– We’re three episodes into our retro Best and Worst recap of NXT season 2, so check that out. It’s the funniest season of a wrestling show ever and my favorite thing I write. Also, Matt Striker is there.
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Please click through for the Best and Worst of WWE NXT for April 24, 2014.
Worst: The Logical Inconsistencies Of Paige Being Stripped Of The NXT Women’s Championship
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tournament. JBL announcing that the new NXT Women’s Champion would be crowned via one isn’t bad news, especially since they’ve got a strong developmental Divas division going now and won’t have to put Aksana’s Porno Sax in it somewhere to fill it out like they did back in June.
That said, almost none of this makes sense. JBL, a General Manager who is almost never on the show because of his duties as an announcer on Raw, strips Paige of the Women’s Championship because of her duties on Raw. Keep in mind that nobody stripped Big E Langston of the NXT Championship when he showed up on Raw. He lost it to Bo Dallas in a match on NXT after holding it as a Raw-rostered Superstar for five months. Paige has had the Divas Championship for like three weeks.
On top of that, WWE Superstars regularly compete on NXT all the time. Not to spoil too much for you (thanks, NXT Women’s Championship Wikipedia page), but Natalya, Layla and Alicia Fox are all in the tournament. Wouldn’t they have “duties” as Raw Divas? If Natalya wins the NXT Women’s Championship does she automatically get stripped of it because she’s gonna be really busy doing Total Divas promo work? Is it only the DIVAS Champion that has the duties? Doesn’t the Divas Champ need people to fight? Does JBL get a memo at the beginning of the month that says “TAMINA WILL WRESTLE THE DIVAS CHAMPION AT WWE EVENTS FOR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS STRAIGHT NO MATTER WHAT, OTHER DIVAS ARE BORED, USE THEM?”
I’m mad that she went from “no, this is ridiculous” to “I never thought of it THAT way!” and handing over the belt so quickly. She should’ve just thrown hands at him in her Road Warriors bracelet.
Best: Rusev Hit, Lana Crush
Eventually they’re gonna turn Lana into a happy-go-lucky clapper and pointer who wears glittery bicycle shorts and does monkey flips to the lesser Divas while yelling COME ONNNNNN or whatever, but I’m going to enjoy an infatuation with her until then.
I prefer Raw Lana, though. I think it’s her hair. I like the harsh, pulled-back hair. NXT Lana looks like she got her haircut from create-a-wrestler.
Worst: Travis Tyler
Anyway, the opening match of the show was Alexander Rusev crushing Lucky Cannon. I know that’s not Lucky Cannon, but going forward, that’s Lucky Cannon. Like when Diesel and Razor Ramon got replaced.
The important takeaway from this match is that Travis Tyler needs to invest in a cup. I know “lol yer lookin’ at dudes’ dicks” is the joke, but seriously, excessive dickprint is distracting. The guy bumps and it’s just flopping around. Look at that screencap. That is “Goldust getting gay heat” mushroom cap action happening. If you’re Viktor or whatever and you’re gonna wear jet black trunks, sure, let it swing, but if you’re rocking creamsicle underpants, tuck yourself in.
Best: Adam Rose Is Now Accompanied By The NXT Universe
Okay, they’ve got to be trolling me now.
The announce team sends it back to Devin Taylor, secret Rosebud, as she interviews Adam Rose and his ‘Dinosaurs On A Spaceship’ gang. The first thing we see are the Rosebuds hopping around partying, doing the soccer chant that accompanies the original Adam Rose entrance theme. There’s no WAY they taped this much before the dubbing-over decision was made. They should’ve chanted it without moving, arms at their sides, staring directly into the camera at me.
I’m giving it a Best, though, because the role of the Rosebuds seems to be appropriating and emulating the NXT crowd. They didn’t just sing the entrance theme like Full Sail does, they broke out into a full-on “BE A ROSE-BUD clap clap clapclapclap.” That’s pretty ingenious. If you want the crowd to react a certain way, why not make a guy’s valet THE CROWD?
