This week’s edition of NXT (10/5/2016) featured first round match-ups in The Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic. We’ll talk about that and much more inside!
The Authors of Pain
These two men have been a dominant force in NXT and it looks as though their time is coming. Rezar and Akam are one of the most interesting teams to come through since The Ascension was rolling through teams a couple years ago. I think that these two will be victorious when all is said and done in the Dusty Rhodes Tag-Team Classic. There hasn’t been a team that can stop them and I can’t see one coming up besides possibly The Revival.
Bringing up The Revival, it would make sense for The Authors of Pain to face these two in the finals. Even if The Revival can squeeze out a win, it would put Akam and Rezar right in the NXT Tag-Team Championship picture. It may also lead to a face turn for The Revival. I think this could be beneficial for both teams. The Revival is ready for the main roster at this point and The Authors of Pain can headline NXT events.
The only issue Akam and Rezar may have is keeping the momentum going and not being mishandled creatively. As we have seen with many dominant tag-teams, they have a tendency to lose their appeal over time. I don’t feel like these two are going to have that kind of an issue, but it’s always a concern. Regardless of that, The Authors of Pain are off to Round 2 against Gulak/Nese or Swann/José.
Billie Kay has a new ally in Peyton Royce and these two could become a legitimate problem for the women of NXT. It’s a natural pairing as both women are from Australia and have a similar persona. This is a great way to get both ladies on NXT TV more frequently and to add a new element to the Women’s Division. I hope that there is more character development between these two. Peyton got the win over a debuting Danielle Kamela.
Bobby Roode/Tye Dillinger
Bobby Roode playing a bit of a mentor role is a pretty inventive combination. I liken this pairing to Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens. It’s two veteran guys who can play off each other well and complement each other’s styles. No matter how short-lived this team may be, Bobby Roode’s confidence in it has already made entertaining to watch. They’ll face Sanity in first round action next week.
Joe is at his best when he’s frustrated in a storyline. This story in particular has him destroying everything in his path on the way back to the NXT Championship in frustration. Joe’s path of destruction went right through the debuting Dan Matha this week as Joe took him out before his match. Joe concluded that Regal has one week to either give him Nakamura or the NXT Championship. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next week’s edition of NXT! Who knows what Joe will do if Regal doesn’t comply? Obviously, it’s almost a guarantee that he won’t.
I’ve liked Joe’s no-nonsense approach lately, but I really think his time in NXT should end by The Royal Rumble. That would be the perfect way for Joe to debut on the main roster. People like No Way José and Bobby Roode need to be able to step up to the next level and Joe is crowding the main event scene. I think he and Nakamura will have a classic match in Toronto and that will likely be it for Joe in NXT.
Savvy booking by the NXT creative team to turn Andrade Almas heel. He’s a much more valuable commodity as a heel right now. The crowd just wasn’t taking to him as a character. A wrestler can do a whole lot more as a heel without speaking than a face can, so this will be advantageous to the rather mute Almas. Attacking a guy like Cedric Alexander really helps gain some instant heat too! I couldn’t be happier with the way everything worked out here and I’m actually intrigued by the doors this opens for Andrade. The Revival won this first round match and will face either Lun/Wang or Ciampa/Gargano.
This was a pretty productive week for NXT TV. I feel like the story arcs in NXT are much more fluid and exciting than on the main roster. Rich Swann got some more TV time defeating Patrick Clark in a quick match, Joe furthered his story, The Revival and AOP move on in the tournament, Kay/Royce strengthened their partnership, and Almas turned heel. They did all of that in one hour which is what impresses me the most. NXT continues to be the brand to beat.