Buried! is old. We’ve been through five WrestleMania’s, four different TNA TV stations, three Roman Reigns‘ title reigns, and thousands of injuries. To put it in perspective, when Buried! was first launched, there was no WWE Network, John Cena vs. Rock had yet to happen, and CM Punk had just started his WWE Title run. Furthermore, NXT was nothing to write home about. Oh wait…it still isn’t a big deal. You see folks, I’m not angry at NXT, I’m just disappointed. It’s interesting to see how quickly people are to give NXT a pass, when it makes the same mistakes RAW does. While NXT used to be the hottest show in town back in 2014, now, it’s almost unwatchable.
NXT X TNA X Japan X Independent Smorgasbord
The absolute biggest problem with NXT is its reliance on big name independent wrestlers. While NXT has always relied on established indie wrestlers, they were repackaged in a way where their gimmick wasn’t just them being an independent wrestler. Sami Zayn didn’t come into NXT as El Generico and Adrian Neville didn’t come into NXT as Pac. These are two guys who back the modern version of NXT and they were actually interesting. (NXT pre-Network doesn’t count.) I noticed a trend with indie wrestlers keeping their original names and having the gimmick of being a “badass indie wrestler” like Samoa Joe. Ever since Joe came to NXT, every big name that has followed has had the gimmick of being “a good wrestler who came to NXT from another promotion to get the NXT title.” Austin Aries, Eric Young, Finn Balor, and Shinsuke Nakamura are all guilty of having this gimmick. This wouldn’t be a problem if they weren’t the only ones at the top of the card…but sadly, they are.
Boring Title Reigns
It feels like we are decades removed from the amazing title run of Adrian Neville, who, in my opinion, is the greatest NXT Champion of all time, and will be until the end of time. He had interesting competition like the smug Tyson Kidd, the narcissistic Tyler Breeze, and Sami Zayn. He has had unique matches like a ladder match and fatal four way, and furthermore, he was able to able to play the heel or face depending on who he was up against. He had depth…unlike Finn Balor. Finn killed NXT for me. How does someone, who was the longest reigning NXT Champion of all time, only have two opponents? While Neville had a rogues gallery of opponents, Finn has only taken on Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. This is a dude who paints himself like a demon, but only fights fat guys. This mother fucker has been talking about embracing the demon for over a year, yet shows no signs of a heel turn. I wouldn’t even be writing this if he just dropped the belt to Samoa Joe and then moved on to the main roster. But no, we need to have Balor vs. Joe III. Three fucking times! Finn and Balor have been involved with each other since September – isn’t that long enough !? I’m all for long-game storytelling, but not when it has the charismatic vacuum of Finn Balor at the helm.
With the amount of goofy gimmicks in NXT, I’m shocked the Gobbledy Gooker hasn’t shown up in NXT yet. Many of the gimmicks in NXT are gimmicks that will never work on main TV, and are doomed to fail. No Way Jose, a large dude who loves to dance in the ring? Ummmm…Brodus Clay? Two frat boys called the Hype Bros who don’t get hype, they stay hype? OK, I guess? The Perfect Ten, Tye Dillinger? Fucking awesome, but Tyler Breeze was awesome too, and his gimmick failed on RAW. Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum is Dash and Dawson, whose actual gimmick is being generic looking.
At the end of the day, NXT’s biggest fault is that it’s just plain boring. Besides the Takeover shows, which only happen about five times a year, NXT lacks any form of excitement. While the same can be said for RAW, NXT fans pretend it doesn’t exist there. During the May 5th episode of NXT, there was never a time where I was shocked by the winner. Of course Nia Jax beat a newcomer, and obviously, Austin Aries defeated Tye Dillinger. Maybe it’s also the Smackdown effect of being pre-taped, but I never feel like anything is at stake and I don’t feel like NXT is “can’t miss TV”. Hell, the most exciting thing to happen in NXT recently was at a random house show when Samoa Joe took the belt from Finn. After the string of good RAW’s since WrestleMania 32, it’s hard to say that NXT is the best thing the WWE has going for them.
P.S. The Buried! Show is cancelled.