Also, LOL at Camacho picking verbal fights with people. It’s like William Hung dropping a diss track.
Best: Charlotte Just Flair Flopped And I Take Back Everything Bad I Ever Said About Her
Now all she needs to do is start yelling AHH GOD SHIT when she takes back bumps.
Best: EMMA EMMA EMMA! OI OI OI!
That’s good chanting.
Worst: Rich Brennan Doesn’t Know How A Figure Four Works
The actual tag match teaming Paige and Emma against the BFFs was fun (if not a little short), but loses points for two reasons:
1. Paige getting a “during the commercial break” entrance, I guess to cover the fact that she walked out with the NXT Women’s Championship on her shoulder and they tape these shows 14 years in advance (note: a 35-year old Paige was at WrestleCon this year, I’m just saying).
2. The announce team going FULL GOOBER and forgetting what wrestling is.
The worst was Rich Brennan, the new play-by-play guy hired because of his awesome Josh Mathews impression. This guy sounds like he’s never watched wrestling in his life. During Rusev/Tyler he reacted to a kickout from Tyler by asking Alex Riley if HE would’ve kicked out. Riley’s like, “uh, I don’t know dude.” The followup question is “do you think he SHOULD’VE kicked out,” and yeah, I get that he’s trying to get over the “stay down” thing, suggesting that Tyler would be better off throwing in the towel, but Riley has to respond with “well yeah obviously, he’s in a wrestling match, otherwise what’s the point.” When you are getting THAT WAS A STUPID QUESTION responses from Alex freaking Riley, you’re doing it wrong.
In this match, he gets it into his head that Charlotte’s leg scissors on Emma is the figure four and CAN’T STOP MENTIONING IT. He tries to get Albert on board, and Albert’s all, “it’s what we call a leg scissors, n00b.” So Brennan starts in about how it’s just like the figure four but on the different half of the body (?), and at no point does someone scream IT’S NOT CALLED A FIGURE FOUR BECAUSE OF WHAT YOUR LEGS ARE DOING, IT’S CALLED A FIGURE FOUR BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO YOUR OPPONENT’S LEGS. You are not “doing the figure four” when you sit Indian-style.
That infects the rest of the announce team with wrestling amnesia and they can’t call anything else for the rest of the match. Charlotte does her cutter finisher on Paige and someone (I believe Riley) says they’ve only seen that “once before.” Has Charlotte only wrestled once before, because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it a few times. Albert can’t even call it a cutter, he calls it “a reverse DDT of sorts.” WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Riley: “You know it’s a good move when you don’t know what to call it!” I guess to this announce team all moves are good moves.
Worst: Better Than Batista
Back at NXT Our Rival, Emma dropped Paige with a sweet powerbomb and the crowd chanted “Better Than Batista.” It was cute. Batista had recently returned from seven years of MMA training and turning his face into a Chinese baby’s and was terrible, so fun was had. Sadly that quickly turned into a chant for ANYBODY throwing a powerbomb on NXT, and the chant became inaccurate and lost me.
Here, the crowd is chanting “Better Than Batista” for the existence of Mason Ryan, a guy who reminds folks of Batista enough to keep his wrestling job for six years, but isn’t good enough to ever DO anything with it. Real talk, Full Sail: Mason Ryan is not better than Batista. Not even 2014, super gassed, spearing-you-with-the-side-of-his-head Batista. Ripping up his skinny jeans because his body’s too big for Lana clothes Batista. If Batista is garbage, Mason Ryan is that scummy trashcan you’ve never remembered to clean that is lined with brown water and wadded up receipts.
Chant accurately, that’s all I’m saying. If you’d done a LIKE BA-TISTA/EX-CEPT YOUNG-ER dueling chant I wouldn’t be complaining.
