It is so nice when a wrestling event lives up to great expectations. Suck it Charles Dickens! This was a fantastic show. My only regret in writing this review is that I am doing it alone. Still, let’s talk about this great show. Over on our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained we discussed this and other topics that may or may not be relevant. Please enjoy.
Adam Cole defeated EC3, Velveteen Dream, Ricochet, Killian Dain, & Lars Sullivan in a ladder match to become the first-ever North American Champion
I will admit, I didn’t think Adam Cole was winning this. I don’t like that he won it. I didn’t like that this match occurred prior to the tag team match. Those are minor complaints. The thing is, this match was one of the 5 best ladder matches of the past 5-10 years. This delivered in most ways that you would want a ladder match to produce. Yes, I do have to bring up the fact that Killian was sent into a ladder that was on the desk and ring apron and rather than his momentum moving the ladder, it was as if he hit an invisible wall. That was probably the only shitty spot of the whole match. I loved it. This was great fun, I have in fact rewatched it. I think Velveteen took the most damage, followed by Ricochet and EC3. Velveteen is a star in the making and it is super exciting to see when everything just clicks for a wrestler. Adam Cole, figure out if you are a heel or a face because I don’t like your bullshit antics. I don’t like this Bullet Club, wannabe NWO attitude of being the cool bad guys. Be a face or be a heel or be a tweener. Those are 3 viable options.
Rating: 8.0 and this was only the third best match on the card.
2. Shayna Baszler defeated Ember Moon to become the new NXT Women’s Champion
This was a significant improvement over their last match in January. I know that Shayna did what she is supposed to do. I simply didn’t enjoy this match. Furthermore, I feel that if Shayna wasn’t friends with Ronda, she would not be in the position that she currently is. It’s not as egregious as Nia or Charlotte, but in a way, it is. Like, now just because you are friends with someone you get handed belts? At least if it’s in the lineage of the family, you feel that it’s a worthwhile risk, and people like Randy, Rock, Road Dogg, and Jason Jordan prove that it’s a good gamble. What? Jason isn’t Kurt’s son? Wow, I am shocked!! This match simply didn’t click for me. It was watchable, but not rewatchable for me. If you enjoyed it, I won’t criticize you like normal. Shayna needs a lot of work and I feel the belt should go to those who have really worked on their craft. This sort of shit doesn’t happen with the guys. You want equality, then demand more from the female talent and demand more from WWE for bypassing talented females to put the belt on Shayna. I actually think Shayna will be fine in about 2 years, but her progress may be slower since NXT’s women’s division is pretty barren at the moment, especially if Nikki gets called up. Also, I didn’t much like Ember’s entrance. I love Halestorm, but this started off rough before it got decent at the end.
Rating: 3.9 because I cannot give it a 4.
3. Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly defeated Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne to win the Dusty Rhodes Classic and retain the tag team championship
This match was fun. I hated the ending. I really don’t like Undisputed Vanilla Midgets, and they got more vanilla when Roderick joined their group. The same criticism I had for Cole goes even more for this match. Cole is at least a very talented dude, just small. I don’t dig Roderick much. I think O’Reilly is my favorite of the group, but that’s because he doesn’t piss me off as much. Look, we knew AOP wasn’t winning. Roddy and Pete never made sense as a team and it always felt like one was going to turn on the other, and you would suspect Pete turning on Roddy. Instead, they did a double turn, and kudos for pulling that off. But fuck the stupid ass fans for cheering and these guys acting the way they did. You did heel shit, so act like fucking heels. The fans deserve more of the blame than the wrestlers in some way. Pete is the only one in the angle who played his role properly. Still, if it results in Pete getting some UK back up and them getting rid of Undisputed Era, I am all for it. Let’s get Wolfgang in there.
Rating: 4.9 because I wouldn’t watch this again, but it was solid.
