Let me stop you before you say the obvious. Yes, NXT is part of the WWE. But while the WWE product is mostly stale and boring, NXT is the best wrestling show around. I say that without hesitation, with no qualifications.
NXT has the same importance of New Japan, in that every match, and every show, matters. It has the production values of the WWE, which are easily the best in the business. It has the electric small crowd atmosphere found in Ring of Honor or old ECW shows. And most importantly, it has great wrestling.
NXT, despite having one hour a week to show it’s product, puts on better matches then Raw or Smackdown. It’s specials blow WWE Pay Per Views out of the water. Compare the February shows. NXT Takeover: Rivals had three great matches (Zayne vs. Owens, Balor vs. Neville, Women’s 4-way) and a pretty good match (Itami vs. Breeze). WWE Fastlane had… Reigns vs. Bryan, which was a good match, but the result was never in doubt, and came at the end of a boring three hour show.
NXT is like someone decided to make a supercard of the best independent wrestlers. Guys who made their name on the independents have taken their individual styles, melded them with the “WWE style”, and are putting together great match after great match, and telling logical, well-told stories. I love the idea of the “NXT 5” with Finn Balor, Arian Neville, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayne, and Hideo Itami, and it bodes only good things for the future of WWE. Well, with one caveat, but I”ll get to that in a minute.
I don’t want to ignore the guys who are more traditionally WWE. Guys like Tyler Breeze and Baron Corbin aren’t the indy superstars like the others, but are more then holding their own in NXT. Breeze and his egotistical model gimmick might be my favorite of anyone in NXT. His matches with Zayne, Itami, and Neville have been highlights. And then take into consideration main roster guys like Cesaro, Tyson Kidd adding some “umph” to NXT, and even returning wrestlers like Rhyno, and NXT is easily the easiest and best show to watch. And I haven’t even hardly mentioned the Diva’s, who are allowed to actually wrestle in real matches instead of the 30 second tag matches they have on Raw.
There’s only one problem with NXT, and it’s a big problem, a dark looming cloud of a problem that sits over all the success of NXT. Eventually, the roster will move on. NXT is, after all, a developmental program, meant to acclimate a superstar to the WWE way of doing things, and eventually they’ll leave Full Sail University and the NXT arena, and arrive on Raw. And Raw is a disaster. If money wasn’t an issue, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to leave NXT to the main roster.
But go they will. And all we can do is hope the rumors about Kalisto becoming a gay hairdresser are false.