Being a wrestling fan, specifically a WWE fan, is hard work. There are hours and hours of content to keep up with every week and, if we’re being honest with ourselves, sometimes World Wrestling Entertainment isn’t all that entertaining. There is even the occasional ‘what the -glass shatters- am I watching?’ moment. But even when things get a little weird or a little boring on the main roster, there is one brand that never fails to captivate, and that is NXT. As much as I love Raw and SmackDown, Wednesday nights are probably my favorite.
This Finn Bálor vignette is a perfect example of outstanding character development in NXT. The Demon King was already an awesome persona, but this made me love it even more.
First of all, NXT is only an hour long. Which usually leaves me wanting more at the end, but that is exactly how I should be feeling. Even if I’m watching the greatest episode of Raw ever, by hour three, I’m thinking, ‘wow…this is a lot of television.’ And not in a good way. Three hours is longer than most movies – unless you’re watching Lord of the Rings. And not only is that a long time to be in front of a screen in one sitting, it makes each episode more difficult to digest. NXT’s hour-long format is perfect – it’s easy to absorb, it leaves the fans excited for the next episode, and not everyone gets to be on every show.
The yellow brand never fails to get me hype for the big matches. Their video packages are perfect for reminding fans what the match is all about. They explain the competitors and details of the feud in neat 2-3 minute packages.
Another, somewhat random, aspect of NXT that makes it just a little bit better is the lighting. Raw and SmackDown are very brightly lit, very colorful, very TV, if you know what I mean. NXT is dark, the lights are specific to where the action is. There are no lights and seldom any cameras on the crowd, so the focus is always on the wrestlers. The camera work is also better than that of the main roster – NXT has some of the coolest shots and angles in all of wrestling.
Through his superb pre-debut vignettes, I felt like I knew Aleister Black before he was even on television. Then there are vignettes like Sanity’s where I had no idea what I was in for, but I knew I was jacked up about it.
Whether it be through video packages, backstage interviews, or vignettes, NXT does an excellent job with character development and showing the fans exactly who their guys and girls are. While the wrestling alone is certainly enough, the storytelling that goes along with every character, match, and feud, makes the show that much better. There are some wrestlers, like Finn Bálor and Roderick Strong, who we know very personal things about because of video packages dedicated to telling their real stories. Then there are others, like Asuka and Nikki Cross, who have dynamic personas because of backstage interviews and allowing time for them to express who their characters are. Some, like Aleister Black, don’t even have to speak and you know what they’re about because of vignettes and simple presentation.
If all of that isn’t enough to convince you that NXT is worth the weekly watch, keep in mind that on top of the compelling characters, great storytelling, and outstanding production work, it is also home to some fantastic wrestling.