4. Aleister Black defeated Andrade Cien Almas to become the NEW NXT Champion
This match……this fucking match was so good. I think more people will say that the Gargano vs Ciampa match was match of the night, but if we are talking about bell to bell action, I would argue that this was the better technical match. Cody Rhodes would tell me that I don’t understand wrestling. Cody Rhodes can go fuck himself. Andrade is the total package once he got Zelina Vega. This was such a great back and forth match. I thought Andrade would retain and wasn’t upset when he won. These guys busted their asses and told a great story. The only issue was that this match didn’t have the build to it that Gargano and Ciampa had. The reality is that this was great for everything that it did and the last match was great for everything that it did. We don’t have to live in a world where we MUST choose one or the other. Bother were incredible. I loved this match and thought it was match of the week and match of the year candidate.
5. Johnny Gargano defeated Tomasso Ciampa and is reinstated to NXT
If you like your match with more emotion and storytelling, this was fucking amazing. Ciampa showed the world how cool it can be a heel by giving zero fucks and doing everything to make Johnny shine. Undisputed Era, this is how you heel. The spots were big. The kickouts were well earned and timed right. If you say that this is the match of the year so far, you’re not wrong. I prefer the previous match, but hell, we got treated to greatness. I loved this match. You know that this and the last match were great because I watched it with my buddy Ron who rarely watches wrestling and never sees NXT. He was engaged in this. That is how you can tell if a match really succeeded. Get a non-wrestling fan to be entertained and glued to the TV screen.
Rating: 9.0 yup, I am calling it a tie on ratings because there’s no need to nitpick here.
6. Overall, I would say this is a tough card to beat. I don’t think that they will be able to this calendar year. 2 9’s and an 8 is tough as hell to beat. Mania had 14 matches and none were even an 8. Good luck 2018 in topping this masterpiece.
One of the best NXT TakeOver cards is upon us. Cece helps Kent out with some predictions for this very special night. Over on our podcast, Are You Not Kentertained we discussed this and other topics that may or may not be relevant. Please enjoy.
NXT Tag Team Championship & Dusty Rhodes Classic Winner – Undisputed ERA vs Authors of Pain vs Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne
Cece: Based on the night, I do believe Adam Cole is going to not win the NA title in the 6-man match and help Kyle retain the titles.
Winner: Undisputed Era.
Kent: The only thing that I am fairly certain of is that the Authors of Pain aren’t winning here. There’s no real reason for them to win, in all honesty. With that being said, now is a great time to either take the belts off of Undisputed ERA with the injury excuse. It would also be a good time to maybe develop friction between Roderick and Pete, or possibly to push them. I hate teams put together randomly to win though. Roderick turning heel on Pete would be best case scenario because it buys Undisputed ERA some more time, and gives Roderick and Pete a clear cut direction.
Winner: Undisputed ERA
North American Championship Ladder Match – Velveteen Dream vs EC3 vs Lars Sullivan vs Ricochet vs Adam Cole vs Killian Dain
Cece: This is so hard to predict. I can tell you who I DON’T think will win. That is Adam Cole. However, I do believe it’s going to be a pretty fair fight between all the men in this match. All are definitely deserving of this North American Championship. I do think Killian and Lars will cancel each other out and EC3 and Velveteen will work on each other after they get rid of Cole. I see Ricochet jumping in and taking the win.
Kent: I think this is the hardest match of the weekend to guess. Cece and I had a talk about it earlier. The thing is that heels are better with belts than faces are, traditionally. The chase is more exciting when it’s the face chasing. I do not think Killian or Adam are getting this. Lars would be cool as shit, but I don’t think so. I think all 6 guys have some great things to offer. I can see any of the last 3 winning. EC3 nor Velveteen NEED the belt and I feel Ricochet could benefit from it most. Traditionally, new championships go to faces. I am picking Ricochet with Velveteen being my backup. I cannot wait to see EC3 kick some ass though.
