Tuesday, 23 February 2016

WWE Presents NXT Greatest Matches - Volume 1 DVD Review By Shaun Nichols

This is a 3 disc set that covers August 2012 to October 2015 and features among others Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks and Finn Balor.

Disc 1

The early matches of this set includes the crowning of the very first NXT champion in a match between Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal which was a fine and acceptable match greatly helped by the fine work of William Regal on commentary.

Rollins drops the title to Big E Langston in a match that acts as a farewell to The Shield who's outside interference finally led to the rest of locker room coming to Big E's aid and allows a fair fight and a new champion.

The rest of the first disc concentrates on matches between NXT and WWE talent, the match between Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt was worked very well and had a good crowd reaction, but it's Cesaro that is the star of the show as he faces off against both NXT's favourite babyface Sami Zayn and the legend that is William Regal.

Cesaro vs. Zayn is particularly good as the fans really see Cesaro as a star and he works great as the big cocky bully mocking the underdog expertly played by Zayn and the 2/3 falls match delivers from start to finish. Match probably would be about ****1/4.

The match against William Regal is also really well done, NXT fans see Regal as their legend and the dynamic of seeing him facing off with Cesaro works differently to everything else as it delivers a different kind of drama.

The only disappointment was Paige beating Emma to become the first Women's champion. They try and sell it as a major turning point in how WWE see women's wrestling but in truth it's not very good.

Disc 2

Another championship match opens things up, as Adrian Neville defeats Bo Dallas in a very safe ladder match. It's amazing how differently Dallas is portrayed and to the NXT fans he is a star but this match is a showcase for the impressive high flying Neville.

Speaking of championships, Charlotte faces Natalya to claim the vacant Women's title. This has extra interest as they have Ric Flair and Bret Hart in their respective corners who add to the match but don't do anything to steal the girls spotlight. Natalya does a great job of carrying Charlotte in this singles match and the fans respond really well to it.

The real highlight of this disc is the journey of Sami Zayn to the NXT championship, first off is a singles match against Tyson Kidd which is entertaining especially with Tyson's arrogant attitude coming to the fore and finally leading to his downfall.

This leads to Sami Zayn getting his title match against Neville although he had to put up his career on the line. The atmosphere for this was superb and unique with the fans absolutely believing in Sami's story. The match is fantastic and after many twists and turns which all played from the back story the NXT crowd got to see the guy finally achieving his crowning achievement.

We also get the post match celebration and the surprising attack by Kevin Owens to set up Zayn's first title programme. From the ring entrances to the post match attack this was really well done. I'd rate this about ****3/4.

Disc 3

Kevin Owens title winning match against Zayn starts the final disc, considering how these two have worked together elsewhere this was a bit strange to be honest. Kevin basically took the entire match and it really effected how the fans reacted to it, at over 20 minutes it's a long time for an extended squash. Worse still the fans weren't quite sure how to react to the referee stoppage finish.

The Cesaro vs. Neville, Tyler Breeze vs. Hideo Itami both suffered from a lack of commentary. The Itami match also was shot on one fixed camera which was bizarre considering it was at the biggest NXT show at that point.

NXT personalities Enzo and Big Cass are up next in a 6 person tag with Carmella against Black & Murphy with Alexa Bliss. This isn't that good but there's no denying that Enzo and Cass are definitely over with the fans and add something a bit different.

Finn Balor and Kevin Owens have a very strong and entertaining match in Tokyo as a part of the 'Beast in the East' Network special and this is better than the Zayn title match as Finn actually gets his fair share of offence, Owens though is the star to me as his heel mannerisms and work in general was top notch. It wasn't a big surprise to see Finn get the win as Owens had already debuted on the main roster beating Cena so this was his NXT farewell.

Sasha Banks vs. Bayley from the SummerSlam weekend is the highlight of the final disc, it's clear that the WWE really want this match to be seen as a major historical match. Bayley is a great babyface and offers something that none of the other wrestlers in the women's roster has. She can connect in a different way and the same likeability as Sami Zayn.

The match is excellent and with a clear and well told story and its an happy ending as Bayley's journey from naïve girl to champion as a fitting conclusion. After the match Bayley, Sasha, Charlotte and Becky Lynch all pose together and at least for NXT women's division it's the end of one era and a start of a new one. I'd rate the match at ****1/2.

In conclusion this is a very good introduction to NXT for wrestling fans that haven't been following them but is worthy compilation that NXT fans would want to have as well. Recommended.

You can pre-order it right HERE

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