NXT – January 20, 2016

NXT
Date: January 20, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

We’re in a bit of a weird point in NXT as it’s still a few months before the next announced Takeover and we’re just starting to set up the big feuds before we get to the really big feuds. Next week it’s Baron Corbin vs. Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn for the #1 contendership so odds are they’ll get some focus tonight. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – January 20, 2016

NXT – January 13, 2016

NXT
Date: January 13, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

It’s the first regular show of the new year and we’re at the start of a new taping cycle. We’ve got a few months to go before we get to the next Takeover, assuming there isn’t another one before Wrestlemania weekend. In addition to that, we’re getting something like the NXT Slammy Awards tonight with the end of the year awards. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – January 13, 2016

NXT – December 30, 2015 (Best of 2015 Part 1)

NXT
Date: December 30, 2015
Hosts: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves

This is the first half of the Best of 2015, meaning there’s no new material save for match introductions. It’s been a good year for NXT and the next two weeks are going to be a good look back at all the good things that have gone on. You can probably expect a solid mixture of Takeover and regular TV on here so let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – December 30, 2015 (Best of 2015 Part 1)

NXT – December 23, 2015

NXT
Date: December 23, 2015
Location: Wembley Arena, London, England
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

We’re past Takeover: London now and the big question is where do things go from here. Before we can get to the next major shows though, we have a few matches taped at the Takeover show to get through here, including a four way tag and the return of someone you might remember. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – December 23, 2015

New E-Book: NXT – The Full Sail Years Volume I

NXT

In today’s wrestling world, it’s very common to see the exact same formula over and over with very few changes. A lot of fans are looking for something fresh and it’s hard to find that anywhere. However, one place that you can find it is outside the top level. Down in Florida in the WWE developmental promotion, there is good, old fashioned, week to week wrestling and it’s some of the best stuff going today. I’m sure you’re familiar with names like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Neville and Charlotte, but how did they get their starts down there?

In this book, I’ll be looking at every the first year and a half of NXT, starting with their arrival in Florida at Full Sail University and wrapping it up just before they head over to the WWE Network. NXT started fast and quickly became one of the best wrestling shows around and it will be interesting to see how they got to where they are now. As usual I’ll be providing play by play, context and analysis of every show.

The books runs over 400 pages on a Kindle and only costs $3.99, or the equivalent in other currencies. If you don’t have a Kindle or e-book reader, there are several FREE apps you can use to read it on pretty much any electronic device. You can find those from Amazon here.

You can pick up the book from Amazon here.

From the UK Amazon here.

From the Canadian Amazon here.

Or if you’re in another country with its own Amazon page, just search “NXT History” and my book will be the first thing that pop up.

Also you can still get any of my previous books on the WWE Championship, Monday Night Raw from 1998 and 2001, Monday Nitro from 1995-June 1998, In Your House, Summerslam, Starrcade, ECW Pay Per Views, Royal Rumble, Saturday Night’s Main Event, the WWF and WCW pay per views from 1998 and Clash of the Champions at my author’s page here.

I hope you like it and shoot me any questions you might have.

KB

NXT – July 15, 2015

NXT
Date: July 15, 2015
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Corey Graves, Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton

It’s a title show as Charlotte came out last week to help Sasha Banks, in exchange for a title match tonight. These two have had some big showdowns in the past and this should be the same, especially after their debuts this past week on Raw. The other major story will be the return of Sami Zayn for an update on his injury. Let’s get to it.

Read moreNXT – July 15, 2015

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT–02.12.14

The SmarK Rant for WWE NXT – 02.12.14 Happy Valentine’s Day! Or as most wrestling fans know it, Friday. I have to say, I’m starting to get a real bad feeling about the direction of this show ever since the main WWE monkeys noticed that it’s a thing that exists and is airing on their new network. Nothing good ever comes from that, but hopefully it’s an aberration that ends once they get it out their system with the live show next week. Taped from Orlando, FL. Your hosts are Tom Phillips, Alex Riley & William Regal Natalya, Bayley & Emma v. Alicia Fox, Summer Rae & Sasha Banks Emma gets a sunset flip on Summer for two, and she runs away from Nat and brings in Sasha. Sasha gets a kick out of the corner, but Nattie takes her down with a suplex for two and follows with a dropkick. The announcers have a wonderfully wacky conversation about how Alex would marry Emma and take her last name, and Tom incredulously notes “She doesn’t have a last name!” That was pretty funny. Even better is Renee Young’s disgust with the whole deal, and then fawning over Regal immediately after. The characterization on the announce team is even better than most of the characters on RAW right now. The heels take over on Bayley and we go to a break. Back with Summer working Bayley over and Fox coming in with a lengthy facelock to build the heat, and Summer chokes her out while doing stretches on the ropes. Summer boots her down for two, but Summer fights back with a suplex and it’s hot tag Emma. Alicia wants no part of this action, but the BFFs walk out on her and the EmmaLock finishes at 12:05. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. **1/2 Aiden English v. Colin Cassady Cassady slams English out of the corner while Regal now fawns over Aiden with a man-crush. “Look at his body…it’s like he’s carved out of ONYX!” And yet we still get JBL on two of the main shows. English misses a legdrop and Cass makes the comeback with the SAWFT forearm smash, but English takes out the knee and finishes with the Director’s Cut at 2:21. Cass should really do a running forearm and call it the SAWFT Touch. So English wins this feud, and it was fine for a time-filling deal. * Sami Zayn joins us, and the Antonio Cesaro loss is EATING HIM ALIVE. So Mr. Cesaro comes out for his reply, and notes that Zayn can look forward to a great career…down here. (Crowd: “Oooooooooh!” What is this, a Chuck Lorre sitcom?) Sami reiterates how far back they go and how cool it is that Cesaro spends time in NXT when he doesn’t have to…but he’s kind of a coward for not fighting him. Cesaro is curious about the state of Sami’s knee, because he doesn’t want there to be any excuses this time. The crowd wants a pinky promise, so Sami obliges…and then Cesaro kicks him in the knee anyway and still refuses. And then HHH comes out and ruins all the fun by being deus ex machina and forcing Cesaro into the match. What a buzzkill. I watch this show to AVOID omnipotent authority figures coming out and making matches. See, this kind of thing is exactly what I mean by a bad feeling about the direction of the show, as they were having a great back-and-forth segment and then HHH came down from the mountain to just settle things for them like they were children or something. And isn’t JBL supposed to be the GM on the show? It’s bad enough we have to wade through the layers of fake authority figures on RAW as it is, now we have to add NXT to the giant convoluted flow chart that is the WWE chain of command, too. Tye Dillinger v. CJ Parker CJ gets a quick senton and airplane spin, and finishes with the Third Eye at 1:19. Just pull the plug on this guy already. Parker cuts an angry promo afterwards about how he recycles and loves the environment in his fuel-efficient car and the crowd is incapable of love. That’s a start. The angry pretentious environmentalist hipster douchebag is actually a surprisingly untapped resource for wrestling heels. I feel like a better direction would be if he started acting all passive-aggressive as well, but this is a start and at least it’s a real character. The Wyatt Family v. I Dunno, Some Guys. Harper finishes one of the geeks with a lariat at 0:50, as you’d expect. Oddly enough, the new episode of New Girl featured Jess’s sister…Abigail! COINCIDENCE? Probably. Or maybe THAT’S WHAT THE MACHINE WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE. The Pulse Man, HHH really harshed my buzz, as CJ Parker would say. OK show otherwise, although obviously they’re just going all in with the live special and basically cruising through the buildup to it.