You have to enjoy the magic of the holidays. Usually, wrestling tends to wind down as we reach this time of year. But in the last few days we had awesome shows from Raw, NXT and Ring of Honor. It’s no secret, NXT and ROH have been kicking ass on their big events and this week was no exception. However, it’s my opinion that NXT may be going ahead of ROH a little bit in regards to booking and entertainment.

Don’t get me wrong, Ring of Honor is great bell to bell when it comes to wrestling action. However, the $34.95 in standard definition and $44. 95 in HD changes my perspective of the show overall. I have said this in previous articles and it’s all the more evident here. When you have to pay that much of a premium you have to expect a little bit more from an ROH show. Paying $9.99 For WWE Network or $7.99 on Hulu Plus to watch the NXT Takeover Specials gives you more value for your dollar.

You may find this crazy and truthfully this is rather nitpicky of me. But a few of the finishes at Final Battle were a little lackluster to say the least. Case in point, the Dalton Castle-Silas Young ending was a little bit of a mess. It comes out of nowhere. Yeah it’s a cool moment to have Dalton back with The Boys and it protects Young giving him a victory. But it doesn’t really make any sense. A few minutes before The Boys were trying to help Silas Young. The announcers tried to tell the story of whether The Boys were conflicted and when you have to have your announcers get it over it’s not exactly evident to the home audience. And this wasn’t the only finish that was a little screwy. Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish had a similar finish in their TV Title encounter. As did Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole. I’m not saying the baby face can’t get screwed. But ROH built their history on having clean finishes and I think they’re way too many caveats is going and less of a feeling that things were a Final Battle as in years past.

When we actually got a clean finish in matches, they made the matches matter. Not saying that those matches were not phenomenal because they were. But it’s not cheap to order the shows and the booking team needs to be cognizant of that. Styles versus Lethal and Moose versus Elgin were phenomenal contest of men going into combat. It’s too bad that an injury lessened the impact of the Tag Team Title encounter.

I’m not saying that NXT doesn’t have its problems however It has one key difference then most of Ring of Honor storylines. Emotion. You feel for Bayley, you feel for Apollo, you feel for Finn Balor. ROH performers are great performers but it’s very much the Indy mentality. Pop for your favorite spot but if they lose… oh well.
You don’t feel that same regard that this guy has to win. Every match on Takeover London had emotion and fire going into it. When you have that connection with the audience that these characters do in NXT it just resonates more. That’s why if you look to the audience in NXT compared to ROH there a lot more different demographics watching the product. Sure you can say that the WWE influence but it also harkens back to the old days of the Crockett promotions and the NWA. While the in ring action may not been up to the level of Ring of Honor, the emotional resonance does wonders for WWE’s second brand. Triple H called NXT “your brand” in London and it definitely feels like such. Ring of Honor is the safe haven for the smart fan which is okay. But I’m not sure if that’s going to lead to big returns for ROH in 2016.

NXT can seem to do no wrong the promotion just sold out there next series of touring dates in the Midwest and the next Takeover in Dallas. WWE really seems to be on the uprise with no signs of stopping. Triple H and company seem to be on the pulse of what fans really want. It should be an interesting year next year to see if these two brands clash as they battle for the same arenas, fans and more.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.