I swear this site is about movies and video games. It really is and I will have new episodes of The Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth, video game reviews thanks to the Steam Summer Sale (praise GabeN), and some new movie reviews as well. But this was an instance where I wanted to share a little counter opinion on a phenomenon I am seeing in today’s pro wrestling industry. For anyone who is not living under a rock knows, NXT is taking wrestling by storm. It is beloved by wrestling fans everywhere as being the future of wrestling… If you think the future of wrestling is WWE which is, at the moment, appalling garbage, and you should be watching ROH, AAA, NJPW, or Lucha Underground for anything with value.
BUT, regardless of that, people are enjoying this new NXT… Well except for me… Well okay, I do enjoy it the VERY few times that I watch it. It puts on some great quality stuff and some of the most entertaining wrestling this side of the aforementioned industries. But… There are a few hang ups with the program that I do not think others recognize or if they do, they aren’t recognizing that it is a problem. In fact, some of this stuff is so bad for the number one North American company that it could spell some serious problems down the road. So with that said, I will give to you the Top 4 Reasons Why NXT is the Worst Thing for the WWE.
4. It is Proving that Triple H Has Become a Better Booker than the Old and Outdated Vince McMahon
Even at his advanced age, Vince McMahon still runs all of the booking decisions in the WWE. There is a creative team of writers that have say in things, but nothing happens without Vince saying so. This is a problem, a major problem, because Vince is now an old man and not in tune with what people want. He is still convinced that the entertainment portion of wrestling is more important than wrestling, plus his idea of a PG era WWE means things that are so horrifically condescending to the older audiences, that even young children will find them hopelessly annoying and know they are being talked down to. He still tries to push big, slow, plodding, muscle bound lumoxes down our throats while not getting the true future of wrestling, the small high flying wrestlers over.
That is not the case for NXT, which is booked by Paul “Triple H” Levesque. Under Triple H’s regime, we see wrestling focused shows, that tell compelling stories, and focus on the wrestling aspect of the show instead of the ludicrious and childish entertainment on the top shows. This is the reason why NXT is so popular right now is because it focuses on what we want, wrestling, not day time child friendly soap operas… But this is a problem.
You see, this stands as the testament to the fact that Vince McMahon simply needs to step away from his business. He is killing it by thinking that people want to see RAW or SmackDown over NXT and simply doesn’t understand that ‘millenals’ aren’t lazy, he is just out of touch. There is nothing wrong with this fact, as you get older, you lose touch with what younger people want as you cling to what you know. It happens to all of us as we get older, there is no problem with this. But when you stubbornly say ‘no, I AM RIGHT!’ you will eventually drive your business away, which is why NXT is being supported over RAW and SmackDown.
I alluded to this in the first part, but I’ll touch on it again. NXT is better than RAW and SmackDown… Period. In every single way, the show is better. It is paced better, the commentary is WAY BETTER (which isn’t saying much since the team of Cole, JBL, and King/Booker T combined with Vince’s horrific commentary is the worst thing to happen in the history of broadcasting), the wrestling is better… The promotion is simply better. It isn’t even a contest. When I look at the ‘WWE Divas’ which is the worst fucking name for Women wrestlers this side of ‘TNA Knockouts’ and see the NXT Women tearing it up in amazing matches, it isn’t even a contest. Fire the entire WWE ‘Divas’ roster, save for Paige, and hire all of the women in NXT. I consider Kevin Owens to be a more viable world champion than Seth Rollins and his chickenshit heel gimmick that requires help from four other people in order to maintain. THIS IS NOT HOW THIS SHOULD WORK!
If this were to occur in Major League Baseball, it would be like the Salem Red Sox of Salem, Virginia being head and shoulders better than the Boston Red Sox. To the point that Boston Red Sox fans start watching the Salem Red Sox because they are so shitty, that watching minor league is a better option. No disrespect to the Boston Red Sox, the Salem Red Sox is simply the only one I know. But the point remains, that your developmental company is kicking your ass up, down, left, right, and in ways that I don’t think are possible by the standards of human comprehension.
