Slowly but surely, NXT has become one of the best wrestling programs on TV. Led by Triple H and featuring some of the best young, up and coming wrestlers in the world, it is the future of the WWE. Or at least it will be, if they don’t fuck it up. Last night they had their latest Takeover event, Revolution. These NXT versions of a PPV are some of the best shows WWE has put on this year and last night was no exception.
Firstly, this show was important because it finally saw this debut of Kevin Owens on WWE TV. Despite Alex Riley’s horrible description of him as a ‘flying cow’, seriously Riley, go fuck yourself. Owens came out like a tank on fire. Anyone who has seen the former Kevin Steen work before, will know this guy has everything and if he is treated right, he could be huge. The fact the show ended with him turning on his old indies sparring partner, Sami Zayn, is stupidly exciting. Those two could easily have one of the feud’s of the year and let’s face it, there isn’t a wrestling fan in the world who doesn’t want to see them go at it on the big stage.
One of the places NXT has yet to hit its potential, is in the tag division. The Lucha Dragons are an exciting team and I like the old school heel gimmick of The Vaudevillians, but, it is hard to see either making waves on the main roster. Their match last night was alright, but there is a reason out of all the title matches on the show, it got the least time. WWE just doesn’t seem to care about tag team wrestling at this time. In saying that, The Ascension vs Hideo Itami and Finn Balor match felt like it was higher up the priority list. Using Balor to help Itami settle in has been another example of clever booking by NXT and while this match was more of a spectacle than anything else (check out that entrance!) it seems natural that the two will shortly wrestle each other, which could be awesome. On the other hand, The Ascension seem to be about to make their way to the main roster and it will be interesting to see how they blend into the currently stale main roster tag scene.
A division that NXT does win on in all counts, is the Divas. Charlotte and Natalya put on one of the best women’s matches I have seen in the WWE, back at one of the other Takeover events and last night it was the turn of Sasha Banks to step up next to the daughter of Ric Flair. This wasn’t just a good Divas match, it was a good match full stop. In fact, it was the best match on the card at this point (the main event took it over) and these two did a fantastic job. Someone on Twitter made the point that Charlotte has seemed to take to wrestling in a way similar to Kurt Angle, she just gets it and it is hard to disagree. The leaps and bounds she has come on in the months since she debuted is incredible. If WWE gives these girls a chance, the Diva division will mean something. Sadly, the experiences of Emma and Paige, suggest it might not be that easy.
Finally, we come to the main event scene. Last night Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville put on a masterclass and brought to the end a fantastic story that WWE has put together perfectly. It is what Daniel Bryan’s run to the title should have been and in Sami Zayn they have a guy who can have the same kind of success that Bryan has had. He connects with the audience like few others, while Neville is just such an incredibly exciting man to watch wrestle. The two of them have a natural chemistry that means I could probably watch them wrestle everyday and quite frankly they could probably do that and never have the same mach twice. Again, these are two men who could be at the top of the WWE for a long time to come and I think the fact that both of them connect with the crowd so naturally, will make it hard for WWE to stop them.
NXT has shot its way to the top of my wrestling hit list and I genuinely adore the product that Triple H has put together down there. It seems to learn from the mistakes that they make on RAW on a weekly basis and in many ways does everything that they do wrong, right. They keep the storylines simple, they let the talent do their talking in the ring and yet they have also got a group of wrestlers that the audience cares about. The cult of Full Sail are slightly unique in their ways as a wrestling audience and not everything that comes of NXT is going to work, but if WWE keep doing what their doing, the next breed of superstars will all be NXT alumni.