My Two Centsss - NXT: Let's Call Them Up!
By Super Chrisss
Sep 8, 2013 - 2:40:44 PM
Writer's Note: After a one-week hiatus, The Doc & Super Chrisss return to LOP Radio this Wednesday at 6pm. We'll give our thoughts on Monday's Raw, preview Night of Champions, discuss the ongoing Daniel Bryan/Corporation storyline, and a whole lot more! Don't miss it - it'll be fun, I promise.
If you've been keeping up with LOP headlines this weekend, you may have noticed a lot of buzz surrounding NXT. That's because WWE played around a bit with their live event cards and booked several stars from WWE's developmental territory to compete at Friday's house show in Montreal (my hometown, by the way) as well as Saturday's show in New Jersey. From NXT Champion and "fan favourite" Bo Dallas to arguably the NXT breakout star of 2013, Sami Zayn, to former TNA talent Consequences Creed - now known as Xavier Woods - there was plenty of new blood to go around this weekend. WWE usually does this to test potential additions to the main roster, but were those the right names to try out? Furthermore, is there anyone else down in NXT who should get a call-up by the end of 2013? Well, let's start by looking at who did go on tour, shall we?
Bo Dallas: As the current reigning and defending champion of NXT, it should be a no-brainer why Dallas was lucky enough to show his skills in front of a much larger audience. After all, when you're the champion of any brand, of any division - it's because you're at the top of your game, right? Well, not in Bo's case. In my humble opinion, Bo Dallas is everything that's wrong with professional wrestling. He has wrestling ability, but unless he has an excellent opponent to work with, he puts on terrible matches. His promo/acting ability is cringe-worthy and appalling; you can't listen to the guy speak for longer than a minute without wanting to break every one of his teeth. In all likelihood, the 'man' - and that's being generous - wouldn't even have a job if it wasn't for his family's legacy in the business. If you read Oliver's NXT reviews, you'll know that the Full Sail crowd cannot stand his guts and literally turn their backs everytime he comes out or wins his matches. Bo is supposed to be the face of NXT yet receives even worse reactions than John Cena does on a weekly basis. I know they've been trying to 'fix' his character lately, but the man does not deserve to be the NXT Champion, let alone a promotion to the main roster.
Sami Zayn: The former "El Generico" is everything that Bo Dallas is not - he's an amazing wrestler (he's already put on a MOTY candidate with Antonio Cesaro and more recently had a fantastic match with Jack Swagger), he's likeable, he knows how to cut a promo and get the crowd behind him, and above all, he's over. In a very short time, Zayn has become one of the most popular stars on the NXT roster and his matches with Cesaro and Swagger have proven he's worthy of competing with the big boys on Raw and SmackDown. He might not be on the tall or muscular side, but in today's WWE, where guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Dolph Ziggler are all top stars, that doesn't even matter. I'd be SHOCKED if Zayn isn't regularly appearing on Monday or Friday nights in a few months' time, even if it looks like he might be the one to overthrow Bo's title reign.
Xavier Woods: Like Zayn, Woods is no stranger to the wrestling scene, as he has plenty of experience from working in TNA and the indies in the past. However, I'm not totally sold on Mr. Woods just yet. His on-screen character is entertaining, and his matches are fun to watch, but he just screams "midcard for life" to me. Now, there's nothing wrong with never being a main-eventer or winning a world title, but WWE currently has a massive midcard and a much smaller main-event scene. Obviously, that could change in time, especially if guys like Ziggler and even Miz or Kofi are elevated thanks to this Corporation storyline, but I don't see Woods making any kind of impact in today's WWE. I'd like to see him join the main roster eventually but not just yet.
So out of the three names that went on tour this weekend, Sami Zayn is the only one I would like to see join the main roster in the near future. But don't fret, there are plenty of other NXT stars who I wouldn't mind getting a call-up, such as...
Paige: Saying I have a little crush on the NXT Women's Champion is probably the understatement of the century. Even though she only recently turned 21, Paige already has what it takes to be a major player in the divas division. Hell, she's already a better wrestler than most of the Total Divas cast and she's definitely more over than all of them combined. If you thought Aj was cute and sexy, then wait until you see Paige! Speaking of the Divas Champion, an Aj vs. Paige feud has the potential to someday be an amazing feud. Call this lady up NOW!!!
Corey Graves: I know a lot of people have soured over Graves' work in recent times, but I still think the guy has 'it'. He can certainly get the job done in the ring, and his promo work is quite good. Unlike some, I don't view Graves as a 'Punk wannabe' but rather a unique character in his own right. The question is, does Graves have what it takes to make it big in a much larger pond than NXT? I think he does, and like Punk, I would like to see him join the main roster as a rebel babyface who the crowd loves to cheer for just because he doesn't fit the WWE mold.
Adrian Neville: Neville is an interesting pick as despite his rave reviews from NXT fans, there are still some people who think he's too green for the main roster. While I don't necessarily agree with that assessment, I believe one-half of the NXT tag team champions should make his Raw or SmackDown debut as just that - part of a tag team. Should that happen, you have to wonder who his partner would be - fellow NXT tag team champion, Oliver Grey, another fellow NXTer, maybe someone already on the main roster who's sitting around, doing nothing? There are a ton of possibilities for the man once known as "Pac", and I would love to see WWE explore those options sooner rather than later.
The Ascension (Conor O'Brian & Rick Victor): Last but not least is one of my favourite tag teams in all of pro wrestling, The 'New' Ascension. Quite frankly, had O'Brian's former tag team partner, Kenneth Cameron, not been an idiot last year and get himself fired from the company, there's a very good chance The Ascension would have been called up to the main roster long before The Wyatt Family did. Cameron's untimely departure obviously put those plans on hold but with newcomer Victor joining up with O'Brian, The Ascension has been reborn and would be a welcome addition to a growing tag team division in WWE. As former Main Page columnist Ro pointed out on Twitter, it would be hard and illogical for WWE to book two occult stable/tag teams at the same time. Hard, but not impossible. Should The Ascension be fortunate enough to get the call-up from NXT, I would have them be faces and feud with The Wyatts from the get-go (after all, how can you NOT mark for that amazing entrance?). Such a plan might be too difficult for WWE Creative to pull off, but O'Brian has spent way too much time in NXT, if you ask me.
Well, there you have it. A bunch of guys and girls who I think could breathe new life into the WWE product and replace stagnant midcarders/lower-carders in the coming months. Other names I didn't mention but would love to see in the big leagues someday include Emma, Leo Krueger, and Kassus Ohno (if he's still employed), among others. NXT is ripe with talent nowadays and I hope the rumours of the weekly program coming to U.S. TV in the coming months are indeed true, so they can reach an even bigger audience.
How about you, casual and hardcore NXT fans - who would you like to see join the big leagues in the coming months?
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As always, thanks for reading.