NXT Women’s Championship Match – Ember Moon vs Shayna Baszler
Cece: This match shouldn’t really even be happening. Ember needs a worthy adversary and not just an MMA fighter who comes in out of nowhere. I agree with Kent, Ember is getting booked terribly. She is a great wrestler and I truly hope she gets her time on the main roster soon.
Winner: Unfortunately, I see Shayna taking the win.
Kent: This is the only match that I don’t care about. Poor Ember has had a terrible championship run, and it’s not her fault. They have really booked her terribly. I don’t even have interest in her character at the moment. She should have been feuding with Billie and Peyton or even Nikki. Shayna is improving but she sure as shit isn’t in the top 5 females in NXT, and I may argue top 10. She needs lots of time, and she shouldn’t be pushed this hard, in my opinion. Ember hopefully wins and gets in a better feud, and it better not be against Kairi Sain or however it is spelled. There’s another girl who I am not digging. Boring matches, terrible gimmick. She’s all flash with little substance, like a modern-day Lita.
Unsanctioned Match (If Gargano wins, he is reinstated. If Ciampa wins, Gargano is banished from NXT forever!!) Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa
Cece: This is the match I’m anticipating most. More than almost any other match WM weekend. This feud has seemed like it’s just begun. However, I do think Johnny will be getting a call up soon. I cannot wait to see these two tear each other apart.
Winner: Ciampa with a cheap shot.
Kent: This is another match that I am unsure of. I think this feud needs more time. I also have gone on record as saying that these 2 guys are the next evolution in the mold of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, with Johnny as Daniel and Tommaso as Punk. This has every possibility of being the best match of the weekend. That’s not hype, that’s straight fact. This has match of the year potential, but I don’t know if they want to blow their load yet. Let’s have Johnny win this one I guess. I want this feud to last longer because it is damn good.
NXT World Championship Match- Andrade Cien Almas vs Aleister Black
Cece: This is hard to predict as well. I would really love to see Aleister take the title. He’s been a badass ever since he appeared on NXT. He’s more than deserving of it.
Winner: Black and Zelina/Cien move up to main roster.
Kent: Another match that could be match of the night or weekend. I love Aleister, he’s really become a better performer in my eyes since his Velveteen feud. Him and Cole killed it in January. I am not ready for Andrade to get lost in the shuffle on the main roster yet, and that is going to happen, unfortunately. Aleister can debut the night after Mania. Both are ready, but only Aleister will get a good push immediately. Plus I feel that Drew needs his rematch.
Will we see anybody return from injury?
Cece: I am hoping Drew comes in and not necessarily interferes, but, comes out to taunt someone about a title.
Kent: Drew would be awesome, so yes.
Will we see anybody new debut or sitting in the crowd?
Cece: Not too sure if anyone new, per say. Hoping some main roster stars will be in the crowd, though.
Kent: Yes, and I am guessing James Storm
Match of the Night?
Cece: Ciampa/Gargano for sure.
Kent: I will go with Johnny vs Tommaso and I could be very wrong.
Worst Match of the Night?
Kent: Women’s match, no doubt.
Will the best match of this show be better than the best match of Wrestlemania?
Cece: Yes. I am not too excited about Mania as much as I am Takeover and ROH: Supercard of Honor.
Kent: If AJ vs Shinsuke and the IC championship match get enough time, that is a tough call. I will say NXT’s best match will be better than Mania’s best.
Will you be watching or reading about any of the other promotion’s events that are happening this weekend, such as the Supercard of Honor?
Kent: I will try to watch some of it, but I cannot give a single solitary fuck for anything involving Cody or the Young Bucks.
I am totally going to half ass this review. It was over a month ago. I apologize. This show deserves better. I just don’t have the time to be better. My apologies.
Undisputed ERA retained their tag team championships against Authors of Pain
Kent: I wanted to like this match and it had it’s moments, but these 2 teams don’t click too well in my opinion. AoP is still very young and need more time. I don’t really like Undisputed ERA but I can’t blame them. They know what they are doing. This match was very average to me. No more matches between these teams please.
