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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier (Oct 29) NXT - Who's Ready for Prime Time? + Hell in a Cell thoughts
By pen15
Oct 29, 2012 - 6:28:55 PM

Quick Hell in a Cell Thoughts

It’s always a strange feeling when you reflect on an event, and realize the main event was the worse match of the entire card. Then again, it isn’t that the main event sucked, just that most of the other matches exceeded their expectations, while the WWE Title match was as average as possible.

I really enjoyed last nights show. Highlights included the awesome tag wrestling, a great finish to the DelRio/Orton match, an equally strong finish to the US title match, a solid IC title match, tremendous energy to the end of the World Title match.

After that, meh.

I really enjoyed the first 6 matches. All of them were better than I imagined, and had me interested in the next step of all those involved.

The Divas match was the actual worst match of the night, but I don’t even count WWE Divas wrestling any longer.

The Main event was a let down, and I didn’t have a lot of expectations. They didn’t have a lot of time to work with, and the ending was disappointing. I have no problem with the cheap Punk victory at all, but I never like referee involvement. It takes me out of the reality of the match, because the first thing I think of every time is “Why didn’t he get involved sooner?” The post match beatdown was decent enough, but wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of a match.

Though, overall, a great event. I can’t let the final 30 minutes ruin the previous 150, and those were some of the best PPV quality matches we’ve seen all year. And, I’m excited to find out what happens on Raw tonight, and the build to Survivor Series.

Who Should Graduate from NXT

The new version of NXT has been around for a few months. The 20th episode of the new season will air on Wednesday. While it’s an enjoyable show, and definitely part of my wrestling viewing, the enthusiasm I had upon the debut of season 6 has diminished somewhat. After over 4 months, the roster has settled, so I’d like to evaluate those who stand out, who will get pushed despite not being worth it… and the rest.

Before I get started, I suggest you all watch the most recent NXT for the Divas Tag Match. It is the most shockingly impressive Divas match in years. If Alicia and Layla can wrestle this well, we wouldn’t be bored by the WWE Divas. Here’s a terrible upload of the match alone, but I suggest finding a better version for yourselves.

NXT Divas

Who to Expect on Real TV Soon

The Ascension - Deserved
I was initially surprised to see the gimmick these guys were given. Maybe WWE are truly preparing to say goodbye to the Undertaker, but a decade ago, these guys would have been a part of the Ministry of Darkness. Black, blue, and purple lighting, the bright lights going off, ominous music. This is all very Undertaker-esque. WWE managed to balance Undertaker and the Brood as separate entities so a period, and I’m shocked they never attempted it with anyone else since. Lots of potential.

As for these guys in particular, future is golden. Honestly, I bet if they didn’t have the gimmick, they’d not be anything special in particular. But they work the gimmick so well, and they have a natural chemistry as a tag team. That’s key. Even while watching Hell in a Cell, none of the 4 teams on PPV showed the tag team dynamic as well as Ascension do. They cut down the ring, they tag in and out well, and they connect with an actual double team finisher. These guys are easily the most likely to end up on NXT the soonest, especially with the revamped tag division.

Kassius Ohno - Deserved
No single star on NXT shines as bright as Kassius Ohno does. While the IWC loves to proclaim all indy darlings as the next big star, the only one who really deserves this claim is the former Chris Hero. Now, he hasn’t had any super stellar matches on NXt, so I might be a tad bit influenced on things I’ve seen of him outside of NXT. But it doesn’t change the fact that he is capable of delivering exactly what WWE would need from him in the ring. He can wrestle, he’s a great heel, he has the charismatic mannerisms, he can work a mic, he’s got the size (even without being chiseled). If WWE are looking to strike lightning twice with former ROH stars, and have another CM Punk, Seth Rollins won’t do it.

Kassuis Ohno will.