Worst: The Genesis Of McKiddicutty
What the hell was Tyson Kidd’s post-match promo? Was he trying to force down a burp? Here’s a quick transcription:
I LIKE NXT. IT IS MY FRIEND. I LIKE IT, AND YOU. YOU LIKES ME. AND I LIKE YOU. NXT LIKES YOU. I AAHHHHHHHHH. I’D LIKE HIS AUTOGRAPH. IT IS A NICE PICTURE. HE. IS. NIIIIIICE.
Maybe you wouldn’t have to reinvent yourself if you’d done something more compelling on WWE television in the last five years than “put a banana in my wife’s ass, then dress up like a sexy burglar.”
Best: Actual Pro Wrestler Tyler Breeze
I continue to love Tyler Breeze as a serious pro wrestler who beats the mess out of these extraneous NXT guys with authority. A tiny guy squashing people is an under-appreciated trope in wrestling history. Taz got 20 years in the business out of it. If Tyler Breeze starts head-and-arm suplexing people I might lose my sugar.
Worst: ANGELO DAWKINS WHAT ARE YOU DOING
Lucky Cannon showed up earlier in the show, and now here’s Showtime Percy Watson. I couldn’t have picked a better time to revisit NXT season 2.
Best and Worst of NXT correspondent David D. has more, via a heated Google chat conversation this morning:
I think Angelo Dawkins is the entire worst thing I’ve ever seen. He’s basically what Cory Graves is trying to do with his emo/hipster thing but instead of emo/hipster he’s “backpacker black guy.” I’ve never hated a character so quickly in my life. Wearing a f*cking Allen Iverson sleeve. I wanted to slap him.
It’s like he walked to the ring with “backpacker gimmick” in mind, go to the apron, panicked and his brain just said “black stuff” and he started moonwalking across the apron, then he realized he can’t moonwalk so he did the backwards version of Jamie Foxx impersonating OJ Simpson’s trial walk. I have so much hatred in my heart for him.
My favorite thing about Angelo Dawkins is how it gave Alex Riley another opportunity to be shifty about black people. Remember when he wouldn’t stop saying Alicia Fox reminded him of an Olympic athlete, specifically Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the black one he could name? And then he looked up “charisma” in the dictionary, saw a picture of Eddie Murphy, ALSO saw a picture of Xavier Woods and then said Murphy and Woods could be cousins? The NXT announce team starts explaining that Angelo Dawkins is good at other sports besides wrestling, and Riley jumps in by declaring Dawkins “NXT’s Bo Jackson!”
I guess I’m happy Alex Riley didn’t yell “IT’S MVP!” and start attacking him.
Let’s just repackage Dawkins as Kerwin White between now and next Thursday and pretend this never happened.
Best: Trios Action In Our Main Event
Sorry, I can’t stop talking like a Chikara guy when I’m writing up a six-man tag. This wasn’t a Shield/Wyatts barnburner or anything, but I liked a lot of it, including:
1. The Usos and The Ascension being (mostly) treated like equals. One team is the WWE Tag Team Champions. The other is the NXT Tag Team Champions. Paige has firmly established that the NXT and WWE titles are comparable in their prestige and prerequisite skill levels, so keeping the champs comparable in their performance is a great decision.
2. Sami Zayn wrestling anybody, and doing so without stopping to hold his head and make glassy eyes every five seconds.
3. Corey Graves taking the loss. If you’re the Ascension, why the hell are you teaming with Corey Graves to begin with? The worst offense the Ascension’s taken in like six months previous to this match was a dropkick from a guy with a lifetime zero-wins record. Now they’ve added Graves to the squad and they’re losing so badly the other team gets to dance about it. They should’ve had a backstage segment where JBL tells Corey Graves to start listening to speed metal, and the Ascension just rolling their eyes and making wanking motions in the background. Do a followup where Graves is like LOOK GUYS I GOT THE EYE OF HORUS TATTOOED ON MY HEART.
Still better than Angelo Dawkins.