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Mcleod: What Does 2019 Hold For NXT?

What does the future hold for NXT?

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Scott Mcleod takes a look at the future of WWE NXT after another exciting Takeover from Phoenix.

Saturday night we saw another great Takeover show with NXT Takeover: Phoenix. While I think there have been better Takeovers but we did get an early match of the year candidate with Johnny Gargano vs Ricochet.

Looking at the show has me wondering what does the rest of 2019 hold for NXT as it’s likely that most of the people on the card won’t be around for much longer.

While in the last few years NXT has established itself as a third brand and not just developmental but being developmental puts a limit on how long people can be there. As soon as someone has big loss the speculation begins whether or not they’ll get called up.

Most of last nights card have been mainstays in NXT for a while now and are approaching the point that there’s not a lot left from them. You have Undisputed Era, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, Shayna Baszler, Tommaso Ciampa.

You could say the same about Velveteen Dream but as I’ve covered in another article Dream has more he can do in NXT. He’ll hold the NXT North American Championship before he’s done. Similarly I think Ricochet will stick around for a while, maybe getting a NXT title shot.

Undisputed Era have run NXT for a long time and with them finally losing the tag titles to War Raiders they look prime for a call up. I see them being a post Mania call up as Strong & O’Reilly are due a rematch and Cole was involved in that brawl when the show went off air.

I’ve heard a rumour of Gargano vs Ciampa in a title for title match at the Mania weekend which would be great. I see the loser going up and the winner by the end of the year.

Whenever these guys get called up WWE needs to look who they have currently have on the roster in NXT who could step up when those guys leave. If there was a time to build new stars it’s right now

War Raiders will likely be the dominant tag team for a while as there aren’t many heel teams other than Forgotten Sons. Matt Riddle just screams future NXT Champion to me. He’ll likely have the title by SummerSlam weekend.

You’ve got the likes of Keith Lee, Street Profits, Io Shari, Candice LeRae, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch to name a few all waiting for an opportunity. That’s before the debut of newly signed talent like Kushida, Trevor Lee & Ilja Dragunov. Then there’s Kassius Ohno looks like he may never be called up.

Another thing that would be great is more integrating with NXT UK. We’ve already seen the UK title defended on NXT and recently the likes of Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel and Deonna Purrazzo appearing on NXT UK.

It might take a while like it did in late 2016 early 2017 to feel like the same NXT again but that’s why they shouldn’t call too many people up at once. We’ve already seen 6 people get called up and the main roster is crowded as it is. We don’t need more people to get lost in the shuffle.

Call up the people they have a plan for which gives the NXT audience time to get use to the new faces. This way they’ll be more accepting once the old faces finally leave.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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The Miz: WWE’s Newest Babyface Wins Fans Over

2019 , Miz is a face, Daniel Bryan is a heel…cats and dogs are sleeping together, right? David breaks down why Miz as face actually works this time around!

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2019 , Miz is a face, Daniel Bryan is a heel…cats and dogs are sleeping together, right? David breaks down why Miz as face actually works this time around!

When WWE decided to flip the script and give Daniel Bryan his chance at becoming the company’s top heel, I immediately wondered what would happen to The Miz and how he would impact Tuesday nights.

For any of us who doubted the possibility that Mike Mizanin could pull off a run as a top baby face, we should all apologize now. One of my favorite characters in wrestling today proved once again last night that it does not matter which role he plays, there is brilliance and how he does it.

I’m not 100 percent excited about this program with Shane McMahon, however I think it is a great storyline the WWE put together in one of the more shocking twists and turns of the year so far. McMahon, much like his father Vince, is a natural heel. The Miz has shown versatile to make it work in either side of the squares-circle. Like his matches before, this could be a defining moment for McMahon, who will once again prove he is better than expected in a wrestling ring.

For The Miz, I’m curious how this all plays out given after this feud I wonder which direction the creative team will take in developing his character even more.

This promo on Tuesday night was nothing short of brilliant. And for a performer who is used to working off heat from the crowds, he showed the ability to win them over. The mark of a great wrestling performer is the ability to work as a babyface or a heel and keep the wrestling fan engaged.
It also presents a potential challenge to Bryan in the future should WWE keep the company title around his waist.

As I’ve discussed before, wrestlers need other wrestlers to be great. Jack Brisco needed Dory Funk, Jr. Ric Flair needed Ricky Steamboat and Dusty Rhodes. The Miz needs Bryan. From a fan perspective, seeing those two in a ring and a role reversal is worth the price of admission alone.

My concern as I just touched on it, is the company will drop the ball in character development. It will lose sight of what it has in the performer and the self promoter. There is no one better than the former WWE and Intercontinental champion.

The Miz’s words were real, succinct, passionate and gripping. Never for a lack of animation, he is just as dynamic when speaking his mind. There should be another world title run in his future, but I wonder with the most recent push of Kofi Kingston, does this mean the A-lister becomes the B+ superstar?

By the way, the comment about Vince not owning Kofi was spot on at the moment.

