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Thread: NXT ArRival Review

  1. #1

    NXT Takeover Special NXT ArRival Review

    NXT ArRival
    February 27, 2014



    The historic first live show ever to be streamed on the WWE Network.

    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I'm fairly sure that the music being played during Triple H's introduction is an edit on Earthquake's old WWE theme. Maybe it's just wishful thinking though.

    Cesaro vs Sami Zayn
    The first NXT match I've ever seen twice. After giving this match quite a good rating when I originally watched the Zayn/Cesaro series back in May 2014, I was curious to see whether or not the match would hold up for me. What happened is that I found myself liking this match even more now than I did the first time. There was a lot of small things that went into making this match great. There's call backs on their previous matches such as Zayn's dive to the outside, Cesaro counting Zayn's jump between the ropes on the outside with an European Uppercut and how Cesaro can now kick out of the Helluva Kick, that originally scored Zayn his sole pinfall over Cesaro. The longer this match went, the more Cesaro became frustrated enough that he had to dust off some of his indy finishers like the original version of the Neutralizer to try and force the submission due to Zayn's previous knee injury. It's when Cesaro tries going for a middle rope Ricola Bomb, that Zayn counters into a Frankensteiner in mid air due to the fact that while Cesaro hasn't used that finisher in years, Zayn certainly has experience with it. Two big elements that added to the quality of the match had nothing to do with Zayn or Cesaro. First off, the crowd was amazing and they were into everything. They made this match feel as if it was one of the most important of the entire year. Second, there was William Regal as color commentator. Regal is fantastic at just bringing up small things to add substance to the match such as mentioning how Cesaro keeps hooking the injured knee during pins to just add a little more pain to the leg. Love the finish with Zayn rallying back for a giant comeback (Kicking out at one after a popup European Uppercut~!) before Cesaro squashes him and finishes Zayn off with his WWE version of the Neutralizer. If this was on PPV, it would easily be one of the best PPV openers of all time. A WWE MOTYC. **** 1/2

    After the match, Cesaro gets half way up the entrance way before he turns around and heads back into the ring. In a great moment, he grabs Zayn and gives him a hug to show that Zayn has finally earned his respect. HOW DID CESARO NOT BECOME A TOP WWE MAIN EVENTER IN 2014?! Dude is already able to make someone look like a mega star by simply showing them respect ala The Undertaker with Jeff Hardy.

    Mojo Rawley vs CJ Parker
    First time seeing either man wrestle. Parker's name has to be a rib on him, right? Rawley reminds me a lot of Nikolai Volkoff if Volkoff had ADHD or something. Both the hippie and "GET HYPED~!" gimmicks are...something. Not that this had any chance of following Zayn/Cesaro, but I found this to be especially underwhelming with neither guy leaving any sort of positive impression on me. Likely due to my lack of knowledge of NXT, but the finish came out of nowhere with Rawley hitting an Earthquake Splash for the victory. I have a difficult time seeing either guy be a success on the main roster with the gimmicks they currently have. Not totally terrible, but certainly not good either. * 3/4

    The Ascension (c) vs Too Cool - NXT Tag Titles
    The second Ascension match I've ever seen. I feel torn on Too Cool being revealed as the mystery opponents. On one hand, it was nice seeing Too Cool back again for a random match and I suppose the Ascension beating the former WWE Tag Team Champions means more than a jobber tag team, but it doesn't feel very important or prestigious. On a show that even the Diva's Title is made to feel like a major match, the NXT Tag Team Champions are involved in something fairly pointless. The Ascension didn't do anything for me and other than seeing Scotty doing the Worm again, the match was another skippable bout. With the exception of a brief period of time where Scotty was on offense, this was a total squash for the champions. The Fall of Man is not nearly as devastating looking at Total Elimination. Maybe it'd look better if they hit the double team move faster and more abrupt than both guys running from the corners to hit the guy in the middle. SQUASH.

    Paige (c) vs Emma - NXT Diva's Title
    With both women having video packages shown for them in addition to seeing how they prepare for this match, this feels important and the complete opposite of the piss breaks that the Diva matches are on the main roster. In my limited viewing of Emma, I don't exactly get her appeal, but she was great here. She still did her usual wacky antics, but she did it with a stern expression on her face and added a ton of aggression to the match. I can't say I expected Emma to damn near squash Paige with Emma just being too tough for Paige despite the fact that Paige kept avoiding the Emma Lock. The importance of the match increased when Emma becomes the first person to ever kick out of the Paige Turner, forcing Paige to debut her Scorpion Crosslock (Whether it is or it isn't, it's at least the impression I got from the commentary) to finally force Emma to tap out. Even in losing, Emma looked great and Paige managed to put on a better match than anything else I've seen her in. Admittedly, that isn't much. A legitimate good match without having to use the usual Diva's curve. It's no wonder the NXT's Diva division is so highly praised. *** 1/4

    Tyler Breeze vs Xavier Woods
    Why is Woods coming out to Brodus Clay's entrance theme? It's no wonder Brodus Clay turned heel. Before the opening bell, Rusev comes out and destroys both men. Once he's done, Lana gets on the mic and makes it clear Rusev did all of this damage because NXT ArRival was Rusev's chance to make an impression in front of the most fans that have watched an NXT event. The Rusev booking is good, but I would have much preferred seeing Breeze/Woods than Mojo/Parker or Ascension/Too Cool. ANGLE.

