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NXT Is the Best Weekly Episodic Wrestling Show Today, Period

December 15, 2014 | Posted by Wyatt Beougher

Introduction: So two weeks ago, I was in the middle of writing a column about NXT when CM Punk made his infamous first appearance on Colt Cabana’s “Art of Wrestling” podcast. Obviously, the contents of what Punk had to say changed my plans, and instead I wrote a column about what Punk had to say in relation to OSHA and worker’s health in the workplace. The following week, I picked up the thread of the NXT column, and then it was announced that the UFC had signed Punk. So instead, I wrote a column about why the signing would benefit the UFC, Phil Brooks, AND professional wrestling (which ended up in the MMA Zone, so if you missed it, go check it out). While it was initially off-putting to postpone my NXT column twice, Thursday night’s NXT Takeover: “R”Evolution special made me glad that I did, because it provided even more examples in favor of my argument: that NXT is currently the best weekly wrestling program on television.

I have talked about NXT a few times before, and what I have had to say about the WWE’s development promotion has been almost entirely positive. I actually had the idea for this column a couple of months back when I was providing semi-regular live coverage of TNA Impact for Larry, and a few of the TNA diehards who frequented the comments would make the claim that Impact was the best weekly wrestling program in the United States. I argued then, and I will argue now, that NXT is in fact consistently the best weekly wrestling program on television and will remain so even when Impact resumes a regular weekly schedule. For clarity’s sake, the shows that I considered for the purpose of this column are as follows: RAW, Smackdown, NXT, Impact, and Lucha Underground (which, while still very much a fledgling promotion, is doing quite a few things perfectly, something I will examine in another column at some point between now and the end of the year).

So what makes NXT so amazing?

The Wrestling

When it comes to the actual in-ring content, quality is always going to trump quantity. That said, it still amazes me that NXT consistently has more actual wrestling content in sixty minutes in any given week than Smackdown and Impact’s 120 minutes and RAW’s 180. The only promotion that can even come close to NXT in terms of the raw amount of in-ring action is Lucha Underground, which also happens to be a one-hour show. When it was announced a while back that RAW was moving to three hours permanently, I was actually excited, because I felt like it would give the WWE more time to establish their secondary titles and feature some of the more underutilized members of their roster. Then RAW actually switched to the three-hour format and it was basically just the two-hour RAW with an additional forty minutes of video packages and recaps.

The same is true for Smackdown, which not only recaps what happened earlier on in the show, but also nearly everything that happened on RAW. And while I would not say that Impact is overly heavy on recaps and video packages, they tend to fill a significant portion of their runtime with in-ring or backstage segments that end up taking far longer than absolutely necessary to convey the message that they are trying to get across. After Vince McMahon’s appearance on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s podcast, at least we have a reason for why the main roster shows are so light on in-ring content: McMahon doesn’t believe in wrestling “for wrestling’s sake”. So what then is TNA’s excuse, as they have for years claimed to be an alternative to the WWE, but generally do not feature a significantly higher percentage of wrestling content than either of WWE’s main roster shows?

Honestly, I feel like Impact had a significantly higher percentage of actual wrestling when it was a one-hour show, and that certainly falls in line with my observations of both NXT and Lucha Underground. The episodes of Impact that I covered would regularly feature three or four matches that went for seven minutes or less (not counting commercial time) and then a main event that went anywhere from ten to twenty minutes (again, not counting commercials). Even the two Impact “specials” that I covered, Destination X and No Surrender, featured 38 minutes and 47 minutes of wrestling respectively. And that’s after the company had publicly made a commitment to refocus on the in-ring content, yet that averages out to barely half of their total runtime devoted to it on two of the bigger televised shows of the year. NXT manages that percentage or better on a weekly basis and still tells compelling stories.

And, as I mentioned, the quality of the wrestling is far more important than the quantity, and again, NXT trumps pretty much everything else out there, week in and week out. Sure, both Baron Corbin and Bull Dempsey have been squashing enhancement talent for the past few weeks, but that takes roughly thirty seconds and is in service of their eventual feud, and each show balanced it out with either outstanding tag matches (seriously, is there a more underrated tag team in a major American promotion than Team Thick right now?), incredible women’s wrestling, a memorable main event, or some combination of the three. And that’s not even counting the four NXT live specials this year, all of which featured a greater quantity of high-quality in-ring action than their WWE main roster counterparts and even the TNA special editions.

