After doing this post last week, I felt I owed it to myself to actually sit down and watched NXT tonight. So I did.
This was a very different go-home show than the one I watched on Monday. I don’t even know what RAW was about. This show, inside of an hour, very clearly set up all of matches we are going to see next Wednesday in London.
I really enjoyed seeing a more aggressive side of Enzo Amore and Big Cass. I thought it was a great idea to have them skip their intro in favor of just storming to the ring and demolishing their opponents. I don’t really know what happened with current tag-team champs Dash and Dawson, but apparently they did something dastardly to Enzo and Cass and are likely to catch a beating next week. I couldn’t, however, tell you the name of their opponents for tonight, or why they were even out there.
I really enjoy Asuka. I like her over-the-top entrance and her weird smiling, and I love her in-ring work. I don’t like Dana Brooke, and I’m neutral enough on Emma that I can boo her if the situation calls for it. I have no issues with this feud either (except that it involves listening to Dana Brooke speak) but I don’t know what Asuka’s opponent’s purpose was. Couldn’t tell you her name either. What I CAN tell you is that she received crickets from the audience. No cheers. No boos. Not even so much as a sneeze. Nothing.
Alexa Bliss has always been enjoyable, whether as a tutu-wearing fairy babyface or as this “she be but little, but she is fierce” heel. I also like her as the “manager”of dopey Blake and Murphy. I like to think of her as Cruella DeVille with Blake and Murphy as her Jasper and Horace. They are an excellent heel team. I can’t stand Mojo Rawley, and have no real feelings about Zack Ryder, so the match itself did nothing for me. And I’m not sure what the purpose of it was, since neither of these teams are on the card for next week’s Takeover in London.
Bayley defeated Peyton Royce, who is apparently an Australian mermaid horticulturalist, for reasons passing understanding. But we did get an Eva Marie/Nia Jax promo afterwards. Jax has a match with Bayley for the NXT Women’s Championship next week, and I imagine it will be excellent – especially with all the heat Jax has acquired just standing next to Eva Marie.
Finally, we had a tag match of Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin against NXT Champion Finn Balor and Apollo Crews. Now this match actually made sense – Corbin vs. Crews and Joe vs. Balor are both matches occurring at NXT Takeover: London, so they put the faces on one team and the heels on the other. Brilliant. Why was that so hard? The match was good and the finish left the audience wondering if there will be a new NXT Champion by this time next week.
I think NXT is still a product I can take a lot more pleasure in than I am currently taking in watching RAW, but I’m starting to notice a lot more WWE-esque things creeping into the product. I’m not sure why matches on a go-home show are booked so strangely. I suppose if the show features storylines I can actually get myself invested in, I can overlook strange booking for now. I’m entirely sure that this episode would make me want to watch next week’s show, even if I hadn’t already been a fan. And isn’t that what the go-home show is for?
Paul Heyman tells a story about Dusty Rhodes putting him on TV to cut a promo. Herman went on forever and put everyone he could think of over. But when he was finished, Dusty asked him where the money was, because he never sold the show. He didn’t give people a reason to tune in next time. NXT always gives you a reason to tune in next time. The only thing RAW gives you is a reason to tune in to anything else.
The Lady J Says