The original iteration of NXT Black & Gold deserves more credit for its impact on professional wrestling.
As I continue through my re-watch of old WWE, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Ring of Honor footage (Sorry Dixie, wasn’t a TNA fan) the idea that NXT changed the wrestling world, and never received enough credit for it, becomes more en-rooted in me.
NXT began February 23, 2010, as part of the main show. The original roster introduced Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Darren Young, Skip Sheffield (For those who know Ryback ), Daniel Bryan, and Michael Tarver. In 2012, NXT was split from being a reality-based competition television show attached to the main show. In 2014, NXT held its very first live event special, called Arrival.
The Arrival card consisted of the following matches:
- Cesaro defeated Sami Zayn (Preliminary match)
- Mojo Rawley defeated CJ Parker
- The Ascension defended their NXT Tag Team Championship against Too Cool (mystery opponents)
- Paige defeated Emma to retain her NXT Women’s Championship
- Tyler Breeze vs Xavier Woods with an interruption by Rusev and Lana leading to a no contest when Rusev attacked the both of them.
- The main event of the night was Adrian Neville challenging Bo Dallas in NXT’s first-ever ladder match for the NXT Championship resulting in Neville walking away with the title
The matches noted on the Arrival card, don’t scream 5-star ratings but it meant something more when I sat down to watch that night. It felt as if something new was being born. It felt like an Indie show on steroids. Don’t forget what NXT has continuously brought us over the years since its birth. NXT has given us matches such as Aleister Black vs Tommaso Ciampa, Sasha vs Bayley, War Games, and a Last Woman Standing match.
The company I had grown to love as a kid, begged my parents to buy the pay per views, and all the figures I could get from the stores (which I still collect to this day). The biggest wrestling company in the world was putting on an Indie show with all its resources at its disposal. It was wild to watch. It was something I had always wished for.
Growing up with wrestling in my DNA, I always hoped WWE would find a way to bring younger athletes in to help them grow into their persona. NXT was that. NXT was going to be the birthplace of the next generation of great wrestling talent. NXT deserves the biggest thank you for what they have done over the years and for what they have brought into my life. THANK YOU NXT.