I thoroughly enjoyed both Destination X and No Surrender; however, neither show could hold a candle to any of the NXT live specials in terms of the in-ring content. At Desination X, the tag title match and the world championship match both got just a hair under eleven minutes and the three X-Division title qualifiers totalled just over fifteen minutes. They were all solid matches, but I would still give the edge to Takeover: Fatal Fourway’s tag team championship match, women’s championship match, and NXT Championship match for overall quality, plus they received eight minutes, eleven minutes, and twenty-four minutes, respectively (and that’s not including the three other matches on the card, two of which were squashes for Baron Corbin and Bull Dempsey).

And while both WWE main roster shows, Impact, and Lucha Underground have all had memorable matches, there hasn’t been another show that has consistently put on good to great matches like NXT in 2014. Just from the live specials, you had Zayn/Cesaro, Paige/Emma, Neville/Dallas, Zayn/Breeze, Charlotte/Natasha, Neville/Kidd, Lucha Dragons/Ascension, Charlotte/Bayley, Neville/Kidd/Zayn/Breeze, Balor-Itami/Ascension, Charlotte/Sasha, and Neville/Zayn, which is my North American Match of the Year. That is twelve good to amazing matches from only four shows, and it is a rare occasion when a match from NXT isn’t the best match of the week, though it has happened, generally when Impact has had a particularly good tag title or world title match (I would include the X Division there, but I find it criminal that X Division title matches have nearly all gotten six minutes or less and have generally been outshone by the main event) or when Daniel Bryan was healthy prior to Wrestlemania. There were even occasional outliers like Cena/Cesaro from RAW or the three-way main event from the third episode of Lucha Underground. All in all, it has been a great year for actual wrestling content in North America (to say nothing of the awesomeness of New Japan), and NXT has been leading the way.

The Writing

Even if you are not a workrate mark and could not care less about in-ring psychology, NXT has provided an excellent blend of entertainment to balance out all of the sports-related aspects of the show. Unlike the main roster WWE, the comedy in NXT is generally funny – compare Santino/Emma vs Fandango/Summer Rae in NXT versus literally anything Santino and Emma did while together on the main roster – and the characters who use humor aren’t limited strictly to the comedy wrestling genre. Look at the Vaudevillains – Aiden English and Simon Gotch are a show-tune belting artiste and an old-timey strongman, respectively, who made silent films about the saving the town from the capers of their good guy opponents, yet once they get into the ring, they’re a very competent tag team without losing the mannerisms that make those characters so entertaining, whether it’s English taking bows after particularly successful moves or Gotch working in Hindu squats during a leglock. Compare that with Impact, where everyone takes themselves incredibly seriously and the only real brevity comes from the delightfully self-aware Ethan Carter III.

Even more than the comedy, the success of NXT is heavily based on the writers’ and performers’ abilities to take what would be one-note characters on the WWE main roster and give them life, whether it’s Tyler Breeze’s wrestling supermodel or the fact that Hideo Itami already has more personality that Yoshi Tatsu got during his entire WWE run or that Finn Balor isn’t just an Irishman who loves to fight like both Sheamus and Finlay before him. Even the brief flashes of personality that Kalisto has been allowed to display dwarf those given to a man that he wrestled not infrequently in the past, Tigre Uno (when Kalisto was Samuray Del Sol and Tigre Uno was Extreme Tiger). Once again, Lucha Underground is probably NXT’s closest competitor in this department, with their delightfully overblown origin story video packages actually fleshing out characters who might not have a mastery of the English language.