    Before the main event, Shawn Michaels comes out to do a little comedy, shill his new DVD/Blu-Ray (Where you can own EVERY HBK Wrestlemania match except that five star classic that no longer exists), and finally introducing the participants in the main event. There's a pretty killer visual with Dallas/Neville face-to-face with the lights turned down and only a blue hue light on them.

    Bo Dallas (c) vs Adrian Neville - NXT Title - Ladder Match
    I know this match received some good praise when it first happened, but I can't say I expected it to be that good because of Dallas. Yet, I really enjoyed the match and was surprised at just how good Dallas was in this. He ditched his gimmick and instead focus on just being a ruthless SOB trying to injure Neville. Like the opening and Diva's Title match, the bout felt really important, although even with my limited NXT experience, I don't know if I buy the fact that this is the biggest match in NXT history. I really liked that they kept the action in the ring rather than give into temptation to have a Hardyz style ladder match where the action is all over the place. There were some big spots and falls, but nothing felt as if it was contrived or set up just for the sake of a cool looking spot. Loved that the finish began with Neville hitting his Red Arrow finisher while Dallas was lying on a ladder. It's a way of including the move in the finish, connecting it with the ladders, yet realizing that the match can't actually end with Red Arrow. With Dallas on the outside, Neville would climb to the top of the ladder and pull the belt down before Dallas can stop him. While it doesn't come anywhere near as good as the opening match, it's perfectly suitable for the main event and it's comfortably the second best of the show. Again, way better than I imagined a Bo Dallas match could be. *** 1/2

    Overall
    NXT's first two hour supercard is an easy thumbs up. If you compare it with the ultimate two hour PPV of In Your House: Canadian Stampede, it can't compare, but it's about the same quality as those old ROH PPV's from 2007-2009. Considering how great those ROH shows were, comparing this NXT special to those is quite the compliment. Obviously, the main reason to watch this show is to see a WWE MOTYC. Cesaro and Zayn created an amazing match that further highlights how crazy the WWE are for not pushing Cesaro after Wrestlemania. They are flat out wasting one of the best talents in the world and this match shows why Cesaro deserves a top spot in the company. Yet, Zayn/Cesaro isn't the only reason to watch the show. As someone who doesn't watch much NXT at all, I was blown away with the Diva's Title match. Paige is awesome and even though I'm not a fan of her gimmick, Emma showed she actually has some talent beyond popping bubbles and using her name in various words. As someone who can't stand whenever someone praises Trish Stratus, Lita or even AJ Lee as great women wrestlers, I can't find fault in the match. It's just legitimately good wrestling, not just by women standards. The main event delivered with Bo Dallas impressing me and a big moment in the crowning of the 4th NXT Champion. While I would have preferred to see the Breeze/Woods match, I did like Rusev's impact on the show to highlight one of the real breakout stars of 2014. The other two matches weren't good by any means, but at least they were straight forward and didn't include any mindless Sports Entertainment BS. You could go so much worse than seeing two clean finishes on your two weakest shows. If NXT does want to be in that ultimate 2 hour PPV circle with Canadian Stampede, they do need to fix those two weaker matches though. Still, as someone who finds it a chore to sit through a WWE PPV in 2014, I found this show easy to watch and mostly highly enjoyable. Why watch WWE when you have NXT to get your WWEish fix?
    Last edited by Jim; 02-15-2015 at 09:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

    No Star Rating for the Bo-Neville match?

    Anyways, I agree with pretty much everything you have to say. And the best part is that the NXT Live Specials continue to deliver the goods one after the other after the other. I sincerely hope this means you'll be getting to them soon.

    Also, fuck Mojo Rawley.
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  3. #3

    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus T View Post
    No Star Rating for the Bo-Neville match?
    Oh, whoops.

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    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

    I find Arrival to be the weaker of the 4 specials so far, mainly as you say because they had a number of weaker matches outside of the big 3 (Takeover 1 has the same problem with Adam Rose/Camacho, but they work it out eventually), and because Neville's title matches got better and better and better. The Tag Titles match here was just a squash because there was no Tag Team Division outside of The Ascension, I think it was early 2014 when it began to click that this division needed fleshing out. I didn't feel like Neville/Bo was anything special as ladder matches go, but it was a good, memorable end to the Bo Dallas title reign.

    It shouldn't surprise you that a year later with the likes of Kevin Steen, KENTA, Samuray Del Sol and Prince Devitt signed up by NXT and debuted under their new names, that CJ Parker is just a jobber and Mojo Rawley hasn't been seen for months. Mojo was terrible, worst finisher ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim
    Why is Woods coming out to Brodus Clay's entrance theme?
    Because Xavier's lame debut angle was that he started using the Funkadactyls as valets, and Brodus Clay got mad and turned heel, and then for some reason, Xaiver kept using Brodus' music.
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    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Xavier's lame debut angle was that he started using the Funkadactyls as valets, and Brodus Clay got mad and turned heel, and then for some reason, Xaiver kept using Brodus' music.
    I'm absolutely shocked that that angle didn't do anything for Woods.

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    Re: Jim Reviews WWE Weeklies

    Jim, you should watch the rematch between Bo and Neville that followed a few weeks later if you want to see Bo continue to surprisingly deliver.
    -------
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    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
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