THE CASUAL SHEEP – 02.22.2019: Can NXT Save WWE?

By Goose Mahler, Columnist

Vince McMahon has said his current crop of wrestlers on Raw and Smackdown aren’t going to be superstars. Makes sense considering he’s involved himself and his family in a storyline with his hottest wrestler being suspended for 60 days.

He took the IC strap off Lashley and put it on Balor. He had his own son with the Miz (otherwise known as Team Daddy Issues), drop the tag team belts back to the Uso’s even after one of the Uso’s was arrested.

Elias had a cup of tea as a face and was pushed right into a weak/week (you choose) feud with Double J E Double F you all know the rest and Roadie. McIntyre went from Monster to MIA and needing help Corbins help and vice versa. Strowman went from rising face to Reigns personal heel to face stuck in feud hell with Baron Corbin.

The Revival asked for their releases and win the Raw belts. Go figure. Lazy writing or rewarding for having the balls to step up to Vince and the system?

But wait, there’s more…Asuka has a solid match with Lynch at the Rumble and has been the invisible woman sans the ass whooping’s Charlotte has put on her at house shows over the US with her trusty kendo stick. For some reason the WWE is showing more and more footage from House Shows than actual wrestling on Raw or Smackdown. Then Asuka loses to Mandy Rose

Lacey Evans makes appearances by walking out, turning and walking right off stage. I call this Eva Marie part II. Although at the Rumble Evans was solid in the match, so this is a little better than all red everything.

I don’t agree with Vinnie Mac. His current roster aren’t stars because of what I call mis(Mc)management.

What should a CEO, COO, and understudy McMahon’s supposed to do?

Answer: Call Up the NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa his tag team partner Johnny Gargano, along with NXT high flyer Ricochet, and former NXT Champ Aleister Black. What do you get?

NXT goes 6-o against the WWE roster. (8-0 if you count the tag teams individually, but let’s not Survivor Series the impact here).

DIY reunites and beats current Raw Champions the Revival and 5-time Tag Team Champs the Bar. The looked like they haven’t missed a beat since they started their singles runs in NXT and their vicious feud. In fact they looked even better as a team.

Ricochet along with Finn Balor beat Lashley and Lio Rush and then come back the next night on Smackdown and beats the seldom used Eric Young of Sanity. A very impressive debut, but for those that don’t know Vince, he has a very short attention span for gymnastic athletes that go over the top with flips and flops. If Ricochet can mix in some actual wrestling moves it will benefit him on Raw or Smackdown or both shows depending on which one they eventually stick him on.

And finally, Aleister Black made his main roster debut with W’s over Elias who know one seems to want to walk with any more. And on SD Live he defeated his wife’s meal ticket Andrade. The ladder was a little shocking considering the series of matches Andrade had with Rey Misterio over the last couple weeks. Nonetheless Black was again super impressive. And his segments along with his other NXT cohorts were the highest rated segments on both Raw and Smackdown.

NXT came in and took no prisoners. They were booked solidly, giving a good amount of time to shine and didn’t let people down. It brought forth the argument that NXT is a better brand than Raw or Smackdown. So this leads to the next question.

Is old man McMahon right? His current stars aren’t really star’s after having NXT run rough shot over them? Is his roster full of average wrestlers?

In the span on one week the WWE went from having Kofi Kingston went from being a pancake tosser to being in the Smackdown World Heavyweight picture. First, he replaced Ali in the Elimination Chamber and the crowd was hanging on each of his moves. (But people said he wasn’t ready for the championship push, go figure)

The WWE insisted that was it for Kofi… Less than 24 hours later, he beats Daniel Bryan in a 6-man tag team match on SD Live and is pegged to face him at Fastlane for the World Title. So much for one and done. Kofi’s popularity forced the hand that feeds him into getting another title shot, this time one on one. That’s star power like it or not.

If one can do that why can’t others? The star’s aren’t stale, they are being mis)Mc)managed. The fans are forcing the McMahon’s hands. See “The Man” as a perfect example of this along with the rise of KofiMania. Two wrestlers that weren’t in the plans but flexed their muscles and gave stellar performances to get something that wasn’t handed to them.

In my opinion NXT was an excuse for a wake-up call to some of the wrestlers on the roster. If it was a full wake up call, Baszler, Sane, Ripley, and Storm would have made appearances and beat the Raw and Smackdown women senseless, but the women right now have more star power than the men and aren’t the problem.

Don’t get me wrong here, NXT and NXT UK in a one-hour format have better matches, better feuds, and are more entertaining than 3 hours of Raw and 2 hours of Smackdown. Why? Because Triple H, Regal and company push the wrestling aspect of the NXT over drawn out feuds and storylines and flip-flopping faces and heels that Vince is putting on Raw and Smackdown. Also less is more. Watch MLW, 1 hour of their show is better than at least 2 hours of Raw on a weekly basis. Impact also has at least 1 hour of wrestling that can dwarf Elias playing guitar and never hitting the song.

Ciampa, Gargano, Ricochet and Black all proved they are Main Roster ready. But this is why this is mis(Mc)management. If they are so ready, why were Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, EC3, Heavy Machinery and that Lars guy promoted before any of them? Because NXT needs their stars as much as Raw and Smackdown.

Vince needs to stop ragging on his current crop of wrestlers. They aren’t stars because the fans aren’t buying into the storylines the WWE creative team is feeding us. You can’t expect fans to get behind some of the wrestlers especially when they don’t know why they should cheer them. Or if they are even going to be a face or heel by the next time you see them. You can’t make stars out of people that have 200 plus losing streaks and announcers can’t remember their names Zach. This is mis(Mc)managed at its finest.

Thank God the WWE does have NXT to rely on or they’d be a real mess. It’s a luxury to have wrestlers in the pipeline that have talent. It’s also a good thing those wrestlers came in and showed their stuff to the WWE Universe at their highest levels.

NXT showed they can save the WWE…this week. But they shouldn’t have to save the WWE each week.

The truth of the mis(Mc)management is they won’t be saved from Vince when they come up and are mis(Mc)managed into oblivion. If you don’t believe me ask what happens when you are an NXT Perfect 10?



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