But as Bray Wyatt’s tenure on the WWE main roster has shown, even the best-developed characters can’t succeed without compelling storylines. In NXT, Wyatt was a cult leader who actually changed the status quo of the developmental promotion, whereas on the main roster, he has been relegated to a weird guy who speaks mysteriously and never really changes anything. Meanwhile, we just saw the culmination of a story that was nineteen months in the making, as Sami Zayn was forced to address the notion that he was too nice to ever win important matches, including the NXT championship. During the course of his championship match with Neville at NXT: “R”Evolution, Zayn confronted that claim head-on, weighing whether or not it was worth it to use the NXT title belt (that Neville had brought into the ring) to knock out his opponent and guarantee the win. Zayn’s internal conflict was clear on his face as he struggled with the doubts that plagued him after coming up short in big matches time and time again, but in the end, he remained true to himself and still won the match. I am happy to admit that I reverted to full-on markdom at that point in the show, just as I had at Fatal 4Way during the Bayley/Charlotte match. NXT’s writing staff and their performers’ storytelling abilities are able to more consistently evoke those childhood feelings of wonder, and more importantly, an emotional investment in the match, than any other promotion today. Not only that, but they also firmly introduced Zayn’s best friend, Kevin Owens in a match against CJ Parker, foreshadowed events that would happen later in the show with a brief backstage look at the locker room, where Owens would not even look at Zayn, and then set up the new champion’s next feud by having Owens congratulate Zayn after the match, only to turn on him after all of the other well-wishers had departed. Not only did Owens’ actions make sense based on the content of the introductory vignettes that had been airing to hype up his debut in previous weeks, it also paid homage to the history of Zayn and Owens (as El Generico and Kevin Steen, respectively) coming to blows in four of the past five Decembers, which was a nice treat to fans familiar with the duo outside of their time in the WWE’s developmental promotion. That is simply exceptional storytelling that we do not get nearly enough of in North American wrestling today.

The Presentation

And putting all of the credit for that type of emotional involvement in a wrestling show strictly on the writers and the on-camera talent would do a disservice to the behind-the-scenes people who make the show happen every week. With the WWE’s top-of-the-line production values, there was very little chance that NXT would look anything less than top-notch. But it is a true feather in the cap of everyone involved at Full Sail University and the WWE that the show often looks better than its main roster cousins, with “R”Evolution’s digital ring apron the most recent recent highlight to set the promotion apart from its competitors. And while I will admit to absolutely loving the gritty, exploitation-era look of Lucha Underground’s backstage segments and character vignettes, which fit the aesthetic of the promotion perfectly, NXT’s more polished look does not detract from the show at all, nor do its commentators, something neither WWE’s main roster nor Impact nor even Lucha Underground can honestly claim.

On the main roster shows, commentary consists of out-of-touch middle-aged men talking over one another about subjects that are tangentially related (at best) to what is going on in the ring. On Impact, Taz and Tenay are slightly better about calling the action that is happening, but Taz’ penchant for misogyny and homophobia are a huge drawback to the overall presentation of the show, and they certainly do not work in TNA’s defense when its detractors point out things like the culmination of the Dixie Carter/Bully Ray storyline. Even Lucha Underground, which features intergender matches, full-sized competitors taking on minis, and even exoticos, and should by rights be seen as the most progressive of the weekly wrestling shows available in the United States today, is hindered by Matt Striker alternately praising the competitors and citing Lucha Underground’s level playing field and then being amazed every time that a woman, mini, or exotico performs at the same level as their more traditional opponents.

And while NXT isn’t perfect (Alex Riley is a blight on the commentary team to the point that I’m hopeful his #FreeRiley hashtag actually works), the rotating commentary team tends to consistently be the best team working today. That is no small feat considering the loss of William Regal, who was, in my personal opinion, the best color commentator in the United States today. And while Rich Brennan may occasional miscall even simple moves, the fact that he actually does call the action in the ring and does his best to keep whichever broadcast partners he is working with on track vaults him into the top of my personal play-by-play rankings as well. Brennan has enough potential at this point that if he remains in the wrestling business, continues to improve at his current pace, and is not eventually force-fed into regurgitating Vince McMahon’s inanity upon being called up to the main roster, he could well go down as one of the best play-by-play commentators in North American wrestling history. Of course, that could just be the utter awful nature of play-by-play commentary by Michael Cole, Mike Tenay, and Matt Striker giving me an inflated opinion of Brennan, but based on how far he has come already since his debut, I tend to think it is more based on his actual merits as a commentator and not simply being the least of all of the evils.

