Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
It’s Saturday so part for the latest instalment of This Week in Wrestling. Today, in part 15, Craig discusses the new era of NXT, Nia Jax and looks at the results of this week’s blog polls while Brian shares all the best viral content he’s stumbled upon this week.
This past week so an out with the old and in with the new at NXT as a new era began.
Best exemplified by the former ‘chosen one’ Drew McIntyre, albeit it unsurprisingly with bagpipes in his music, debut while a celebration was held at the end of the show for the departing Shinsuke Nakamura, complete with Finn Balor cameo.
By the very nature of it, NXT has to recreate itself regularly but the roster, I don’t think, has really ever been stronger, particularly when it comes to a mix up up and coming as well as established names.
The likes of Bobby Roode and Drew McIntyre are established act with well-known names while elsewhere there are plenty of acts across the board that are showing star potential.
The team of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa can’t have much left in the NXT tank yet still remain hugely over with the NXT faithful. Heavy Machinery are a fun, hard-hitting, act likely to soon find themselves on a collision course with the Authors of Pain.
In the women’s division, the likes of Ember Moon, Ruby Riot and Nikki Cross will all be vying for Asuka’s golf along with more established performers such as Billie Kay, Penton Royce and Liv Morgan.
McIntyre’s role is likely to be going after Roode’s NXT title, which bodes very well for match quality in the coming weeks and months.
Throw in the likes of SAnitY, Aleicster Black, Oney Lorcan and the like then this new era of NXT programming is looking very bright indeed.
The Criticism of Nia Jax is Unfair
You will have to have spent the week under a rock to have avoided some very unfair criticism of Savelina Fanene, WWE’s Nia Jax.
On Monday past on Raw, Jax was involved in two spots during her match with the Smackdown-bound Charlotte which has resulted in some very disparaging remarks being made about the 30-year-old who has only been wrestling less than three years.
As you’ll see from the hyperbolically titled video above, during a shoulder-breaker, Jax accidentally drops her opponent on her head and later on fails to be positioned correctly for Charlotte’s moonsault to the outside.
It has been something that’s dominated messageboards and wrestling phone-ins as fans have focussed on these mistakes of Jax. Much of the thrust of the arguments were right, it is the job of a wrestler to protect their opponent but the shortcomings in this instance are two-fold. Mercifully, speaking to USA Today, Charlotte was far more conciliatory:
“It didn’t really affect me … That’s up to the viewer on how they viewed it that it looked nasty,” she said. “It’s going to take a lot more than dropping me on my head to keep me down.”
Asked if she felt more sore than usual Tuesday morning after the move, she said, “No. Knock on wood, I haven’t missed a live event, I haven’t been injured. I know my body and I’m think I’m extremely well-trained. I looked at it as, ‘Hey, bring it. I’ll see you next time, woman.’ …”
Fair play to Charlotte, not that you would expect her to lambast her opponent in such a public platform.
The issues with Nia Jax, though, are two-fold. 1) she’s not yet ready to be on the main roster, and b) she isn’t being booked properly.
Let’s look at those two points in reverse order. Nia Jax is being booked as some super strong dominant female performer. Whatever book/plans the WWE had for Kharma, it feels like the WWE are trying to replicate that with Jax but they are wrong too.
While both are larger woman, and a recent Daily Mail piece was very right to praise Jax for her body positive selfie she posted and the influence that will have, that’s where the similarity ends. Jax clearly hasn’t the strength to quite throw her opponents around in the same way that Kharma could, that has become clear with how she doesn’t seem to be much stronger than many of the diminutive opponents that are put in front of her on Raw. Perhaps more King Kong Bundy booking rather than Awesome Kong…?
Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, the former bodybuilder and model has only been in the business for three years. She has an impressive look, which is different to those around her, and is from good wrestling stock, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she is ready to be on the main roster.
Nia Jax has, I hope, I very long and bright future ahead of her in the WWE. Bud sadly, she isn’t quite ready for the prominent position she currently holds. The longer that continues the more damaging it is for her long-term future. And that would be a shame.
Raw, Smackdown, superstar shakeup and NXT poll results
This week on the blog we hosted polls to get readers thoughts and reviews of this week’s episodes of Raw, Smackdown and NXT as well as which brand benefited most from Superstar Shake-up. The results were:
Who Benefited Most from Superstar Shake-up?
Smackdown – 60
Raw – 40
Both the same – 0
Good – 29.17
Excellent – 20.83
Average – 16.67
Poor – 16.67
Awful – 16.66
Excellent – 36.36
Good – 27.27
Average – 27. 27
Awful – 9.09
Poor – 0
Excellent – 41.67
Good – 25
Average – 25
Awful – 8.33
Poor – 0
One of these former Hooter girls would become a WWE star. Which one was it?
Here is a picture of Enzo Amore with former WWF jobber Mario Mancini!
Triple H unveils the WWE’s newest statue…Terra Rizing!
A random pic of Abdullah the Butcher jumping into a pool
Hell, Fire and Brimstone is coming to Knox County as Kane is running for Mayor!
Because fans are impatiently waiting to order their Summer Rae-Bans sunglasses…I guess?
High school yearbook photo of two future pro wrestlers: Kerry Von Erich and Brian Adias.
Say what you want about the 3 hours of Raw every week…but the WWE commercial that first advertised it was really on point!
Last Week on the Blog
In last week’s Sunday Sermon we looked ahead to the Superstar Shake-up; on Monday we had part 14 of ‘Meanwhile, in WCW‘; Tuesday featured part 109 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘; on Wednesday we had part 4 of ‘Styles Clash: Clash of the Champions Revisited‘; Thursday’s Top Five looked at the worst entrance themes and we rounded off the week by asking ‘Whatever Happened to‘ Mad Maxine.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.