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NXT to WWE main roster: The hits and misses.

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9 minutes ago, Eivion said:

I can that argument. I think Sasha can go at that pace or at least could at one point. No idea if she could now. Charlotte did manage it against Asuka as well though that honestly surprised me. Charlotte and Becky worked a similar pace for a few of their matches during their recent feud though they did eventually have to slow down. To be fair that is a weird joshi pace that not many outside of Japan can go at. I remember watching Shimmer years ago when the Japanese talent started to come in. It was almost sad how second and third rate they made so much of the regular talent look, and that was after many of them had improved over the years.

I think Becky,  Sasha,  Charlotte are all great brawlers..  actually Bayley too. I never worry about their stipulation matches because they can all go and they don't hold back with each other, they work those matches stiff and everything looks violent but you can also see how comfortable they are with each other.  They do well with working a body part and selling too and they are great bumpers. 

I believe this has extended somewhat to the women like Naomi and especially the Riot Squad,  they are all putting out some really good matches now. 

But I wonder what happens when Storm,  Io,  Kairi Sane, etc. join the main roster and you have Ember and Asuka there.  They all take some pretty crazy risks but they are used to working that style,  I hope the 4 Horsewomen and the others don't try to emulate that style too much... that's not what they are best at and it could be dangerous. 

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19 hours ago, Brysynner said:

The thing with Bayley was her character arc in NXT was really well done. Lifelong fan who is living out her dream to be a WWE Superstar and how she grows from super excited fan into an actual champion. The fans could come along with that. Which lead to her being relateable to the NXT fans and a cult hero to young girls in NXT

The problem for her was that once she was called up they couldn't redo the entire story. 

This is probably more of the problem than Bayley's charisma issues or not being able to script matches, to be honest.

There may be problems with Bayley as a performer, but the biggest problem has to boil down to "NXT just told Bayley's story.".

You had that build of "super excited fan of the company, who grows to become talented, becomes the sweetheart of the NXT crowd, finally builds up and digs deep inside her to become the star everyone wants her to be, and finally comes into her own and becomes a champion. You see her grow up and go from being the excited fan to the standard-bearer in NXT, the one everyone is going after, to be a top star, to suddenly lose her run at the top to an unstoppable force. You see her try to fight her way back to the top, claw back to become a champion, have struggles to get back to the top, and finally get her chance to be the best...and then finally realize, once and for all, no matter how much she WANTED IT or how hard she fought to become a superstar...Asuka's just BETTER THAN HER. When Bayley passed the torch to Ember Moon, that was like saying "THE END" on Bayley's story.

It also meant that Bayley could not possibly succeed on the main roster.

You couldn't make her the super-excited fan anymore, because NXT fans wouldn't buy Bayley going back to square one. 

You couldn't make her the world-beating NXT champion and the hottest free agent in the business, it was going against the entire nature of the Bayley character to be the same "she's this badass awesome performer like everyone else", and didn't work.

But there was no other options to go there- because NXT just told all of Bayley's story. All there was left when Bayley got promoted was "Bayley finally wins the Women's Championship on the main roster". She won the title, and once that happened: Her story has been told, and there's nothing else you can do with her. She's been going through the motions since that title win, and since then there's just...nothing left to tell of her.

On 10/31/2018 at 7:42 PM, ComingToAmerica said:

Ultimately people have overinflated expectations in terms of the pushes they expect NXT guys to receive.
 

Honestly, this argument also has a problem for determining hits and misses, because Level of hit/miss matters.

Using this year's promotions as an example: If Sanity and Ember Moon are flailing right now, you can clearly say they're a MISS. McIntyre's already in the main events, Almas has become an upwardly mobile prospect, and AOP are the tag champs- you can call them all HITS.

But then, you have the case of No Way Jose and the IIconics. In both cases, they're still lower-tier workers- No Way Jose an opener who's just there to get the crowd moving, the IIconics as the female comedy specialists on the roster. On paper, they'd both be MISS...but at the same time, we saw enough from both acts that we could likely say in NXT "No Way Jose's peak on the main roster is basically 'fun opening match guy who gets the crowd moving', and the Iconic Duo's peak was "they're goofy comedic heels who can show up, get clobbered, and get their heat back on the mic." They are both in low levels, but they're at the EXACT spot the WWE was aiming for and doing well at it...so even if their spots are low, you'd have to argue they HIT.