One other area where I think NXT vastly outshines its competitors that comes across in the production is its taping schedule. Obviously, RAW is live, and as we have heard rumored time and again over the past few years, Vince McMahon is notorious for having the writers rewrite significant portions of the show with hours (or less) before the show starts, and I think the often disorganized nature of the show bears out my belief that WWE’s flagship show suffers as a result of this. Unfortunately, Smackdown’s weekly tapings do little to remedy this, as that show often feels as chaotic as RAW, and the times that it does not, it feels like a boring rehash of what happened on Monday night.

On the other end of the spectrum, TNA had been taping multiple months of television programming in three-night bursts, often months in advance. While this is the most financially beneficial setup for the company, it did tend to lead to confusion between the events of Impact and TNA’s “One Night Only” pay-per-views and their live pay-per-views, as storyline developments did not necessarily coordinate with what was happening from one event type to the other, and, in some rare instances, a champion would either win or lose their title on one type of event, only to show up either without it or with it (respectively) on another. Similarly, Lucha Underground held a series of television tapings over the course of twelve weekends and shot an entire season of television before their first episode ever premiered on the El Rey Network. While they do not have to worry about the variety of tapings and live events that TNA has to contend with and attempt to coordinate, such a schedule makes it difficult for Lucha Underground to shift more attention to performers who are popular with their television audience or to turn the focus away from performers who have proven to be unpopular with viewers at home. So far, this has not been a problem, as Lucha Underground’s writing and booking has been virtually perfect, but they still have quite a few episodes in the can, and with the fickle nature of wrestling fans, all of that could change in an instant, and Lucha Underground would be essentially powerless to adjust their course.

Which is why I believe that NXT’s taping schedule, which sees the promotion tape a month’s worth of television in a single night and then supplement it with a handful of live events each month, offers them both the most flexibility as it relates to revamping characters and storylines and a greater sense of continuity than the weekly schedule of RAW or Smackdown can provide. For instance, this past Friday night, NXT taped the episodes that will air December 18th, December 25th, January 1st, and January 8th. They are coming off of arguably their biggest show of the year and will be building to another live special in either mid-February or, more likely, in mid-March (I would assume they will move to a quarterly schedule this year, without the debut of the WWE Network to hype in February). That means that if the angles that they laid out on Friday aren’t well-received by people watching the shows on either Hulu or the Network, they have at either one or two opportunities to improve the booking between now and the next live special.

This is something that NXT has taken advantage of in the past, with the biggest example being the change that Bo Dallas underwent when the crowd turned on his plucky, happy-go-lucky babyface character, causing him to morph into a deviously underhanded schemer who still upheld that same facade. It was such a subtle, organic change that made perfect sense, and the crowds responded accordingly, with Dallas going from getting the dreaded “X-Pac Heat” to becoming one of the better characters on the show. At this point, that is not an option that Lucha Underground has, and while TNA has slightly more freedom than the AAA offshoot on this count, at one point earlier this year, they still cannot boast the same ability to change things as NXT.

Between an ultra-talented group of wrestlers who consistently put on high-quality matches, a writer or group of writers who are committed to seeing angles through to their logical conclusion and giving well-portrayed characters actual motivations and believable goals, and a support staff committed to making everything look and sound amazing, NXT has managed to capture lightning in a bottle and put on a weekly television program that is leaps and bounds above everything else on North American television at present. My colleague Greg DeMarco made the argument that NXT “R”Evolution was the perfect wrestling show, but I will gladly go one step further and say that it is the best weekly episodic wrestling show currently airing, but I would honestly love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Wyatt Beougher is a lifelong fan of professional wrestling who has been writing for 411 for over three years and currently hosts MMA Fact or Fiction and reviews Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

article topics :

NXT, WWE, Wyatt Beougher

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  • コーン

    When Zayn was celebrating his big title win, it reminded of when Sting won at Starrcade ’97. Ahh goodtimes.

    • katamari damacy

      Minus that lame Hogan screwjob looking ending. Had Sting won it without what seemed to be Hogan kicking out, it would have been so much more

  • dennett316

    Agreed on all counts…especially the commentary of Rich Brennan. As you say, a couple of screw ups, but nothing on the level of Michael Cole saying “chairs” instead of “stairs” several times tonight. He’s good, can call moves, seems to do his job without trampling all over everyone else on the team or start idiotic arguments. I think he and Corey Graves would be a great 2 man team if they ever went down that road. If they must have 3, add in Renee Young and I think we have a really good mix.

