Best: Tyler Breeze Is Killing It All Day Every Day
If you want to know why Tyler Breeze has only been around for two months and is already a folk legend at Full Sail, watch the minute-or-so of interaction with Brad Maddox that starts this week’s show. Every word out of his mouth is hilarious, from his suggestion that Maddox clone him so he can have a suitable tag team partner to his disappointment that Maddox isn’t bringing in Brad Pitt. Also, his response of “EEEENNNGHHHH ANYBODY BUT HIM” to being paired with CJ Parker should be everyone’s response to being paired with CJ Parker.
There are some tiny Worsts here — CJ Parker trying to be funny and failing, Brad Maddox being in charge of NXT all of a sudden because he’s a freestanding WWE Authority Figure even though “who runs NXT” is the major plot point of the episode — but if every NXT episode started with stupid characters acting ridiculously while Brad Maddox sighs and half-assedly deals with them because he’d rather be getting emasculated by a Raw guy, I’d be happy.
Best: Enzo And Big Cass Officially Go For That Cottonelle Endorsement Deal
BADA BOOM, REALEST GUYS IN THE BATHROOM
A new batch of NXT promo school videos went up in semi-secret last week and featured Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy doing a great bit about Cottonelle tissue (read: they’re like Cottonelle because they’re on a roll, their opponents are like Cottonelle because they’re s-a-w-f-t soft), so I was happy to see that worked into the show proper and become canon. I really love Enzo’s ability to say something not only entertaining every week, but fresh. He’s like the Louis C.K. of NXT.
Worst: Gauntlet Matches, Especially The Ones That Work In Reverse
The opening match on the show was a “tag team turmoil” match, which you may remember as that gauntlet-style thing from the Night Of Champions pre-show. Gauntlet matches never really make sense … Royal Rumbles work because of the randomness of it, and with 30 individual guys you’ve got a strategy to last and win no matter where you enter. With gauntlet matches you have to wrestle an entire wrestling match each time, so the wrestlers and teams that start it off have no realistic chance of winning unless they’re super heroes and the wrestlers or teams that come in last haven’t really proven anything and still get to spoils. It’s weird. Gauntlet matches should only happen with a bunch of qualifying matches beforehand to establish position. If Enzo/Cass, the Fighting Legionnaires, Breeze/Parker and the Ascension are all announced to be in a guantlet, have a fourway elimination singles thing with one member from each team and let order of elimination establish placement in the gauntlet. Right?
Unfortunately, this one worked in reverse for me. It started off fun with Enzo and Big Cass against CJ Parker, and Parker jobbing out so tremendously that Breeze never even got a chance to get in the ring. The best part is that Breeze still got chants for the entire fall. So then Breeze is immediately gone and replaced by Scott Dawson and Alexander Rusev, who quickly get replaced by the Ascension. If they’d started with the iffy teams and built UP to Enzo and Tyler Breeze, I might’ve liked it more. As is … man, I’m not looking forward to an Ascension vs. Graves and Neville tag titles match. I might have to break out the monkey peeing video.
Best: Aiden English
I don’t have anything to add here I didn’t mention last week, but I’ve been going around my apartment singing DAAAAHBULLYOU DAAAAHBULYOUUUUUU like him all morning.
Best: Renee Young On Commentary
Here’s a shock: Renee Young is awesome on commentary, and even moreso when William Regal spends most of it trying to awkwardly compliment her. They brought Renee in for her perspective on the Divas match, and she — gasp — mentioned what she knows about the competitors as someone who always hangs out and interviews them and uses that to explain what they’re doing and who she thinks is gonna win. ROCKET SCIENCE.
It’s amazing what you can do when you let people with functioning personalities who like your product run your commentary booth. More of Renee and William Regal please, and fewer graduates of the Michael Cole School Of Faceless Regurgitation And Not Knowing Shit About Wrestling.
Best: Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
Okay, I’ll admit it: Sasha Banks can go.
I’m so used to writing the Raw column where everyone’s an established, marketed character presented to the public to pass or fail that I forget NXT is ostensibly still a wrestling school, and that the characters that don’t work for whatever reason can be tweaked and refocused on a dime. A few weeks ago, Sasha Banks was a cardboard cutout in sparkly hotpants with the acting ability of Keanu Reeves’ colon. Now, after a few episodes of iffy mic work, Sasha’s been repurposed as the POC Summer Rae and has had two very good matches in a row, first against Paige and now against Bayley. All she needed was to have good matches instead of trying to get over as a “Diva” and let somebody talk for her. Perfect.
This match was a hell of a lot of fun, and the crowd really helped it. Full Sail LOVES Bayley, and I agree with them in total. She’s got an lovable character, an amazing body and can wrestle her ass off. On the other side we’ve got Sasha Banks hitting fast, crisp and impactful moves (I don’t think Damien Sandow’s neckbreaker has ever looked as good as it did here) and Summer Rae, who has quickly become the Kingshit Heel of NXT. First she pours bubble solution in Emma’s eyes, and now she’s breaking Bayley’s headband. That’s COLD. Renee selling the importance of a woman breaking another woman’s accessories was also great, because it was sorta tongue-in-cheek and not Jerry Lawler being all WOMEN, AM I RIGHT. That’s pitch-perfect for NXT.
I want more like this!
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