Just like back in the summer, WWE is presenting an nXt special event the same weekend as a main roster one. You can look at it as a fantastic way to co-brand nXt as part of the Wrestlemania experience, or you can look at it as a way for management to make the main roster sweat while the new guys eat their lunch. That’s absolutely what happened with nXt Takeover: Brooklyn last summer. Now, Wrestlemania has an absolutely stacked card (despite bewildering storytelling building to it), so it won’t be as easy for the nXt crew to best them, but damned if they’re not lining up to try exactly that.
Here’s the lineup as of last night:
- nXt Championship: Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe
- nXt Women’s Championship: Bayley vs Asuka
- nXt Tag Team Championship: The Revival vs American Alpha
- Baron Corbin vs Austin Aries
- Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the most all-killer, no-filler Takeover so far, and it’s actually tough to go with a main event. Do they do Balor and Joe again, just because it’s for the title? Or do they roll out the red carpet for Nakamura? Or do they put Bayley and Asuka on top, knowing nothing that happens afterwards will matter?
NXT head writer Ryan Ward has been moved to the SmackDown writing team, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
One of the things viewers have noticed with nXt performers moving up to the main shows is that they tend to lose something in the process. One of those components is the writing quality. It’s important to take note that nXt is the grooming level for all aspects of WWE, including every level of production. Imagine WWE in a few years, when all current successful nXt crew are working the main shows. You’ll see a difference.
Last night, Tomasso Ciampa, Charlotte, and Emma all apparently suffered injuries in matches. It’s too early to tell if they’ll miss action.
If they have to, we have to add them to the list of current performers on the shelf with injuries, which includes Cesaro, John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Sting, Tyson Kidd, Nikki Bella, and Hideo Itami.
Is now a good time to talk about increasing safety measures for pro wrestlers?
This next battle in their bitter rivalry will go down at WWE Roadblock. Will The Revival roll on in Toronto, or will Enzo & Big Cass become The Realest Champions in The Room? Find out on Saturday, March 12 at 8 ET/5 PT, only on the award-winning WWE Network!
Makes a lot of sense to me. They might not be on the main roster, but Roadblock is a Network house show. The only people watching this show are WWE Network subscribers who aren’t doing anything on a Saturday night, and people like me who will be in the arena. Of course we all know who these people are and what they’re about. And if you don’t? You’re in for a treat.
According to the Wrestling Observer, former WWE NXT Champion Sami Zayn is scheduled to compete at WrestleMania 32.
Additionally, Zayn is booked for the annual post-WrestleMania tour of Europe.
As we previously noted, Zayn will be facing Shinsuke Nakamura, in Nakamura’s NXT debut match, two nights before WrestleMania 32 at the NXT “Takeover: Dallas” special.
I remember a few months before Neville and Sami finished their nXt story. It was going well, the show was enjoyable, but there was this sense that as soon as they were promoted to the main show, there would be nobody to carry nXt. Not long after that, Kenta was announced. Devitt and Owens followed soon after that. And now we’re about to see Nakamura in what will be Sami Zayn’s last nXt match as a regular performer on the show. What a crazy 18 months it’s been.
It’s fine. London was better, but everything about the production of that show soared.
Toronto’s March To WrestleMania special on WWE Network could feature some big names from NXT. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports Dash Wilder, Scott Dawson, Enzo Amore, Big Cass and Sami Zayn are scheduled to appear on the show, which will take place on March 12.
It could just be the case they’ll be doing dark matches, or maybe they’ll be filming NXT matches, but there’s a chance that it could be the wrestlers moving up to the main roster. Enzo and Big Cass were rumoured to debut at Fastlane, while Sami Zayn has been rumoured for a WrestleMania match with Kevin Owens. Perhaps March To WrestleMania will be the ignition on those main roster careers taking off.
With Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, it would be a little more surprising to see them moving up full time. It could just be the case WWE are running an NXT match on the show, like they did with The Beast In The East special when Finn Balor wrestled Kevin Owens.
Other matches expected on the Toronto card are Roman Reigns versus Sheamus, and Brock Lesnar versus Luke Harper. The event is designed more as a televised house show special, rather than a traditional pay per event. As the name suggests, it comes just three weeks before WrestleMania.
I think I bought tickets to the right house show.
I could see that.
And I should mention that NXT has opening credits, though the rookies are using their character titles, so I don’t really count it.
I wonder, if WWE began putting proper credits at the end of the show, including the names of all the writers, directors, and other backstage members, a) how long would it be, and b) would people begin to view the program differently?