NXT: WWE’s Gold MineBy: Justice
I began regularly watching WWE’s NXT product after the debut of the WWE Network. I had watched a little bit of NXT after the re-branding of FCW and I was impressed by some of the talent, some I knew and some I didn’t. I loved seeing the evolution of stars I knew like Seth Rollins and seeing the talents of new wrestlers like Richie Steamboat and the Ascension. I didn’t keep up with NXT much because of its inaccessibility, but NXT was one of the first things I cued up on the WWE Network as soon as I signed up, on day one. Since then, NXT has taken over as my favorite wrestling organization. Those feelings were exacerbated by the debuts of some independent stars I loved like Hideo Itami, Kevin Owens, Apolo Crews, Samoa Joe, Sami Zayn and my current favorite wrestler on the planet, Finn Balor. NXT has everything you could want in a wrestling company, a stellar singles, tag team and women’s division. With the recent news that Bullet Club, AJ Styles and Shizuke Nakamura have recently been signed to WWE deals, there is a chance that these men may also come over to NXT, at least as a stop onto the main roster.
This adds to an already stacked line-up in NXT. Here are my personal highlights of NXT:
NXT Women’s division:
After 3 of the 4 Horsewomen were promoted to the Main Roster, there was a huge void left in the NXT Women’s division. Bayley is over, and rightfully so after the match she has at NXT:Takeover Brooklyn with Sasha Banks, which I feel was the match of the year. With the departure of Charlotte, Sasha and Becky Lynch, the NXT women needed to step up. I admit that I supremely dislike Dana Brooke, however Dana and Emma’s characters have evolved and they have stepped up and showed that they can hang with Asuka, one of the best wrestlers in Japan. Alexa Bliss had a great match with Bayley and has stepped up her game as a heel. In addition, Nia Jax adds size and power to the Women’s division. Also, I like the emergence of new talents like Peyton Royce, Liv Morgan and Billie Kay and seeing Carmella improve with every outing. The future is bright for the NXT Women’s division, just as long as Eva Marie stays the hell away from it.
NXT Tag Team division:
Is there any time that there was so many amazing tag teams in the WWE as there are in NXT right now? I love Scott dawson and Dash Wilder, the current NXT tag team champions. Their throwback style reminds me of a combination of the Brainbusters and Demolition, and their finish is one if the most badass tag team moves since the 3D. After that, there are just so many talented team that are currently in NXT. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy are by far the best talkers in NXT. Their style is straight-forward and they play their roles. Enzo reminds me of the Road Dogg, an excellent talker, limited move set, but he can sell better than almost anyone in NXT. Where Cassidy lacks on the mic, he makes it up with pure intensity in the ring. I would be a shame if they never won the NXT Tag Titles before they get moved to the main roster, they deserve it. The Hype Bros, Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley need to go to the main roster as soon as possible. It amazes me how a little bit of a repackaging made me not hate Mojo Rawley as much as i used to. By putting him with Ryder, it hides his weaknesses and accentuates his positives. Another person I wasn’t a fan of, Aiden English, started teaming with Simon Gotch and formed the Vaudvillians, one of the coolest tag teams in wrestling. Their “manly” gimmick and their black and white entrance sets them apart from everyone else. I only wish their reign as tag team champions was a bit longer. Blake and Murphy improved by having Alex Bliss by their side, showing that they play the true heel team so well. Perhaps the best team in NXT right now is Jason Jordan and Chad Gable. Their style, mannerisms, mic work and excellent tag team skills set them apart from everyone else. I feel that their upside is so big that its only a matter of time before they become NXT tag team champions and transition on to the main roster and dominate up there too. if you’re a fan of Tag team wrestling, its a great time to be an NXT fan.
NXT Singles Division:
Good luck telling me that Finn Balor isnt the greatest wrestler on the planet. His skills are unmatched, and his matches are regularly show stealers whenever he wrestles. Balor leads a crop of NXT talents that are beginning to showcase that NXT is the place to be in professional wrestling. Recent additions to the NXT roster like Samoa Joe and Apolo Crews adds a different style to the NXT roster, as well as experience from all the places they have wrestled internationally. Sami Zayn is one of the best in the business right now, and it will be interesting to see where he goes now that he is healthy. Baron Corbin may be hated by a lot of fans, but there is no denying that he has greatly improved over the last year. Hideo Itami and Alex Riley should be returning from injury soon and he will hopefully get a jump-start back to NXT. And then there is the intriguing NXT undercard. Guys like Bull Dempsy, “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger and Elias Sampson, all who have shown a large amount of growth and are future stars if their trajectory keeps its upward momentum. With the addition if guys like Styles and Nakamura, NXT is looking to become the place to be in wrestling. The WWE main roster may be the goal of every performer in NXT, but there is no denying that NXT is one of the best things going in wrestling today.