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Three NXT thoughts

1. In this week's tag match, did the team of Sawyer Fulton and Angelo Dawkins not remind you - like a fucking scary lot - like the two marines on trial for carrying out the code red in "A Few Good Men"?

2. I was sort of excited for Alex Riley to come back into the ring because I think he got the shaft after a pretty good feud with The Miz, but this rage gimmick is dumb. You're the goober analyst, and now I'm supposed to think you're a ball of suppressed rage? Get out.

3. Dana Brooke is crazy green. That match against poor Blue Pants was puke. Of course, she'll probably get called up next week because Vince has a throbbing tube steak in his pants watching her flex the bicep that many times in a row.

Thoughts?

​1.  It's at least better than Dawkins' previous gimmick of "nerdy black guy".  I do at least enjoy the attempts to make new teams, however.

2.  I thought that his motivation for fighting Kevin Owens again was spectacularly honest:  "I've got nowhere else to be!"  You tell 'em, A-Ry.  I fully expect vignettes of Riley living alone in Bachelor Arms ala Kirk Van Houten next.
​3.  It's funny, because the vignettes, backstory, and name are clearly babyface​ indicators, and then she came out gyrating and rubbing herself while wearing Beth Phoenix's hand-me-down gear and I was like "Oh, I guess she's a heel then.  Yay."  And then she did the same "rub and pose" routine a bunch more times in case we didn't get the first time at the top of the ramp.  I guess it's part of the issue of the disconnect between the awesome indy show (Owens / Zayn / Balor) and decidedly developmental portions of the NXT brand.  Although with that being said, she's no Charlotte and should not have been put on TV yet.  I do think that continuing to mine the fitness model and gymnast world for new wrestlers is a great idea, though.  

Also, even though they're ass in the ring, I feel like Enzo and Cass would work well in an Attitude-era throwback sense on the main roster.  The Outlaws milked an entrance for years.  And they have Carmella for good measure.  

Comments

  1. This Alex Riley gimmick reminds me of a protagonist of a revenge B-movie.

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  2. Battle Kat LitterApril 16, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    Throbbing tube steak

    *giggle*

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  3. Theberzerker, #1 HUSS CHOMPIONApril 16, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    I actually have no problem with Enzo, Cass, & Carmella. I don't expect them to be awesome workers, I expect them to be funny and (don't hit me) entertaining, and they succeed in that regard.

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  4. Are Enzo and Cass really that bad? They've seemed perfectly average whenever I've seen them. Their gimmick also seems to be that Enzo sucks, gets beat down and eventually makes the tag where they win through the raw power of Cass, works for me.

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  5. At least Vince and I agree on something.

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  6. The main roster is filled with horrible wrestlers, wrestlers that don't look like they could win a real fight. I say keep the horrible wrestlers in NXT and bring guys like Neville up.

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  7. They're pretty average. They aren't blowing spots and looking lost they just don't do anything astonishing. Cass in particular has great facial expressions and does a lot of little things to engage you in the match, he just needs some cooler moves.

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  8. My problem with Riley is that, in this era where we are supposed to pay attention to Twitter, he is making himself look like a complete ass on Twitter with his tweets to and about Owens. Just douchey. I know the lines are blurred, but in no way does it make me want to cheer for him as the face against heel Owens.

    I don't know if Enzo & Cass will last as a thing long term, but he has the charisma to lead that team though the big leagues for a while in a tag division filled with at least 50% boredom. Carmella already has more personality than most of the main divas roster.

    Dana Brooke made my head hurt. No way should ol' Blue Pants be losing to her as she looks THAT green, though I know it was her "big debut."

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  9. Exactly - character and selling go a LONG way in the ring, and as long as they're good enough to work a basic match without constantly blowing spots, there's no reason to think that they couldn't have decent careers.

    They may be basic, but the fans like and care about them. A large chunk of the main roster wishes they could get that kind of fan-support.

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  10. Biff Kensington Has a PosseApril 16, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    Reminds me of those fantasy scenes in movies when the nerds become super soldiers and save the day while getting the swirly in real life.

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  11. Won't write off Dana just yet. Kaitlyn was horrible at first but got pretty good in her last year.