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3 minutes ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

I think Becky,  Sasha,  Charlotte are all great brawlers..  actually Bayley too. I never worry about their stipulation matches because they can all go and they don't hold back with each other, they work those matches stiff and everything looks violent but you can also see how comfortable they are with each other.  They do well with working a body part and selling too and they are great bumpers. 

I believe this has extended somewhat to the women like Naomi and especially the Riot Squad,  they are all putting out some really good matches now. 

But I wonder what happens when Storm,  Io,  Kairi Sane, etc. join the main roster and you have Ember and Asuka there.  They all take some pretty crazy risks but they are used to working that style,  I hope the 4 Horsewomen and the others don't try to emulate that style too much... that's not what they are best at and it could be dangerous.  

I fear for both Sasha and Io if they ever have a match together. They might encourage each other to do the dumbest shit. I think they will be fine with Storm and Kairi. Really I think matches that lean closer towards that faster and more brutal style will be rare, especially with no women's show. If that ever starts up though then all bets are probably off.

 

 

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2 hours ago, SorceressKnight said:

But there was no other options to go there- because NXT just told all of Bayley's story. All there was left when Bayley got promoted was "Bayley finally wins the Women's Championship on the main roster". She won the title, and once that happened: Her story has been told, and there's nothing else you can do with her. She's been going through the motions since that title win, and since then there's just...nothing left to tell of her.

There is another few chapters of Bayley's story but I'm not sure WWE's willing to tell it nor the fans willing to accept it. Bayley needs to turn heel. She's accomplished all her story has for her and yet she's still unfulfilled because her reign at the top was short and she's been leapt over by Nia, Ronda, and Moon. She allowed herself to get sucked in to tagging with her best friend in an attempt to make Sasha relevant again. And the fans who cheer for her or ask her to "be their girl" move on and cheer for the next up and coming star.  Basically her heel turn is that she is/was the superfan who achieved her dream and she found out that nightmares are dreams too.

In a wackier scenario, I'd have Bayley and Balor make it to the Mixed Match Challenge Finals against Miz/Asuka and while Balor knows he can beat the Miz, Bayley's not sure if she can beat Asuka. So Bayley spends all ht time prior to the finals asking/begging Finn to take her to the Demon King and we get Demon Bayley. Unfortunately Bayley's not strong willed enough to constantly resist the Demon King so she becomes the Demon Queen Bayley for awhile. 

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32 minutes ago, Brysynner said:

There is another few chapters of Bayley's story but I'm not sure WWE's willing to tell it nor the fans willing to accept it. Bayley needs to turn heel. She's accomplished all her story has for her and yet she's still unfulfilled because her reign at the top was short and she's been leapt over by Nia, Ronda, and Moon. She allowed herself to get sucked in to tagging with her best friend in an attempt to make Sasha relevant again. And the fans who cheer for her or ask her to "be their girl" move on and cheer for the next up and coming star.  Basically her heel turn is that she is/was the superfan who achieved her dream and she found out that nightmares are dreams too.

That would make sense, but the problem there is even THAT story has been killed by WWE due to other matchups, since Asuka has lost.

Ideally, the way you turn Bayley heel that makes the most sense for her character would have been: You go back to that point, say "Asuka beat Bayley in NXT. She fought hard to get back to the top, and Asuka beat her handily because she's just better than her." Sell Bayley lost her confidence when Asuka beat her, and it's made her main roster run worse than it was- and really make it clear the Asuka losses destroyed her, and that Bayley would sell her soul to the devil to defeat Asuka. Then Bayley DOES sell her soul to defeat Asuka.

On paper, it's the most logical way to make that heel turn work- but in practice? It doesn't even work given the storyline. Asuka already had her first loss to Charlotte, a person who Bayley was able to defeat handily. Then, when Asuka tried again, Carmella beat Asuka, who was Bayley's sidekick and protege through NXT. Shit, the IIconics beat Asuka and in kayfabe, neither one of them was ever even playing Bayley's sport, much less being in her league. You can't even do "Asuka is such a force on Bayley's career that Bayley lost everything and NEEDS to beat her" because, in kayfabe through Asuka's losses,  main roster Bayley could totally take her. 

