Unlike WWE's main roster shows, the streaming Network-based NXT does not air a standard episode each week of the year. But, with the only (kind of) exceptions being for their live TakeOver specials, there are still a lot of one hour, pre-taped editions of what many consider to be the best and/or most consistent wrestling show the company produces.
Forty-nine of them in 2015, to be exact.
Below is a complete list of each episode's grade and the title given to that episode by yours truly. Each grade and title is clickable in case you want to go back and read full reactions for that particular show.
Jan. 1: C+ (Get over here!)
Jan. 8: B (We write these songs)
Jan. 14: A- (All killer, no filler)
Jan. 21: B+ (Hail to the king, baby)
Jan. 28: B+ (Nothing personal)
Feb. 4: A- (I love it when a plan comes together)
Feb. 18: B (Your regularly scheduled broadcast)
Feb. 25: C+ (Shut your mouth)
Mar. 4: B- (Who run this mother?)
Mar. 11: B (Really, really, really good looking)
Mar. 18: B (Riding for the brand)
Mar. 25: A- (Bring the demon)
April 1: B (Guess it did have to get ugly)
April 8: A (Hideo dreams of wrestling)
April 15: C+ (Ain't that a hole in the boat?)
April 22: B+ (Go get a coat)
April 29: A- (Cause he's Kevin Owens)
May 6: B+ (All right ramblers, let's get rambling)
May 13: B (Not coming back this time)
May 27: B (Building a mystery)
June 3: B (Put me in, coach)
June 10: C+ (Where do you think you're going?)
June 17: A- (Unmerciful beatdowns)
June 24: B- (Big in Japan)
July 1: B (Sowing the seeds)
July 8: C (A glitch in the matrix)
July 15: B+ (These girls are on fire)
July 22: C+ (How does it feel?)
July 29: B- (Why don't you ever say it?)
Aug. 5: B (Do not exploit chivalry)
Aug. 12: B+ (Progress not perfection)
Aug. 19: B+ (Turn it up, and give me some more)
Aug. 26: D+ (HungOver: Brooklyn)
Sept. 2: B- (Dream on)
Sept. 9: B+ (Changing it up)
Sept. 16: A (Sending a message)
Sept. 23: C (What hides behind a smile)
Sept. 30: B+ (Character is key)
Oct. 14: B (Destiny's manifest)
Oct. 21: B- (Because I never)
Oct. 28: A- (Thank you)
Nov. 4: B (At war with itself)
Nov. 11: B+ (The choices we make, and the actions we put behind them)
Nov. 18: A- (Red in the face)
Nov. 25: A (Everything but the kitchen sink)
Dec. 2: B (Squash City, b...oys & girls)
Dec. 9: B (Take it home)
Dec. 23: C+ (No limit)
Dec. 30: N/A (You also get...)
Obviously, I like this show quite a bit.
Looking for patterns among the 48 shows I graded (81% of which received an A or B), NXT does have a tendency to do exactly what you'd think a pro wrestling show booked toward "events" should - build to those events and often deliver the strongest shows as part of the rising tension.
'Go home' shows weren't always the highest rated, but I think that's because NXT oftend delivers a big moment at the start of a final taping before a TakeOver and then ties up loose ends for a couple additional strong-but-not-great episodes before sticking the landing live.
Fallout shows were often my least favorite editions, especially the ones which consisted of dark matches on the road in New York and the United Kingdom...but again, that's a wise creative decision from Triple H and team, since those are usually dedicated to putting out the embers of previous angles before lighting the fire on new ones.
Despite some hand-wringing by yours truly and others, there also doesn't seem to have been a significant, sustained drop in quality at any point in the year. NXT may require time to adjust to life after big call-ups (or injuries), but it seems to right the ship pretty quickly.
Can we expect more of the same in 2016? The brand faces new challenges and higher expectations than ever before, but there's no reason to think they aren't up to the task.
I can't wait to find out.
Check out the grading for the live specials here.