Friday, February 28, 2014

Thoughts on NXT Arrival Edition

Welcome back to another edition of Inside the Wrestling Ring. Before we get started I do want to thank my partners at ClubKayfabe, a great wrestling podcast. After you read here, definitely go check out what Chris, Dan and Pat have to say about the world of professional wrestling.

It was announced that the first live event on the new WWE Network would be the Pay Per View Quality NXT Arrival. It makes perfect sense to me. The Network is the future of how we will watch the WWE. And NXT is the future of the WWE. What better way to showcase the next generation of superstars then with a live event. Usually NXT was taped weeks in advance when it was on Hulu or Hulu plus. They taped four shows in one taping. But this gives the future a chance to shine in ways that they couldn't before.

And what better way to start off then with Cesaro vs Sami Zayn. If you saw the 2 out of 3 falls match these two put on several months ago, you know what the two of them are capable of. If you haven't, do yourself a favor and check out the highlights. That match was named as the NXT Match of the year. Obviously, Cesaro has the advantage. He is on the main roster. Just this past weekend, he competed for the WWE World Title in the Elimination Chamber against the best WWE has to offer. This match on Arrival, (which I thought was also supposed to be a 2 out of 3 falls but it wasn't) lived up to the last match as well. Both wrestlers hit some serious power moves on each other. To me the highlight was the upper cut Cesaro delivered to Zayn as he flew through the ropes. In the end, Cesaro once again defeated Sami Zayn. However, this was about Zayn getting respect from his opponent. Could it be the first signs of a face turn? Because the audience got what it was chanting for. The two superstars hugged it out in the ring. I expect Zayn to be on the main roster by the end of the year. I have been a big fan of his since I started watching NXT months ago.

There was only 3 match announced prior to the event going live, so it makes sense that there was more matches added the night of Arrival. Zayn vs Cesaro was one of the announced match. But next up was CJ Parker vs Mojo Rawley. Parker is the moon child. Mojo's catchphrase is "I don't get hyped, I stay hyped." Before the match we got a look of Rawley in a highlight package to show those that haven't seen Rawley before what he is capable of. In the end, Mojo defeated CJ Parker.

After that match, we got a look at Emma getting ready for her match versus Paige. It was followed by another hype video, this time showing us Emma. She is definitely a unique individual. After the Emma video, we got another video. This time featuring the NXT tag team champions, the Ascension.

Connor and Viktor are up next to defend their tag titles against a mystery opponent. Again, this is another match that was not announced. And their opponents were Scotty 2 Hottie and Grand Master Sexay, better known as Too Cool. It doesn't get any different then these two teams. It was a much more competitive match then I expected, but in the end the Ascension retained their titles after Scotty 2 Hottie was unable to hit the Worm.

Our next match is Emma vs Paige for the NXT Women's Title. First though we get a video about Paige. Before the match though, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley came to the ring. For some strange reason the audience chanted "You still got it". All Stephanie did was walk through the ropes. She took the microphone and said "I never lost it". She was there to be Special Guest Ring announcer. This is the second match that was pre-announced for the card. This match has been much better then 99.9% of all Diva's matches that you see on Raw, Smackdown or any of the Pay Per Views. Paige got Emma to tap out and retain her title.

Yet another hype video, this time for Adrian Neville showing his finisher move the Red Arrow.

It looked like we were going to get another filler match, this time with Xavier Woods versus Tyler "The Prince of Pretty" Breeze. Only the match didn't happen because Alexander Rusev decided to attack both men in the ring.

The last promo video was for the NXT champion, Bo Dallas. Because it's time for the first ladder match in NXT Title. This was the third and final announced match for the card. And who better to hang the title over the ring then Hall of Famer, Shawn Michaels. Because why not. Or as we like to call him H B Shizzle. It was a much better match then I expected, since I am not a Bo-liever by any stretch of the imagination. Plenty of back and forth action. Both men used the ladder as weapons and both had a chance to climb to the top. In the end, Adrian Neville climbed to the top and became the new NXT Champion!

Throughout the night we saw WWE legends sitting ringside, everyone from Dusty Rhodes to Pat Patterson to Larry Zybsko. John Cena was also ringside as well. It was a nice touch to show the past and present seeing the future as well.

I thought the three matches that were announced were by far the three best matches of the night. Any one of them could have main evented a card, really. I enjoyed the videos showing off some of the superstars of NXT for those that had never seen an episode of NXT before. I thought that with the exception of the Ascension versus Too Cool, the filler matches were not that good. I would have liked to have seen a triple threat match or a chance to see some of the other faces of NXT showcased as well. But overall I thought it was an excellent outing and a great way to start off the future!


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