This week’s NXT main event featured yet another potential entry to the list of potential NXT match of the year candidates (and that’s a long list) when Ricochet defended his North American Title against Pete Dunne and Adam Cole. This made me realise something: WWE really needs to change their in ring style.
It’s pretty much gospel amongst WWE fans that NXT is head and shoulders the main roster but I’ve never really taken the time to think why. We could be here all day suggesting reasons why this is but the best I can think of is the the huge gap in match quality.
WWE has been accused of wrestling a softer, safer style than some other promotions. This has caused much irritation in fans especially in recent years with the rise in popularity of the indies that wrestle a more high impact style. The WWE Performance Center is seen as a key factor in this style as everyone is taught to wrestle the same way leaving very little room for variety. On the other side of that argument many of the independent talent competing in NXT train in the performance centre and still put on excellent matches.
Velveteen is a prime example as he is very much a performance center creation and consistently steels the show at Takeovers. While there’s nothing wrong with the PC style you shouldn’t have two people who wrestle this style face off too often. Sometimes it’s good to have a clash of styles as this gives you Dream vs Ricochet rather than Dream vs EC3.
I think it can be attributed to who’s in charge of NXT and the main roster. Triple H runs NXT and seems to allow a sense of freedom for the performers. Meanwhile Vince is still to this day is very hands on with everything on the main roster and finds it hard to give up control. I’m not saying WWE needs to have every match on the main roster featuring 50 superkicks and countless false finishes but there needs to be some middle ground. NXT finds this balance between WWE’s style and the independent style which needs to translate to the main roster.
NXT thrives on a primary focus on the in ring action and telling simple stories through this. They rarely have to use gimmick matches except in special occasions. This is what WWE should have done when they moved to PG focusing less on blood and over the top violence and more on the in ring action and telling better stories.
Next time you blame PG for WWE’s poor product just look at NXT which is as PG as it gets and is going from strength to strength.
Hopefully we see the necessary changes made to WWE’s style in the next year or so with WWE’s new Billion dollar TV deal for RAW and SmackDown. USA and FOX are going to expect quality content to make up for their massive investment so WWE’s going to need to step up their game.