The September 8th “Season Premiere” of Raw was filled with confusion and commercial breaks. Jericho was attacked by Randy Orton for no reason, Jerry Springer arranged himself a segment where he was covered in the finest T&A that the WWE has to offer, and the Dust Brothers faced off with the irrelevant Los Matadores. The highlight of the entire three hours for me was the four man NXT tag match halfway through the show between Tyler Breeze, Tyson Kidd, Sami Zayn, and Adrian Neville.
The one person I was already familiar with was Tyson Kidd (@KiddWWE). I know him as TJ from Total Divas and from his many appearances on Raw, Smackdown and various PPVs. He’s been a part of the Hart Dynasty with now wife Natalya, he’s teamed with Justin Gabriel, and he crushed Jack Swagger to qualify for a Money In The Bank ladder match. That said, he’s not exciting whatsoever. Something about him falls flat. I’m assuming he’s meant to be a heel at the moment in NXT, but that’s only because he was teamed with Breeze on Raw. I was happy to laugh at his bright yellow getup but wholly unimpressed by his wrestling.
Tyler Breeze (@MmmGorgeous) debuted for Power Zone Wrestling in 2007, signed and debuted with Florida Championship Wrestling in late 2010, and finally found his footing after FCW was rebranded into NXT. In July of 2013, the character of Tyler Breeze was born. Imagine a Backstreet Boy spliced with Zoolander with a pinch of Instagram-obsessed tween mixed in for good measure, and you have a perfect picture of Breeze. He’s got a decent skill set and I have to admit, I’m a fan of the character. The ridiculous selfie face as he poses on the rope, the flashy wardrobe, and the attitude can definitely take Breeze far.
Sami Zayn (@iLikeSamiZayn) is one I’ve been very curious about; ever since hearing about an amazing dark match between he and Dolph Ziggler, I’ve been anxious to see him in action. He’s a Canadian wrestler of Syrian descent who is best known for wrestling as the masked El Generico, a luchador from Mexico. Still with me? He’s the only person to have won both of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla annual tournaments, is a two-time PWG champ, a five-time World Tag Team champ,held the KO-D Openweight Championship in Japan, won the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in Germany, and held the ROH World TV Championship and the World Tag Team Championship. After a hell of a career and a lot of travel, he signed with the WWE in January 2013. I don’t know why, but I like Sami Zayn. He’s fun to watch and he’s got some serious moves. I hope he is able to branch out from NXT more so I can see a repeat of the rumored epic match versus Ziggler.
Finally, we have Adrian Neville (@WWENeville), the current NXT Champion. Hailing from England, Neville is better known as “The Man That Gravity Forgot.” His career began overseas, hopping to and from the United States and even wrestling in TNA’s Portugal tour in 2007, before signing with WWE in July 2012. I became familiar with Neville after his short-lived feud with Brodus Clay that ended when Neville won a title match to retain via disqualification. On Raw, he showcased his finishing move, the Red Arrow, which is described as a corkscrew shooting star press and looks like it should be performed by an Olympic diver. The man is high energy for sure and it’s refreshing to see those kind of moves in the ring on Raw.
Triple H brought these boys to Raw in order to get the crowd interested in NXT, and I hate to admit that it worked. I’d be lying if I said that I am now going to commit my Thursday nights to NXT, as I have a hard enough time with Monday Night Raw, Impact on Wednesdays, and Smackdown on Fridays. That said, I do plan on tuning in here and there to see more of what was previewed on Raw. Triple H wasn’t kidding when he said this group has talent. As an often frustrated wrestling fan, I’m excited to see what this group of fresh faces has to offer. NXT films their live events in various Florida venues and airs on the WWE Network every Thursday night. Tonight, though, is their NXT Takeover pay-per-view. The Face To Heel staff will be watching to see how it all shakes down. Look for articles about NXT Takeover tonight and tomorrow.