Unpopular Opinion: Aleister Black is floundering
Last April, two of my friends and I took a vacation down to Orlando for Wrestlemania week. At NXT Takeover Orlando, we witnessed the debut of Aleister Black. He had everything to make him a megastar. A badass hardcore theme song, a mystical entrance, the look, swift and often unexpected offense. He had what top guys in wrestling basically refer to as, “it.” No not Chris Jericho’s “IT.” He had everything to make himself THE GUY of NXT. The next big anti-hero. I even went as far as thinking he could be the next CM Punk. I’m huge into hardcore and edgy anti-hero’s, so I was all for a full-steam-ahead push on Aleister Black.
Fast forward a year later and an undefeated streak in singles competition and Aleister Black is now the NXT Champion.
However, much to my chagrin, it’s not working. The top title should be the main event, right? It’s the ultimate prestige of the brand. The big prize that everyone is working towards. If you’re the champion, you’re at the top. This should reflect on the card of each big show. The champion should be at the top. That’s just common tradition.
Aleister Black himself has never been the main event of any Takeover event, and in my opinion, I think that’s a huge problem. Because of this, they’re leaving his current title run with little to be desired. It’s not been a very memorable ride for him. There’s been a feud the last few months that’s been treated as bigger than that. Former best friends turned worst enemies: Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. Their singles matches that haven’t involved any title have been deemed as more important than the NXT Championship. That’s not only unhealthy for him, it’s unhealthy for the title.
NXT has seemingly booked themselves into a corner. There’s nobody you hate more than Ciampa, and nobody you want to root for more than Johnny Gargano. The problem is we don’t have any emotional investment in Aleister. He’s not a villain, and he’s not an underdog. He’s just kind of there, floating in limbo. His match with Lars Sullivan certainly didn’t do him any favors. Yes, he slew a beast, but the match was not very exciting. I WANT to care about him in NXT, but when you have a feud with as much heat as Ciampa and Gargano, they need to give me a damn good reason to avert my eyes to him for longer.
Sadly, I think the smarter route to go down would be to take Aleister Black out of the equation here.
He defends his NXT title against Ciampa in 3 weeks, and I think they should give Ciampa the win. Let Ciampa and Gargano duke it out at the biggest event of the year: Takeover Brooklyn for the NXT Championship. If they’re the biggest deal on the card, you might as well add the biggest prize to it. The man makes the title, the title doesn’t make the man. And if the man isn’t presented as the biggest deal on the show, then put the title between the two that are.
Braden Jackson – @Dembrae
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