Hello there children! Welcome to your weekly NXT review. Like every week I’ve got the video of the episode right here in the column for you to check out, but unlike the dark ages we used to live in, NXT is now available, right now, FOR FREE at hulu.com. That’s right, free. In fact, a massive number of past NXT episodes are now sitting there at hulu.com, ripe and ready for you to watch. Check ‘em out if you missed them. Except Season 3. Just assume AJ was adorable and sexy and you’ll know all you need to know. Here’s a reminder:
This week’s NXT got another cold open when Corey Graves was confronted by the Ascension during an interview. Mr. Graves ended up pinned underneath a piece of the set. In the show’s opening contest Tyler Breeze beat C.J. Parker by sneakily striking the hippie with his cell phone. Renee then interviewed Emma and set up a play-date for later. No really, Emma made plans to hang out. After the break, Emma beat Summer Rae by submission, but Summer got the last laugh by splashing bubble solution in Emma’s face! Backstage the Jersey Boys had a disagreement with Scott Dawson and French Savage, setting up a match between Enzo Amore and Scott Dawson. In between that match and its vignette, Sasha Banks and Summer Rae had a talk out back that might just be the start of something bigger for Sasha. More on that later.
Enzo Amore ended up losing (!) to Scott Dawson after a ringside distraction by Alexander Rusev leveled Big Kazz. Renee Young interviewed Sami Zayn in the ring and it very quickly turned into a Raw segment with appearances by Bo Dallas, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. In the main event (that I forgot about after the interview segment) Adrian Neville beat Conor O’ Brian. Afterwards their respective tag team partners showed up and we had ourselves a brawl, one that the Ascension ended up on top of.
Did you get all that? It was a pretty busy episode. Let’s discuss.
One thing that seemed apparent in the jam-packed structure of this week’s episode is that NXT, as a whole, has a lot of toys to play with. There are just a ton of interesting characters and talented wrestlers for Dusty and company to bash off each other and create quality television with. The creation of three different championship titles has given order to that chaos and easy routes with which to tell a story, but they’ve also created necessity. Those three championships are three stories that typically lock in and take up a certain amount of space at a TV taping. This episode is a great example of that idea. Multiple and contentious appearances by the Ascension and the team of Graves and Adrian Neville set up for title matches between them in the future. Bo Dallas and Sami Zayn in a Raw-ready promo segment cemented Bo’s next opponent and that championship storyline’s next chapter. The NXT Diva’s champion, Paige, had a…..
But wait, Paige was only mentioned in a conversation between Summer Rae and Sasha Banks and at this point is getting overshadowed a bit by the two ladies positioned underneath her and the feud they’re having. Because who wants to be forced to play with the same three toys every week, especially when you’ve got a toy you’re really having fun with? That fun figurine in the NXT divas division right now seems to be Emma, who each week finds another way to appear loveably not all quite there. While I think we’ll find that the adequately acted conversation tonight between Summer Rae and Sasha Banks will lead to a revitalization of Sasha’s character and a foe for Paige to sink her teeth into, at the moment the clash of the goofy bubble lady and her party-pooper foe has the creative focus. In some ways it’s a good thing, in some ways it feels kind of wrong.
Enzo Amore: Realest Face in the Room:
Speaking of cool toys, tonight NXT flipped the switch and let Enzo Amore be an official face! The crowd has been loving the dude since he started and tonight was no different. In his match with fellow jobber Scott Dawson he got several chants and once again made me laugh out loud before even entering the ring. In order to balance out the fact that Enzo’s now a good guy with a 7 foot tall buddy, Lefort immediately picked up Alexander Rusev to expand his stable, even the odds and get the Bulgarian bruiser into a feud. After last week’s showing against Dolph Ziggler I’m glad they decided to involve the hoss in a long term story.
If Renee Young and Sami Zayn are dating in real life it will make my heart aflutter:
I could mention that Sami Zayn casually handled being a good guy in a long, WWE-style promo segment like a seasoned pro, but surpassing expectations is pretty much par for the course for the guy by now. Instead I’m going to reveal my inner 12 year old girl by saying that I absolutely love when Sami and Renee interact. Tonight and seemingly every time Sami has an interview with Renee, he flirts with her just a little bit, complimenting her about being the sweet little Renee that she is. Since he was in front of the live audience tonight he asked for them to acknowledge her awesomeness and they were very happy to oblige. I mean, does anybody out there actually not like Renee? She’s just so….pleasant, but she also reacts to the ridiculous characters surrounding her just enough to accentuate their zaniness and not call too much attention to herself. She’s good at what she does, and I’d be all about her and Sami continuing their professional flirting.
Not sure if it should be ReZayn or SaYoung at this point. I’m leaning towards the former.
And believe it or not, that was NXT! Despite some odd production mishaps and cramming a little too much in one episode, it was pretty good, more of a show to set up matches later on, but good nonetheless.
Have an opinion on something NXT related? Disagree with me about wrestler shipping? Comment now or forever hold your peace.