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This past weekend NXT Live finally came to Texas so you know your Bro had to be there! Ever since getting back into wrestling, NXT has quickly become one of my favorite products, so once the Texas tour was announced I jumped at the opportunity to attend two live events-the Austin and San Antonio shows. Considering I’ve a little one in my life who is fond of some good ol’ fashioned rasslin’ I opted to take her to what I assumed would be the more tame of the two shows (San Antonio) and went in the first night expecting a full on hardcore crowd. Needless to say I was not disappointed, so without further ado, here’s a recap of two of the three NXT Texas dates!
Night 1: Austin
The Austin Music Hall is not a large venue by any means, so considering the tight space everyone-performers, vendors and attendees-were in close proximity to one another. We were on the first row in the second level dead center, so we had a great view of the night’s action. Since this isn’t a rasslin’ site I won’t get into a match-by-match analysis or anything of the sort-instead I’ll just hit y’all with a brief recap of the atmosphere and entertainment value, albeit on a very broad scale.
For the unfamiliar, NXT is to Monday Night Raw what that cool obscure band you’re into and caught at SXSW this year is to the headliner of ACL-one caters to a fervent, niche audience while the other is the headliner everyone and their mother is familiar with. NXT is actually owned by WWE, but considering the quality of the product (damn good most of the time) and stark differences in presentation between the two, most viewers don’t seem to mind this association. Knowing full well the biggest performers would be present considering the amount of advertising this tour received; I knew my partner-in-crime and I would be in for a night of quality matches. NXT employs some talented individuals, and their skill both in the ring and on the mic (most talking or showboating was done during the course of matches) made for a very entertaining evening.
Like most sporting events-but even more so in wrestling-a crowd can make or break an event. Although I may be getting ahead of myself just a smidge, the biggest contrast between Night 1 and Night 2 of our NXT experience was the crowd themselves. Austin was into every match, starting chants frequently and being involved in the emotion and storytelling of whatever match was on-this makes the atmosphere of the event significantly more interesting, as both performers and spectators can feed off this energy. At times the crowd was as entertaining as the performers themselves, and seeing wrestlers react to snarky comments (Dana Brooke would flex, the crowd chanted at her to “Please stop flexing” and she flexed and yelled in retort “It’s Flex Friday!”) mid-match made for quite possibly the most entertaining wrestling show I’ve ever attended. On the way out I had to pick up some swag (NXT Texas tour shirt) to commemorate such an electric evening, as I didn’t want my raspy voice to be the only souvenir I had!
Night 2: San Antonio
The Aztec theatre in San Antonio is precisely that-a theatre. It’s an ideal setting for plays or even a symphonic performance, but the seating is not ideal for a good ol’ fashioned rasslin’ show. That being said, since I had a youngin’ with me this worked in our favor, as she was able to sit on the large steps next to our seats whenever she so wished. Essentially all the same wrestlers performed from the previous night, albeit in different matchups with one another. While this could grow stale quickly considering we’d just attended the previous night, the talent level of the NXT performers is astronomical, so the fresh matchups made for another engaging night of in-ring action.
However, the crowd was not nearly as engaging-to the benefit of the performers, they did not allow this to detract from the amount of effort or skill on display in the slightest. Truth be told, since I had the little one in tow I was glad the crowd was quieter and not nearly as brash as the previous night, so in actuality this worked out. Also, the little one loved it so in the end that’s all that matters.
Both nights we attended of the NXT Texas tour featured tremendous performances, and we cannot WAIT for Wrestlemania to come to Texas. You can BET both Bros will be there providing an event recap of everything that weekend. Until next time, Bros!