It's Official: WWE NXT Has Jumped The Shark

Ciampa Gargano

Plot twist: his wife had to do it for him, with a single, difference-making kick to the balls struck after some of the most gratuitous, thudding brutality witnessed in an age.

The crutch made an appearance, because you can't forget the crutch. They fought on top of a truck before politely scaling back down it. This was an anti-spectacle. This was 48 minutes of heavy grunting, heavy breathing, heavy shots, goofy trash talk and gratuitous, off-putting violence. It ended when Gargano turned once more on Ciampa after another moment of intimacy teased a reconciliation.

You see, the theme of the story is that you either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain. This feud, and there's so damn much of it, thinks a 2008 superhero blockbuster is the most profound exploration of the very nature of man.

The problem here is Triple f*cking H and Shawn f*cking Michaels, and how they are no different to Vince McMahon. They control the pawns of the NXT roster and over-produce them under their own, preferred vision. They are a pair of raging egomaniacs vicariously imposing their epic melodrama onto virtually every main event. Every TakeOver might as well be suffixed Bad Blood, since the vast majority under Shawn's production echo his old, monstrously indulgent slogs with - yes - Triple H.

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Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and surefire Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!