    • FDT20

      “Add in Renee Young” is the answer to evey problem with the commentary.

  • Marty Confetti

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. I was a bit torn between NXT and LU on which is my favorite weekly show, but after R Evolution, I think I can safely say NXT is the best.

  • Hectus

    I wish NXT “secedes” from WWE (Like WWE ECW) and is treated as a rival promotion/show to RAW than part of WWE.

    This can also play into the authority storyline. HHH is fired from Raw, but NXT is his promotion and he can use it to get back at WWE/Raw/Main roster wrestlers and Vince.

    • Mushroom

      Don’t forget like WCW did from the NWA.

    • katamari damacy

      I’d be for it so they can do an invasion angle that won’t be botched from the start

    • Ryan-o

      I’d really like to see this happen. Maybe a Triple H/Steph divorce angle?

      NXT needs to be on television … but at the same time I’m worried if it was actually directly making significant money, Vince would get too involved in it.

      At some point here NXT is going to simply get too big for the role it’s supposed to occupy. It’s no longer just that FCW training ground for the next group of guys. The WWE’s creating their own ECW brand, and the “move up to the main roster” idea seems limiting to a brand that is consistently out-performing the main roster.

  • Darren Runne

    Correction:

    NXT Is the Best Weekly Episodic Wrestling Show Today, In My Opinion

    December 15, 2014 | Posted by Wyatt Beougher

    • Jelly Jam Jim Johnson

      Well, it is the best weekly episodic wrestling show today. Raw is terrible half the time with 3 bloated hours of half-ass matches, promos, and other useless crap, SD is just Raw except shorter, TNA is gradually recovering, Lucha is getting there. NXT is just that damn good.

    • Ice Dagger

      You’re really boring, you know that right?

      • Darren Runne

        So boring you just had to comment.

        • Ice Dagger

          I live in hope that one day you’ll learn how to write comments that aren’t fetid garbage.

    • Guy Incognito

      NXT is the highlight of my Week Mr Whalberg. Time to get back to the funky bunch

    • Just so we’re clear here, going forward – can you please tell me what you expect when you come to 411? (I’m not trying to be a smartass, I’m genuinely curious.)

      For clarification sake, anything that you find on 411 in the “Columns” section of any zone here is going to be an opinion piece. To me, that means I don’t have to implicitly state that what I put to the page is my opinion.

  • Save.Us_Y2J

    Not sold on the commentators but otherwise excellent points. The color commentators are just awful just like the main show. A big reason is to buy the New Japan Show in my mind is to hear JR give some sane and logical play by play to wrestling.

  • Taco123

    ‘When it was announced a while back that RAW was moving to three hours permanently, I was actually excited, because I felt like it would give the WWE more time to establish their secondary titles and feature some of the more underutilized members of their roster. Then RAW actually switched to the three-hour format and it was basically just the two-hour RAW with an additional forty minutes of video packages and recaps.”

    Agreed, I too was looking forward to seeing more wrestling content from that extra hour. I know that advertising has its place in almost every TV show. But you would think they could do a ratio of 40 mins of wrestling content (including promos), mixed with 20 minutes of ads and/or recaps.

  • BitW18

    Hi everyone,
    I used to be a massive WWE fan but became so disillusioned with the product that I stopped watching completely about a year ago. I have never watched NXT but with the recent critical acclaim I wanted to check out the product from when the going got good. I’m just wondering from the past year or so when wwould be a suitable time to go from or should I just pick it up from now? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys and girls!

    • Ice Dagger

      This week’s episode would be the start of a new “season” of sorts, more-or-less their equivalent to RAWafterMania.

      So…try that?

      Historically, it’s been pretty good for as long as I can remember.

      • BitW18

        Thanks Ice Dagger, appreciate the advice. I checked out Revolution and was very impressed, especially with Owens turn at the end and the little subtle hints they left throughout the show.
        I will start watching from this week and catch up on the other live specials they have done so far in 2014.

        • If you end up loving what you see (and I think you will) and want to go back even further, NXT Redemption started out as a game show (and was AWFUL, like all game show seasons of NXT) but somewhere along the way it became this fun little subversive take on the WWE. And pretty much anything from when they moved to Full Sail is awesome.

