Who’s NXT?

14 Jan

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WWE NXT is a show not many people are likely to have seen. But i’m here to tell you, you are sorely missing out.

The following content contains spoilers! Yes, SPOILERS! Read on at your own peril.

Starting out replacing WWE’s version of ECW, NXT was set out like a reality show. Each season a winner was brought up to the main roster and given a title shot. Last year they finally scrapped the concept, and merged the show with FCW, WWE’s developmental territory. Now filmed at the Full Sail University in Florida, NXT is finally worth watching.

For starters, on commentary each week is William Regal who is hilarious because he simple does not care what he says and can get away with almost anything. Next to him for the main event each week is good ol’ JR Jim Ross who adds almost a seal of approval to the matches. Their current  Interim GM is Dusty Rhodes, who also serves as creative head writer.

This is a show that has produced stars such as Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Ryback, Brodus Clay & A.J. Lee. So that’s the current Intercontinental Champion, one half of the current Tag Team Champions, the most recent number one contender for the WWE Championship, the former GM of Raw and Brodus Clay. Of course most if not all had experience elsewhere, especially Bryan, but their starts in the WWE can be traced back to this show.

NXT is also a place to “hold” lower card talent who usually only stretch their legs at house show. Guys like Yoshi Tatsu (forgot about him didn’t you) and Percy Watson. They have plenty of TV experience, and are great fodder/foils to new talent, such as Bray Wyatt and his “family”. It also lets them test new gimmicks and character traits before being put on Raw or Smackdown, and gives talent like Tatsu & Watson the opportunity to be noticed by management and fans.

The Diva’s matches on NXT are interesting. Currently, there is only one woman that stands out, but she stands so far out the other divas seem to be just there for her to beat. Paige is one of the most over wrestlers on any roster at the moment. She is intense and a great wrestler. She’s also British. Last summer, Channel 4 produced a documentary about the her family, most of whom are wrestlers, entitled The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family. She is definitely a talent to keep an eye on.

On the theme of wrestling heritage, there are a few wrestler on NXT who are steeped in it. This week featured a match up between Bo Dallas & Michael McGillicutty vs Primo & Epico. All at least multi generation wrestlers. Primo and Epico are former tag champs, who feature regularly on the top tv shows. On Raw & Smackdown, they often are low or mid card attractions. On NXT however, they are big dogs. This allows the younger talent to mix with experienced talent, and for superstars like Primo & Epico to still feel like a threat.

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Cousins Primo and Epico are from the Colón dynasty which includes Primo’s brother Carlito. Bo Dallas the son of  the I.R.S. Bo faced the Big Show two weeks ago. A match against the then World Heavyweight Champion definitely made him look good. Michael McGillicutty, son of Mr Perfect Curt Hennig is a man with, as William Regal reminds us every week, unlimited potential. Former tag champ, former member of CM Punk’s New Nexus, McGillicutty has seen plenty of action in the WWE, and some time away from the main shows is doing him good.

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The Shield member Seth Rollins was the first ever NXT Champion. He was called up far too early whilst holding the belt, forcing NXT creative to find a way for him to lose. He was made to defend the title for two straight weeks. First successfully against Corey Graves, and this week vs Big E Langston. Now a bodyguard for AJ Lee and heel, Big E was literally and figuratively the biggest star of NXT. Now Big E has been called up, the NXT titles reputation is in distress. What is the point of making someone the champ just to rip them up weeks later to the main event.

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Highlight of the Night

20 plus white guys standing behind the one black guy on the roster, the new champion.

Rising Star

This weeks rising star is Big E Langston, for winning the NXT title. I thought I’d get him in here quick whilst he is still the champ!

Raw Is: Rocked

10 Jan

Welcome everybody to Raw Is:

The (potentially) weekly column where I review and poke fun at the 20 minutes of actual content on the 3 hour extravaganza that is Monday Night Raw!

The following content contains spoilers! Yes, SPOILERS! Read on at your own peril.

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The opening segment was fun, better than the exchanges between Ziggles and Cena have been in the past. The match was fine, but of course in typical Cena fashion he would win the match acting as if all the offense he received never happened. This of course including the interference and The Big Finish from Big E Langston. I felt this really undermined Big E’s threat level. If Cena can so easily kick out of his finishing move, why would anybody take Big E seriously when the inevitable Cena vs Langston match comes around.

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On a similar point, Dolph Ziggler is THE best seller in wrestling. For those unaware of the term, selling is wrestling jargon for making your opponent look good. When someone lands a move on a wrestler, it’s the receiving competitors duty to make that move look like it hurt. Whether it does or not. Aside from his technical abilities, anyone who steps in the ring with Ziggler instantly looks better. The problem with this however, is that Dolph looks bad.

In a recent interview with PWTorch, Booker T noted:

“He needs to start thinking about himself a whole lot more. He thinks about the other guy he’s in the ring with way too much. … One thing I tell him is he has to be more selfish (in the ring). Until he starts doing that, he’s not going to get over like he should.”

