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Please click through for the Best and Worst of WWE NXT for July 31, 2014.
Worst: First Match In And I’m Already Having To Put Up With Angelo Dawkins
The opening match of the show is Tyler Breeze vs. Angelo Dawkins. Dawkins — whom you may remember from his horrific debut as a Michael Bay Ninja Turtle — connects with one offensive move and reacts with what you see in the picture. It’s the love child of Xavier Woods’ blowing peace sign and a crotch chop.
The good news is that Breeze is as bothered by this as me and quickly obliterates Dawkins in response, but man. I can’t think of a wrestler on the WWE payroll less cool than Angelo Dawkins. Dude makes R-Truth look like Roman Reigns.
Best: The World’s Most Obvious Snaps Competition
“You’re a hobbit.”
“Ya mutha sends me selfies!”
“I’LL KILL YOU!”
Neville and Breeze are such natural enemies on the microphone. They never seem to say anything important, but I enjoy hearing them say it. Does that make any sense? I don’t think they’ve ever argued about something important but almost always ends in threats of physical violence.
“What’s for lunch?”
“Ugh I don’t like sandwiches.”
“GO F*CK YOURSELF”
Another quick thing about Neville: it might be now or never for him. I know that sounds dramatic, but there is a HUGE influx of dynamic, athletic talent about to debut on NXT … if WWE wants to keep a focus on him as The Guy Who Does All The Flips, they should consider bumping him up to the main roster. Now that Seth Rollins has turned it down about ten notches to get crowds to boo him nobody on Raw’s doing anything close to what Neville can do, and there’s a value in that. Plus if Neville got the call-up, maybe NXT’d let Kalisto do more than stand on the apron for five minutes and take a hiptoss.
Worst: BRING BACK DEVIN
I thought Eva Marie delivering a “sexy” version of Dusty Rhodes’ “hard times” promo was my own personal vision of a wrestling Hell, but Jojo interviewing Natalya about how hilarious and great Adam Rose is comes close. The only thing that saves it is Tyson Kidd showing up all “you’re shitting me, right?”
Best: Becky Lynch Gets A Huge Upgrade
New theory: Becky Lynch did all that unnecessary jigging on purpose so they’d take away her Irish gimmick and let he be anything else. It worked, because this week they’ve ditched her Irish Spring commercial entrance theme and replaced it with FLASHING LIGHTS and a Def Leppard song. Way better.
If that decision was made by the same person who changed CJ Parker’s music, give them all the raises.
Best: Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch, Except For
Worst: The Finish
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch was GREAT while it lasted. Becky’s got enough style and experience to keep Charlotte focused — something that worked phenomenally for Charlotte at NXT Takeover — and Charlotte’s Flair gene manifesting itself in a vicious destruction of Becky’s leg was wonderful. My only problem, again, is that Bow Down To The Queen is the dumbest and least necessary finish in NXT. Two reasons:
1. Charlotte is a Flair, and she’s spent the entire match ruining your leg. Why isn’t she just figure-fouring you? You’ve forgotten all that “she’s here to make a name for herself and escape her father’s shadow” stuff. She’s a Flair. She’s embracing it. Pay off that leg work with something related to the legs.
2. Becky was on all fours when she took the move, which means she’s falling from barely above the mat TO the mat and getting KNOCKED OUT. Seriously, it’s hard to believe the move when people are on their knees. How far of a drop is that? The distance from Becky’s elbow to her shoulder? How is that knocking people out? Did Pai Mei teach her that move?
Worst: Mojo Jojo
Worst: I Thought The Local Talents Had It That Time
So, here’s where we’re at. NXT’s hosting a tag team tournament to name new number one contenders to the Ascensions tag titles. That in itself isn’t bad. What’s bad is that the tournament is too much for NXT’s taping schedule, meaning we won’t see the end of it and anyone worth a damn challenging for the tag straps until mid-September. If you’ve enjoyed the last year of Ascension squashes, enjoy another month and a half.
It’s really time to shit or get off the pot with the Ascension. I try not to be that guy who goes “UGH GET ON WITH IT ALREADY” two weeks into an angle, but we do not need any more reassurance that the best tag team in NXT can easily defeat two strangers we’ve never seen who are half their size. The only plusses are that the “Ascension gets overconfident” story is continuing (this week they stood back and basically begged the jobber they were killing to make a tag) and that lots of tag wrestling is a good thing.
