Recalling The Action: WWE NXT

Joel Harvey
Contributor

People complaining about the WWE product is nothing new, but in recent months it’s taken on a new flavour. With visually declining attendances at events, fans are putting two and two together and getting four – which coincidentally, is also the number of people at some of the shows. Critics are blaming the storylines on both Raw and SmackDown for not drawing in audiences. But how does that criticism fit with NXT?

Even though NXT takes place at a much smaller venue than its older sibling brands, it’s not been immune from this trend of disappearing fans. If you listen, you can even hear the lack of noise on some of the shows and it’s wholly depressing. The fact of the matter is that some of the current storylines on NXT just aren’t deserving of this lack of interest. How can you be a wrestling fan and not be on-board with the Undisputed Era fighting Sanity?

These two teams have been on a collision course for a while now, and the main event last night saw a six-man tag match between them. This was the in-ring debut for the Undisputed Era as a team, and it was worth waiting for. An entertaining match (although short), which in other circumstances could’ve been on a pay-per-view.

But last night, it formed a part of the gradual build-up to the big WarGames match at TakeOver. And if the return of this brutal match between these six guys – plus the Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong – doesn’t put more bums on seats, then nothing will.

Elsewhere, the show kicked-off with another NXT women’s title contender match; a triple-threat between Ember Moon, Ruby Riot and Sonya Deville. All three women arguably could’ve taken this one. But as we said in our NXT recap last week, we thought anything other than an Ember victory would be hugely surprising. And she duly delivered last night, as Moon progressed through to TakeOver with a victory in this match. Could she become the main Moon at TakeOver?

Next week, a battle royale match between every other woman left on the roster (minus Summer Rae) will determine the final participant in the fatal four-way title match.

Finally, we love to see the Velveteen Dream feuding with Aleister Black. Velveteen seemed like a silly gimmick at first, but Patrick Clark has really managed to get the character over. And in Black, he seems to have found the perfect foil. The conflicting elements of these two wrestlers just click together so well, like yin and yang, and it feels like they were forever destined to end up fighting each other.

With Velveteen desperate to get Black to “say my name”, we’re hoping this rivalry culminates in the first ever Destiny’s Child themed gimmick match at TakeOver next month.

Notes

  • Ruby Riot went for the ropes in a triple-threat match. Can someone please remind wrestlers the rules of these matches before they start them?
  • Raul Mendoza feels like a generic create-a-wrestler template in a WWE video game.
  • Nice of them to interview William Regal in front of what appeared to be some faded bin liners.
  • Enough with the pretence that Drew McIntyre is Scottish. No-one from Scotland gets a tan like that.
  • Zelina Vega interrupted McIntyre’s interview after she said she was “watching it on her phone”. But NXT isn’t live, it’s pre-recorded. K-k-k-kayfabe breaker!!!

Start the discussion

to comment