I suspect the feud between co-owner of WWE and the man I like to call the company’s greatest asset will continue past April. How it concludes is predictable. McMahon is not a full-time performer and should not be. As for The Miz, the doors opened a little wider on Tuesday night. We saw a focused and determined wrestler on television. I’m betting that translates to one of the best years he’s had in this business in 2019.

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mustafa Ali Should Be Thankful For KofiMania

Steve Cook reminds us that Kofi’s current angle is due to Mustafa Ali’s injury. Which, may have turned out beneficial for…Mustafa?

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Mustafa Ali

Steve Cook reminds us that Kofi’s current angle is due to Mustafa Ali’s injury. Which, may have turned out beneficial for…Mustafa?

When I first heard it, I didn’t believe it.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to demean the ability of Mustafa Ali. In his limited time under WWE’s umbrella of entertainment, he’s amazed crowds with unbelievable moves. He’s also shown the ability to be likable, much to the amazement of some that believe that people of his descent can’t be supported by the WWE Universe.

Ali is a remarkable story. He was sixteen years old when he had his first match in February 2003. Mustafa worked graveyard shifts as a police officer while pursuing his wrestling dream, along with having a family.

He has a good head on his shoulders & a very promising future.

WWE is high on Ali, as they have every right to be. So high, in fact, that the word around the campfire was that Ali was slated to challenge for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. Those plans were put on hold just before the Elimination Chamber, when Ali suffered an injury that forced him out of the Chamber match for the WWE Championship. Ali still might have been in line for a title shot, as there was still plenty of time before WrestleMania when he was scheduled to come back.

But a funny thing happened, Kofi Kingston was tapped to take his place, and the fans in Houston went absolutely crazy for him. We’ve been watching Kofi on WWE television for eleven years now. We saw him break into WWECW as a fresh-faced, happy-go-lucky Jamaican kid. Upon his arrival on Raw (and later SmackDown), he became a regular in the Intercontinental & United States championship scene, depending which show he was on. He also became a tag team specialist, winning tag team championships with CM Punk, Evan Bourne & R-Truth.

Then The New Day happened, and it took Kofi’s popularity to a whole other level. Kofi, Xavier Woods & Big E have become one of the most successful trios in wrestling history. The only downside? It put Kofi’s singles career on ice. There were no more quests for secondary titles in hopes of breaking into the main event scene as a legitimate contender for a top championship. Kofi, Big E & Xavier had their role. Pump up the crowds, make money off merchandise & be happy.

You can make a lot of money doing that. But eventually you develop a taste for something more.

Honestly, it seems more like Big E & Xavier developed that taste for Kofi. They’ve been speaking up for him ever since this thing started at Elimination Chamber. Back at Money in the Bank when New Day was granted a slot in the match, they insisted that Kofi take it. It makes sense. New Day has achieved so much on the tag team side of things that the only thing left for them to do is reach the top of the mountain. One of them obtaining a top singles championship will be like all of them doing so.

Kofi got Mustafa’s slot at Elimination Chamber, and the fans bit on it hard. Here was a guy they had been watching for years busting his butt and doing whatever he was asked to do at the best of his ability. To the Houston fans, Kofi more than deserved to be there. He deserved to be WWE Champion. It seems like most of the WWE Universe is falling in line with the idea. Kofi’s being thrown obstacles left & right now, and even people that should know better are really buying into the idea that WWE doesn’t want Kofi Kingston in the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.

It’s an incredible thing. Kofi’s lucky to have gotten this opportunity. Do you know who’s even more lucky that Kofi got this opportunity?

Mustafa Ali.

It’s kind of funny when you think about it. Ali’s been wrestling longer than Kingston. He’s more than paid his dues to get to WWE. He’s defied the odds his entire career. Ali is an amazing story that is really difficult to root against. However, if he got pushed right into a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania after a couple of months on SmackDown, people would root against him. Specifically, the fans that attend WrestleMania would root against him.

Mustafa has paid his dues. But we didn’t get to see it. We’ve seen Kofi Kingston paying dues for over a decade now. Not to sell Mustafa’s experiences short, but we weren’t at the indy shows watching him work. We weren’t on the graveyard shift with him. Kofi Kingston has been right in front of us for eleven years, proving that he deserves to be at the top of WWE just as much as anybody else does. It’s easier for us to identify with Kofi.

Had Ali been placed into the WrestleMania match with Daniel Bryan, the same thing would have happened that happened at Fastlane in Cleveland. He would have gotten booed, he would have had a nice performance and that would have been it. Bryan would have moved on to the next thing in time for the next PPV while Mustafa Ali would be looking for his next goal.

He deserves better, and he’ll get better.

We need to see Mustafa Ali work his way up. It’s not his fault that most of us don’t watch 205 Live, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t. We need to see him against the best of WWE, busting his ass and proving he belongs with the best in the business every single night.

It’ll take longer to get there. The reward will be much better. Once Mustafa Ali reaches the top of WWE, there will be no doubt that he deserves it. He won’t be somebody getting a push because of his life story, or because there was nobody else around at the time. He’ll be a superstar that the WWE Universe has grown to love & respect.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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