Clearly, I'm on a modern wrestling kick as of late. I suppose I'm taking a little breather from FMW and AJ. Who knows I might even finish the wXw tournament!
Fortunately, I have the WWE streaming service free for another month so, I thought I'd see what the hype was about concerning NXT. That's not to say I'd never seen NXT footage but, I wanted to see this current crop of guys. It's kinda like ROH & PWG from 2013-16 with Roderick Strong, Red Dragons, Adam Cole, 2 of the 3 Grapple Fuckers, is Hero still with the company? Oh and they finally got Ricochet too! Plus Tommy Chompers, Johnny Gargano (I remember him from his Pro Wrestling Ohio days...really cool to see him make it), and our wXw friend Tommy End. I'll just say Mr. End has come a long way since 2010.
One thing that I don't like about the streaming business is that there's no way to skip ahead or back to the matches or chapters. I'm so used to watching DVDs that I really prefer it. I hear everyone enjoy all the different streaming services they have. That's cool but, I don't have the time, patience, or stomach to scan through (let alone watch) a three hour show.
It's OK though. This non-skip obstacle forced me to watch a match that I might have missed from the NXT: New Orleans show. You'd better believe I skipped the ladder match and the three way tag team match. That's way too much gimmerickery.
Ember Moon vs Shayna Baszler: NXT Women's title on the line. I liked this match which is less and less of a surprise to me. Women's wrestling in the States is catching up to the men...or at least the stuff shown on TV. It is equal to or better than most of the men's matches. That being said, this was the weaker of the 3 WWE Women's title matches fought during the weekend. I'd still recommend it though.
Andrade Almas vs Aleister Black : NXT Title match. This was pretty darn good. I'd even say great however, it had superfluous moonsaults and "moves" when good old fashion hitting would have been better. That is to say, more intense and more logical. End oh *ahem* Black is a hell of a kicker so, why is he doing moonsaults? This reminds me of Kawada in Footloose. He was doing top rope moves and spins kicks. Sure, they looked really great but, when you can kick a guy straight in the face, why bother? Almas valet was really remarkable and the most memorable part of this match. I'm coming in never seeing them so, perhaps that's old hat but, I dug it.
Johnny Gargano vs Tomasso Ciampa: Grudge match. For a guy that skips as much of the WWE packaging as possible, watch the intro video to this. Especially if you're ignorant of their backstory. I know them but, not as NXTers so, this really helped set the scene. If you're new to this story/feud then, I'd say it's required going forward. Coversely, I don't feel like I missed anything by not watching NXT on a even sporadic basis. I'd say it's like an update retelling of the Midnight Rockers split up...except Johnny and Tomasso really are friends.
I was hesitant to watch this because it had gotten a lot of pimping on the Match Discussion Archive. That and I'm not the biggest fan of 2018 wrestling. I am so glad that I didn't let those things stop me. Not only was it a gruelling battle but, it had a weight to it that few matches have. This was all punctuated by a finish that wasn't fade to black hammers but, instead one that showed a depth of emotions. I thought it was a classic. Bravo guys!!
I can't say I'm in love with NXT since I skipped two matches intentionally. In some regards, just don't like the WWE style of presentation. I didn't like TNA or WCW's main shows either. Saturday Night was good though. I guess I like a more bare bones approach. I don't really care for the gimmicks that the wrestlers have. It feels really focused on a 8-16 year old demographic. I mean I could see myself loving the characters as a pre-teen. I think I'd be an Aleister Black fan since he seems the most scuzzy/ECW like Nevertheless, I am really glad I watched what I did.