NXT is often the second (and sometimes THE) best show WWE produces. But its primary goal is to make future superstars who will one day grace our televisions on Raw. Each week we’ll scout the “minor league” talent in each segment and decide if they’re ready for the big leagues. This week: Can Leo Kruger establish himself as NXT top heel?
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Scott Dawson & Alexander Rusev
What the hell? I wasn’t expecting 20 minutes of heart-pounding action, but five minutes and a funky finish left me with some serious tag-team blue balls. I love almost everyone involved here (I’m coming around on Scott Dawson) and we some nice character beats from each wrestler, but I wanted much more. Enzo spit some verbal Jersey trash and got a nice SAWWWWFT chant going. Rusev went with the double-labeled board for maximum crackin’ action, and Dawson and LeFort continued to be the oddest couple in NXT.
But just when the match starting cooking, with Rusev and Dawson debuting some sweet tandem moves, the rarely enforced five-second rule for tagging in and out was called for some reason. And it suuuucked. The crowd was confused, Tony Dawson was confused, and William Regal, all knowing god of wrestling, could barely explain what had happened. These guys deserve so much better, and if they wanted a bigger, main-event type match between these teams down the line, they could have given us a clearer DQ finish to bring the heat up. Everyone here was solid – but that ending killed the atmosphere.
Bo Dallas Promo
For all the positive things Oblivious Bo can do, this segment was an example of how easily things can go off the rails. A lot of what he said worked well to continue his character’s evolution, like volunteering to mentor the veteran Zayn, mentioning “this business” like he hangs with Trips, and his amazing smile that never wavers. Problem is, the crowd decided they wanted none of what Bo was selling – and not in the fun “fuck you heel” kind of way. They chanted over and around him, and really didn’t reacted to anything he said. I’m not sure if this was an example of “X-Pac Heat,” but it sure seemed close to it. Any reaction is success for a performer, but when the crowd isn’t’ listening at all that’s might be a sign of trouble. I still endorse the character direction, but this was a step back.
CJ Parker Interview with Renée Young
Parker explains his feud with Tyler Breeze through hippie mumbo-jumbo while the Renee nods and holds her nose. Breeze then ambushes the interviews by attacking Parker, taking a selfie over Parker’s beaten body. A quick and simple segment, lots of characterization, with a strong heel moment. NXT doing it right.