Full Sail University (Winter Park, Florida)
Number One Contender to NXT Championship
Booking a pretty boy against a wrestler the fans respect to get him over as tough and legit is not a new concept. The WWE attempted that here with the vain Tyler Breeze going toe-to-toe with NXT darling Sami Zayn to prove he is more than just a pretty face. Whether these things ultimately work largely depends on the follow up and ability of the wrestler but it is a time-tested method of pushing and giving depth to an otherwise one-dimensional heel gimmick.
What is less of a proven method for pushing a guy is the one being used for Zayn. Baby faces tend to have a tough time remaining over when they continually fail to “win the big one”. Just ask poor Lex Luger how well that worked out for him. However, it did work – in a roundabout way – for Daniel Bryan recently even if that was not the initial intent. WWE seems to be trying something similar with the popular Zayn where he continually loses in hopes that his supporters will rally around him even more. In NXT – where the regular fans in Winter Park don’t necessarily represent an accurate crosshair of the WWE fan base – the presentation of Zayn as a guy who can’t win the big match won’t hurt him most likely. Still, it seems like an odd way to push a guy even if it did (sort of) work with Bryan.
Speaking of Bryan, Zayn clearly has many of the same positive attributes that Bryan possesses. He has a knack for taking a beating and garnering sympathy, perhaps as well as Bryan. He compliments that with an explosive, high impact move set that is not quite at Bryan-like levels but could get there with some fine tuning. It would be harsh to get on a guy for attempting to experiment and innovate in an environment designed for that precise purpose. At the same time, it is clear Zayn is still working out his offense. It might be a little too much at times and perhaps unnecessary, as demonstrated in this match when he struggled twice to pull off a variation power bomb maneuver. He’s got the tools to potentially put it together in a nice, Daniel Bryan-like package for sure.
Breeze was good here and able to hold up his end of the deal – that is, he came away looking like more than just a one-note narcissistic character. He still strikes me as a tag team whose best role would be part of a pretty boy heel tag team. I am not sure he has the gimmick or the offense to work as a singles heel at this point.
This was a fine match that accomplished what it set out to, although it was probably the least of the “big three” matches on this card for me.
WWE Singles | Common | Quality & Hype