Previously on the Best and Worst of NXT: Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin all won matches with authority to set up a triple threat match to name a new #1 contender to the NXT Championship. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan got a team name, so we don’t have to “Dash and Dawson” them forever. Carmella’s got an upcoming title shot against Bayley, but she’s not letting it ruin their friendship. Yet?
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE NXT for January 27, 2016.
Best: American Alpha, Because Obviously
Let’s start off this week’s column with the best part of any NXT report, “the section where I go on and on about how wonderful Chad Gable and Jason Jordan are.”
I’m starting to repeat a lot of points in explaining why they’re great, but I never get tired of seeing them. There’s something intangibly magnetic about them as a duo, and I can’t take my eyes off the ring if they’re in there, no matter what they’re doing. I remember when Jordan was teaming with Tye Dillinger — a guy I like, mind you — and it was completely different. He felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. Here, Jordan looks like he’s having fun every second he’s in the ring. He looks legitimately psyched to be in there with Gable, and he’s got more energy in his hot tags than anyone I think I’ve ever seen. He comes in hot, man. The fact that he throws the prettiest suplex in wrestling doesn’t hurt, but the straps coming down going straight into the running shoulder in the corner is a brilliant moment of electricity.
And then there’s Chad Gable. I love that he came pre-packaged as the best wrestler on the show. Like, there was no learning curve. He just showed up, understood everything and still doesn’t look like he’s reached his full potential. He’s got so much room to grow, and really all we’ve seen from him is unbelievable body control, an acute understanding of what’s supposed to make wrestling real and some sweet-ass wristlocks. For example, watch when Blake and Murphy are trying to keep him from making the hot tag. He dives and gets caught, and his leg’s stretched out. He can’t get any momentum to break the hold that way, so he pushes his own leg down to close the gap between him and his opponent. That lets him get enough push-off on the leg to break free and make the tag. Who the hell else in WWE is doing stuff like that? Who’s remembering to bridge on one leg if he’s spent the whole match having his leg worked? It sounds ridiculous, but I kinda wish Chad Gable would host a seminar for everybody on Raw.
I love the story of American Alpha defeating all the former NXT Tag Team Champions, because honestly? They feel like a fresh start for the tag division. Everything else was just practice. This is the real team. These are the 2010s Steiner Brothers.