NXT can be overall good, but still consistently shove garbage down our throats. That’s actually the dirty little secret the Internet Wrestling Community has been holding onto for some time now. That, sure, NXT TakeOver events can regularly rival the special feel of a WrestleMania, but the weekly episodes are nothing short of garbage.
That’s hardly an exaggeration, either. As we all trot about social media killing the WWE for poorly programmed editions of Monday Night Raw and/or SmackDown, NXT’s weekly broadcast gets a free pass. But why? For what? It shouldn’t.
For roughly a year now — yes, with exceptions — the weekly NXT episodes leave a lot to be desired. Is that by design? Maybe. But as a consumer of wrestling, it is disheartening that such a potential filled product is lacking in so many areas.
The formula for the NXT show is rather simple: Two to three meaningless matches a week, maybe a promo, a lot of fluff in areas that are not always even tied to the federation, and one solid match. That is it. Rarely anything more, often even less.
On the latest edition of NXT, we saw Tye Dillinger destroy a local jobber in what was just a lazy way to get him back on TV to force his teaming with Bobby Roode for the Dusty Rhodes Classic. We then saw Samoa Joe beat up a tag team (during their “debut”) in what was a segment no different than Joe beating up other people at random. Then we witnessed the talented Ember Moon squash Mandy Rose. The Authors of Pain win their eleventy-billionth squash match against a pair of nobodies. Asuka made Liv Morgan look like a local jobber. Finally we were gifted a decent match during the main event, as Hideo Itami defeated Lince Dorado.
By my count, that’s all meaningless matches, most of which were of the squash variety, and only Roode’s “promo” did anything to advance a story. Even then, all it did was force a pairing that needed to be done before the tournament takes place.
But hey, NXT chants, right?
The issue here is that this is the same thing that happens each week. It becomes slightly more troublesome now than it was in the past, as NXT’s roster has been depleted to the point of absurdity over the last year. The federation needs to build new stars, and new stars of tomorrow for the main rosters, but won’t accomplish that by regularly having only squash matches each week.
How are we meant to consume the riddled with potential Authors of Pain if all they do is beat up local guys? I ask that sincerely, as we can all see that the idea of them being awesome is so clearly there, but how long are we meant to swallow the idea that all they do is nothing other than win in a few minutes against guys who look like they work at a Turkey Hill?
The same applies for everyone else on that roster outside of the already established indie darlings. Roode, Austin, Aries, Samoa Joe, etc., don’t necessarily need a platform to showcase their skills outside an NXT TakeOver, but No Way Jose sure as hell does. So, too, do the countless other not-yet-over acts attempting to become more recognizable to the WWE Universe.
Thing is, there is a somewhat easy fix to this: Give the audience less fluff and more meaningful matches. Let an actual feud or two be played throughout the NXT taping process. Not everything needs to be done, told, and culminated at NXT TakeOver events.
These aren’t even minor gripes. If either of the main roster brands tried to pull what NXT has for a year, we would hashtag the Internet to the point of it crashing.
Let’s stop pretending NXT is nothing but rainbows, Fruity Pebbles and and love, because it is not. The reality of the situation is actually the exact opposite as we’ve been treating it. NXT is — thanks to its weekly shows — more often bad than it is good.
It is TNA and ROH with a better budget.