2. It Attempts to Bring in the ‘Indie Wrestling Feel’, but the WWE Product Suffers
In a way, the WWE is kind of genius for attempting to create an ‘Indie League’ to get the fans who are flocking to the far superior Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground, or the Mexican/Japanese promotions. NXT, with the inclusion of indie stars like Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Hideo ‘KENTA’ Itami, and Finn “Prince Devitt” Balor, combined with the small set and small crowd, are trying to create that independent promotion feel that will drive the Internet Wrestling Community absolutely bonkers and in a way it is working… A little too well.
You see, thanks to this, casual fans are not only now aware that other promotions exist, but that they are better than the WWE product, which is stale, boring, and condescending to anyone over the age of 12. Every time I see NXT, I think happily of the indie promotions and foreign promotions that I enjoy. I watch ten minutes of RAW and my response is ‘Huh… You are right, I should be doing something more constructive with my time… Like watching Ring of Honor or NXT.’ Bottom line, WWE is a stale product, and all NXT does is remind people that there are far better things to do to distract them on the road to the grave than watching Randy Orton vs. Sheamus complete with word vomit from Cole, JBL, and King.
This is the number one problem with NXT. It is the fact that people keep forgetting that NXT is a DEVELOPMENTAL system. This is the new age Ohio Valley Wrestling or Florida Championship Wrestling… Or at least it is trying to be. This thing has been going on for years, it is only now that it is available to be consumed by the mass market. NXT just like OVW and FCW is supposed to be the ‘minor leagues’ where some players can hone their skills and improve to get the call ups to the big leagues. NXT is meant to be a place where new guys can get prepared for the WWE.
Due to the fact that they are trying to give off that ‘indie feel’, while being a mega corporation, WWE has brought in people like Samoa Joe, Finn “Prince Devitt” Balor, and Hideo Itami to spice up the action… But once again… NXT is meant to be a developmental territory where wrestlers like Bull Dempsey, Baron Corbin, Dana Brookes, Wesley and Blake, The Vaudvillians, and so forth can prepare for the big time. However, due to the fact that they are thrust into the spotlight, these guys are fucked before they even get a chance to show what they got.
Back in the early 2000’s, the Spirit Squad showed up made up of five OVW hopefuls. They were terrible, stuck around for a little while, and were shipped back off to OVW for more training. One of these guys eventually became Dolph Ziggler. If this were NXT, they would have been shipped back to OVW, and the following Wednesday night would pop up on TV there with the same gimmick as before, forced to remain the rest of their careers as male cheerleaders in order to keep up appearances.
Gimmicks like the Vaudvillians old timey wrestling gimmick, the ‘I’m not sure, Egyptian?’ thing The Ascension have going on, or Emma’s strange little dance can get over with small crowds, but if they were to go to the WWE (which happened in Emma and The Ascension’s case) they fall completely flat to a large audience. If they weren’t being televised, the WWE could repackage them (without criticism) into something new that could work. But now if they show up on Raw as something other than the NXT version, people go crazy. People were irritated when Neville came up from NXT as simply Neville and not Adrian Neville. Once again, you write yourselves into an unneeded corner.
Wrestlers like Baron Corbin, Dana Brookes, and Bull Dempsey are all wrestlers who can have a chance… IF they weren’t being scrutinized by fans and critics for being terrible when they really are just starting out. It is the curse of rookie quarterback in the NFL who is supposed to lead their team to a Super Bowl their first outing, yet everyone is shocked and surprised that he is under trained, has nothing to work with, and leads the team to a 3-13 season. These wrestlers are as green as grass, of course they suck, you would suck too if all you had was some time in the training gym before being thrust into what is essentially worldwide television exposure. They don’t know how to work a good match, work the crowd, how they need to position themselves, THEY ARE NEW TO THIS! You can’t expect them to walk right in and just be the next Goldberg in the case of Dempsey and Corbin or Beth Phoenix in the case of Dana Brookes. Now I’m sure there is some quiet little ‘non camera’ area where they are being trained, but that doesn’t help the fact that they are still being thrust into an uncomfortable position without proper training. It isn’t how it works and it is the main reason why NXT is killing the developmental system for the WWE.
With that said, I am calling it quits on the wrestling for now. Thank you for reading and as always, if you enjoyed this review, than please like and subscribe for more.