NXT is meant to be WWE’s breeding ground, where they build up rookie wrestlers and get them ready for the main show. What they ended up with instead is the start of something that mixes the Indy spirit with WWE money, and threatens to steal the show from the Superstars. With NXT Greatest Matches Vol. 1 we get a taste of this phenomenon.
All you have to do is to look at the stars of WWE today to realise what an effect NXT is having on the product. Some of the biggest stars such as Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns made the first steps into the company through this “development fed”. With NXT Greatest Matches Vol. 1 we are shown how FCW was transformed into the product we see today and how it has grown to stand tall against the main WWE product.
The matches have been selected to show how NXT has evolved. In it we pick up the feel of the lower budget production in matches with such as Seth Rollins vs. Big E Langston, and the early matches. As NXT grows stronger though we see the matches such as Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor in Japan, the Fatal Four Way between Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Bayley. This is where things start to change, production value goes up and the wrestlers start to shine.
What NXT Greatest Matches Vol. 1 does well is show that Triple H, as the person behind NXT, began to see what was happening with the show and we get to see the behind the scenes footage leading up to events. This includes probably one of the best NXT fights, Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, which some may think strange… good women’s wrestling matches? Yes, this is another thing that NXT has brought back, good women’s wrestling. It’s just a shame that the WWE can’t seem to replicate the magic on the main shows, but it may manage it in time.
There have been rumours that Vince McMahon isn’t happy with how NXT has turned out, and even if these are merely speculation, it would fit McMahon’s character to not like what Triple H has produced with this show. If you were to compare it to ECW, you would be wrong. It is something in between WWE and ECW though, and the fan base that is growing around it Show WWE have something special.
NXT Greatest Matches Vol. 1 is a good first release for NXT because it gives a good taste of the beginnings of the show, and how it is turning into something special. Even for fans of the more eccentric of characters, Enzo and Cass make an appearance. While they don’t always have the success inside the ring, they know how to work the crowd.
Worthy of note on the Blu-ray release is the appearance of CM Punk in the extras. It may not be the best match, but it is nice to see CM Punk actually included on a WWE release…
NXT fans will already have this on their must buy list, but for those wrestling fans that want to see what all the fuss is about, NXT Greatest Matches Vol. 1 is the perfect place to start. The WWE main shows can feel stale and uninspired at times, for WWE at its more energetic and fresh, this shows there is still some life in the old dog yet.
NXT Greatest Matches Vol. 1 is available in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray now.