As reported a few weeks ago, NXT has recently undergone a full overhaul and here we have its first episode review... The cameras pan around the small gym hall, just a few hundred fans if that, occupy the hall. The previous NXT's yellow is still prominent throughout although there are obvious changes to its logo, stage layout and ring covers. Jim Ross comes out and thanks the fans for attending, welcoming us all to the new beginning of NXT. Whilst onstage he introduces the new Interim General Manager: None other than the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes first port of call is to schedule the main event in which he declares that Tyson Kidd will take on the Michael Mcgullicutty. He also states that if we think the last few years of NXT has been wild, we've not seen nothing yet. A video package for Bo Dallas airs in which he puts over himself, stating the fact that he is a 3rd Generation superstar. His father whom is Mike Rotunda (better known as Irwin R. Schyster) and his Grandfather, Blackjack Mulligan. Bo Dallas vs Rick VictorFollowing the promo Bo Dallas makes his way to the ring and Jim Ross and William Regal have checked in on commentary. Rick Victor is already in the ring and Regal refers to him as the last man to come through the Stu Hart dungeon. The lack of crowd seems to make for a quiet atmosphere but a chorus of pops go up for various moves. Regal and Ross heavily put over Bo Dallas, relating to his background and ring abilities, giving us reason to keep an eye on this kid. Bo Dallas gets the win using a spear in a short match and is interviewed on his way up the ramp, he again puts himself over claiming this is just the beginning. Before the break a package for Seth Rollins airs. Back from the break a video package for Antonio Cesaro is shown, the usual video that has made the rounds on Smackdown. It also states that he will be at NXT next week. Damien Sandow is next up, facing a man known as Jason Jordan (from FCW) Damien Sandow vs Jason JordanSandow cuts a promo, putting himself over as a loud What! chant breaks out. As usual he states that his current opponent is unworthy, claiming that Jordan is an 'Ignoramous' which gains massive heat from the crowd as boo's rain down. He continous, stating that what he is doing is for the benefit of the crowd as a 'You Suck' chant breaks out as he makes his way to the back. Another video package airs, this time for the FCW duo Kenneth Cameron and Connor O'Brian known as The Ascension. The promo is a cool, dark and alluring video. Offering much intrigue to the upcoming team. Their entrance offers the same... Slow and dark as strobe lighting flickers around the hall, accompanied by music that very much seems to compliment their intrigue. 'A very imposing and somewhat intimidating entrance' JR remarks, very much banging the nail on the head. The pair face off against Mike Dalton and CJ Parker. The Ascension vs Mike Dalton and CJ Parker Another short and swift match with the Ascension working just one of their opponents. JR and Regal put over the team as strong and decisive as they confine their opponent to their corner, consistently and periodically working him down. They get the win using their finisher known as 'The Downcast' After the celebration a package airs for a wrestler by the name of Bray Wyatt. Throughout the promo he states that 'Good things come to those who believe' and that 'Monsters are real' but doesnt offer much other insight to the wrestler. We are taken backstage where Derick Bateman is searching for Johnny Curtis, evetually finding him in the mens bathroom. Curtis claims he's sick of Derrick while also claiming that the mens bathroom is his office... Think what you want there... We reach the final match, the main event and Michael McGillicutty makes his entrance. JR refers to him as the son of Mr Perfect, while William Regal puts over his in ring abilities. Tyson Kidd makes his way to the ring to big cheers from the crowd. Tyson Kidd vs Michael McGillicuttyBoth Ross and Regal put over the superstars as the men get technical in the ring. Inevitably Tyson is overcome by McGillicutty's strength, although seconds later McGillicutty succumbs to Kidd's speed, agility and submissions skills. The crowd are hot for Tyson. JR refers to NXT as the stepping stone to the promised land. He and Regal both refer to Bret Hart and Lance Storm as Kidd's mentors while Tyson Kidd works McGillicutty, diving onto him outside much to the cheers of the fans. The fast paced, highly competetive match keeps the fans on the toes, cheering for the high risk moves and booing when McGillicutty gets the upper hand, the crowd are constantly involved. Michael McGillicutty keeps the advantage until Kidd moves out of the way in a well timed moment whilst dangling in the tree of woe position. The match then picks up pace with hard kicks from Tyson, until a drop kick countering a move from the top rope ceases his advancement. Again picking up the pace Kidd utilises a superb top rope standing moonsault, covering McGillicutty for a near fall, bringing the crowd to their feet. Getting the upper hand McGillicutty slaps on the sharpshooter to a massive chorus of boo's, managing to get to the ropes Tyson gains control and bringing his opponent to the floor locking in his submission hold the Dungeon Lock as McGillicutty taps out, giving Tyson the win. In Brief: The new NXT as a whole was a decent affair. Whilst the over use of video packages were there to promote and introduce the talent that we are expected to see on the show, it could be slightly off putting especially with the shortness of the matches that preceded the main event. However, the duo known as the Ascension are very intriguing and many of the featured wrestlers have obvious potential. Coupled with the fact that JR is on commentary and both he and Regal were consistently putting over the talent is very promising and will most certainly be a draw. The main event was worth the wait also, Tyson Kidd and Michael McGillicutty pretty much brought the little house down in their battle and it will be intriguing to see what WWE have to offer in the next episode. This episode and those going forward are all recorded at Fail Sail University in Orlando, Florida. NXT was originally available at WWE.com but WWE have since removed it from its website. The expectation is for the show to be made available through their Youtube Channel. For fans in the UK however, you can view the show this Tuesday morning at 12am on Sky Sports 2.
'Rasslin fan at heart, speaking of hearts is your on your left? Yeah mines on my right... weird huh.
Big love for films, from the weird to the wonderful. Also many, many TV series and my main Sports viewing is Formula One... It's Fast, its Furious and no pizza boys to move along.