Hey there NXT faithful! Are you ready for four-plus paragraphs about Bo Dallas? I sure wasn’t!
NXT opened this week with a match for the US title, and Adrian Neville just about won the dang thing too! Ambrose was dead to rights after Neville’s “Red Arrow” finisher but was saved at the very last second by his Shield cohorts. Xavier Woods and Corey Graves came out to even the odds and scare away the baddies, setting up a six man tag for next week’s show. After that, Dem Jerzey boyz had a chat in the back with Scott Dawson and French Macho Man about Dawson’s upcoming match with Mason Ryan, during which I laughed for about 15 seconds straight. Emma then beat Summer Rae in a dance battle. Tyler Breeze beat Danny Burch. Bo Dallas made me stop the video and go do something else when he spoke to Renee Young in the interview room.
In the main event of the evening, Bo Dallas beat Leo Kruger to retain his title.
Got all that? It was really a two match show which, as always, you can watch at the bottom of the page. Here come the bold sentences!
Oh F**k Me, its Alex Ri-ley.
Hey look, it rhymes. When I realized I was going to have to listen to Alex freaking Riley commentate this show and probably many more shows in the future I became pretty sad, pretty quickly. But then I watched the full show and eh, he’s fine. Riley can talk and by that I mean he can string together sentences in a way that makes logical sense and doesn’t make my brain hurt. It’s not a gift every human on this earth has. So he’ll be fine.
For the record, “he’ll be fine” are words I never thought I’d say about Alex Riley.
Dean Ambrose probably won’t be known for his technical wrestling.
This is not an insult. Few of the greatest wrestlers to ever body-slam somebody were known for their technical wrestling and in each one of those cases it was because they were way better at something else. For Dean Ambrose those something else’s are cutting promos and the stuff he does in between moves. Being a character, really. His character is that of a weird cat, so he does some weird stuff inside and outside of the ring. Tonight, in his match against Adrian Neville, as he kept doing some weird but totally in-character stuff, I realized Ambrose wasn’t Bret Hart. He’s not going to snap the prettiest side-russian-leg-sweep you’ve ever seen. He’s not going to transition and build perfectly into every spot he ever does. But dammit, he’s Dean Ambrose and he’s gonna hurt you and be weird and I’m okay with that.
You had me at the battery joke, Enzo.
I think Enzo Amore might be that guy that pulls together the hilarious backstage vignettes I miss from the eternal season 5 of NXT redemption. Tonight, in between silly catchphrases and character-speak he dropped this line:
“I’m as positive as the brown side of a Duracell you’re gonna crush him.”
I had to stop the video because I laughed for a good 15 seconds straight after that. Ho. Lee. Crap. I never realized battery jokes could be so funny.
I don’t recall many dance battles in the WWE……..
Wrestling is stupid. That’s why it’s fun. Keep that in mind when I say that I enjoyed tonight’s dance battle. It was dumb and silly and everybody involved knew it and had fun anyway. How could you not? It was a complete goof of a dancer against someone who takes dancing way too seriously. That’s way more story than half the matches we get on Raw and a recipe for laughs.
Now, that Emma won this Dance Battle for a title shot and then got beaten up by Summer Rae because “poor sportsmanship” and thereby replaced by her in said title match is a little iffy, but we’ll get to that another day.
Hey look, the crowd loves itself almost as much as Tyler Breeze.
Tyler Breeze had an entrance. It was kinda cool. I thought the live feed on the Tron from Breeze’s smartphone was a cool touch. Then when the entrance was done the live audience chanted “That was Awesome!”
Since its shark week, I’ll go ahead and bust this one out for old time’s sakes.
That chant, for me, was the moment the NXT full-sail audience turned from a group of people appreciating fresh wrestling (and some bored students texting away on their phones) to an audience of people that want to be the cool wrestling kids. And man, there’s nothing more annoying than trying to recreate the organic.
Or, to simplify, matches can be awesome. Entrances should probably just be appreciated from afar or with wordless noise. Just sayin’.
I hate Bo Dallas in a way I haven’t hated a wrestler since JBL
I f**king hate Bo Dallas.
I don’t think you guys understand, I really, really, really don’t like Bo Dallas. He infuriates me so thoroughly, so deeply and on so many levels that I, at times, wonder if he was bio-engineered in a secret lab somewhere in Florida in accordance with exhaustive research into my likes and dislikes and then placed in this world of NXT to piss me the hell off. It’s that bad. I don’t think I’ve disliked a wrestler this much since JBL was WWE champion and beat half a roster-full of more deserving wrestlers in route to putting over John Cena.
