ViRTUE's RAGE: The NXT Report Submitted by Virtue on 05/11/2017 at 11:11 PM
May 11, 2017
So far in 2017, it seems like the main roster call-ups have really thinned out the NXT locker room. The following wrestlers have all moved up to the main roster this year: Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, Tye Dillinger, and the Revival. Those are definitely some heavy hitters in regards to top notch talent from NXT. But then I got to thinking about it some more, and perhaps NXT needs annual shakeups like this so other talents finally have their opportunity to shine in the spotlight. I will now break down the future of the men’s singles division, the women’s singles division, and the Tag Team division. As of this column, Bobby Roode is the current NXT Champion, Asuka is the current NXT Women’s Champion, and the Authors of Pain are the current NXT Tag Team Champions. Now just exactly who should be their top competition? Let’s find out…
Please forgive me if I do not include some wrestlers you may like. Sometimes I may overlook certain talents (Jinder Mahal); however, I like to occasionally be surprised by seeing pushes of wrestlers I would never expect to get pushed. And believe me, NXT is the hardest to gauge sometimes. Beginning with Bobby Roode, I think the one major problem with him being the current face of NXT is that he is above and beyond his current status. That’s right! He is far too glorious to not already be on the main roster, especially with the Raw and SmackDown brand split. While I do get that WWE is in no rush to move NXT guys up to the main roster until it is time, I do not understand how they determine who stays and for how long. It is almost as if NXT is now a mix of developmental and a third brand for already established stars. For the record, I do like William Regal as the Commissioner of NXT, but I think it may be time for a change with that. Who? Well, I am not quite sure, but just somebody different.
Obviously, Hideo Itami is the current #1 Contender for the NXT Championship and will face Roode at TakeOver Chicago. He absolutely deserves to be there. I actually hope he is booked to go over Roode and becomes the new Champion. The CM Punk vibe is going to be strong on that night, and it could very well be electric for Itami. If Roode is as great as I think he is, he will make Itami a superstar that night. As for other contenders for the NXT title within the next 6-12 months, I would have to go with Drew McIntyre, Aleister Black, and Eric Young. Obviously, former WWE Intercontinental Champion, McIntyre, is already a proven star. As for Black, I can see him getting pushed hard, especially with his methodical ring psychology and quick victories using the vicious kicks. And that brings me to Eric Young. He should absolutely get pushed hard to the top of NXT, but the problem is I feel WWE is trying to recreate a new Wyatt Family per say, and SaniTY is going to hold E.Y. back from getting a major single’s push. What I like most about E.Y. is his selling ability. Go watch one of his matches and tell me he does not have Shawn Michaels’ selling tendencies. He would be a good baby face Champion, but he would be an even better heel one. My prediction is that SaniTY will debut on the main roster during next year’s post Mania shakeup.
Now on to the Women’s Division, which seemingly does not have much depth like it did back with Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Alexa Bliss. Asuka is currently dominating the division with a long title reign, and rightfully so. She has not had much viable and believable competition for the better part of a year. With that said, I would not mind seeing Peyton Royce and Billie Kay becoming co-NXT Women’s Champion. They could make a great JeriKO type team (sarcasm?). The problem is, Peyton and Billie are heels and Asuka is now leaning towards full-on heel, so the title would most likely have to leave Asuka first. Asuka is defending the title against Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot at TakeOver Chicago. Perhaps Ember Moon will come out and cost Asuka the title, and that could be where Nikki Cross pins Ruby to win it (or vice versa). However, I believe Asuka will retain and then eventually put Ember Moon over as the next baby face Champion. I am not sure if Ember Moon is legitimately injured or not, but it can definitely be used to make an eventual title win more meaningful for her, especially if she is the one to finally knock off Asuka (clean). Remember folks, it is all about making new stars and getting people over. At least there are a few solid title scene scenarios for having such a thin female roster in NXT right now.
And finally, the reigning NXT Tag Team Champions are the Authors of Pain (meh). Luckily for us, they are going to defend the titles against DIY at TakeOver Chicago. I really hope they put the titles back on Gargano/Ciampa. Let’s face it, there are more than enough potential bullish tag teams now in NXT with Authors of Pain, Heavy Machinery, SaniTY, and Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatell. I think having DIY as the Champions with all the bullish teams going after them would make for great TV. It sucks that the Revival are now on the main roster, but you know what that means. It is now DIY’s time to shine. By far, they are the best tag team in NXT right now. Then again, I would not be opposed to have SaniTY win all the NXT titles this year: E.Y. as NXT Champion, Nikki Cross as NXT Women’s Champion, and Killian Dain/Alexander Wolfe as Tag Team Champions. Book it!
My current top 5 favorite men’s NXT wrestlers: 1) Eric Young 2) Bobby Roode 3) Hideo Itami 4) Drew McIntyre 5) Aleister Black
My current top 5 favorite women’s NXT wrestlers: 1) Asuka 2) Peyton Royce 3) Ember Moon 4) Billie Kay 5) Nikki Cross
Welterweight Wrestling Thoughts from Turner’s Hall in Cleveland, OH 5/7/17
Last Sunday, I was very glad to attend the inaugural event for Welterweight Wrestling in Cleveland, Ohio. It was broadcast as an iPPV on the FITE app. I believe the replay can still be watched on there, so go check it out. The level of the in-ring work was top notch by all wrestlers. Even the referees and commentators (Joe Dombrowski and the Franchise Shane Douglas) were on their A-game. I am still learning who many of the wrestlers are, but I am definitely looking forward to attending future events so I can eventually give more of them the recognition they deserve. Kudos to Ace Perry for becoming the first ever Welterweight Wrestling Champion, as he won a Scramble match against Gory, Dylan Bostic, Lee Moriarty, Nate Wings, Rayo, and Kevin Bennett. In perhaps the match of the night, Gory defeated Ophidian in the hot opener and advanced to the Championship Scramble match. Ophidian was wearing very cool light up wresting gear. As for Gory, he is one of the best “characters” in Indy wrestling today. But don’t just take my word for it and go see him for yourself. In my opinion, he deserves a shot on the big stage of WWE NXT. Later in the night, Dylan Bostic defeated Ryan Kidd to also advance to the Championship Scramble match. Bostic is one of the best heels in all of Indy wrestling. His “the Justin Bieber of Professional Wrestling” gimmick is always a sure fire bet to draw old school heel heat. Former Cleveland Browns’ tight end, Gary Barnidge, was even in attendance to watch on. Come on folks, is it really a surprise that both Gory and Bostic are former NoDQ Virtue’s Rage Indy Wrestlers of the Month?
INDY WRESTLER OF THE MONTH (MAY)
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