There really is almost nothing left for Bayley storyline wise in WWE because NXT told it all.

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They could have tweaked Bayley’s NXT story on the main roster by having her excited to be on Raw, just without the naïveté of her NXT start. 

What “killed” Bayley on the main roster was the match with Alexa where she couldn’t muster the courage to use the cane on Alexa. That made her look shockingly weak to non-NXT fans and signaled to NXT fans that they had no idea how to push Bayley appropriately. 

My fantasy booking would have been to have Bayley hold the championship when Asuka arrived, and have Asuka go after her title. You can play off their history and turn one heel based on whichever outcome you choose.

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4 hours ago, JonnyLaw said:

What “killed” Bayley on the main roster was the match with Alexa where she couldn’t muster the courage to use the cane on Alexa. That made her look shockingly weak to non-NXT fans and signaled to NXT fans that they had no idea how to push Bayley appropriately. 

Tempted as I am I'm trying not to fantasy book anything regarding Bayley (though the Demon idea Brysynner had would be something I can get into)  I can say though that you are on the money about the reactions.  I was there live and there were a ton of Bayley fans that were completely baffled by what they were seeing.  It was weird and really sad to see as you could see some of them just lose any hope in her.  It's a little better since she still has a lot of fans.  But all she had to do was use the kendo stick a couple times and even in defeat she'd have been much better off.

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15 hours ago, SorceressKnight said:

But then, you have the case of No Way Jose and the IIconics. In both cases, they're still lower-tier workers- No Way Jose an opener who's just there to get the crowd moving, the IIconics as the female comedy specialists on the roster. On paper, they'd both be MISS...but at the same time, we saw enough from both acts that we could likely say in NXT "No Way Jose's peak on the main roster is basically 'fun opening match guy who gets the crowd moving', and the Iconic Duo's peak was "they're goofy comedic heels who can show up, get clobbered, and get their heat back on the mic." They are both in low levels, but they're at the EXACT spot the WWE was aiming for and doing well at it...so even if their spots are low, you'd have to argue they HIT.

THIS. But as fans, I think it can be hard to admit that a character that we've invested in has an upper limit.

As for the Bayley stuff, I would say that in addition to Alexa walking all over her that the ongoing frenemy story with Sasha hasn't helped her at all. 

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They killed Bayley with the Alexa stuff, but they put her in critical condition just by ignoring the one most obvious story.

Sasha getting jealous Bayley was able to beat Charlotte on ppv, end that streak, and have an actual title reign instead of dropping it right back. Sasha turning heel, them feuding into SummerSlam to have the big rematch once again in Barclays, but this time on the main roster... Then you can do the Alexa feud after that.

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10 hours ago, JonnyLaw said:

What “killed” Bayley on the main roster was the match with Alexa where she couldn’t muster the courage to use the cane on Alexa. That made her look shockingly weak to non-NXT fans and signaled to NXT fans that they had no idea how to push Bayley appropriately. 

I can understand people not liking that spot, but the idea that what she was lacking was courage is ridiculous.

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On 11/7/2018 at 11:40 PM, username said:

I feel like the people who talk up Bayley having her own Nick show and such have like... not watched her cut a promo at any point over the past couple of years?  She's been at best passable on the mic, maybe she was better in NXT but on the main roster this is one of her main weaknesses, not strengths.  Cena she is not.

Right there.  vvv

On 11/8/2018 at 2:06 AM, Brysynner said:

The thing with Bayley was her character arc in NXT was really well done. Lifelong fan who is living out her dream to be a WWE Superstar and how she grows from super excited fan into an actual champion. The fans could come along with that. Which lead to her being relateable to the NXT fans and a cult hero to young girls in NXT

 

It would take more work and the problem with the main roster is Creative does not put any effort into the characters.  If you are protected, you do well.  If not, you are forgotten. 

Right when she won the title, they should have made the big push to Nic and Disney.  You tell the story through another vehicle and extend her character as you expand the audience for her.

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On 11/9/2018 at 1:40 PM, Niners Fan in CT said:

I can see where you are coming from but to me I think Ember Moon is probably the only one on the roster who can keep up with Asuka if they are going full speed.  Asuka can have great matches with the others but it's a different style and a slower,  more methodical pace. 

I get your point, but Asuka's Mania match with Charlotte featured both working a very fast pace. which is why they got so much in in only a 13-minute match.

