting the body of Husky Harris, and safe travels:
I kid you not when I say that the Wyatt Family got a rockstar reception from this week’s fresh NXT audience. When their intial video showed up on the big screen the crowd flipped! When Harper and Rowan appeared in the ring after the blackout they made short work of jobbers A and B to the tune of “Wyatt, wyatt, wyatt!” The crowd freaking loved them, so much so that Bray Wyatt’s farewell speech morphed into what seemed like a departing Indy star’s last words to his home promotion. In a way that’s exactly what it was, Bray Wyatt staying in character enough to pump up the NXT crowd that watched him transform into something amazing and telling them all that the Family had bigger lands to conquer but that the performer inside really appreciated their support.
He also got to bust out one last “Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiime is on my side” before the entire group disappeared in a puff of awesome.
I love anachronously awkward vignettes:
Immediately after the Wyatt Family directly told the NXT crowd they were leaving, Corey Graves and Adrian Neville had a vignette in the locker-room talking about how they had to look out for the Wyatts getting their revenge on them. Yeah I know it would make sense that the good guy team would be on the lookout for the bad guy team because their leaving could always be a trap, but it was a little awkward going from what was obviously a curtain call to the half-goober good guys being worried about the people who were bowing out.
Hi. I’m an unapologetic Shield fan. How are you? I love the fact that the Shield occasionally wanders back to NXT to cause trouble and I especially love the fact the Seth Rollins gets more mic time than usual on the show in which he was champion. It’s like he goes to Dean Ambrose before they head out and says, “Hey, let me talk to these people, I know them.”
Also of note, Dean Ambrose mentioned Kassius Ohno, which might be the first time we’ve heard of the guy on NXT in about a month and a half.
Give me Cesaro vs Zayn!
The main event was a good tag team match but oh boy was it full of two singles feuds ready to burst at the seams. Kruger vs Dallas is officially the most I’ve ever cared about a Bo Dallas feud and Cesaro and Zayn’s every interaction is perfectly tailored to make me want to see them tear each other to pieces in a couple weeks. I am so freakin’ psyched.
And that was NXT. Some silliness both good and bad, anchored by an excellent farewell speech from Bray Wyatt, the Shield showing up randomly and some good ass wrestling in the main event. Watch NXT! Enjoy wrestling!