I suppose I should go into why I hated JBL before getting to Bo Dallas because there are some similar themes involved. JBL earned my ire first and foremost because he came out of nowhere to beat Eddie Guerrero for the title and (though it now seems that Eddie was never destined to keep the championship for a long time and he was probably going through some stresses to boot) Eddie Guerrero kicked ass. Of all the people to take away Eddie’s title it wasn’t Kurt Angle, it wasn’t Booker T or the Undertaker or Rey Mysterio, it was some doughy, plodding, annoying character whipped up from a long-time company man who had previously never been close to the main event. I, the simple fan, did not think he deserved it, not from his previous standing in the company and not from his wrestling matches as they happened during his title reign. I hated him for being an inadequate choice holding the big title………but since he was the heel, I guess that was kind of the point, wasn’t it?
Now, Bo Dallas has been shoved down our throats in such a way that defines the term ever since NXT started. Despite being such a squeaky clean, loveably moral, good golly gosh famously “single” babyface that 1980s era Hulk Hogan would have told the dude to grow a pair, brother, the WWE has constantly featured Dallas on the show and with prominence, despite appearing to be A) not all that big physically, B) not the greatest performer in the ring and C) a man whose promo skills were similar in quality to a flock of horny sea-birds. He was one of the first new wrestlers introduced when NXT started, cutting a promo after his initial victory that inspired the slight in the previous sentence. He was also in the tournament to crown the first NXT champion and lost to the runner up. He, out of all the choices, was chosen to be in the Royal Rumble last year and enter a feud with Wade Barrett. After the collective WWE Universe shat on that like a American football fan shats on the idea of a reasonably portioned snack, the WWE realized, “Hey, they f**kin’ hate this guy.” They then did what I wish they would have done with dozens of other more talented wrestlers that receive no Christmas gifts from WWE legends and gave the guy another chance, using that disdain from their audience to push him anyway, altering their plans slightly to sorta-kinda make the guy a heel. But not really. Dallas road that wave of passive aggressive “meh” all the way to the NXT championship.
*Gasps for air*
And here’s where another level of hate within my hate for Bo Dallas shows up. Call it “Hate-ception”, if you will. While there’s no real “right” or “wrong” way to do anything in entertainment (short of racial slurs, those never really work out), how Bo Dallas is presented as both a face and a heel at the same time blows my f**king mind. I might possibly be unable to comprehend why this is happening. I might figuratively have a screw loose. Every time Bo Dallas talks to another wrestler or poor Renee the interview lady, he comes off as a pompous, egotistical goober that doesn’t understand that he’s being so off-putting that he has become the bad guy. This development in character, while interesting and wildly beneficial to Bo’s promos (in theory), doesn’t seem to exist within the same plane of reality as the rest of NXT because everything from the way Bo is presented and discussed by the commentary team to the way he wrestles his matches, except for that one time when he beat Big E Langston to become champion, is as if he’s a face. This isn’t shades of gray, this isn’t subtle nuance, this is a twisted mirror-scape where black is white and white is black all at the same time. It drives me banana, to the extent that when Dallas shows up on my computer screen I don’t even wanna.
The fans in the NXT arena this episode seemed to share in my opinion of Bo because they ripped into Dallas during his entire championship match against Leo Kruger. And here’s the kicker, the ultimate mind-f**k of the Bo Dallas experience: the match was pretty good. This isn’t an isolated incident either. Sometimes Dallas has a bad match and sometimes he has a good, even great match, as a babyface, totally ignoring the cascades of boos directed at him for getting a push way, way beyond his deserving. And he won that good match tonight with some random-ass submission, of all things. You know what, why not!? Nothing else about him makes sense, and his normal belly to belly throw sucks anyway, so why not have random-ass Bo Dallas finishes!?
I don’t know how the wrestling world with remember Bo in the long-run, but I think I’ll remember him as the guy the WWE used to deeply screw with my brain, to the point that they’ve got me physically hating a fake wrestling character in a way I didn’t think possible in this bulls**ty smark-mark landscape we all currently reside in. Bravo Bo Dallas, bravo. You’ve made me a six year old kid again.
And that was NXT! Seriously, you guys, it was a pretty good show. That might not have come out in the 1,000 word rant about Bo Dallas but you should watch it anyway. And maybe even comment?