The ‘Love Her or Leave Her’ Storyline in NXT Is Too Funny to Hate

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It was yet another chapter in the saga of the Gargano family, and their current love her or leave her arc, this week on NXT.

The first couple of NXT has been embroiled in a not-so-serious storyline in which they’ve become the unofficial guardians of fellow performer Indi Hartwell. As pseudo parents, they’re bound and determined to keep their ‘little girl’ from falling for Dexter Lumis, whom they see as a bad influence on her.

The storyline is incredibly campy, and the kind we rarely see in NXT.  Johnny Gargano, known for his amazing talent in the ring and engaging in some of the promotion’s most brutal feuds, has shown a totally different side to his character. His real-life wife Candice LeRae has been right there with him for this raucous ride.

Perhaps nothing more encapsulates the silliness of this story than this week’s round of vignettes, which show the two ‘protective parents’ trying to thwart the couple’s date.

Many critics have scoffed at this storyline, calling it ridiculous and saying it is beneath a wrestler of Gargano’s caliber. They’ve dismissed it as stupid and childish.

But it isn’t. Damn it; it’s just flat-out funny.

The idea that a professional wrestling couple has basically adopted one of their colleagues like she’s a teenager is an entertaining enough premise. It’s nonsensical and out of this world. But add in the incredible dynamic between Gargano and Lumis, and it takes the entertainment level even higher.

There are those who don’t like comedy in wrestling in any form. They believe pro wrestling promotions (especially NXT) should stick to straight-up, in-ring actions. They dismiss anything that is humorous or farcical. And they think the only good storylines are the ones that involve blood and guts… violence or vengeance.

However? Comedy in wrestling – when done correctly – works. And this NXT angle is being done correctly.

Gargano is one of the most talented wrestlers in the world, and his wife is a veteran performer who has been just about everywhere. So, it’s easy for naysayers to dump all over anytime he gets involved in this type of outlandish storyline.

In reality, however, it’s a breath of fresh air. Gargano has been involved in just about every kind of war you can imagine. He’s been in some of NXT’s biggest matches and was the promotion’s first-ever Triple Crown Champion. He’s done everything there is to do in NXT and is one of the brand’s legends.

So to see him stretch out in this angle has been fun to watch. Both LeRae and Hartwell have had great chemistry in their interactions in a mother-daughter role. Then, add in the fact that Lumis is also the most accidentally funny person in NXT, and it’s been a nice stone soup of satire.

While the haters may be hitting the dis-like button on this angle, many NXT fans have embraced it. Even the most negative of viewers have to agree that the angle has been unique and clever.

Where will it all go from here?  Stay tuned.  You never know: Indi may end up being ‘grounded’ next week.

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