As for Bayley's booking, I think having her constantly with Sasha but never feuding has been detrimental to both of them. It also indirectly messed up the booking of Bayley/Charlotte where it was awkwardly booked to keep Sasha involved throughout (especially with the odd booking at Fastlane), before abruptly dropping it all for Alexa's arrival and taking away any point it may have had. That said, Bayley's stuff in her first few months on the MR is largely poor. There's the Clash of Champions match with Sasha/Charlotte, but besides, there's random jobber matches and crappy feuds with Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox, the latter about teddy bears. Oh, and that awkward Raw Talk promo that couldn't have done her any favours.

 

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When they did the "I love you" segment and people thought it might go 'that' direction. They should've done that. Had some intrigue in their angle... have done absolutely zero since.

11 hours ago, RIShane said:

Bayley/Charlotte where it was awkwardly booked to keep Sasha involved throughout (especially with the odd booking at Fastlane), before abruptly dropping it all for Alexa's arrival and taking away any point it may have had.

I thought keeping Sasha involved was just meant to set up Mania, where Bayley went over all three of her top challengers thus Alexa coming in while there was no fresh challenger and Charlotte put over Nia on her way out of the territory.

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3 hours ago, DreamBroken said:

When they did the "I love you" segment and people thought it might go 'that' direction. They should've done that. Had some intrigue in their angle... have done absolutely zero since.

I thought keeping Sasha involved was just meant to set up Mania, where Bayley went over all three of her top challengers thus Alexa coming in while there was no fresh challenger and Charlotte put over Nia on her way out of the territory.

Possibly! But I remember at the time there was a lot of speculation about how Sasha was doing all she did because (in the storyline) she couldn't challenge Charlotte again, and saw Bayley as an easy target. They even hinted at this on Alexa's Raw debut, where Alexa comes in to interrupt Sasha seemingly just about to challenge Bayley.

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19 hours ago, DreamBroken said:

When they did the "I love you" segment and people thought it might go 'that' direction. They should've done that. Had some intrigue in their angle... have done absolutely zero since.

I don't trust those the flatscans in creative to pull off something like this and I'm glad they didn't go there.  While they didn't officially shut it down by saying it was a sister-type love at this point it's best to leave it open to interpretation and nothing more.  If you want intrigue then it's time for either Bayley or Sasha to turn heel and stick with it.  And at this point I'm curious to see what heel Bayley can do.

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On 11/8/2018 at 10:07 PM, SorceressKnight said:

You couldn't make her the super-excited fan anymore, because NXT fans wouldn't buy Bayley going back to square one. 

This is the one part I disagree with. It's true that NXT fans would have complained if they'd started her whole story over again on the main show, but those fans are going to complain regardless, and keep watching regardless. I don't see any reason for WWE to ever give significant weight to the likely reactions of NXT fans when making creative decisions for ex-NXT wrestlers on the main roster. They're a small minority of the audience, and they're among the most likely to stick around no matter what you do. It's not like they're going to cancel their WWE Network subscriptions.

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On 11/9/2018 at 10:52 PM, JonnyLaw said:

They could have tweaked Bayley’s NXT story on the main roster by having her excited to be on Raw, just without the naïveté of her NXT start. 

What “killed” Bayley on the main roster was the match with Alexa where she couldn’t muster the courage to use the cane on Alexa. That made her look shockingly weak to non-NXT fans and signaled to NXT fans that they had no idea how to push Bayley appropriately. 

My fantasy booking would have been to have Bayley hold the championship when Asuka arrived, and have Asuka go after her title. You can play off their history and turn one heel based on whichever outcome you choose.

I think they could have easily told the story of a confident Bayley coming to RAW, looking ready to follow the other Horsewomen & fresh from her run as NXT champ, going on a losing streak because she is overawed. She gets distracted by the crowd, OMG there's a celebrity sitting ringside, Alicia Fox is a dirty cheat etc

Then you can almost re-tell that NXT story with her building back up to take the title.

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There is also ageism in WWE.  If you are not Rousey, you don't get that main event push until you are over 40.  They need to learn to strike while the iron is hot with workers like Bayley and Braun.  It is not a matter of doing what the fans want but maximizing returns on the product.  Bayley hits the young girls market and if you want to attract new viewers you push that person while they still fit that mold.  Bayley in her mid-30's becomes Mary Jane.  It is just lost opportunities all round.

