Smackdown Date: July 30, 2015 Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma Commentators: Jimmy Uso, Jerry Lawler, Tom Phillips
Smackdown has the potential to be interesting this week as we could get some more midcard build for Summerslam, which could be some of the more interesting stuff going on in WWE at the moment. The big story is likely to be Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens, which could be the match of the night at the pay per view. I don’t like that many could’s. Let’s get to it.
Impact Wrestling Date: July 29, 2015 Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
The big story coming out of last week is Matt Hardy earning the #1 contendership in a tables match over Bobby Roode. This was the result of the night’s main story being thrown out due to the Hernandez issue, which is likely going to cause even more problems tonight. Other than changing things up though, we do get Jeff Jarrett’s Hall of Fame induction. Let’s get to it.
NXT Date: July 29, 2015 Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida Commentators: Rich Brennan, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
We have a clear path towards Takeover: Brooklyn now with a main event of Finn Balor defending against Kevin Owens in a rematch from their Beast in the East showdown. Other than that it seems that we’re going to get Bayley challenging for the Women’s Title, but first she wants to get through Charlotte. However, Charlotte first wants to go through Dana Brooke, who she faces tonight. Let’s get to it.
Monday Nitro #230 Date: March 6, 2000 Location: Student Activities Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina Attendance: 4,682 Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden
We’re getting closer to the horror that is Uncensored 2000 and Jeff Jarrett vs. Sid Vicious. Both guys are talented and have their place on the card, but the main event isn’t the right spot for either of them, especially coming off HHH vs. Foley and transitioning into HHH vs. Rock. Other than that, since we’re in North Carolina, you can pencil in Flair for a loss or some sort of humiliation. Let’s get to it.
Thunder Date: March 1, 2000 Location: Fargodome, Fargo, North Dakota Attendance: 5,368 Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
We’re getting closer to Uncensored, meaning it’s time for more matches that people don’t want to see and characters old enough to be our parents. The big story continues to be Sid vs. Jarrett, with a co-main event of WCW vs. the fans in a battle to make us accept Jarrett as anything but the career midcarder that he is. Let’s get to it.
Smackdown Date: July 23, 2015 Location: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska Commentators: Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Jimmy Uso
This is an interesting show as Raw went off the air with a closed story for a change. The big story is of course the announcement of Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar…..we’re probably at V or VI over the years now. There’s no chance either guy is on this show so we should get some new stuff set up for Summerslam instead. Let’s get to it.
Impact Wrestling Date: July 22, 2015 Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
We have a boss to counter the Reign of Carter now as Bully Ray was appointed the new man in charge last week. That leaves us in need of a new challenger as Kurt Angle is on the shelf, meaning we might be getting someone new in the main event scene. Other than that though, we have the fallout of Eli Drake turning on his former Rising teammate, Drew Galloway, after costing him the World Title last week. Let’s get to it.
NXT Date: July 22, 2015 Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida Commentators: Corey Graves, Rich Brennan, Byron Saxton
We’re officially on the way to the next Takeover in Brooklyn with an announced main event of new NXT Champion Finn Balor defending against former champion Kevin Owens. This makes for an interesting match as Owens has kind of outgrown NXT despite only being there about seven months so far. It should be interesting how they get to the show so let’s get to it.
Monday Nitro #229 Date: February 28, 2000 Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota Attendance: 4,638 Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden
The big story coming out of Thunder is that the old guys are actually starting to mix it up with the younger guys in the form of Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk and Vampiro vs. Ric Flair. I fully expect WCW to screw this up as only they can, but it’s nice to dream for a little while. I’m sure Luger and Hogan will be here tonight to explain how things really work in wrestling. Let’s get to it.