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  12. I hope Enzo and Cass get over with the crowd if/when they make it to the main roster. They are always hilarious to me, and have so much charisma.

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  13. Great, now people are writing off NXT guys when they've been on TV one time.

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  14. I absolutely hated Kaitlyn at first, but she definitely improved tremendously by the time she started the AJ feud. I wish she had stuck around longer.

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  15. Taking kayfabe issue to twitter is stupid altogether I think. On the shows and interview segments on the shows though, they should be in full kayfabe mode though.

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  16. Maybe part of Riley's rage is the fact he felt he had to be a goof on commentary to keep a job.

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  17. Yeah she was a wasted talent. By the time she got good they did nothing with her.

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  18. Enzo needs to shave that stupid beard though. He looks like Tommaso Ciampa's guido cousin. Cass could probably stand to ditch the long haor too.

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  19. CharlesHamiltonIsBackApril 16, 2015 at 9:04 AM

    I think Dana Brooke will be the NXT Divas Champion within a month or two...She had one of the most impressive NXT debuts of all time and she will continue to get better..

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  20. Agreed, she really came into her own, but she seems to be extremely happy (and extremely hotter by the day) with the posts she does on Twitter/Instagram about the company she's started.

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  21. I think that's part of his "thing" though. Crazy hair, crazy beard, horrible outfits.

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  22. Fulton and Sawyer looked like theu were auditioning to be Swagger's Team Angle.

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  23. Ik but it doesn't work. feels like stacking a gimmick on a gimmick. On the main roster he should start out just looking like a typical Situation type tool and then introduce the goofy stuff slowly as part of the character.

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  24. Charlotte was pretty bad too when she first debuted and she's grown to be very capable.

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  25. Cass is the least intimidating 7 footer since Matt Morgan.

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  27. CharlesHamiltonIsBackApril 16, 2015 at 9:22 AM

    Solomon Crowe = Eric Young with dark hair, a bald spot, and bad hacker gimmick

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  28. And Eric Young got to be TNA champion of the world, so Solomon's future looks bright.

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  29. CharlesHamiltonIsBackApril 16, 2015 at 9:38 AM

    Crowe isn't in TNA....No way he succeeds on the main roster

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  30. A Kirk Van Houten reference!


    Kirk: "I get to sleep in a race car! Do you get to sleep in race car?"
    Homer: No I sleep in a bed with my loving wife ... "

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  31. I love the charisma and chemistry of Big Cass and Enzo! I see the New Age Outlaws comparison as Enzo works the mic beautifully and Big Cass is great as the hot tag, yes man. Love those guys.


    BADA BOOM~! REALEST GUYS IN THE ROOM~!

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  32. He'll succeed. He just needs to suck Steph's clitty like what EY does with Dixie.

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  33. There are worse fates.

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  34. I loved Sami in Dragon Gate. WWE/NXT has taken away everything that made him unique. He can't be the crazy wildman brawler in NXT, because everyone has to wrestle the WWE TV style and everything has to be regimented.

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  35. Oprah NoodlemantraApril 16, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    I found the Brooks match ok... not great but decent enough.

    CJ Parker however stood around for most of his match. No loss there with him leaving, I hadn't seen any growth from him at all. He was the Chris Masters of NXT.

    Also, LOL @ Alex Riley...

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  36. Oprah NoodlemantraApril 16, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    He looks like a 7 foot Edge.

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  37. No, no, no. He needs the unique look, and I don't think a Situation character would work for him at all. Especially since he doesn't have a great wrestling body and isn't impressive in the ring.

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  38. Riley is such a loser.

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  39. CharlesHamiltonIsBackApril 16, 2015 at 10:24 AM

    He looks too hokey and is unbelievable in the ring...his character sucks too

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  40. You cannot be serious. That match was horrid and while I agree she will likely get better, that debut was far from impressive, in my opinion.

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  41. That actually works well for me, motivation-wise. Thanks.

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  42. A doughy Edge, at that. But I love both these goofs. I'm always excited to see them show up because they're just different and fun.

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  43. Team swagger could make minimum wage and job all the time.

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  44. Brandon Stroud did a great job of explaining this, but NXT has really blossomed as the place where you go to see the guys who may show up on Raw by the end of the given year. The Performance Center and the NXT house shows are where the people who can't bump are supposed to stay until they learn how.