        • Video Beagle

          Heading back to the shows surround Arrival (or a bit before, Pre-Network) gives you a good starting point, too. You get to see the current folks, but also some of the alumni before they were buried by Pantsless Vince and his Dunn Lackey.

    • katamari damacy

      Watch from Take Over 1 where Neville became champion. It tells the story of Sami Zayn majestically from his awesome match vs Cesaro to finally winning the NXT title at REvolution.

      • That was ArRIVAL, not Takeover 1.

        • katamari damacy

          Sorry you’re right. Thought NXT really went next level there as Sami Zayn began his massive babyface climb to the top and Neville was an amazing champ having great matches. Bo Dallas even in NXT wasn’t doing anything for me

          • Video Beagle

            The ladder match at Arrival is good, and you get Paige/Emma, so woo!

    • doctorburningfire

      Starting now would work perfectly, but if you can find a way to go back, I’d find out when Zayn debuted and go from there.

  • Ice Dagger

    Don’t you mean…that’s a #FACT!

    (No Kidd-ing!)

  • Jeyh

    Because of work/where I am in the world I’m limited to Raw/SD/PPVs being on at 3am, I can’t force myself to watch it even though I have every episode from the last year on DVD sent from the states in order. NXT on the other hand is on between 8 – 10PM depending where I’m exactly at. I haven’t been mad that I’ve missed Raw for last year but get upset when I miss an NXT. Its short to the point and any filler generally leads to something. I like the indy smaller show vibe that it has as the crowd in the palm of its hand the whole time. Even if you don’t like Corbin the crowd counting his matches is him gimmick at this point. Even though we want everybody to make it to the main roster will we not be a little sad when some guys get called up and are just there on the main shows?

    • Ice Dagger

      I already miss everybody who’s gotten called up so far.

  • ribera

    I prefer Lucha Underground, NXT feels like they’re trying too much, although I love Zayn and Neville.

    • Guy Incognito

      You prefer Lucha Underground because you don’t know any better

      • ribera

        You prefer NXT because you don’t know any better.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I love Lucha Underground (and I’ll profess that love in a column after this week’s episode airs and they go on their winter break), but at this point, they’ve got less than two months under their belt, while NXT has been knocking it out of the park for the entirety of this year (actually longer than that, but for the sake of argument, I’ll limit it to 2014).

  • Erh

    Main difference I’m seeing here is that the guys in NXT have a constant purpose and a goal in what they’re doing and what they’re pushing for, either the titles or moving up to the main roster (yesyes it’s debatable wether that’s a good thing or not). Every match means they’re step closer or further to achieveing one of the two.

    On the main roster, this is generally not the case. Most of the guys there show no interest in any championship, guys beat the IC champ and move along like they’re “above” having that meager midcard title, but they’re not aiming for the world title either, so what the shit? Babyfaces are generally booked to not care about the world title all that much, either, only one guy is allowed to care. You can’t show interest in the WWE title guys, John Cena is currently chasing it, shoo shoo. Wait until Fatal Four Way, then we need two more challengers.

    NXT roster has a purpose and a goal by default. RAW roster they’re mostly just people acting like they’re glad to be on TV.

  • HG2012

    nxt also lets thing build up organically it is why sami zayn’s recent title win felt earned as it had been built up for months

    characters get to be built up and get over and title belts actually mean soemthing

    on main roster characters get forced down your throat and stoylines get no build up and go by too quick to make an impact

  • probably should have given Renee Young more props, she is probably the best colour commentator the WWE have at the moment with JBL turning into a shell of himself, also she seems like the only interviewer/commentator that actually cares what is happening in the ring or what her guest is saying

    • Believe it or not, I actually don’t like Renee on commentary anymore. She’s a phenomenal backstage interviewer and pre-show panel host, but on commentary, I think she too often falls to the level of the guys she’s working with (especially Alex Riley). When she first started doing commentary and actually offered insight into matches (especially women’s matches), she was fantastic. Anymore though, you’re more likely to get “women ARE crazy, Alex” than any kind of meaningful content.

      • A.O.

        Give her time. Cole was terrible the first few years and now he made play-by-play his own. It just takes time. She’s such a great presence to the show.

