The Daily Jobber

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Archive for the month “April, 2015”

Is NXT Making the Same Mistakes as Raw and Smackdown?

NXT has built themselves quite the following over the last year, to the point where at times it has been praised as a superior product to its main event predecessor. They’ve been the talk of the town, the newest and hottest craze in pro wrestling for months, and their success has motivated them to expand into two-hour live events, and tours to various venues across the country and even internationally.

However, if I was a fan of wrestling and I decided to watch NXT for the first time this past Wednesday, I would be forced to wonder what all the hype is all about. The show had barely any high spots, the crowd was rowdy but for little discernible reason, and there seemed to be more drama than dropkicks – so to speak. It was, for lack of a better term, kind of boring.

A wrestling show’s opening and its main event are the most important points in the show. A good show opens with energy, which gets the crowd excited for the card that is to follow. The main event is supposed to be the high-light of the night, and should make up for any points which were low, slow, or missed the mark.

NXT this week opened with a talking segment which, granted, was well constructed and didn’t drag like some opening segments of Raw or Smackdown, but I can’t say it was exploding with energy either. The main event was hardly a match at all, and it ended on such an awkward, hushed note because of Owens’ attack – which could have been seen coming a mile away.

It feels like this episode sacrificed entertainment value in favour of setting the scene for their next big event, NXT: TakeOver on May 20th. They used it as a platform to build tension between rivals and further plot-lines. After all, the important thing is protecting talent and hyping the championship picture, right?

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Wrong! The most important thing is and always should be entertaining the fans and putting on good matches.

NXT got to the level of recognition it did by delivering superior in-ring product. They did not do that this week. They actually failed at that this week. They gave us an in-ring talking segment, two matches ending in outside interference to further peripheral plot-lines, two squash matches, and a no contest pseudo-main event. That sounds an awful lot like a bad episode of Smackdown to me, not the “revolutionary new division” that is “breathing new life into sports entertainment.”

NXT has to be careful not to get too hyped up on their success and get lazy. They are using their weekly television show as a way to further storylines and build towards main events instead of using it to showcase the wealth of talent on their roster by constructing good matches. They have to remember what made them so special to begin with and not lose that, or else people are going to get bored the same way they got bored with the main roster.

With a new show like El Rey Network’s Lucha: Underground gaining popularity and airing on the same night as NXT, they have a legitimate reason to pick up their game.

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WWE NXT – April 29th, 2015

The development roster out of Full Sail University brings the action to the screen as NXT lights it up on Wednesday night!

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Tonight’s episode focuses on the tag team picture, as Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady get a shot to prove themselves against the champs Blake & Murphy in a non-title match. Two diva division matches are on the card as well (take that, main roster). In the championship picture, Kevin Owens addresses the brawl with former champ Sami Zayn, who takes on Alex Riley in the main event.

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WWE Monday Night Raw – April 27, 2015

Hot on the heels of its latest Pay-Per-View offering, the one-ring circus comes to Green Bay, Wisconsin for Raw!

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The happening of the night is the 2015 King of the Ring tournament, with four qualifying matches to be held over the course of the broadcast, with the semi-finals and finals to air live on the WWE Network on Tuesday, April 28th. This is the first time WWE has aired a live event solely on the Network – will it pay off? Will it entice more people into becoming subscribers? My crystal balls see money in the bank (and not the blue briefcase).

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WWE Extreme Rules – April 26th, 2015

In front of a rowdy crowd in Chicago, Illinois the WWE brings its most brutal Pay-Per-View event of the spring. Last Man Standing, Kiss Me Arse, Russian Chain, Steel Cage and a Chicago Street Fight colour the night with thrills spilling out of the ring and off the page. But not too much, though. We are in the “PG Era” now, so things can’t get too violent. (Insert collective groan here)

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The flow and arc of the event was conflicting and at times downright confusing. It played at times like an episode of Raw or Smackdown, but then at times it roared with the electricity one expects of big-time Pay-Per-Views. There were surprises, to be sure, and then there were moments you just knew in your bones were coming, but I have to say that happily the former came more often than the latter. The times I felt conflicted can be blamed more on a disjointed and incomplete build to the event, which left some storylines undeveloped or muddled. Overall an entertaining night with good performances from most of the talent, but certain glaring inconsistencies and questions mar the overall value of the action.

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TNA Friday Night Impact – April 24th, 2015

From Orlando, Florida comes a very special edition of Impact: “A Night of Knockouts”! The female talent will take center stage tonight… but the male talent will still be featured like every other week.

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The number one contender for the KO Championship will be determined in a four-way dance, and the champion herself, Taryn Terrell, defends against current contender Awesome Kong. Two new KnockOuts also debut, and Mickie James makes an announcement. The men’s world heavyweight championship still gets top billing, as Kurt Angle defends against Eric Young… or does he?

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WWE Thursday Night SmackDown – April 23rd, 2015

The fed’s blue brand comes to us live from Providence, Rhode Island. It is the last smacking of the down before Extreme Rules Pay-Per-View on Sunday in Chicago… I guess we should make some predictions…

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Tonight’s episode features some strange combinations of superstars and feuds, as many key players were absent from the card. The Shield members come back together in the ring, Neville speaks, and the audience plays a few rounds of “Who Do We Cheer For?” as heels play face for the confused crowd.

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Lucha: Underground – April 22nd, 2015

From Boyle Heights, California, in a place named The Temple, comes the latest offering of exciting AAA lucha action and drama.

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Tonight, the Trios Tournament takes center stage. The inaugural winners of Dario Cueto’s Trios Championship Belts will be awarded to the team that can prove their superiority between the ropes and in the hearts of the crowd. Before then, however, a heated feud comes to a head at last.

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WWE NXT – April 22nd, 2015

From Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, WWE brings its developmental brand to television, offering a glorious glimpse into the future of the fed.

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The main event tonight is the rematch between “Rage” Alex Riley and the current NXT Champion Kevin Owens. In addition, the Divas compete in a triple threat to determine the number one contender for Sasha Banks’ title.

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WWE Monday Night Raw – April 20th, 2015

Back on American soil after a tour of Europe, the big fed goes live from Albany, NY on the last edition of Raw before Extreme Rules this coming Sunday.

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All major feuds got air time this week, with yet more time devoted to the ongoing drama involving Kane’s relationship with the World Heavyweight Champion. There were a couple of quality matches which could easily have gone longer, a few meaningless squashes, and a lot of interesting and entertaining backstage segments.

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TNA Friday Night Impact – April 17th, 2015

Impact Wrestling presents Tag Team Gold! The recently vacated championships are set to be awarded to one of eight teams, some formed as recently as last week in a frenzy to capture the prized belts.

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The eight teams would participate in four qualifying matches, the winners of which would meet in a main event Ultimate X contest to crown the undisputed victors. Aside from Tag Team Gold, the ongoing drama between TNA World Champion Kurt Angle and number one contender Eric Young escalates.

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