Posted by James Tee
Hello and welcome to the first of a weekly look at NXT. Here in the UK, NXT is shown late on a Thursday night on Sky Sports, so every Friday, I will review the week’s events and give my opinions on those involved in the show. Your opinions are more than welcome, and you can either comment on here, or send me an e-mail with what you think.
The show opened up with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. Already in the ring, Michaels announced on behalf of NXT General Manager Dusty Rhodes that a tournament would be established to find the first NXT Tag Team Champions.
With Hunter heavily involved in the new developmental territory, it seemed fitting that HBK would announce that new belts would be introduced to NXT. With that, it is something I feel NXT has needed quite desperately over the past few months, with numerous tag team matches being used to build up rivalries.
THE BRAY WYATT FAMILY VS YOSHI TATSU AND PERCY WATSON
When Percy Watson was in the second season of NXT, I thought he had what it took to become a legitimate mid-carder, however he just hasn’t pushed on, and to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to be released after Wrestlemania or even sooner. On the other hand, Yoshi Tatsu may only be in a job because of the Japanese market, but he is still very exciting to watch in the ring.
The Wyatt family however, to me, seems like a special stable that could be perfect for Smackdown, where to me, there is a real lack of heel talent. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are two men who have a real creepy quality about them, and for big men, their ring work is extremely solid.
The first match of the NXT Tag Team Title Tournament (I will refer to it as TTTT) saw the Wyatt family progress relatively comfortably to the next round. I’ve managed to avoid talking about Bray Wyatt for the simple reason there wasn’t much he did apart from sit down. I’m sure in the next few weeks, we will see more from the former Husky Harris and it will only be a matter of time before he is on the main roster.
I was a big fan of Alex Riley when he was the cocky heel back on the original NXT, but ever since, he has done nothing. He is now just another boring face who doesn’t even have the ring ability to give himself a push. It seems that he has been teamed with Derrick Bateman for the TTTT (What happened to Mr America by the way?)
The team of Riley and Bateman were told that they will face Leo Kruger and Kassius Ohno on NXT next week in a first round TTTT match. It was then that the impressive Cory Graves showed up. After reminding Dusty Rhodes that he hadn’t had a title rematch, he went on to add that he wasn’t even in the TTTT. Alex Riley confronted Graves, although Riley is about as intimidating as Tensai in lingerie.
ALICIA FOX VS SASHA BANKS
I have to be honest and say this match bored me. I’ve never been a fan of Alicia Fox for a number of reasons. Her in-ring work hasn’t really progressed over the past 18 months and there is one thing I hate more than anything else. She smiles; she smiles when she loses, she smiles when her opponent is coming to the ring; it really irritates me.
This was the first time I had seen Sasha Banks in action and I think she has potential. She is only twenty, and to be honest, if she puts the work in, she has the ability to make it as a legitimate diva on the main roster.
Banks got the victory with an impressive reversal of a body slam into a pin. There is no doubt we will see more of this diva as the weeks go on.
Renee Young, a presenter on shows like Afterburn and Bottom Line, debuted as a backstage interviewer tonight, interviewing another diva who I see nothing in; Aksana.
The interview was used to set up a match between Aksana and Paige next week on raw. Paige, for those who didn’t know, was featured on a documentary here in the UK about her and her family and their passion for wrestling. She worked well as a face and heel here in the UK, with her brother also a promising superstar if he gets the opportunity.
A promo was shown for Conor O’Brien, continuing the Ascension gimmick on his own after Kenneth Cameron was released.
JAKE CARTER VS CORY GRAVES
Jake Carter, as well as being a Miz lookalike, is the son of the legendary Vader, and was a college football standout before a back injury put an end to a possible football career.
Cory Graves is, in my opinion one of the standout superstars on NXT. After winning with his 13th step leg-lock, there was something that struck me about Graves. He has this natural look in his eyes, that makes you think there is a darker side to the man. He has a look Randy Orton had a few years ago, and it is a look that could make him a major star in years to come.
After the match, Graves cut a promo, but I was far from impressed. Graves didn’t really look comfortable with a microphone in his hand, and was constantly looking down at the floor. It is something that can be improved though, and is arguably the only thing stopping him from being called up to the main roster.
ADRIAN NEVILLE AND OLIVER GREY VS 3MB (Slater and McIntyre)
I cannot stand 3MB. They don’t entertain me and Heath Slater is the most ridiculous character since Mordecai. Thank god Jinder Mahal wasn’t in this match otherwise there wouldn’t have been a review of this match. I can stand Drew McIntyre though, but he needs to work hard to get back to the spot he was in a few years back.
The all-British team of Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey were mightily impressive in this tag-match. Grey has a background in Judo, and Neville seems to have a background in everything athletic. Neville is one of the most impressive superstars I have seen in a long time. I haven’t heard him on the mic yet, and that is the only thing that may be lacking. For those who don’t know, Neville is from Newcastle, where people have a very hard to understand accent if you aren’t used to it. He is though athletic, and his corkscrew shooting star press is arguably the most aesthetically impressive move in all of wrestling.
With the British team gaining the victory over the established 3MB, it is clear there are big things in the futures of Oliver Grey and Adrian Neville.
AXL KEEGAN VS BIG E. LANGSTON
I’m not sure what to make of Big E. Langston at the moment. Forgetting his forgettable work with Dolph Ziggler at the moment, his NXT work has seemed to be solid. Langston recently defeated Seth Rollins to win the NXT Championship, but this week, the match didn’t really last long enough to get a good look at Keegan. However, the five count gimmick seems popular, and it seems strange that he was called up when he was and how he was.
At the end of the match, Conor O’Brien appeared on the titantron and challenged Big E. Langston to a match in two weeks. Again, I’ve seen enough of Brien as a recent singles competitor to have a real opinion of him, but I’m sure that the match will be physical and that Brien must have something that makes him get a push.
That concludes this first edition of the NXT review. I will be back later this week with a review of this weeks episode of NXT, where we know Bateman and Riley will face Kruger and Ohno, and Aksana will face Paige in one on one action.
Thanks for reading, and again, any comments are welcome below, or via email.
For wrestlingnews.net, I’m James Tee.
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