    Dana Brooke looked like a two week rookie against Leva Bates. NXT may be developmental, but I can't remember the last time someone looked that green in NXT and when you stand out as green on the developmental show, you're REALLY not ready for TV.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I'n not writing her off. Trish Stratus was awful when she debuted. Who knows what could happen?

    I just don't think sticking a totally rank rookie on TV in front of a notoriously smarky audience and having her only schtick be all the things smarks hate so she can get "YOU CAN'T WRESTLE" chants a month into her wrestling career is gonna help anyone.

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  45. Wrestlerock Rumble:

    "I'm Alex Riley and I'm IN A RAAAAAAAAAAAGE! I want Owens and I want him in a cage."

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  46. Riley: "I sleep in a racecar bed, do you???"
    Steen: "I sleep in a big bed with my wife."

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  47. "It's at least better than Dawkins' previous gimmick of "nerdy black guy"."

    Yeah, they had me Percy Watson RIGHT THERE

    OH YEAH!

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  48. Perfectly stated.

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  49. Riley--"Can I borrow a feeling? Can you lend me a jar of love?"

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  50. Someone once said, "what is lost can never be saved."

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  51. that's why it's a shame the Briscoes aren't coming to NXT. A long feud between Briscoes/Enzo & Cass, with Mark & Jay as the heels would really put some hair on Enzo & Cass' chests.

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  52. Actually its hhh not vince that has a hard on for muscular women.

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  53. Alex Riley is the villain in an 80s skiing movie

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  54. I mean...I'm not saying I would refuse either lady.

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  55. Virgil's Gimmick TableApril 16, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    I'm gonna put on this loincloth and live in a CAAAAVE!

    Then buy me some ecstasy and go to a RAAAAAVE!

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  56. All of that is WWE's doing. His ring style was vastly different in DGUSA, his promos were great and he was known for being extremely physical. It's kind of like what happened to Taz when he came to WWE, except I think Sami is a little better.

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  57. Alex Riley did participate in one of the best moments of the year ... when Kevin Owen was fun off by Finn Balor after their match and he added the extra f-you stomp as passed him by. It's the little things that wind up big sometimes.

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  58. Agreed - they get people engaged in matches, they can lose without losing heat, and we haven't had a good call-and-response tag team in ages. Enzo & Cass are great at conveying themselves in the ring, which is more valuable in the WWE than being a great worker. (This is the "Finn Balor has a higher ceiling than Adrian Neville" argument.) They could stick around as the opening match, warm up the crowd guys for a long time.

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  59. But you all know, I'm no real trouble,
    So don't expect me in the next Royal Rumble... UGH!

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  60. Also, sticking her up against someone the fans are that connected to...Just nothing about that was a good idea. I don't know if they're trying to fast-track her because of her look or what, but it really did come across strangely.

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  61. AverageJoeEverymanApril 16, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Make him Peaked in High School Rob Lowe and get his letterman jacket and have him be as pathetic as possible regaling others of his glory days as a sophomore on the varsity team.

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  62. I don't mean change the character, I mean come in as the loudmouth New York street rat and then keep adding wacky clothes as part of him thinking he's cool when he's not. But to just start from New Yorker who also dresses weird doesn't translate if you don't already know the character. Maybe Ratso Rizzo is a better reference point?

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  63. AverageJoeEverymanApril 16, 2015 at 12:27 PM

    They would be picketing in the Fight for $15 movement. So they would never actually wrestle.

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  64. With the WWE's ability to keep up with current trends, they'd probably run this angle next summer along with them doing the ice bucket challenge

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  65. AverageJoeEverymanApril 16, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    like when they had the replacement refs during some sports lockout.

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  66. AverageJoeEverymanApril 16, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Ciampa coming in as his wrestling cousin would be cool actually. Enzo can talk and Ciampa's way better than either of them in ring.

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  67. "Everything is coming up Riley!"

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  68. Vince only likes muscular women that he's related to.

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  69. Oprah NoodlemantraApril 16, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    I catch myself doing their sing along all the time. I can't get enough of them right now.

    This is why NXT works, one hour and no burn out!

