Wrestling friends! So lovely to be writing for you again. Unfortunately for me, real life has kept me quite busy and unable to write about or watch much wrestling. Thankfully, I'm here to give you the goods on 2014's first episode.
In case you've forgotten, I'm all about Tyler Breeze, Aiden English, Enzo Amore (and Big Cass) and LOATHE CJ Parker and Corey Graves. And not in the "oh they're bad guys and I'm booing them because they're bad lol" kind of way. I mean I legit feel pain in my sides whenever they're on the show. Got it? Good.
Let's get to breaking down the show, shall we?
Match 1: Alexander Rusev vs Kofi Kingston
So. Here's the deal. I feel nothing when I see Alexander Rusev. I've long gotten over my liking of big men and am looking for a little something more in a big man that I choose to be entertained by. A beautiful lady coming out and speaking in Bulgarian is not the thing to peak my interest. The last thing you want me doing when watching the show is trying to translate what she's saying instead of paying attention to what's going on. And who told her to talk LONGER this week than any other week before? Yuck.
OBVIOUS STATEMENT: I'm not sure just how much wrestling experience Lana has under her belt, but this isn't the best role for her and I'm sure she could be doing something better. Hell, I'm sure Rusev could be too. But what you see is what you get.
Kofi's here. That is literally the only words I could muster to describe Kofi. Everyone else is all HE'S A HIGH FLYER and I'm over here going WHO GIVES A SHIT. Because really, who does? Is anybody entertained watching Kofi gallop like a horse around the ring to prepare for his.....wait for it.....BOOM DROP? Color me under whelmed.
This match couldn't end quickly enough.
Move of the match: N/A
Winner: Alexander Rusev
Meanwhile, backstage: Sylvester LeForte makes his first NXT appearance in 2014, and I'm sure he has something important to say about how much MONAY he needs to make this year. Or something.
Pretty new backstage interviewer lady asks LeForte about the auditions he has coming up to find him a new client after Scott Dawson tragically broke his leg. LeForte confirms that the tournament is happening and brings out the first selection. His name is Bo Dempson. LeForte says that Dempson is "too fat" to work for LeFort, and sends him on his way with a dismissive wave. Sylvester comments on the unworthiness of Bo Dempson, when out comes Mason Ryan. Sylvester offers him a chance to be his potential client and pulls out a one dollar bill to show Mason that he can make lots of MONAY. Sadly, Mason doesn't seem to need to visit any vending machines, because he takes that dollar and sticks it straight into LeForte's mouth before calling LeForte an idiot.
Match 2: Emma(!!!) vs Natalya
The winner of this match will be the #1 contender for the NXT Women's Championship
In no way has my love for women's graps extinguished since I've taken my break, guys. In fact, it's probably worse than ever. I did see the match between Natalya and Paige and have to say that it was surely a highlight in the year of NXT women's wrestling.
Paige and Emma have been a big part of keeping everything moving right along in the women's division (along with the deliciously bitchy Summer Rae, who I cannot get enough of) which is a testament to the talent of both ladies. I could not be more pumped for this new year of opportunities for both Paige and Emma to impress and entertain. I haven't watched Raw in quite awhile, but dare I say if Emma or Paige make it up to the main roster, I might find a reason to watch Raw again. That is if they don't become my worse nightmare: women lost in the shuffle like the women currently on the main roster. The day (hypothetically obviously) John Cena calls Emma a ho is the day I stop watching WWE for good. Strong statement, but one that I mean. I've watched AJ Lee go from a character breaking new ground to someone lost in the shuffle and saddled with Tamina, who she doesn't need. I will not be able to stand watching the same thing happen to Emma or Paige.
Whew. Sorry for the rant.
In any event, this is a match to determine the #1 contender for the NXT women's championship, and while it moved slow at first, it ended up being pretty solid. Not as long as Paige vs Natty, but just as good quality wise.
