Wednesday, August 3, 2022

NXT ArRival (February 2014)

NXT Arrival - yeah, I'm not sticking with their weird formatting - you'll have to settle for the title if that's your thing - has a couple distinctions. Not only is it the first ever NXT PPV-style special event to air on the WWE Network, but it is also the first live television event to air on said Network, as it had launched a few days prior to... let's just say "less than stellar" reactions. I'm not sure I could talk about the WWE Network's early days because Canada didn't get it until much later and only the live feed which ended up being a premium channel on cable systems; the On-Demand Stuff not coming along until much, MUCH later.

But enough about that; let's talk NXT Arrival because naturally, I have not seen this one. And with Triple H taking the creative reigns of WWE, we might as well look at the first major WWE Network event under the NXT banner. We'll dive into the last few Summerslams starting next week.

Cesaro defeated Sami Zayn in the opening match. Cesaro would last in WWE until 2022 and jump ship to AEW. Sami Zayn is currently on the Smackdown brand. This was a good opening match between two fine talents. Nice, length match to boot.

Mojo Rawley defeated CJ Parker (a.k.a. Juice Robinson of New Japan fame) in a short squash. Rawley would bounce around WWE programming here and there for a few years until his release last year, while Parker would leave WWE the following year and make a name for himself elsewhere. Needless to say that Juice got the better end of that deal.

(It didn't occur to me until five minutes after post that they gave Juice Robinson the name of Pamela Anderson's Baywatch character... Christ.)

NXT Tag-Team Champions The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) defeated Too Cool (yes, that Too Cool) to retain the titles. Why was this match a thing? This is the sort of match where you have the old-school nostalgia act have a fun little match with the local tag team at an indy show. This was... something, I guess.

Stephanie McMahon comes out and I press the mute button. Look, I give Steph for having a voice that sounds like nails on a chalkboard.

NXT Women's Champion Paige defeated Emma (a.k.a. Tenille Dashwood) via double chickenwing submission looking thing to retain the title in a fine match. Paige would suffer an injury down the road and recently left WWE. Emma would be released from WWE several years later and bounce around indy promotions.

The match between Tyler Breeze and Xavier Wood ended in a no-contest due to both guys getting killed by Alexander Rusev. Rusev is known today as Miro and is feuding with GOD in AEW.

And in the main event, NXT Champion Adrian Neville (a.k.a. THAT GODDAMNED MOTHERFUCKING BASTARD PAC!) defeated Bo Dallas in a fine ladder match to retain the title.

This was a pretty good show that I found myself watching and enjoying without much thought to write some brief thoughts or whatever the case may be. There was little for me to say about this show other than I enjoyed it and it was a good start for this developmental brand on the WWE Network. As it said on the card, NXT had indeed arrived and it would continue onwards. For better or worse...

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