Posted by Chris Surrency
Saturday night I once again spent the evening watching the developmental talent of WWE put on a show, and once again, I sat there thinking that the future is VERY bright for this company. Every time I go to see an NXT live event, I am absolutely amazed at the talent that WWE has been able to get under their umbrella. I had actually requested to meet the man running things, Bill DeMott, but got there a bit late and decided it would be best not to bother him, as it was so close to the start of the show. This show they had a bit more upgraded of a set from the last event I attended, and got even more of that old school feel by turning down the house lights and using their spot lights to focus attention on the ring. While they did seemingly have fewer chairs in the building, the upside is that we were now in the second row, so we were just a bit closer to the action than the last time as well. Every event I attend, my appreciation for the product, and respect for everyone on the developmental side of WWE from Triple H down to Joey Mercury, Terry Taylor, Steve Keirn, and of course Bill DeMott gets just THAT much higher. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times over, if you haven’t had the benefit of seeing NXT live yet, you need to get out and see what you’re missing.
This show kicked off with Mason Ryan, who seems to be developing a pretty solid following while in NXT, squaring off against the Singing Superstar Aiden English. Ryan has improved a ton since his time on the main roster, and I don’t doubt he’ll be back on said roster very soon, and I may even have a suggestion for his return later in this very article. English has been impressive every single time I’ve seen him work, and each NXT event I’ve attended he’s had a different gimmick. The first event, in Lakeland, he worked in a tag team with Mickey Keegan doing a somewhat “old school strong man” style gimmick. This time around, he did his singing entrance, but more than anything his work in the ring and his ability to project his voice while working made him a much more interesting worker to watch. Mason Ryan took the victory, working the opening match to warm up the crowd you had to expect the face to go over, but English looked solid and got a wonderful crowd reaction for his efforts. I’m looking forward to seeing, if the gimmick sticks, Aiden English come to Raw or Smackdown sometime down the road sporting his beret and scarf, singing his theme all the way down to the ring. We already had the “singing diva” before; why not let a young superstar give it a shot, especially considering he actually doesn’t have a horrible voice.
Another bright spot, as with each show I’ve attended to this point, was the appearance of Tyler Breeze. I’ve hyped this young man up repeatedly, and deservedly, he’s a hell of a talent in the ring and his persona is absolute magic. As soon as he was announced the crowd started to rumble, at that point I turned to my wife and said “I told you, he’s going to be over, BIG” and it clearly looks like that’s where we’re headed. I’ve been thinking of ways to get Breeze up to the main roster sometime, he’s so talented that I feel he could be a huge benefit on the top shows. I mentioned earlier that I may have a spot for Mason Ryan and this actually would be where his spot could come into play. I’ve advocated a European Union type of stable in the past, but I believe I’ve come up with another idea when thinking of Tyler Breeze’s future. I’ve said before that Breeze has a bit of a Shawn Michaels quality to him, from athleticism and look all the way down to the self-centered pretty boy gimmick. Much like Shawn, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give Breeze some muscle to back up his cocky attitude. I could see him getting into a feud down the road sometime with a larger worker and turning to someone like Mason Ryan or Colin Cassady to watch his back and be his bodyguard. Shawn had Nash as Diesel; maybe Breeze could get someone to be his muscle as well, helping propel both of their careers over time.
There were a couple tag matches on the card this night as well, one that saw what I thought seemed like an odd pairing and another that allowed my first up close viewing of a team that I see being HUGE in a very short time. The earlier tag match on the card saw Travis Tyler and Troy McClain versus the seemingly odd combination of Angelo Dawkins (sporting an appearance similar to Percy Watson, dancing and everything) and Baron Corbin. I’m a fan of Corbin, but this was my first time seeing Dawkins in action, got to say he’s a solid big man with a with some serious potential. Their opponents, Tyler and McClain were very good at their comedic persona, getting reactions out of the fans all over. The other tag match, between The Ascension and CJ Parker with Jason Jordan, two incredibly talented teams who I think have bright futures but in much different ways. Jordan and Parker are damn good, but I see a split sometime down the road where Jordan gets tired of the “Moonchild” piling up loss after loss for the team and takes him out. The other side of this coin was The Ascension, at team with a massive future ahead of them, one that I’ve been dying to see live and I finally got my chance. Their entrance looked awesome, even without all the extra production costs. O’Brian and Victor are going to be a big deal, very soon. I actually see a lot of Undertaker in the Conor O’Brian character, which is a GREAT thing.
I can’t stop attending these events, as I’ve said in the past, once you attend one you get addicted and just keep going back for more. This event even had a “celebrity” among the “event staff” with Shawn Ricker from The Hero working the event. I can’t sing the praises of these workers enough; they entertain the live crowd and keep them active from start to finish. Everyone from Colin Cassady (who looks like Edge if he were put on a stretching machine) and Corey Graves, to Bayley (who I’m getting more addicted to as a worker every time I see her) and Kendall Skye, all the way to the ever impressive Sami Zayn and Bo Dallas. I’m a huge fan and I will be for as long as I watch the business. I would be remiss if I didn’t write about Leo Kruger and Adrian Neville in their match. Kruger is an incredible talent and I look forward to him finally breaking out on the main roster soon enough, I will admit that I see a thin Mick Foley every time I see him working. Neville, the “Man That Gravity Forgot” is an amazing talent with an incredibly bright future ahead of him on the main roster. These two great workers put on a beautiful match that would fit in very well on a WWE Pay Per View event. From the great talent to the top tier training staff, WWE NXT is a great developmental organization that will feed the WWE main roster with the absolute best talent possible for many years to come.
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