If you have someone that appeals to an untapped market and is over, you run with it.  Plain and simple.  Push it to the moon and rake in the cash.

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I don't know when Vince turned from an opportunistic businessman who will push someone if it's clear the fans want it (I'm thinking Austin and Foley, who far exceeded what they were brought in for) into a crotchety old man who will dig his heels in on seemingly baffling decisions. Was it Hogan's defection? Bret? TNA using former WWE guys? Or maybe I'm naive and he's always been obstinate, it just used to line up better with what people wanted.

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I'd say he stopped caring after WCW died. With no competition, and no reason to give a fuck, because those dollars keep rolling in, why change anything? What pushed him over the edge was Bryan Danielson's insane popularity and the fan's refusal to accept a WM main event of Batista vs. Randy Orton. He's well on his way to full on dementia at this point.

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What is the first example of him refusing to push someone who the fans wanted to see? Because I was thinking RVD getting over as a face despite being a heel during the Invasion angle, but if you remember when Austin 3:16 caught fire after KOTR '96, they refused to turn him face and had him berate the fans for daring to cheer him. Also, he wrestled Yokozuna on the Free for All of Summerslam '96 despite being one of the hottest acts in the company, then wasn't on IYH10: Mind Games. Then Bret came back and wanted to work with him.

As far as the first person he gave an overpush to despite the fact that they weren't getting over at all... Bob Backlund?

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Vince always hitched the horse to one guy.  Sammartino to Backlund to Hogan to Bret to Austin to Cena to Reigns and now to Lesnar.

It has always been his nature to put the company on the shoulders of one guy for a long time, over or not.  Anyone remember Cena's white rapper gimmick?

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So Dwayne was never actually the guy at any point? Interesting.

I love how the Cena story goes "Cena was a white meat babyface and wasn't getting over, but Stephanie heard him freestyle one time and gave him a Rapper gimmick". Completely ignores the fact that her first instinct on hearing him freestyle was to have him dress as Vanilla Ice on the Halloween Smackdown.

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14 minutes ago, evilwaldo said:

Vince always hitched the horse to one guy.  Sammartino to Backlund to Hogan to Bret to Austin to Cena to Reigns and now to Lesnar.

It has always been his nature to put the company on the shoulders of one guy for a long time, over or not.  Anyone remember Cena's white rapper gimmick?

The big difference though, is that Vince has always hitched the horse to one guy...but the difference since WCW died is it's more noticeable than it was in those eras.

During the Hogan era, the Austin Era...even to a lesser extent the Bret era, they hitched the horse to one guy- but it didn't matter as much because WWF inherently knew the real lesson:

If someone's not a fan of that person, that's great. Their money's good too. Give their favorites something to do too, and they can focus on that storyline and enjoy that while we focus on the big storyline. 

By contrast, since WCW failed, the WWE has destroyed midcard storylines or...well, any storyline that isn't "the top guy in the company vs. their feud this week", and that's destroyed everything about the sport. That fact alone has made fans get the picture "If my favorite isn't in the Iron Throne,  then they're never going to get any chances to show their stuff", and has been exactly why all of these top stars get hatred- because now the feud isn't just "the WWE vs. Their Fans", but really "The fans vs. The Top Star" over who gets to be in that spot.

The issue isn't just "Cena and Reigns, or Lesnar, are hated for being in the top spot", but rather realizing "No matter WHO is in the top spot, they're going to be hated because every fan has their own horse in the race, and no matter WHO'S in that top spot, anyone who's a fan of someone else besides that person is going to be DEVASTATED that their choice isn't in that top spot, and they will hate the person who is in that spot solely because it's not THEIR choice...but if their choice is in the top spot, then everyone else will hate THAT PERSON, too."

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I'd say Vince hitched his horse more to Shawn than Bret. Bret always seemed like the fallback because Vince knew Bret could get passable matches out of slugs like Papa Shango, Adam Bomb, Diesel, etc. Luger is a flop? Take the belt off Yoko and put it back on Bret. Diesel is a flop? Give Bret the belt back. Shawn's reign was flop. Bret was going to get the belt back at WM13, then Shawn lost his smile.

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