WWE WrestleMania 33: Grading NXT Debuts from Raw and SmackDown Live

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The Revival

A simple “Say yeah!” got the Amway Center crowd fired up, as the Revival answered New Day’s open challenge. It marked the first and only NXT tag team to be called up, arguably the most prolific one in the brand’s history.

Before they got in the ring, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder began to turn the cheers into boos by knocking over the New Day Pops cart and stomping on it. It’s hard for any popular heel to do that, much like AJ Styles doing whatever he can to get heat, but consistently being applauded.

The match saw Dash and Dawson systematically tear New Day apart, using the tag team offense that made them look like superstars. They worked on specific limbs, using ring psychology that others struggle to do at times. This includes getting the two-on-one situation in the ring, which they had at the end of the match as Kofi Kingston got dumped at ringside.

What highlighted this debut was the post-match segment. This saw the two-time NXT Tag Team Champions work to break the ankle of Kingston, much like they did to Big Cass and Shane Thorne. It’s almost become a staple of their act, as they get heat every time this is done. That would be the case on Monday, with the crowd booing their heinous act.

The knock on this match is the length of it. Debuting stars should look unstoppable in their first in-ring showing, and not normalized. While this wasn’t a long enough match to fully complete that, the Revival were at risk of looking like any other tag team. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows fell to this in 2016, and quickly lost momentum after destroying everyone in their way.

Other than this, it was a great debut for Dawson and Wilder. They turned cheers into heat, displayed the in-ring prowess showed in NXT and gained credibility by defeating the longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history. Bigger and better things are still to come for them, which should happen later this year.

Grade: A-