Having just watched the recent installment of the all-new NXT, I have to say the WWE appear to be on for a winner. Great wrestling, new and exciting talent, character enhancing situations and good ol’ JR on commentary - what’s not to like?
When NXT first started, I was thrilled at the prospect of seeing the top FCW stars on a more regular basis. I had long been a fan of the promotion and knew there were more than a few gems that had not yet begun to shine.
Whilst a few flourished in front of our eyes (most notably the first group of ‘rookies’) many fell through the cracks, which made me, second guess the WWE’s intentions of pushing future up and coming stars.
However, with the recent merging of NXT with FCW, things are starting to look a lot more positive for any developing talents.
FCW, when in operation, had a great old-school territorial vibe about it with each show offering a fresh variety of matches meaning you never saw the same faces week-in and week-out. By doing so, certain wrestlers appeared more exclusive and a chance to watch them perform was somewhat of a privilege.
Wrestlers were given the time and care to perfect their characters and grow as performers as well as given a generous amount of time in the ring (the Jack Briscoe 15 minute matches were always a delight to watch).
Feuds were simple and developed at a believable pace that audiences could easily follow week after week.
More significantly, everything that occurred was based around the titles, creating a tough competitive environment maintaining the impression that said titles were of the highest value.
Matches were also a lot more unpredictable when compared to those on the main shows, with wrestlers scoring wins without necessarily performing their finishing maneuvers, leading to a much more exciting and dramatic show.
Basically, if you enjoyed straightforward no-nonsense wrestling, then FCW was the show for you.
FCW delivered great shows for years and with this new exposure under the NXT banner, things can only get better.
I feel that for this version of NXT to succeed, the WWE needs to remain on its current track and focus purely on developing its future stars. Leave the flashy intros and intricate storylines for RAW and Smackdown; NXT needs to just be about wrestlers wrestling, an aspect that has been missing from a lot of shows as of late.