While we wait for the FanPosts to come in - I'll give you a few more hours to sleep it off, Cagesiders, and then we want reports! - here's some highlights of an historic couple of days in Northern California for WWE's NXT brand.
It's hard to believe that it's only been a couple of years since what started as a weird, kayfabe Tough Enough before morphing into a precursor of The JBL & Cole Show merged with Florida Championship Wrestling to become the crown jewel of WWE Network's original programming. Likewise, all of our kvetching about what a dumb name El Generico had been given, or how they'd never sign Kevin Steen because of his physique, and most recently how KENTA wasn't making the transition to sports entertainment, has been burnt away like the nervous energy it was.
And here we are, with Hideo Itami set to appear at WrestleMania, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn two of the more buzzed about pro wrestlers in the world and Wednesday nights at 8PM appointment viewing.
The last couple of nights have given NXT a chance to shine under the brightest lights WWE has. WrestleMania is no longer just a Sunday night show, it's a days long showcase of everything the company, and the artform, has to offer. We've covered Itami's legend-making trip to the Bay Area, winning the tournament to earn a spot in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on tomorrow's kick-off show and reclaiming the finisher he invented from a retired WWE Champ at the live event last night, but here's a collection of other moments from the around the internet.
It's kind of hard to make much out, and who knows how long it will last, but here's Stephanie McMahon's handheld footage from last night's show in San Jose. You can see her husband utter the phrase that gives this post its name at about the 33 minute mark:
Here are some alternate shots of the GTS from last night:
Kenta is reborn in a WWE ring @HideoItami #NXTSanJose pic.twitter.com/PRxtzefsHV— wolfheart91 (@Antoniowolf91) March 28, 2015
A Vine of the iconic moment from painted up Finn Bálor's entrance:
Finn Balor has the greatest entrance in professional wrestling. Watch. #NXTSanJose https://t.co/gdXwKhmfDq— Mike Roe (@MikeRoe) March 28, 2015
And some phone-shot video:
How you doin?
.@WWEAaLLday21, @BigCassWWE, & @CarmellaWWE have a question for #NXTSanJose: How you doin'? pic.twitter.com/aU526pzr6c— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 28, 2015
This huggable homegirl was doing pretty good:
#NXTSanJose welcomes their hometown #WWENXT Diva @ItsBayleyWWE! https://t.co/PJuvSY9Zg2— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) March 28, 2015
The only thing better than Itami and Tyler Breeze wrestling, is Prince Pretty and Hideo-us snarking at each other on Twitter:
FINALLY!!! I'm still excited!! So I will not be able to "GO 2 SLEEP" tonight. hahaha. Thank you so much. #NXTSanJose #roadtowrestlemania— Hideo Itami / 伊丹英雄 (@HideoItami) March 28, 2015
#NXTSanJose zzzzzzzzzzzzzz— Tyler Breeze (@MmmGorgeous) March 28, 2015
The bromantic rivalry between Itami and Bálor is also pretty great:
#NXTSanJose tonight. It will be amazing night for us @WWENXT Enjoy the show who come to #NXTSanJose pic.twitter.com/0b800jgxhW— Hideo Itami / 伊丹英雄 (@HideoItami) March 27, 2015
Good luck my friend 私は幸運を祈る @HideoItami #Wrestemania31 pic.twitter.com/mTheqJBdj0— Finn Bálor (@wwebalor) March 27, 2015
Last night was certainly a packed house (sold out @ 5200 people, according to reports), and it sounds like a good time was had by all:
An electric #NXTSanJose crowd erupts! #WrestleMania weekend is upon us! https://t.co/3pKqmPZeiW— WWE (@WWE) March 28, 2015
Including this guy:
@JRsBBQ at #NXTSanJose #wrestlemania31 pic.twitter.com/s1AHW8zefs— Josy (@josy0710) March 28, 2015
Unfortunately, it's said that while WWE filmed some footage of the event, there was no hard cam set-up. So while we'll probably catch a buzz from some video packages, this will most likely not form an episode of NXT like the Columbus live show did.
So enjoy the finish of Finn vs. Adrian Neville:
Finale of Finn Balor vs Adrian Neville #NXTSanJose #wwenxt pic.twitter.com/07XcifMuiQ— Chris Harrington (@mookieghana) March 28, 2015
Share highlights you find on the web in the comments below, and join me in being very jealous of the folks who were in San Jose last night to see our little Developmental flagship take a big step into the future.