Powell's WWE NXT Arrival Hit List: Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro, Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville in a ladder match for the NXT Title, Paige vs. Emma for the NXT Women's Championship
By Jason Powell
Prowrestling.net Members are listening to the first part of the Dot Net Weekly audio show featuring Jason Powell and Chris Shore discussing WWE Network, WrestleMania 30, and all the news of the week. Today's Dot Net Weekly Part Two will feature Jason Powell and Zack Zimmerman, who attended NXT Arrival, discussing the NXT Arrival show. Score access to all audio and all the perks of membership via the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
WWE NXT Arrival Hits
Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro: The match of the night, which shouldn't surprise anyone. These two are exceptional. Zayn plays the underdog role as well as anyone in the business, and Cesaro continues to deliver some of the best matches in the business. I like the move to put Cesaro over. He's the main roster wrestler on the rise and while he certainly could have absorbed the loss, I like that underdog Zayn came close, yet just couldn't put him away. The post-match respect shown by Cesaro was an unexpected cool touch. Here's hoping we see a rematch on the big stage at WrestleMania someday.
Adrian Neville vs. Bo Dallas: Neville's aerial acrobatics are amazing. It was his night to shine and he made the most of it. I dig the Dallas character and had to laugh when I was told that he remained at ringside "crying" as John Cena endorsed Neville after the show went off the air. The right guy ended the night as champion since it was logical to have a crowd pleasing finish to the first show.
Paige vs. Emma: The best women's match we've seen from WWE in some time. I enjoyed this even more than some of A.J. Lee's better matches with Natalya and Brie Bella, and I look forward to seeing Lee work with both of these women. It was a sad reminder of how things could play out when one of the commentators noted that Emma is fun loving on Raw and Smackdown but is actually a submission expert in NXT. As good as the female talent are in NXT, it's not going to matter unless WWE changes the way the Divas a presented on the main roster. Stephanie McMahon talks a good game in her promos about empowering women and how they can do everything a man can do. Now let's hope they get a chance to show off their athleticism on the main roster rather than be used as two-minute filler on Raw.
Overall show: The big three matches lived up to or exceeded the hype. None of the Misses were advertised and none were major misses. Triple H referred to this show as WrestleMania for the NXT crew, and none of them came off like the moment was too big for them. The pre-show did a great job of setting the big event feel for the show, and having so many names in attendance also helped in that regard. I was very impressed by the production used in the smaller facility. Here's hoping that TNA, which also runs in a Florida television studio, will work a little harder to be as innovative as they are at Full Sail University. The show at the end of the night with Neville sitting on the ladder while the smoke/fog machines shot off on both sides of him was cool, presumably cost effective, and made the moment look impressive and unique. The play-by-play is still a work in progress. Tom Phillips says the right thing more often than not, but he doesn't sound emotionally invested.
WWE NXT Arrival Misses
WWE Network stream issues: What a shame. My feed froze for a second late in the show and whenever I attempted to get back on the live stream it took me back to the Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn despite several attempts to shut down the app and relaunch it. I got back to the live feed for the Shawn Michaels promo, but then it started reverting to Tyler Breeze's entrance. No matter what I did, that continued to happen on PS4 (and I've heard from readers who encountered the same problem on additional platforms). I was able to catch the remainder of the show via my laptop on the WWE website link to the network, but I've heard from a number of disappointed readers who missed the main event. Here's hoping that WWE can do something between now and WrestleMania to make me feel confident enough in the stream that I can skip ordering the actual pay-per-view.
Mojo Rawley vs. CJ Parker: The match served its purpose in terms of bringing the crowd down a bit after the hot Zayn vs. Cesaro match. However, I don't see anything in the Parker character. He has a unique look, but he and creative should go back to the drawing board when it comes to his tripped out persona.
The Ascension vs. Too Cool: More of an in the middle moment. I didn't need to see the returning legends in the ring on the NXT show. I was hoping for something hotter than a comedy duo when they kept teasing the mystery challengers. I suppose it doesn't help that The American Wolves were hyped as mystery challengers (Ascension has an open challenge) a while back, as that set the bar pretty high. I'd really like to see more of an emphasis placed on tag wrestling in developmental. Right now there's The Ascension and that's about all. Their act works at the NXT level, but I don't see it clicking on the main roster once you get past the entrance.
Tyler Breeze vs. Xavier Woods: I wanted to see this match more than an Alexander Rusev beatdown. I would not have objected if Rusev had interfered in the Mojo vs. Parker match and this one had served as a showcase for the fun Breeze character, but no such luck.
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