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  70. Wrestling the "WWE style" doesn't mean you're stripped away of everything that makes you unique. Just looking at young guys who've recently come through NXT...Rollins, Ambrose, Wyatt, Reigns, Neville, etc... they all have styles that are specific to them. Working "WWE style," as we all know, refers far more to positioning for the cameras, timing, stuff like that rather than any sort of regimented working style.

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  71. This escalated quickly

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  72. I don't think that's accurate. She was REALLY green and it showed. I think the point being made is that she shouldn't have debuted yet until she looks like she belongs in a ring. The character will likely work (or won't, I don't especially care), but it'll be given time.

    However, if that's the level of her work at this point, she needed more time before being thrust out there.

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  73. similar singlets, too.

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  74. NXT is in a very weird place when it comes to Blue Pants.

    She's the generic jobber...so, she's to be used to get people over... BUT, she's more over than most of the people she's wrestling against... BUT, she can't give them the rub by beating her because she's not supposed to be very good... BUT, the crowd is actively rooting for her to win and will turn on the wrestler who defeats her.

    There have been jobbers who have developed a fan base in the past...either ironically (smarks!) or in a "respect for your career" way towards the end of that career. I don't know if I've ever known a case where a purposefully generic jobber has connected with a crowd like this.

    She's basically only capable of helping a woman define herself as a heel.

    (Unless they start treating her like an actual wrestler...but then they're back to not having a jobber/enhancement talent for the women's division. And yes, I'm going to keep calling it the NXT women's division despite the fact that there's probably no stopping the Diva-ization of NXT. :( )

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  75. And, they can eat losses without the audience losing interest in them.

    (Not that they should sink into the ranks of the jobbers who never win...but "winning" and "dominance" is not why the crowd loves them nor is it important to who they are...)

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  76. Everything's going A-Ry!

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  77. I never said it applied to everyone. It applies to *him*. You simply cannot do the things in WWE that Sami Callihan did to get over in the indies. His whole deal is stiff, super physical work and hardcore stuff. Unlike Ambrose, he wasn't known for being able to have great traditional-style matches, at least from what I've seen.

    All of the guys you've mentioned are either steeped in an athletic, mat-based style of wrestling (including Neville and Kalisto, by the way) or built from the ground up by WWE (Wyatt). And matches in WWE are absolutely structured in a certain way ... even Daniel Bryan's matches involve the same ebb-and-flow as everyone else's, it's just more entertaining and energetic than most.

    NXT gives a lot more leeway, but my opinion remains that Crowe is a poor fit for WWE and won't work long term because of a variety of factors that he had to change in order to make it in WWE -- look, style, moveset, promos, etc. I'm not saying it's a BAD thing WWE is the way it is, but it is a thing and some guys don't work. For the same reasons, I have always thought the Briscoes would be a poor fit.

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  78. Fair enough, but you did say "everyone has to wrestle the WWE TV style," which is what I was responding to. I'm not all that familiar with the guy's work, so how well Callihan can make the adjustment, I have no real opinion on. You're right there is a certain structure to WWE matches, as I alluded to, but if you're a good worker you should be able to make the adjustments.

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  79. Brad Maddox is not in the wrestle rock rumble

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  80. New York? I'd that a suburb of Hackensack New Jersey?

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  81. That's not a long time.

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  82. Can't speak for cass but Enzo was hired on the strength of his promo and is still learning to wrestle. If he's even okay in the ring that's pretty good for only wrestling for such a short period.

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  83. It just seems like NXT fans are conditioned to like everything that happens in NXT. Wrestlers don't really have to work hard to get over there and it hurts when they transition to the big show. Guys have to work to get things over on Raw and it seems WWE creative and the BoD forget that.

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  84. Great point. There are several talents on the NXT roster right now that I don't think would translate to the Raw stage and we've already seen that happen with Bo Dallas, Adam Rose and the Ascension.

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  85. Alex Riley's eye bugout scared the shit out of me last night.

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  86. Yeah, that's....really true. I hadn't thought about it like that. Really good point.

    That said, I think the acts that will most directly translate to the main roster and get over there with the least resistance haven't come up yet. So we'll see what happens with Sami, Finn and Owens. Neville's getting over pretty well already, so that's encouraging.

