However, before that I'd like a look at last night's NXT that aired on the WWE Network. The main draw for this episode was an NXT Championship bout with Adrian Neville defending against Bo Dallas. I really enjoyed this bout, some really lovely wrestling, some awfully stiff strikes for WWE and some of the best false finishes I've seen in a while. I honestly thought Dallas had the match won after he got the knees up on Neville's Red Arrow, with Neville kicking out at the last minute I was on the edge of my seat from then on. The finish saw Neville hit a crazy 450 splash to retain his title, it was fast paced and left us with no doubt that Neville's first win wasn't just a fluke. Everything in this one worked for, there were a few sloppy moments and a few moments when it was clear the action had to be cut in post-production, but this still was a splendid NXT main event. I would expect we'll see Bo Dallas turning up on the main roster soon, as it appear like he's done all he can do in NXT, he's more ready than he was fourteen months ago when WWE first tried to bring up to the main roster and with the right storyline I can see Bo flourishing on Raw and Smackdown.
Elsewhere, there really wasn't much else of note for me, Natalya defeating Charlotte by disqualification was a decent storyline continuer, but I'm not completely sold on the Flair vs. Hart story, as it seems like Charlotte is attempting to do a David Flair and piggy back off her father's legacy, whilst Bret Hart looked extremely bored at ringside, at times even a bit lost and confused. (4/10 Bret) It would seem Corey Graves is being primed for a run opposite Neville for the strap, as he squashed Yoshi Tatsu, and will face Sami Zayn next week, in what should be another excellent contest. I'm still not sold on Mojo Rawley, I don't think the gimmick fits the in-ring work, and if Chris Hero was told to get in shape, so should Rawley, he looks pretty flabby out there, he picked up the victory over CJ Parker non-the-less. Xavier Woods continues to go nowhere since turning up on the main roster, the decision to simply give him Brodus Clay's music and gimmick has killed any momentum he had and is possibly the laziest booking decision I've ever seen. He lost to Tyler Breeze this week to close their feud in a decent outing.
Overall a decent edition of NXT, the main event was an entertaining and enjoyable watch, but most of the show didn't match up to it and it's clear there's still a lot of work to do on some of these guys both as wrestlers and characters.
Now, onto where I am with Ring of Honor and New Japan. If you read yesterday's Ramble, you'll remember I started by talking about how I feel I've become to WWE-Centric over the last few months and talked about how I would rectify this (Check it out yourself for the full explanation), so I'm continuing that today by re-considering my stance with both Ring of Honor and New Japan.
Let's kick-off with Ring of Honor. I was, at one point, a subscriber to their website and brought a handful of DVD's. I was rarely disapointed with the match quality, but due to the taping schedule, I never felt an urgent need to watch the TV product, and eventually I fell behind. I also noticed that a lot of the guys at the top in ROH had been there for some time and there was very little upward mobility in the company, with the exception of Michael Elgin and Adam Cole, ROH's main event scene had been pretty stagnant for some time, coupled with a tiring ROH vs. SCUM storyline that ended in a clusterfuck, I really wasn't feeling ROH anymore. Whilst I was always guaranteed some quality in ring action, it would likely be the same few guys, with a weak storyline, I've probably not watched ROH in about eight months or so, and when I look at the cards they put on, they're pretty much the same as when I was last watching, with what seems like the same storylines running. Don't get me wrong, I love a good long storyline, but it needs to be a good idea in the first place!
Now, recently ROH have announced they will be running two iPPV's with New Japan Pro Wrestling, in May. This has piqued my interest for sure, for the simple reason that I've been meaning to watch New Japan for an extremely long time, and this seems to me like a great way to get into the product. This month alone saw three New Japan matches make the top six of our Match of the Month, with a similar result looking possible for February. So, yes, I will be watching on May 10th and 17th and hopefully this will be the start of me following ROH again and beginning to follow New Japan, which can only be good news for the blog.
That's it for today, boys and girls, I hope you've enjoyed my rambling on this fine Friday evening. I'll be back tomorrow with some news of how Kamikaze Pro fans can win a 2 disc DVD at Sunday's Over the Top show. Keep tuned.