Wednesday night saw another NXT: Takeover special air live on the WWE Network, with NXT Unstoppable being the latest instalment of the special shows the company runs. Anyone who has watched any of, or even all of the NXT Takeover specials will know that these shows really do have a special big show feel and last night was no different. In fact last nights show will go down as probably the most memorable NXT Takeover of all to date. From the opening match right through to the outstanding final match and segment that saw the arrival of Samoa Joe in NXT, the company really knocked one out of the park again last night. There really is a wrestling boom taking place right now and it's happening in NXT, not in the main WWE product itself and I believe last nights show really gave us a reminder that right now NXT, as a brand really is unstoppable.
The overall NXT model and the way they present the product is what I believe really makes it feel so special. What do I mean by that? I love the way NXT is more about the action in the ring than it is about anything else. It's not your typical WWE product that seems to focus and care more about it's stars being 'sports entertainers' and instead lets them control their gimmicks and allows them to show what they can actually do in the ring. I think a lot of the model of NXT is the brain child of Triple H, and possibly even Stephanie McMahon, and NXT as a brand deserves recognition for offering the more 'hardcore' wrestling fans an alternative to being 'sports entertained' on a weekly basis. NXT allows it's stars to grow in front of a live crowd and camera and prepare them for life when they eventually make that next step to the main roster. It's no wonder Finn Balor wants to stay down there and is in no rush to get onto the main roster because I think NXT is without doubt the diamond in the rough of WWE's portfolio right now. NXT should be the blue print for what the main WWE shows are about and that is more focus on the wrestling. Seeing the product WWE offers it's fans and putting it alongside NXT, there really is no comparison right now as NXT simply blows everything else out of the water.
The matches on every card put on are always special and always leave fans wanting more. The opening match between Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze was an absolute treat to watch as it contained some amazing wrestling and some really jaw dropping moments. It's good to see Balor getting his chance as the new number one contender to Kevin Owens title but he certainly doesn't appear to be the only one gunning for Owens, with Samoa Joe seemingly staking his claim to a shot at Owens after their confrontation last night. The Divas in NXT also put the majority of the main roster Divas to shame, as we saw two great women's matches on last nights show with the best one being Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. These women are redefining what it is to be a Diva in WWE, and are showing finally that the women's division is going to be about more than just looking hot. Paige is the first of the NXT Divas to become a main roster success and I believe it's only a matter of time before we see the likes of Lynch, Charlotte, Banks, and Bayley reshaping the landscape of the Divas division. I don't have a bad thing to say about any of last nights matches because every competitor in NXT did what they do on every show and gave it their all, leaving everything they had in the ring in front of a ravenous NXT Universe.
One of the absolute highlights of any WWE show is the spectacular entrances. When you think of the great entrances in the company you look to The Undertaker, Bray Wyatt, Triple H's Wrestlemania entrances, and how all superstars have some kind of breath taking and special element. In NXT, the entrances are simply mind blowing. Last nights entrance by Finn Balor was without questions one of the best and most breath taking I have ever seen from any superstar in the companies history and I really cannot wait to see him perform that entrance one day at Wrestlemania. But it wasn't just Balor who had a unique entrance as we saw Tyler Breeze receive a cool entrance along with the always spectacular entrance of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy, which always draws a great reaction from the fans. Not to be outdone either I thought Becky Lynch had a great entrance that very much had a feel of Edge during his Rated R Superstar gimmick. Memorable entrances make stars stand out and more memorable to the audience and you can guarantee that while not all of WWE's fan base knew of Finn Balor, they will certainly know more about him after that awesome spectacle.
The arrival of Samoa Joe in NXT was probably the highlight of the show which is truly amazing considering neither Owens of Joe made any physical contact with one another. There had been plenty of speculation in the days leading up to the show we would see Joe's arrival last night and while Triple H attempted to down play it the fans ate up his arrival big time. This is a truly huge capture for WWE as Joe is without question one of the most under rated talents in wrestling that has not stepped inside a WWE ring for a major event or show. His confrontation with Kevin Owens really was special and I cannot wait to see what Joe brings to the product. How long he remains in NXT remains to be seen as I can't see him needing to spend too long down there but he really can bring something special to the product. And with the rumors of Destination America cancelling Impact Wrestling, bringing the future of TNA/Impact Wrestling into question, the bigger question begs to be asked of how many more former TNA stars may show up not only in WWE, but in NXT too? The future if TNA/Impact Wrestling is going to play out over the coming months and it's future will be determined not only by it's financial status but by how many of it's talent the company can hold on to and prevent jumping to WWE and NXT.
Sometimes when I look at the NXT product it's hard to believe it's produced by the same company in WWE. The production value if NXT is undoubtedly smaller than that of Raw, Smackdown, or any Pay Per View, but this never comes across on television with the product always looking world class. Some of wrestling's top names are down in there with Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Sami Zayn, and now Samoa Joe, and the future has never looked brighter for WWE in what it classes as it's developmental territory. If anything NXT is very much it's own brand and it has built a reputation for being the corner stone of the company when it comes to a wrestling product. Yes I love my dose of 'sports entertainment' each week but right now the one thing I look forward to watching is NXT, a brand that truly is proving why it is becoming an unstoppable force.