Paige - Deserved
I posted that Divas match to show off the current WWE Divas who are usually terrible on TV. The reason they are being used on NXT is to showcase Paige, who is honestly an unexpected surprise prospect. When the new NXT started, the Diva attention was obviously on Eddie Guerrero’s daughter. Raquel Diaz was being put over by several Divas, including Paige. But, she’s since received her released. And WWE took notice to how over Paige was, and decided to go with her. And no one on NXT has caught on stronger without the hype than Paige. In that tag match, the crowd is chanting for her because of her previous outings on the weekly program. This match was more of a showcase for Audrey Marie, but Paige still got her share of time. There’s no denying that she’s caught on, and with Kelly Kelly gone, Beth rumored to be next, and a Divas division that is stale in general, look for the Raven Haired Diva to be called up sooner, rather than later.

Big E. Langston - Undeserved
I am baffled as to why WWE has such a hard on for this dude. While I have nothing against giant beast men who are nothing but pure strength, how many do they need? Even if the goal is to have him be the next Mark Henry, they still need to wait for the current Mark Henry to leave. You also have Big Zeke who is more impressive in terms of physique. Unless Langston has some untapped charisma or mic skills, he’ll be the next Mason Ryan or Ezekiel Jackson. He’ll be drafted up, he’ll have a Ryback-type push, he’ll squash some superior talents, and then will be lost in the shuffle. I wish WWE would see the future as easily as most of LOP seems to, and pair him up in a team right away.

Leo Kruger - Undeserved
This one really upsets me. Not only is he one of the several talents that are generic as can be (then again, the same could be said about John Cena and Randy Orton back in 2001-2002), but he’s been over pushed for longer. He was an FCW standout, and was their champion. When he was on NXT, he was under a lame royalty gimmick. Now, he’s suddenly a mix of the Stalker/Waylon Mercy/Mick Foley (in look). It’s dumb, lame, and he’s not good enough to show talent outside of it. But, it’s obvious WWE sees something in him, so he’ll get his chance soon enough. I wouldn’t be shocked if he is booked to win the NXT Championship next. Shame.

Who’s To Watch

This guy has only had a single match (on the most recent episode) but he immediately made an impact on me. He’s an honest former MMA fighter, but he’s transitioned well into the wrestling world. When I first saw him wrestle, I thought of Sylvester Turkay, but better (though I didn’t hate Turkay at all). He’s a big man, and portrays “ruthless aggression” better than most. He had a very different in ring style that stands out. It might be something that trickles out, but at this point, he drew my attention more than anyone else in NXT upon their first appearance, including everyone I already mentioned.

Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is the current pride and joy of NXT, but the truth is that he’s a midcarder for life. I went off on how Kofi Kingston is not a true prime time player, but he has more of the WWE main event intangibles than Seth. I like the guy, not saying fire him, but like most of NXT, his loftiest goals should be an Intercontinental Title run. More than that just seems astronomically out of his reach.

BUT, he is their champion, and he’s a breath of fresh air (though I still say he’s nothing but CM Punk v.2, with less charisma and talent). WWE seems high on him, and he might break out in a way I can’t imagine. I just don’t see him getting higher than the white strap.

Bray Wyatt
NXT had the promos for Bray, and it’s obvious WWE is high on him and his character. Anyone who’s seen him wrestle as Husky Harris knows this guy can go, and does stand out. Why WWE thinks all their wrestlers should look the same is beyond me. Even in real sports, there are overweight guys who can go. UFC has their share of heavyweights who could use more time on the treadmill, while Butterbean is a draw in boxing for similar reasons. Let this guy be himself, and he’ll be fine.

Corey Graves
He’s only been on NXT once, and it was in a tag team match with his partner Jake Carter. In no way is the “hot guy who will steal your girlfriend” gimmick new, but these 2 delivered the gimmick in a modern way. Corey Graves is the ultimate douche. He oozes scum. Jake felt forced in his Jack Swagger smile and jean jacket, but Corey just stood silently using his eyes to portray being the super stud who’ll **** your girlfriend in the bathroom before letting her go home to give you the sloppy seconds.

Oh, and he could wrestle. Nothing amazing or outstanding, but he has only had 1 match on TV. He’s another indy wrestler with a decent reputation, so I trust his abilities. But it’s rare you get an indy guy who can portray a gimmick as well as Corey did in that one appearance. Keep an eye out on him.

And on that note, peace out.

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
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