The launch of the WWE Network will bring the fans thousands of hours of programming, but there are few original shows creating as much buzz around the wrestling world as the 2014 debut of NXT Arrival.
NXT is the WWE’s equivalent of a minor league system, and the main purpose of the show is for fresh talent to hone their skills in front of an audience as they prepare to hit the main roster.
The WWE Universe will witness some of the brightest stars in the business before they make their long-awaited debut on Raw or Smackdown. Top names like Cesaro, Big E and all three members of The Shield sharpened their teeth in NXT before making the jump to the WWE’s main roster.
With excitement continuing to grow around the NXT’s first live event, the expectations for Arrival are through the roof. Here is all the vital viewing information for this one-of-a-kind event.
Where: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Fla.
When: Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: WWE Network
Live Stream: WWE.com or WWE App
|2014 NXT Arrival Full Match Card|
|Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville||Ladder Match||NXT Championship||Bo Dallas|
|Paige vs. Emma||n/a||NXT Women's Championship||Paige|
|Sami Zayn vs. Antonio Cesaro||n/a||n/a||Sami Zayn|
NXT has arrived.
For those wrestling fans who were not lucky enough to catch episodes of NXT over the last several months, prepare for a wild journey inside one of the most unique experiences in the business.
NXT has the feeling of an independent promotion due to the intimate feel of the location at Full Sail University, but the production value and talent is worthy of being under the flag with an international giant like WWE.
Fans will be instantly drawn to the creativity and entertainment NXT provides.
For those in the WWE Universe still skeptical of watching the first-ever live broadcast of NXT, the company has ensured that casual fans will be entertained. Not only will The New Age Outlaws be in attendance, per WWE.com, but Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels will also play a role on the show’s maiden voyage.
Arrival also kicks off with a 30-minute pre-show featuring Hall of Famer Bret Hart, Kevin Nash and Paul Heyman, and that panel alone should get most of the fans on the fence to tune in and stick around for the in-ring action.
If you love wrestling, this is the show for you.
After beating WWE world champion Randy Orton, stealing the show against John Cena on Raw and looking incredibly strong throughout the Elimination Chamber match, Cesaro will take his talents to NXT to square off against longtime foe Sami Zayn.
While many fans remember Zayn as El Generico on the indy wrestling scene, Cesaro and Zayn had an incredible 2-out-of-3 Falls match of the year candidate on NXT before, and this is the rematch everyone has been waiting to see.
This match will be great, but more importantly, it will showcase the strides WWE has made with its developmental system. With plenty of talented stars being signed already and rumors circulating about top international talents like Prince Devitt, Kevin Steen, Michael Elgin and others being considered, the future of the company is looking brighter every day.
Indy wrestling fans will also find enjoyment in the main event.
Adrian Neville was one of the most talented athletes on the independent scene, and he has brought all of that high-flying ability and skill to the NXT ring. Not only has he improved his mic work and charisma, but he has also bulked up and looks the part of a future addition to the main roster.
Neville will take on Bo Dallas in a ladder match for the NXT Championship at Arrival, and he spoke with Byron Saxton of WWE.com about not being nervous for this match:
You're probably thinking I'm nervous, but I'm not nervous. I spent nine years competing under pressure in Japan, Europe, Africa and here in the states so I'm used to pressure. This is the most important night of my career, and on Thursday night, I'm going to treat it as such. I'm counting down the hours and the minutes because I know in my heart I can beat Bo. If nothing else, I need to prove to myself that I can beat him and win the NXT Championship.
Dallas debuted in the WWE at the 2013 Royal Rumble and has become the longest-reigning champion in NXT history. With a unique type of charisma that allows his heel tendencies to be hidden by his face attitude, are you a Bo-liever yet?
Add in defending titleholder Paige taking on Emma for the NXT Women's Championship, and this show is already packed with entertaining segments.
Like most WWE products, though, the company usually has something up its sleeve.
The Shield teased an appearance on the buildup show for Arrival, and that could mean the possible interruption from other wrestlers making the jump from the WWE Performance Center to a heavy push on NXT.
Look for a wrestler like Solomon Crowe to arrive unannounced and make his impact felt.
With several intriguing matches, plenty of legends in attendance and the unpredictability of the show trying to make its mark on the industry, Thursday’s NXT Arrival will be a great showcase of the WWE’s bright future.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW).