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And now MAHCULL, the Best and Worst of WWE NXT for September 23, 2013.
Best: Tyler Breeze Is Killing It All Day Every Day
If you want to know why Tyler Breeze has only been around for two months and is already a folk legend at Full Sail, watch the minute-or-so of interaction with Brad Maddox that starts this week’s show. Every word out of his mouth is hilarious, from his suggestion that Maddox clone him so he can have a suitable tag team partner to his disappointment that Maddox isn’t bringing in Brad Pitt. Also, his response of “EEEENNNGHHHH ANYBODY BUT HIM” to being paired with CJ Parker should be everyone’s response to being paired with CJ Parker.
There are some tiny Worsts here — CJ Parker trying to be funny and failing, Brad Maddox being in charge of NXT all of a sudden because he’s a freestanding WWE Authority Figure even though “who runs NXT” is the major plot point of the episode — but if every NXT episode started with stupid characters acting ridiculously while Brad Maddox sighs and half-assedly deals with them because he’d rather be getting emasculated by a Raw guy, I’d be happy.
Best: Enzo And Big Cass Officially Go For That Cottonelle Endorsement Deal
BADA BOOM, REALEST GUYS IN THE BATHROOM
A new batch of NXT promo school videos went up in semi-secret last week and featured Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy doing a great bit about Cottonelle tissue (read: they’re like Cottonelle because they’re on a roll, their opponents are like Cottonelle because they’re s-a-w-f-t soft), so I was happy to see that worked into the show proper and become canon. I really love Enzo’s ability to say something not only entertaining every week, but fresh. He’s like the Louis C.K. of NXT.
Worst: Gauntlet Matches, Especially The Ones That Work In Reverse
The opening match on the show was a “tag team turmoil” match, which you may remember as that gauntlet-style thing from the Night Of Champions pre-show. Gauntlet matches never really make sense … Royal Rumbles work because of the randomness of it, and with 30 individual guys you’ve got a strategy to last and win no matter where you enter. With gauntlet matches you have to wrestle an entire wrestling match each time, so the wrestlers and teams that start it off have no realistic chance of winning unless they’re super heroes and the wrestlers or teams that come in last haven’t really proven anything and still get to spoils. It’s weird. Gauntlet matches should only happen with a bunch of qualifying matches beforehand to establish position. If Enzo/Cass, the Fighting Legionnaires, Breeze/Parker and the Ascension are all announced to be in a guantlet, have a fourway elimination singles thing with one member from each team and let order of elimination establish placement in the gauntlet. Right?
Unfortunately, this one worked in reverse for me. It started off fun with Enzo and Big Cass against CJ Parker, and Parker jobbing out so tremendously that Breeze never even got a chance to get in the ring. The best part is that Breeze still got chants for the entire fall. So then Breeze is immediately gone and replaced by Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev, who quickly get replaced by the Ascension. If they’d started with the iffy teams and built UP to Enzo and Tyler Breeze, I might’ve liked it more. As is … man, I’m not looking forward to an Ascension vs. Graves and Neville tag titles match. I might have to break out the monkey peeing video.
Best: Aiden English
I don’t have anything to add here I didn’t mention last week, but I’ve been going around my apartment singing DAAAAHBULLYOU DAAAAHBULYOUUUUUU like him all morning.
Best: Renee Young On Commentary
Here’s a shock: Renee Young is awesome on commentary, and even moreso when William Regal spends most of it trying to awkwardly compliment her. They brought Renee in for her perspective on the Divas match, and she — gasp — mentioned what she knows about the competitors as someone who always hangs out and interviews them and uses that to explain what they’re doing and who she thinks is gonna win. ROCKET SCIENCE.
It’s amazing what you can do when you let people with functioning personalities who like your product run your commentary booth. More of Renee and William Regal please, and fewer graduates of the Michael Cole School Of Faceless Regurgitation And Not Knowing Shit About Wrestling.
Best: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Okay, I’ll admit it: Sasha Banks can go.
I’m so used to writing the Raw column where everyone’s an established, marketed character presented to the public to pass or fail that I forget NXT is ostensibly still a wrestling school, and that the characters that don’t work for whatever reason can be tweaked and refocused on a dime. A few weeks ago, Sasha Banks was a cardboard cutout in sparkly hotpants with the acting ability of Keanu Reeves’ colon. Now, after a few episodes of iffy mic work, Sasha’s been repurposed as the POC Summer Rae and has had two very good matches in a row, first against Paige and now against Bayley. All she needed was to have good matches instead of trying to get over as a “Diva” and let somebody talk for her. Perfect.