But. Slight pet peeve coming up. Natalya's Pin Up Strong submission is awful. The finished submission looks cool because she's all hooked in with nowhere to go. But getting to that point is full of fumbling with Natalya trying to figure out how to place Emma's feet and other "how to hook her in" nonsense. I do like a good submission, but I HATE finishers or submissions that take forever to apply. It's the best way to take me out of the flow of the match and fumbling is painful to watch. Say what you want about the RKO, but it's a definitive finisher that can be hit at anytime. Over thinking a moment in a match does no favors for anybody, and the Pin Up Strong is an overthought and clunky bit of her arsenal that Natalya should consider modifying or applying faster for the sake of not looking awkward. Just my two cents.
Move of the match: Emma defeats Natalya with THE EMMA LOCK.
Is this even a match?: The first ever NXT Sing-Off!
Aiden English vs Colin Cassady
Oh. My. Goodness.
It appears that someone in NXT is thinking solely of my entertainment, because they've plucked an idea straight out of my head and put it in real life. I'm only a tiny bit disappointed that Colin Cassady took the place of Enzo Amore, but the sight of William Regal with his hands folded in front of him at the announce table paying rapt attention to Aiden English is enough for me to forgive the small sin of a misplaced singing competitor.
And then COLIN SANG AND I ALMOST MELTED. You haven't truly lived until you've heard Colin Cassidy sing S-A-W-F-T (SAWFT) with your own ears. And it wasn't horrible, I gotta tell ya.
What I don't get is how something which is, quite frankly, stupid always seems to end up entertaining in the end on NXT. I thought the dance-off between Emma and Summer Rae was going to be positively wretched, but it ended up being one of my favorite moments from last year. Now we're starting off 2014 with this bit of greatness? I can't take it. The NXT crowd singing YOU SUCK before Aiden English delivers sweet revenge is another reason why I just can't quit this show.
Post song shenanigans' saw Aiden English take the highly ungentlemanly route by clipping Colin Cassady's knee from behind when it was clear he was going to lose the sing off. Oh, such moves are SO unclassy, Aiden.
Match 3: TYLER BREEZE vs Mason Ryan
Far be it for me to jump the gun, but I think Tyler Breeze is on track to have an amazing year. I can't tell you how happy I am that he's getting over with the crowd, and he manages to be the most entertaining person on the show. Or, at least one of the most entertaining parts. He's a darn solid wrestler too. And, for his first trick of 2014, HE BEAT MASON RYAN. I really thought he was going to get ravaged, but then I remembered Mason Ryan ='s zero and about the moment I remembered that is the moment that Tyler hit the beauty shot and the match ended.
2014 BETTER better good to Tyler Breeze or I swear......
Move of the match: N/A
Winner: TYLER BREEZE
Match 4: Leo Kruger vs Sami Zayn
2 out of 3 falls match
I don't have much to say about this match. Unfortunately, most of it was rather flat. It wasn't horrible, but nothing stood out to me as being amazing. Perhaps it's because Leo Kruger (in my mind) is a dud and doesn't offer much ring wise, but this was a pretty boring watch for me. I'm not saying that every match has to be nothing but corkscrew shooting star presses for it to be exciting, but this match felt particularly slow for me. Sami has the crowd behind him, but I think his feuding with Leo Kruger is a misstep. Keep Kruger out of the title picture and bring Sami up as quickly as possible, plz.
Move of the match: n/a
Winner: Sami Zayn
And that, my friends, is the end of our very first episode of NXT for 2014.
As we begin a new year of NXT wrestling, I would like to take a moment to wish for more Tyler Breeze and much, much less of Alexander Rusev.
If you liked the words in my report, but would like to indulge in the actual product with moving pictures and William Regal on commentary, this episode is available at Hulu to watch (in HD!) free. Getting there is a quick as following the link I've placed right here.
Like I said a little farther up the page, my real life is keeping me busier than ever, but my one goal for this year is to watch every single episode of this year's NXT and give it the review treatment. Do follow along with me by reading my reports, sharing them with friends, and following me on Twitter at @AbsoluteSmark for UFC and wrestling chit chat and other insanity.
Until next week, wrestling friends.