Monday, June 30, 2014

Best Coast Bias: The Vapors

The real Mr. Thursday Night, at least in 2014
Photo Credit:
A debut, a return, a dream match, a reboot, and a showcase.  That is not a rewrite of Smells Like Teen Spirit, but rather an objective if concise view of what went down on the last NXT of June.

Had things connected better, or more of them, it'd be remembered as one of the best "free TV" episodes of the year and a mark to point to when considering NXTV the Show of the Year for 2014.  But this was no fairytale world, and in the end there was more than a little dissonance between the could've and the did.   So much of the show evaporated on contact, for no good reason besides it happens sometimes.

Adrian Neville and Rob van Dam closed the show in a two-segger in which the end was inevitable (see Arrow, Red) but there still could've been a phenomenal journey to be had en route.  Hell, Tyson Kidd's managed such a thing twice and before that his career was pining for the fjords.  Without anything by way of alignment change or Tyler Breeze getting his manicured hands dirty on the NXT Champion, he and the former ECW stalwart went out and had a perfectly serviceable match.  There was a bit of a teased "anything you can do I can do better" with RVD getting a slight advantage with a baseball slide only to soon fall prey to Neville offense setting up a flawless Asai moonsault suicida off the second rope while landing on his feet in the process, but it turned out to be an amuse bouche without a entree in sight.  RVD did vary up his usually repetitive offense and gave the crowd somebody to root for, if not much else.  However, Day 119 ended with the breathtaking corkscrew Shooting Star from the Englishman right after he dodged the Five Star.  Again, this wasn't a Jackie Gayda/Trish Stratus mixed tag or anything, but the little extra something to vault this out of "well, that happened" territory never materialized.  Possibly van Dam knocked Neville loopy at a juncture, since some of the maneuvering seemed a beat or half off at times in the meat of the match.  Irregardless, without heels to play off of and Van Dam's offense not exactly the most heart-stopping in the modern era and somewhat muted in contrast to Neville's it was a main event that wouldn't main event Main Event.

And still, it might've been the best match on the show.

Watching the Vaudevillains smite some dudes was fun and everything, but it wasn't exactly a surprise.  Renee would've put up a better challenge for the quite manly team just dance fighting them than their overmatched opponents did.  Bull Dempsey's rebooting and subsequent borderline squash of Xavier Woods would've gotten more attention had they not somehow tried to pretend it was a debut against someone who hasn't won since the snowflakes were falling. (Ed. note: Also, it would've been better if Dempsey at least tried to hide his act as a transparent rip-off of Eddie Kingston.)

Colin Cassady had a squash more notable by him hitting one of the best big boots in the 21st century than the opposition, and as it turned out it was a setup for two things: the Legionnaires coming out to be very French in his general direction and for Enzo Amore to come back to back up his big dog.  Hilariously, Enzo almost cut the same first two promos he ever cut in NXT by way of reintroducing himself and his partner before flinging the expected catchphrase at Not La Resistance.

And Becky Lynch, holy Mary Mother of Crom. Here's the thing about Becky Lynch - and kudos to beating a horribly distracted Summer Rae with a legitimately good T-Bone suplex before the instrumental to Ether starts - she's Irish.  Like SUPER Irish.  Like MEGA Irish.  Like the Irishest Irish to ever Irish, so imperturbably from the Emerald Isle she makes Sheamus look Muslim.  She jigged to start the match, she jigged in the middle, she jigged after she won and she did it between moves for no good reason besides HEY DID YOU GUYS KNOW I'M IRISH?  It was like she played No Mercy and was getting into green to set up her finisher by doing her taunt 16 times.  (Note: she probably didn't actually jig 16 times; it just felt that way.)  Most complimentary, the crowd was into her and chanting into her from jump.  That being said, she might've had a Mojo Framily section thing going where the people there were only there specifically for her and Ann Coulter could get babyface steam against Summer Rae in NXT, for crying out flayven.  In summation: Becky: less dancing, more T-Bone suplexing. Don't turn into a drinking game into which there are no survivors.

Even a fired up Sami Zayn looking more aggro than he has in Full Sail and swearing in his own nice guy way to get Tyson Kidd was relegated to backstage post-production.  Sometimes when you're doing no reruns you hit magic.  We've seen that from NXT, in both random episodes and two-hour Network specials earlier in the year.  And sometimes when you're never doing reruns, this happens. Almost anything's better than getting rated M for Meh, and given NXT's history this is almost assuredly more an aberration than a long-term reason for handwringing and concern.

Honestly, it's not like they had Cena win the belt again, you know?