Friday, May 6, 2016

Best Coast Bias: E.Y., Joe

The answer to "What's Young Eric doing in the NXT Zone?!"
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Clarity is a boon that there's not nearly enough of in the world, so let's make this blue orb a little brighter here, shall we?

NXT's cup runneth over right now with talent, and admittedly they're more popular than Charlotte McKinney at a junior prom. But that doesn't mean they're infallible, and unfortunately that was on display on their first show back in Full Sail since Takeover: Dallas.

Proudly toting his newly won NXT World Championship at the show's outset, Samoa Joe got far more cheers than boos. When he said he was a man of his word and would beat down and choke out anyone fool enough to stand in his way and the crowd had more mostly positive reactions to that, the announce was (oddly?) silent. After all, if a man backs up his words with deeds, it's not exactly hateable. You can find room to dislike, but you can't exactly crook a finger and yell "J'accuse!" or anything of the sort. Anyhow, once he dared anybody with a problem to come out and he'd book them the express pass to Night Night Vale, somebody did.

Somewhat surprisingly to those who live happier, spoiler-free lives, the answer wasn't someone already known to be on NXT's roster but Eric Young, yet another in a series of emigres from that other wrestling organization in Orlando. Joe looked mad -- then again, he may just be a male sufferer of CBF -- as EY noted they knew each other pretty well and the only constant was change. The champ left the ring, then parried that Young didn't belong in the same ring with him and the next time he saw him he was going to beat his ass.

That set up an oddly unexplained how it came to pass so quickly main event wherein...Samoa Joe pretty much beat Eric Young's ass.


It wasn't as if the former TNA World Champion was No! Way! Jose!'s cannon fodder or anything, but at the same time you never got any sort of true sense Joe was in anything resembling danger. True, he's not just on the roll of maybe his life but maybe five other people's as well, but less a top rope Savage elbowdrop the match seemed to have small hiccups, played at 33 on a 45, and no matter what slivers of light his nice right hand afforded him Eric was eventually going to be swallowed up by the darkness as seen above. Less a Daemon powered Finn Bálor (already scheduled to appear on next week's programming) or the new King of Strong Style (also already scheduled and hopefully being the man to rid us of A-Ry once and for all), Joe's been the King of Trillville since late last year, and not even a man who's done it all from both sides of the ledger and around the world like E.Y. could get on his level, though.

The main event was a more spotlight-intensive version of the rest of the show, really. Tessa Blanchard got new music and a full introduction, then Nia Jax laid her out like a deck of cards as the latter continues to be Full Sail's Rule 63 Baron Corbin. Austin Aries and Tye Dillinger had a fun little sprint that was also a fait accompli, more jarring for the brief "both these guys" chant than any sense of danger for this particular former ROH World Champion, enjoyer of bananas and potassium (somehow not a euphenism). Set up by last week's events, the Hype Bros v. the Revival could've gotten to something had it also not been a sprint that featured Mojo eating a Shatter Machine within 90 seconds of getting a hot tag.

To be clear, Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley are not dead in the water. Tye Dillinger is not going to pop up on Lucha Underground anytime soon. Tessa Blanchard, especially given her pedigree, has probably got a bright future in the women's division as long as she continues to evolve and keep pace.

Yet weirdly for a predetermined sport, nothing during the hour really latched and held on to attention. It's one thing to look at a match (or four) and be able to make a cut with Occam's Razor to surmise who'll probably be winning; it's wholly another to not find any sort of brief moment or small segment where even if you can't suspend your disbelief you can still find yourself compelled, and on that note for at least one week NXT was as inevitable as Joe had been saying his title reign was going to be and now is.

Next week is the Assassination of the Coward Alex Riley By The King Of Strong Style, however, and predictable as that outcome is, it will at least provide compelling moments and Kendrick willing wipe an asinine mouthbreather who is to professional wrestling what Carly Fiorina's vice presidential run was democracy off of the map.

After all, it doesn't get much clearer than Shinsuke Nakamura kneeing you in the flippin' skull.