We made note earlier of NXT Champion Finn Balor hanging out with fans at the Chicago house show Saturday when they were left out in the cold waiting for the doors to open. The cause of the delay was a heating issue with the Portage Theater, though fans were allowed in shortly after the scheduled start time.
The wrestlers just worked cold ... literally.
Our good friend Samantha Flynn was at the show and described the experience for us:
Honestly, what they did was really nice. When I got there at ten after twelve, the line was spread five city blocks back. And so we were standing in the cold. As it got closer to one - there were murmurs of "I guess the doors are at one, not the show" and then we look up - and they had Finn Balor out there talking to everyone - telling everyone that there was no heat in the theater and it would start a little later and he's sorry and we were almost the full five blocks back at the end of the line - and he walked the whole way and talked to everyone and then walked back up the line. It was really awesome. The whole show had an indy vibe - an intermission - house show feel and was just really awesome. The personal touch of having him come out was just unbelievable and he was super close, put his hand on my back to squeeze through and was just so gracious, high fiving and everything (I froze and couldn't even say anything - just stood there!) But man, NXT is something super special. It's hard to believe it's even the same company as WWE. Best show I've been to in years.
Sami Zayn said something like that at his speech at the end - how he is so proud to have a champ to go out in the Chicago cold and talk to each fan personally.
All throughout the show, the wrestlers were working the cold into their acts:
Cass came out and said it's cold in here during their opening. Crowd chants back "we're not cold" and Cass talked about how the audience is hot as hell. But yeah, I had to put my coat on for second act. Dawson tried to start his match with the jacket on and the ref made him take it off. So it was a thing throughout. Dash and Dawson are STELLAR heels. And Eva Marie is great.
They took a bad situation, made the most of it, and fans still came away feeling like it was a wonderful show. Can NXT do any wrong at this point?