Tonight, WWE will be presenting its first live broadcast on the WWE Network, with the NXT Arrival special, featuring a WWE NXT Title Ladder Match main event.
The show is being broadcast from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL, and I will be here contributing my thoughts and reactions as the show airs live. Feel free to join me in the comments section below, and be sure to also follow along with our detailed play-by-play coverage of the event taking place at this link.
NXT Pre-Show Thoughts:
-The set for the NXT pre-show looks fantastic. The panel setup is professional looking, and the panelists are great names.
Triple H promised during his conference call yesterday that he expects these guys to speak from the heart tonight, which is why he chose them, and this is the right panel for honest commentary.
-Renee Young is one of, if not the best, interviewer/ring announcer WWE has. She's believable, natural, seems to care about what she's saying, and most importantly, KNOWS the product through and through.
-"Llama mask." Amazing.
-Emma looks like she might be great in the ring. Why didn't WWE introduce that side of her to fans instead of the one-dimensional dance/seizure routine we've been seeing on Raw? Perception is reality in pro wrestling, does Emma want to be perceived as "Santina?"
-What a great video package to hype Cesaro vs Zayn. I've never watched these two wrestle before, yet I feel like I already know and love this feud. It provided a "big fight feel," and emphasized competition.
This was overall a great pre-show, everything felt important, unique, and special.
-Once Cesaro finds his character and his voice on the mic, we will be looking at the very best pro wrestling has to offer.
-Who will hold the WWE World Title first, Cesaro or Roman Reigns? Why?
-That uppercut. My god.
-Cesaro is a great reminder that WRESTLING ability CAN get you over with a crowd just as much as personality can. I'm not arguing one is more important than the other, but not everyone has to be an outrageous, "ballroom dancer" character to get over. Cesaro reminds me of guys like Benoit and Mysterio, who wrestled their way into the hearts of the fans.
-No doubt Sami Zayn's in-ring ability is ready for the main roster, but here's to hoping WWE really works out something special for him in terms of character/creative, or I fear he will suffer from "I don't weigh as much as Ryback" syndrome.
-This is a phenomenal match. HHH emphasized great story telling in the ring as opposed to a bunch of moves thrown into a match, and I think this match is a great example of great story telling via great wrestling. The Zayn-underdog story line in this bout is really interesting.
-Good move giving Cesaro the win. He's the guy that's ascending the main roster ladder right now, so he can't lose to an NXT talent or it puts him on a "developmental level." The point of this bout was to introduce us to Zayn, and we got a great first look.
-"Hug it out." When a crowd chants that, you know you've won them over. NXT on the WWE Network is really going to work wonders in terms of transitioning the connection the wrestlers have with the Full Sail crowd to the connection they will eventually have with the main roster crowd.
It's important to remember that much like when TNA was at the Impact Zone, this crowd is comprised of many "regulars," who have grown up, so to speak, with these talents, so they're used to reacting a certain way. This will be much different if/when NXT guys join the main roster and travel from city to city. This is why NXT TV is so vital.
-Who does Mojo Rawley buy his "stuff" from?
-Rawley vs Parker was somewhat bland, and with such a quick match it's too soon to tell what type of potential they have. Rawley looks like the prototypical WWE "big guy," and Parker reminds me of Tyler Reks.
-The Ascension has a great tag team look, but they couldn't pair them up with something better than Too Cool? I can't take anything seriously, not even Shakespearean tragedy, when Too Cool is on my screen.
-And now Too Cool is trending on Twitter. Pardon me while I grab a slice of humble pie out of my fridge.
-"The Fall of Man." Great finisher. Ascension is a fresh tag team. They have the look, the size, and it looks like the ability. If WWE continues to put focus on the Tag Team division, these guys are no doubt main roster bound.
-One question I didn't get to ask HHH during the conference call yesterday, so I will ask all of you, is this. Once fans start to get used to the NXT characters, will WWE feel burdoned to stick with a talent's NXT gimmick once he or she makes it to the main roster? Will it be more difficult for an NXT talent to get over with a new main roster gimmick if the fans already know him or her as something else?
-"I never lost it." Correct, Stephanie.
-Is Paige the next Lita? I certainly hope so. And I'm not just referring to her look. That entrance alone is main roster ready. The anti-Diva. That's what the main roster Divas division needs right now.
-This is ten times better than any main roster Divas match I've seen in a long time. But does that mean anything? Emma has been on Raw for weeks now and we haven't seen any of this. My fear is once these two girls properly enter the main roster Divas division their wrestling talents will be wasted on typical, nonsensical, irrelevant Divas booking. #gailkim
-"Paige turner." I like it. I'd love to look at Paige's next "chapter." (Dumb Jerry Lawler joke, I know). Seriously though, Paige got swag, she could be a fresh additon to the main roster.
-…And now the WWE Network crashes. Excellent. It was going so well, too..I'll be back whenever the show decides to come back!
-My feed intermittently came back on in the middle of HBK saying something along the lines of "I've got a bunch of stuff to remember and I can't, and I don't know what I'm doing."
-Well folks, it looks like that's a wrap. My stream is officially not working and I am missing the rest of the event. Not a good way to present the first live Network broadcast to say the least.
-I'll have more to say in this blog once I am able to watch the main event. Thanks for watching along with me!
Be sure to continue refreshing this page as I update the live blog!
adrian nevillebo dallasbret hartCesaroemmakevin nashnew age outlawsnxt arrivalpaigePaul Heymansami zaynThe AscensionWWEwwe nxtHave a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?