That said, man, if the Ascension defeats whoever wins this tournament, our only hope is them getting called up and JBL deciding they’re too busy to be champs.
Imagine a world a year from now where Stephanie McMahon is doing condescending “YAH” chants for heat.
Best: Rich Brennan
1. BOOM BOOM BOOM LEMME HEAR YA SAY “BAYLEY VS. CHARLOTTE IS FINALLY HAPPENING”
2. Rich Brennan > Jojo. Look at that face he’s making. That’s the same face I’d make if I was talking to Bayley and Charlotte wandered up to act mean to her. That is a “gurl I will cut you” face.
Best: Team BRANDON HATES THIS
I’ll admit it: teaming up Bull Dempsey and Mojo Rawley is a good idea. I will also admit that if they show up next week with Corey Graves as their manager I’m abandoning this column and writing up old episodes of World Class, far, far away from any of them.
I guess my only major concern is with the match itself, and what it means. “Odd couple” tag teams are good TV or whatever, but at the risk of making another numbered list, there’s a lot wrong with it. Firstly, Bull hasn’t really been around long enough to earn any kind of “oh man, how are they gonna coexist” response. We know Mojo, but aside from being big and jacking a bunch of previously used nicknames, what do we know about Bull? That he’s mean? Would his family CHEER if they took up the first two rows?
Secondly, this was the debut of The Mechanics, a team that dresses alike, has tandem offense and works well together as a team. They are IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED by two guys who don’t like each other and are teaming out of convenience. NXT’s doing a similar thing with Kalisto and Sin Cara. Shouldn’t tag teams who’ve dedicated themselves to tag team wrestling have some kind of advantage over singles jerks who are paired together to exacerbate some beef between themselves? Obviously the Bull/Mojo team isn’t going to last and is just building to Bull vs. Mojo. So why feed them teams that need to get over as teams? Renee’s all “wow let’s give it up one time for the mechanics, they didn’t win but they looked great” when all they did was quickly tag in and out en route to a 90-second loss. I think Mac Miles and what’s-his-name lasted longer against The Ascension.
Worst: Natalya Has Terrible Personal Hygiene
Adam Rose lives on a party bus, constantly parties with 15-or-so people in Halloween costumes and never changes his clothes. He is on X-amount of drugs. He gives Natalya a lollipop from his mouth and she PUTS IT INTO HERS, because Natalya is THE GROSSEST.
I don’t want this to sound like I’m being a creep, but watch the way she puts it into her mouth. She’s hunching over to kinda “hide it” from Tyson, I guess, even though a camera’s in her face and everyone in the audience can see. It’s the most overtly sexual way I’ve EVER seen someone eat a lollipop. Instead of, you know, moving it up to her mouth with her arms like a human being, she holds it at chest level and drops her head down onto it. I’ve seen Total Divas. I’ve seen Tyson dressing up as a sexy burglar to have roleplay sex with Natalya. I’m not putting obvious blowjob imagery past her.
Best: The Best Adam Rose Match Ever
On a serious note, this was the best Adam Rose match I’ve ever seen.
A lot’s made about how Adam Rose is “perfect for NXT” because his gimmick is goofy and needs a small, dedicated crowd to pop for it, but there’s more to it than that. The NXT crowd has seen Rose wrestle for years under a variety of names. They know he can go, so when he’s at Full Sail, he’s allowed to add an actual, productive wrestling match to his “Adam Rose” schtick. On Raw, he’s just OH OH OH OH and dancing around the ring. He’s trust falls and lollipops and don’t be a lemon be a rosebud. On NXT, those things are a decoration for a competent pro wrestler who can entertain you as well as “entertain you.” I’m not sure why Raw’s never tried that.
So yeah, good stuff. Kidd gets distracted by Nattie’s gross secondhand candy and gets rolled up. The announcers go into a sort of Owen Voice about Tyson blaming the loss on his wife, but guys, of COURSE he does. That’s the point, and he’s a total piece of shit and it’s fantastic. I can’t wait until next week’s passive-aggressive promo about how if Natalya wants candy she should just TELL him and he’ll BUY her some.