This match was a hell of a lot of fun, and the crowd really helped it. Full Sail LOVES Bayley, and I agree with them in total. She’s got an lovable character, an amazing body and can wrestle her ass off. On the other side we’ve got Sasha Banks hitting fast, crisp and impactful moves (I don’t think Damien Sandow’s neckbreaker has ever looked as good as it did here) and Summer Rae, who has quickly become the Kingshit Heel of NXT. First she pours bubble solution in Emma’s eyes, and now she’s breaking Bayley’s headband. That’s COLD. Renee selling the importance of a woman breaking another woman’s accessories was also great, because it was sorta tongue-in-cheek and not Jerry Lawler being all WOMEN, AM I RIGHT. That’s pitch-perfect for NXT.
Best: Sami Zayn vs. El Aerógrafo
Hey look, El Local is back! I’m assuming he drove back to Mexico during his hiatus and bought a bunch of over-the-counter fat burners.
Unsurprisingly, this week’s Chikara alum math was good, but dreadfully short. The Hulu clip is almost the entire match, and Zayn didn’t even need his tornado DDT to finish it off. I want to see a big 15 minute match between these guys, but I understand how illogical that’d be after Zayn’s wrestled Raw guys for the last month. It’s like John Cena wrestling Heath Slater. I WANT it to be long and great, but it makes more sense if Slater does his guitar dick taunt and gets STF’d in 40 seconds.
I do wish El Local had reappeared with a bunch of airbrushing on his gear and never explained it.
Best: Bo Dallas Is Evil And Bad At Planning
Bo Dallas gets a Best for being the smarmiest, most detached guy in pro wrestling, but he gets a Worst for his evil planning skills. Here’s his idea: he’s afraid of Sami Zayn getting a title shot, so he’s organizing a “Bo Dallas Invitational,” wherein all superstars who aren’t Sami are invited to compete for a shot at the NXT Championship. You … you know this isn’t going to end well for you, right Bo? Like … what’s your end game? Couldn’t you just be like, “I’m giving COREY GRAVES a title shot!” and skipped the middleman? This is pro wrestling. The middleman is always, always going to get you in trouble. Plus, you could probably bulldog the shit out of Corey Graves in like four minutes.
It might be more insulting that way, too. Be all, “Sami Zayn, you haven’t earned a title shot yet, so I’m gonna give it to someone who has, like CJ Parker.” I think “you’re worse than the worst guy” is way more insulting than “I’m not gonna acknowledge how obviously great you are.”
Best: Welcome Back, Fatso!
Speaking of guys who got back from foreign countries with fat burners, KASSIUS OHNO makes his triumphant return to the program by ALSO going to the guy who isn’t the NXT GM and demanding an NXT match. NXT desperately needs babyfaces with credibility who AREN’T Sami Zayn, and Kassius Ohno may be the only other one right now. He needs to get back in the ring and start kicking ass again immediately, whether WWE thinks he should wear a tanktop while he does it or not. Weirdos.
Worst: Proportionately This Is The Same Amount Of Time Triple H Gets On Raw
Triple H showing up and speaking for five minutes doesn’t seem like a big deal, but think of it this way. On a 3-hour Raw, a Triple H show-ending speech lasts about 15 minutes, give or take. That averages out to 5 minutes per hour. NXT is an hour long, and Triple H spoke for 5 minutes. Math, and then my head on the desk because Triple H is talking.
Best/Worst: Goodbye Dusty, Hello Justy
Triple H announces that Dusty Rhodes has been removed as the GM of NXT, which I guess retroactively explains Brad Maddox as the interim GM, but then he immediately brings out JBL as the NEW boss, so … not.
I’m giving this a Best for a couple of reasons. One, it furthers the beef between the McMahons and the Rhodes Family, which is the storyline I care most about in pro wrestling right now. Two, maybe there’s a chance of Goldust showing back up on NXT without having to marry Aksana. Three, I will miss Dusty’s contributions to the show but welcome JBL’s, because he’s been here for five minutes and already insulted the Rhodes family so egregiously I can’t even transcribe it without wanting to punch him in the face. Four, maybe JBL is the new final boss of NXT? Tyler Breeze is gonna pin Regal only for JBL to rise up out of the background like the Necron.
The only Worst comes from the fact that of all the shows in the world, NXT is the one that needs an evil GM character the least. I am okay with Zayn feuding with Bo, I don’t need somebody more famous than both of them showing up to demand they both do things.
Best: Next Week – Fandango Returns To NXT
If he can’t have a good match here and now, and he can’t do it anywhere. Good luck, Poopsie.