The non-finish of last week’s heavily promoted NXT main event drew a good deal of criticism from fans who are used to the black-and-gold brand booking winners & losers for their marquee matches.
In an interview with comicbook.com, one of the men who was tied at the end of Sept. 1’s 4Way Iron Man match talked about the controversy:
“For me personally, I’ve always been that really annoying person that looks at everything glass half full always. I’m so that person, that finds just the good in everything. So I like it, as far as longterm storytelling goes. I think we went from having a really exciting, again, the four pillars of NXT, still giving you amazing action. In our opinion, just a great match for an hour-long, to then lead into something that’s really compelling the next week. As far as a television show goes, it would be the equivalent to a cliffhanger. We give you a cliffhanger on last week’s episode, and then this week you’re going to get the finale. So in that sense, because wrestling at the end of the day is a television show, it makes perfect sense to me.
“However, I do understand that some people were upset. I understand that some people want to see a definitive end to a match like that, and it makes total sense. But that’s actually kind of, as weird as it sounds, that’s what I love so much about pro wrestling, is you’ll have one match that will happen with a certain result, and like you said, half the people will go, ‘That was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. They couldn’t have ended that any better. This was perfect’, and then you’ve got another group of people who were so upset and so angry, and think it’s the dumbest thing in the world. The beautiful thing is that both people aren’t wrong, and both people are right, and you can think whatever you want to think.
“That’s why I love television shows more than movies, because you have longer to tell the story that you want to tell. So NXT at the end of the day is a TV show, and we’re just telling the story of the NXT Championship, and the Adam Cole vs. Finn Balor story a little bit longer. Not to keep rambling, but when I was NXT Champion, the constant comparison when I was regarded as the greatest NXT Champion of all time, some people would jump in and say, ‘No, Finn Balor is.’ Then people who said Finn Balor, other people would jump in and say I was. There has been this overarching story for quite some time about who is the greatest NXT Champion of all time. So the four cornerstones of NXT go into the 60 minute Iron Man match. Two guys tie, the people that are compared to the most, as far as who is the greatest NXT Champion, now they have a sudden death one-on-one match this Tuesday. I think it’s beautiful. I love it.”
Cole defends the decision, explains why it worked for him as a fan, but respectfully acknowledges the opinions of those it didn’t work for. He sells NXT (and himself) in an earnest way, that doesn’t slam anyone who chooses not to buy.
What he doesn’t do is take shots about keyboard warriors, or living in your mom’s basement. The word “mark” is never used - in jest or otherwise - and he doesn’t intimate the paying customer’s evaluation of the product doesn’t matter because a living legend liked it.
To use his words... it’s beautiful. I love it.