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  87. I think patience and an open mind are the keys. If something doesn't get over right away that's fine. Just pay attention to the crowd and make tweaks as you go.

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  88. no, no it's not. homophobes can stay in ROH

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  89. I don't know that I agree with the last part. I think there is a documented history of good workers who struggled to make the necessary WWE adjustments.


    Gail Kim is an example of someone who looked like a low-level joke in many of her WWE matches, but looks like the best female wrestler in the country in TNA, where the matches are less structured and she has more freedom.


    Some, like Bryan and Zayn, adjust quickly and easily, but others have more issues with it. Good post though, as you raised good points above.

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  90. I really liked Percy a lot. I'm shocked that they didn't do more with him.

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  91. I will go on record as not giving a fuck about:
    Alex Riley
    Baron Corbin
    Bull Dempsey

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  92. Fuck is with Dempsey, aside from the shitty physique? He's pushed as this monster at first, and then job city. He piss someone off?

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  93. Master's was great towards the end. Maybe not great, but he had improved by leaps and bounds.

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  94. Not bad milfs. Know who I always had a thing for?

    The lady that heads of the talent search or whatever she does for that dallas cowboy cheerleader show.

    https://speakerdata.s3.amazonaws.com/photo/image/845655/Kelli_Finglass.JPG

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  95. Imagine that. Someone being bad when first starting.

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  96. I'll say again. A good wrestler to me is someone that gets the crowd involved and gets a reaction. Fuck cares if they can't do flippy, flippy spot? That's what the midcard is for.

    WCW may have gone potato at the end, but they booked their shows perfectly for the longest time.

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  97. Um....he has been brought up.

    And the idea is to make money. Enzo/Cass would make money on the main roster. Fuck cares if they're "horrible" workers? They'll have the crowd in the palm of their hands and just eating up the sawft shit.

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  98. They built him up to feed him to Corbin.

    Now that Corbin's through with him...he's back to being enhancement talent.

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  99. The Vaudevillains should never be added to the main roster.

    (And I say that as someone who owns a Vaudevillains t-shirt.)

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  100. It really is a fascinating situation. Part of me wonders if it's largely because Leva's an indie talent with a decent following who also is centered around the area - she's a fixture in Shine, which is Florida-based. (And if you get a chance to check it out, she's doing a Purge: Anarchy-inspired gimmick in Shine and it's awesome).
    Add that level of respect for her indie work to a really meta gimmick that's made for the kind of crowd that NXT commands, and there's no way the crowd isn't gonna follow her. Plus, Leva's really likeable anyway. They should really just go full ahead with the Barry Horowitz angle at some point and have her fight her way to a title match. Hell, bring Barry in as her mentor! Full self-reference works with the NXT crowd.

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  101. Big Enzo and Cass fan, eh? They suck, sorry to break it to you.

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  102. google Briscoe and homophobe.

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  103. See, it has to be a big bed, because...

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  104. Who cares if they "suck" you workrate snob stinky mcstink face. They're the kind of guys that can make money, and the last I checked the wwe was a business.

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  105. Yeah def not workrate snob. Sandman is my fav wrestler of all time. Thanks for trying tho. Enzo and Cass still suck.

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  106. LOL@an ECW fan saying any wrestler sucks.

    BRB "Theys good wrestlars cuz they hit with sticks and chairs"

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  107. LOL at a guy who likes Jersey Shore wrestlers. I guess we both suck at liking wrestlers.

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  108. Again, it doesn't matter that they "suck". If they can draw money (which they can through merchandise) that's all that matters.

    Some dude from Jersey plow your ho or some shit?

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  109. Awesome sexist comment, bro.

    And no, they won't sell merchandise, not even hair gel.

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  110. LOL@they won't sell merchandise. Once again you prove the theory that ECW fans were GED grads living in their parent's basement.

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  111. And seriously white knight, have you LOOKED at the NXT crowd just covered in Sawft shirts?

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  112. Whatever you say, bud. Hope they prove me wrong, wait, no I hope they don't. That would mean that WWE fans were morons.

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  113. My parents are dead.

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  114. You truly are a load that should've been swallowed.

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  115. Sure they are.

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