        • You’re very obviously entitled to your own opinions, and I respect them; however, I’d like to respectfully disagree and say that: a) Michael Cole is STILL awful at all facets of commentary, and b) Renee has actually gotten WORSE as her involvement on the main roster has increased.

          • katamari damacy

            Listen to Michael Cole redub some of the WWE classics stuff. He actually is a great play by play guy when he isn’t getting Vince yelling his ear.
            For example, watch the Jushin Liger v Benoit NJPW match they showed on the Benoit tribute show. Cole called the match competently, and Taz yelled DANGEROUSSS!

          • Video Beagle

            Oh, Cole WAS good when he was first brought up and subbed for the ill JR and when he was paired with Tazz, but that was a LONG time ago.

            I think Wyatt hits it on the head that Renee is awful with Alex, and we just have too much Alex. She rocked with Regal, and on whatever main roster show I cought once that she does with Byron I think she’s fine.

  • Rey Henry

    nxt is sooo frustrating to watch because in the back of my mind i keep thinking,”none of this is going happen when they hit the main roster.”

    does anyone honestly think vince (remember he still runs the entire wwe) going to push the half-arab, red headed, barely 200 lbs sami zayn? or how about the 5’9, adrian neville? as great as these guys are, vince will screw their direction up. (see bo dallas, wyatt jobbing to cena, paige becoming another useless diva)

    • Kyle Rusconi

      You’re a Bills fan. Of course you’re frustrated.

    • Big Daddy

      3 years ago most who have said Vince isn’t going to push the barely 200lb guy with the blonde and brown streak through his hair either (Seth Rollins who was doing the exact same stuff on NXT Zayn is now) and never in a million years would he push Daniel Bryan and you are out of your mind if you think WWE would have Bryan go over Cena clean for the WWE title at Summerslam and HHH, Batista and Orton clean in the mainevent of WM30..but yet that all came to pass.

      Bray Wyatt is higher on the card on Raw than he was on NXT. He was a midcard guy there that lost to Jericho, entered a battle royal and failed to win and never came close to beating any top guy there during his time.

      Everyone on NXT isn’t getting the same push on Raw, thinking they will is downright delusional. When Paige started in NXT/FCW she was jobbing out for months on end until they started pushing her. Rusev was jobbing to Kofi in NXT but he is getting a big push on Raw, Ambrose barely appeared on NXT and was midcard in FCW, now he is maineventing WWE ppvs.

      • Rey Henry

        daniel bryan only won the title because cena needed surgery. the reason he won at mania was to give the fans a bone, a “here, are you happy now?” moment. what happened after bryan went down? right back to cena.
        paige was an interesting character. now she is just another diva.
        i’ll give you rollins. but they recently began rebuilding wyatt after the cena burial.

      • katamari damacy

        At the VERY LEAST Rollins is taller than John Cena so when they do the stare down, Rollins looks down on Cena.

  • watchdogsprofiler

    about time you guys change name to nxtmania.com nothing but NXT news for few days

    • Having the best show of the year and consistently best-booked weekly show will mean that.

  • Michael Frias

    I feel the NXT benefits for the same things that made WWF/E so successful prior to it being the “Global Phenomenon” it has become today.

    Smaller roster, less TV time, less PPVs/Specials, a midcard that actually matters, enhancement talent used in squashes.

    Basically, it doesn’t have enough airtime to become oversaturated and redundant.

  • wcwfan

    Its simple. NXT is like that because it caters to the semi old to old school wrestling fan. We prefer that the announcers call the holds and moves, we want to see more wrestling and less talking, we like simple, sensical storylines, we like to see multiple matches get lots of time, and everything else that makes a wrestling show simple. Now while we may get elements of that in mainstream wrestling, its never going to give us all of that anymore. Nxt can pretty much do what they do on a lesser stage…..but the opening promo, backstage stuff, non funny comedy, etc. stuff is sadly here to stay

    • katamari damacy

      I don’t think the casual fan likes to see
      1. more talking
      2. complex and nonsensical storylines
      3. few matches with little time
      I think they’d like what we like but Vince seems to think MOAR long winded promos and sophomoric humor is the bee’s knees.

  • Dorath

    Regal and Joey Styles is a commentary dream team.

  • Kao Ra Zen

    in my opinion, NXT is second behind ROH TV.