Hopefully Dolph listens to the Smackdown GM and begins to make himself look good, as well as his opponent.

I could write an entire book on the state of the Diva’s division and women’s wrestling in general, but I’ve given up caring. Which is extremely disappointing as I have always been a massive supporter. The Divas could be a solid third of any wrestling show, but the way WWE treat them, and the last I checked TNA too, they are a joke.

Prime example this week is the Divas title match. All arguments on the storyline and actual wrestlers themselves aside, the fact that more people were probably watching Rock’s personal twitter feed than the women in the ring is disgraceful. It’s not the Rocks fault, its not the fans fault, its whoever decided that the Divas title match meant so little that they would rent that airtime to tweets from fans about The Rock.

The main thing I observed during all the 3MB segments and matches was the fact that Drew Mcintyre is officially the hairiest wrestler since Albert (Tensai). Maybe they could start a storyline based on that.

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Speaking of hair, WWE have started dropping hints for the stipulation to Tag Team title match at Wrestlemania. Team Hell No vs Team Rhodes Scholars in a Beard vs Mustache match. It’s so absurd i’m scared they’ll actually do it!

And now the Raw Four. Like Booker T’s Fav Five, i’ll be keeping a track of my personal favorite wrestlers, the guys and dolls whom I believe to be the best superstars on Raw, as well as those I think will be future main eventers.

This weeks Raw Four:
Dolph Ziggler – Antonio Cesaro – Big E Langston – The Shield

Dolph Ziggler is most likely to be up here all year. I will be flabbergasted if he isn’t the World Heavyweight Champion coming into or exiting Wrestlemania 29.

Antonio Cesaro is a classic heel and his character has barely even evolved yet. Plus, did you see him hit The Neutraliser on The Great Khali! Jesus H Macy!

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Big E Langston. Big. Black. What’s not to love. I’ll expand more on Big E later in Who’s NXT.

The Shield is a bit of a cheat, as there is 3 of them, but for the talent that makes up The Shield, they need to be included.

So now we know Cena, Sheamus, Orton, Ziggler & 3MB will all be part of this years Royal Rumble. But did anyone else notice the dark horse entry this year hiding in the front row. The question on all our lips surely is, will Grumpy Cat enter the Rumble?

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I won’t comment on the finishing promo. If you didn’t get who won, then you lost.

Highlight of the Night

That being said, the highlight of the night was, for me, during the WWE Championship TLC match. As Ryback was about to unhook the title, with Punk put through a table on the outside, the lights mysteriously turned off. When they came back on Rollins & Ambrose were up the ladder and commenced a beating on Ryback.

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If this isn’t the start of the setup for The Undertaker’s return, then WWE creative are stupid. I’m sure half the arena thought the Deadman himself was about to appear, as the blackout is a signature of his gimmick. I would put money (If I had any) on The Shield vs The Streak match at mania. And if Ryback isn’t busy, we might see him siding with The Phenom.

The final moment of the night didn’t make this weeks Highlight of the Night, as it may just be my opinion. However, it seemed to me that CM Punk totally no sold the Rock Bottom. Punk didn’t appear to help in the move, which is why it looked a little dull. If true, there could really be some heat between two men. Or perhaps it is just to get smarks like me all riled up.

The Road To The Road To Wrestlemania: Past vs Future

6 Jan

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So it’s that time of year again. New stars about to rise, plenty of legends returning, and quiet rumbles about the streak. But as it stands, how exactly will Wrestlemania 29 turn out?

So the 800 pound Gorilla in the room. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. So Rocky is returning to Raw on Monday, presumably to try to screw CM Punk in his TLC rematch vs Ryback for the WWE Championship. While I am a big Rock fan, and was so happy to be able to see him wrestle live at last years ‘Mania, I can’t help but begin to wonder….why are you returning? Again. And why are you trying to take both the Championship and a main event ‘Mania spot from those who actually need and deserve it?

Look, lets not fall out over this Dwayne. You ARE the Brahma Bull. THE most electrifying man in all of sports entertainment. Who wouldn’t want to go one on one with the great one? Except, while your star may well shine on the likes of CM Punk & John Cena, lets face it, they don’t need you. They have success all their own. People would happily pay to see them wrestle without the allure of the “The People’s Champion”.

But what about Dolph Ziggler? Cody Rhodes? Kofi Kingston? They are the talent who need that one guy who can take them from superstar to future hall of famer. But with guys like you constantly returning, they are consistently pushed back down the ladder to make room for you. So, be a pal. Beat Punk at the Rumble, like we all know you will. Face Cena again at ‘Mania, like we all know you will.  Then go home.

Wrestlemania 30 is for Rollins, Bryan, Barrett, Langston, Ziggler, Rhodes, Sandow, Cesaro & Kofi. Let the future shine.

Captain Ultimate

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