Last week’s “watching live” issue didn’t happen this week and I experienced no freezes or quality drops, a rarity for the WWE Network so far. Remember, I’m just a casual fan talking about what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy on a wrestling show I watched. Feel free to disagree and tell me I’m wrong in the comments.
NXT 9/2/15, wherein we begin the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Tournament.
You can watch this episode on the WWE Network if you are a subscriber.
3 Things I Liked about NXT
1. The Ascension vs. Rhyno & Baron Corbin
Honestly, this was the best The Ascension has looked in months. While I had no real feeling that they would win this match, they definitely had the ‘home field’ advantage at Full Sail. It really is too bad that they’ve been booked so horribly on the main roster. At NXT they are a believable tag team threat, but on the main roster they’re portrayed as a joke or a throwaway set of jobbers for squash matches against established teams. I doubt the Rhyno / Corbin pairing will really last beyond this tournament, but it seemed to suit Corbin better as part of a team / unit than it does having him come out and do three moves and beat people in twenty-seven seconds. While this match was nothing spectacular, it was a decent, solid tag team match and, again, was the most over I’ve seen The Ascension since they got promoted.
2. Tyler Breeze vs. William Regal… Forever
I’ve been a fan of Regal in the GM role ever since he got placed in it and his interactions in the backstage bits have been great. The segments between Regal and Tyler Breeze the past few weeks or so have been really entertaining. I just like the dynamic between the two; much like I like the tense dynamic between Regal and Kevin Owens which may never pay off now. Of course, the main point of this segment was to introduce the new team of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, but, I still liked the interplay between Regal and Breeze and the unlikely pairing of Breeze with Bull Dempsey. Now THAT should be fun to watch over the coming weeks.
3. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan Should Win the Tournament
So far, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic seems to be a bunch of pairings of random wrestlers and a few outlying tag teams that you know probably won’t win in the finals. My favorites so far are the team of Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. They looked incredibly awesome in this match against the random pairing of Neville and Solomon Crowe. I really hope this tournament serves as a way to elevate Gable / Jordan or some similar minded cohesive tag team. None of the “hey, we need these guys in the tourney” combos should win, and since this is NXT, I don’t expect something like that to happen. The NXT tag division seems to go through phases as teams are called up and it seems to be another one of those “rebuilding” phases, but so far Gable / Jordan has impressed me the most out of all of the new teams they’ve introduced.
3 Things I Didn’t Like about NXT
1. Solomon Crowe
He just needs something… else. His gimmick makes no sense to me. His interview with Neville and Devin Taylor was just super annoying. He came across as that drunk guy who is friends with only one person in your friend group so you have to tolerate him being there, but you secretly wish he wouldn’t be there. I don’t doubt the guy has talent but they need to do something else with him. I understand he was about to be paired with the recently fired Zahra Schreiber which would have been something, I suppose. I guess back to the drawing board and so we get him as just random yelling guy that is somehow more grating to watch than Mojo Rawley.
Devin and Neville’s reaction to his part of the promo was pretty much my reaction too.
2. The Tag Tournament Bracket is Less Visible than John Cena
So, for however many coming weeks, the focus is the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. But, we never see the brackets until the very end of the show. And even then, it’s zoomed out so far it’s practically impossible to read. I’m not sure if they’re doing this to make the brackets more mysterious so they can announce more teams via backstage interviews or what. But seriously, I kept wanting to know who was facing each other the entire show and then we get a five second glance at the end of the episode.
Here it is, hope you have your magnifying glass handy!
3. Eva Marie. Just… no.
I didn’t think that Eva Marie could top last week’s lackluster match, but she managed to do just that. This week’s outing was against newcomer Billie Kay, who I felt bad for since this match was going to be mediocre at best. Well, it got even worse when Eva forgets to kick out of a near-fall towards the end of the match and the ref had to play off almost counting her out for three. It was so bad the live crowd really let Eva have it. Of course, she ended up winning the match, but really she just comes across as the most plastic thing I’ve seen in the ring in some time. I don’t even know if this is something that can be fixed. People keep saying she’s improving in the ring, which I didn’t see her before, so maybe she is… but, wow, she’s several tiers below nearly every other woman on the NXT roster when it comes to personality and charisma. Not feeling it at all. They even have Corey Graves trying his best to shill for her on commentary, which makes for a fun experience of imagining everything he is saying is meant to be sarcastic.
Also, second week in a row her match wasn’t uploaded to the WWE YouTube channel so, again, no clip.