By now, we’ve reached a point with WWE NXT where it’s hard to fathom how anyone could have any strong feelings toward this show.
To be clear, the show isn’t “good”, especially when you measure it against the peak of the Black and Gold era, but the show also offers enough good stuff to keep it out of “complete waste of time” territory.
Still, there are plenty of things to critique about this show, and that’s what we’re here to discuss.
These are three things that went wrong on the Jan. 17 episode of WWE NXT.
Time-filling talking segments that end with a big brawl.
It seemed like the NXT creative team ran short on fresh ideas this week, as we saw multiple segments where wrestlers barked contrived lines at each other before getting into a big brawl. Toxic Attraction, Lyra Valkyria (and her bird puns), and Roxanne Perez gave us the first taste of this. Later, we saw The New Day, Pretty Deadly, and Gallus squabbling over who should get a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship.
In a vacuum, both segments have their respective merits, but they both accomplish little outside of eating up valuable time, as both angles took too long to get to their distinct end goals. To be fair, segments that take too meander to their ultimate point has always plagued modern WWE show, but booking more than one on a two-hour show that already features a lot of bad dialogue magnifies the issue.
Repeating the “babyfaces have to overcome the odds” trope
Speaking of recycling the same ideas on the same show, the writers certainly fell in love with the “member of the babyface team has to fight the heels 2-on-1 after their partner gets taken out” plot device, as they used it in the Roxanne Perez/Lyra Valkyria vs. Toxic Attraction and Gallus vs. Briggs/Jensen matches.
To be fair, the events that led to the disadvantages for the babyfaces didn’t play out exactly the same way — Valkyria brawled with Cora Jade while an “injury” off of a bump onto concrete took out Jensen — and they served different purposes (one set up a Valkyria/Jade feud, the other continued the Jensen/Kiana James romance story), but WWE could’ve found at least one other way to advance these stories. It makes the show feel repetitive.
Stevie Turner’s gimmick
Now, it’s certainly possible that Stevie Turner pitched this YouTube/Twitch streamer character, and there’s nothing wrong with having a gimmick like this on the show, but this feels like something an out-of-touch, middle-aged writer came up with right down to the forced one-liners. It’s yet another example of WWE pulling a “How do you do, fellow kids?” in an attempt to draw in a younger demographic.
Again, this gimmick could work, but if WWE continues to give Turner nothing but a bunch of lazy exposition to spout out, it will simply become another thing that people who don’t watch NXT regularly use as a reason why they avoid the show.