Anyone who has been watching the WWE and has gotten tired of the product and the staleness might want to take a look at NXT on the WWE Network. For most people who haven’t seen it, they might think that NXT is the minor leagues compared to the WWE that they see on WWE Monday Night Raw and Smackdown. Those people are wrong, and if they watched WWE’s NXT R-Evolution, they will realize that NXT is actually a better product than the WWE right now.
There are things that are working in the big leagues right now. Seth Rollins is the best bad guy the WWE has created since they turned Shawn Michaels heel so many years ago. Dean Ambrose might be the next Stone Cold Steve Austin if the WWE stops trying to make him goofy. Bray Wyatt is just the most brilliant character since Mankind hit the scene. However, with John Cena still putting on boring performances (albeit solid matches) and Vince McMahon seeming to be afraid to pull the trigger on young stars, things are stagnating.
Now, with WWE TLC ready to take place tonight, the WWE finds itself in an awkward position. Triple H has taken control of WWE NXT and has created something special – something that is actually fun to watch and has storylines that actually reels in the audience and makes them care about the characters. Rumor is that a lot of people backstage in the WWE watched NXT R-Evolution and realized that they need to step up their game at WWE TLC, or fans will realize that the best show this week was in the minor leagues.
How to Introduce Stars
When the WWE introduced The Shield and The Wyatt Family, they did it the right way. They had The Shield run in during a world title match and destroy the challenger, Ryback. They then ran roughshod through the company for two years. The Wyatt Family’s debut was preceded by promos that raised the expectation levels to ridiculous levels and then they paid it off with awesome performances.
That is two examples of the WWE doing it right. Just look at names like Fandango, Emma, Adam Rose and many others and you will see people who were huge in NXT just thrown out there and then buried just as quickly.
Now, look at what NXT does.
When Kenta (Hideo Itami) signed with the WWE, it was preceded by promos showing Hulk Hogan going to Japan to get the contract signed. When he arrived, he was introduced by William Regal as a BIG DEAL and then thrown into a feud with the former tag team champions, The Ascension. When Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) debuted, he was coming in to help Itami and it was shown as a BIG MOMENT.
When Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens) debuted, it was led into with promos and an interview and then, when he walked out the entrance, the entire crowd just went ballistic. It was shown to be a BIG DEAL and then he pulled out his classic moves and just blew the roof off the building. This was the opening match of NXT R-Evolution and it proved that NXT knows how to make their stars LOOK LIKE STARS.
This is How You Make an Impression
When Prince Devitt wrestled in Japan, he was best known for his body paint, which he designed himself – and he is damn good at it. When Finn Balor showed up in NXT, he looked like a normal guy, albeit ripped. Despite that, the fans loved him and cheered him on, knowing the best was to come.
The best came at NXT R-Evolution. Watch his entrance at the event:
This could have been The Boogeyman in lesser hands, but Prince Devitt is a showman and he proved at NXT R-Evolution that he is a BIG DEAL.
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
Do you know why WWE fans consider women’s wrestling to be a joke? Because, in the WWE, 90 percent of the wrestlers are models who like to do summersaults and consider that wrestling. There are good wrestlers there like AJ Lee, Paige, Natalya and Naomi, but they are stuck in 2 minute matches with supermodels.
On NXT R-Evolution, Charlotte Flair got to go 10-plus minutes with Sasha Banks, and the two put on a match that was just like a guy’s match. There was no playing around in the ring, no silly slaps or goofy theatrics. The two went out and put on the best female WWE match in years. That is why women’s wrestling in NXT is NOT a joke and is actually a BIG DEAL.
WWE NXT R-Evolution proved that the WWE knows how to create a star. Look, when Adrian Neville beat Bo Dallas for the title, it made Neville a star. He was exciting, put on fantastic matches and was just fun to watch. However, when he started feuding with Sami Zayn, fans turned on Neville. Why?
Well, Sami Zayn was built up slowly. He never won a title in NXT and was always trying hard, with a smile on his face. However, he got sick of it and finally snapped, telling the fans that he would quit the WWE if he didn’t win the title at R-Evolution. By the time the match came, Sami Zayn was the ULTIMATE FACE, the guy that every fan in that arena wanted to win.
When Sami Zayn had a chance to cheat to win, the fans were yelling “NO NO NO” and he chose not to, and still won the match. He finally won the big one and it was just as exciting as when Shawn Michaels finally reached the top. It was just as exciting as when Daniel Bryan finally beat The Authority at Wrestlemania. It was a BIG DEAL. Sami Zayn made it and the WWE treated it like a big deal because the fans considered it a big deal.
Then, when Kevin Owens hugged Sami Zayn (they were tag team partners and best friends in Ring of Honor when Zayn was El Generico), the fans ate it up. When Kevin Owens turned on Sami Zayn at the end of the show, it was a BIG DEAL.
NXT is a BIG DEAL
Of course, you have noticed that I have rubbed in the point that everything that happened at WWE’s NXT R-Evolution was a big deal – and it was. That is exactly why NXT is more exciting and a better watch than Raw and Smackdown right now. Unless something happens on WWE TLC that is seen as a BIG DEAL, it will make the main roster look really, really bad.
It won’t be easy, because the WWE has trained its fans not to expect anything special from their events. If they don’t change soon, the NXT guys will take over and the WWE will have to finally give the fans what they want. However, knowing the WWE, they will bring up Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Charlotte, Kevin Owens and Adrian Neville, give them stupid gimmicks and bury them all just to keep things the way they are.
Check back tonight for the Renegade Cinema recap of WWE TLC and see if anything big happens.