Thunder Date: February 23, 2000 Location: Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada Attendance: 3,777 Commentators: Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
After Monday it’s very clear that this is the old guys/NWO (assuming you still think of them as the NWO) show. The wrestling has taken a backseat to “let’s see how simple a feud the old guys can put together” and it’s really not working too well. There have been a few glimmers of light with some young guys getting some upgrades lately and hopefully they continue tonight. Let’s get to it.
Impact Wrestling Date: July 15, 2015 Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
There isn’t much to go off from last week, but the big story is the reveal of the new authority figure, hand picked by Dixie Carter to keep her nephew and World Champion Ethan Carter III in line from letting all the power going to his head. Something tells me this won’t be the most thrilling announcement (because there isn’t a thrilling announcement out there) but maybe it’s better than I’m expecting. Let’s get to it.
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.
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.
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.
Monday Nitro #228 Date: February 21, 2000 Location: Arco Arena, Sacramento, California Attendance: 9,408 Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden
It’s the night after SuperBrawl and almost nothing has changed. That’s about as close to the truth as you can get here as no titles changed hands, unless you count a tournament final for a new champion. The big story continues to be Hogan/Sting vs. Flair/Luger as we’re back in the earliest days of this show, minus Randy Savage. Let’s get to it.
SuperBrawl 2000 Date: February 20, 2000 Location: Cow Palace, San Francisco, California Attendance: 8,569 Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden, Mike Tenay
Well the TV shows have been some of the least interesting things I’ve ever had to sit through, so maybe the pay per view will be the complete opposite and be entertaining. I mean, stranger things have happened right? The main events tonight are Sid Vicious defending the World Title against Jeff Jarrett and Scott Hall in a three way, plus Hogan vs. Luger and Funk vs. Flair because they haven’t replaced the Radicalz, but these old guys are still going to be fighting each other no matter who else is on the card. Let’s get to it.
Thunder Date: February 16, 2000 Location: First Union Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Attendance: 5,586 Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
It’s the go home show for SuperBrawl and the old guys abound. The big stories here are Hogan vs. Luger and Flair vs. Funk, one of which I can’t imagine appearing tonight because he’s worked the last two shows in a row. Other than that we get to find out if Prince Iaukea or Psychosis gets to fight Lash Leroux for the Cruiserweight Title. I continue to beg WCW to hire some fresh talent before too late sounds like great days gone by. Let’s get to it.
NXT Date: July 8, 2015 Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida Commentators: Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Rich Brennan
We have a new NXT Champion though we’re likely only going to hear about it in voiceovers as this is a taped show from a few weeks back. Finn Balor took the NXT Title from Kevin Owens in Tokyo on 4th of July and you know Owens is going to be gunning to get his title back. Other than that though, we have the Vaudevillains vs. Enzo/Cass for the #1 contendership. Let’s get to it.
Impact Wrestling Date: July 8, 2015 Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
We’re officially in the Ethan Carter III era, which means tonight is going to be a big celebration. It’s going to be interesting to see where the company goes with Ethan on top, because he was clearly the next logical choice to take the title. Oh and Dixie is back. Yes, about a year after she left, Dixie Carter makes her big return tonight to either congratulate or help deal with her nephew, because the world just wouldn’t be complete without the Duchess of Darlin out there to guide us through life. Let’s get to it.
Smackdown Date: July 9, 2015 Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jimmy Uso, Jerry Lawler
We’re back after this Monday’s classic of Cena vs. Cesaro and Lesnar squashing a Cadillac with….maybe Cesaro and Rollins if we’re lucky. My guess is we’ll get more of a focus on Reigns vs. Wyatt, which is a far more interesting story than the World Title situation. Hopefully the wrestling will be good. Let’s get to it.
Monday Nitro #227 Date: February 14, 2000 Location: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York Attendance: 8,160 Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Mark Madden
It’s SuperBrawl week and you can see most of the card at this point. If you hurry, you can still cover your eyes before your face melts like the Nazi in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The big stories tonight are Hogan vs. Flair and Luger vs. Funk as they mix up the big matches before Sunday. Let’s get to it.