It's Official: A New Era Has Begun In NXT

Finding faces in a Universe full of heels.

On a recent edition of NXT, The Undisputed Era's Kyle O'Reilly defeated Timothy Thatcher, Cameron Grimes, Bronson Reed and Kushida in a slightly convoluted gauntlet match to earn a shot at Finn Bálor's NXT Championship at TakeOver: 31.

There is something magnificently unspectacular about all of that.

Judging by online response - and where else is there to judge? - this was a popular decision. As was re-strapping the Champion that oversaw the original elevation of the brand from unknown quantity to barely-hidden gem half a decade ago.

Bálor/O'Reilly is as good as brand spanking new, reflects significant change at the top of the card, and interestingly looks set to main event a card free from the bells and whistles often deemed necessary to try and sell these supershows in the current era.

June's In Your House was a humongous hit with those that appreciated the nostalgia, whilst the thirtieth edition of the show in August added the faintest air of gravitas along with three giant X's to the barren set. Both were vastly improved from the catastrophic rearranged Tampa card, and all the actual TakeOvers feel worthier than the Great American Bash-esque television specials.

If all of that reads as a slightly complicated set of qualifiers about why this particular event kicks off a bold new journey for NXT, blame those in charge. "WE ARE NXT" might remain the calling card of the still-converted, but never has that felt quite as patently false. NXT categorically isn't NXT anymore, or if it is, it's time to reclassify what those letters now represent.

But a new era cannot be forged without understanding how the old one crumbled. And the events of just 12 months prior feel so long ago that they already appear in the mind's eye through a sepia Instagram filter.



We Need To Talk About Kevin (Nash). Michael can be found in articles or on podcasts extolling the virtues of New Generation WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling or the new WWE angle they definitely definitely won’t ruin this time.