Rating: 4.7 Nothing I wish to see again
2. Velveteen Dream def Kassius Ohno
Kent: This was just a way to have Kassius hit some hard shots on the up and comer while putting over the new guy who needs pushing. I liked it, I had fun with it, but nothing about this screamed for me to rewatch it. 5.0 is the highest I give anything if I won’t rewatch it.
Rating: 5.0 because I did have fun, and both guys are very good.
3. Ember Moon def Shayna Baszler to retain the NXT Women’s Title
Kent: I hated how this match was booked. I was annoyed. I hated this match. They did the arm spot too long. Watch any MMA fight. They don’t last a tenth of that time. Ember is not that tough. Stop it WWE. This was really brutal. The ending was stupid. Ember should be booked better in my opinion. I don’t like Shayna yet, but I hope that she grows on me. Whoever booked this should be doing the walk of SHAME!
Rating: 2.2 I really hated this match.
4. Aleister Black def Adam Cole in an Extreme Rules Match
Kent: I thought this match had potential, maybe be fun for some spots. This match exceeded my expectations and both guys are bigger stars in my eyes. Adam still needs to refine some of his stuff, and he is too small to be a threat, unfortunately, but he will kill it in 205. So many great spots. They told a good story. Props to Adam for some of the shit he put his body through. Respect to both men and kudos.
Rating: 6.3 I was enjoying myself and would absolutely watch this again
5. Andrade Cien Almas retained the NXT Championship against Johnny Gargano
Kent: Holy balls! This fucking match is the early leader for match of the year. This was a brilliant match and I severely underestimated their chemistry. Whoever booked this deserves a raise. I loved how this built up with the feeling out process, chain wrestling, some back and forth and continued to culminate in the way that the best of the best matches tend to. It’s not rocket science. These guys worked their asses off and it was great. Ciampa attacking after was perfect as well. If you watch one match this year, watch this match. Fuck Japan, fuck WWE main roster, fuck Lucha, ROH, TNA, and everybody else. This was the match that all others will be measured against this year for greatness.
Rating: 9.0 I can’t praise it much more than a near perfect rating.
This PPV was really adequate in the beginning, then divebombed in the middle, and then got good to great really fucking fast in those last 2 matches. Just watch the last 2 matches. So good.
Hey, this is Kent. This is a month late. Still, it is hilarious how bad I did on this one. Those last 2 matches were fucking good. Thank you Cece for the help and input. Always appreciated.
NXT Takeover Philly
Kassius Ohno vs Velveteen Dream
Cece: This was a surprise match for me. After watching this week’s episode, I got really hype seeing Kassius push Dream. These are 2 of my favorite competitors in NXT right now. I am really looking forward to a solid match. They have the perfect builds to wrestle each other. I’m not quite sure who I see winning to be honest. Both of them are great and deserve it. But, since they seem to always bury Kassius, I call Dream to win.
Kent: I have little doubt that Velveteen will win. Kassius is the Cesaro of NXT, which is no surprise if you know that they were a tag team once upon a time. Velveteen is a future NXT champion, in my opinion. This one feels obvious. Velveteen will be living the dream.
NXT Tag Team Title Match: Authors of Pain vs Undisputed ERA
Cece: This is another awesome match-up. Honestly, I think Undisputed ERA is going to keep their tag titles, but I feel like it will be a well-fought match overall. The reason I see this going out so well is because I’m still convinced AoP is going to be moved up to the main roster very soon.
Kent: While I agree with Cece about AoP due to be called up, it won’t be until after Mania and it will be on RAW I would assume. I’d keep them on NXT longer.
NXT Women’s Championship Match: Ember Moon vs Shayna Baszler
Cece: I am excited to see Ember defend her title, however, I don’t like this whole angle they’re doing with Shayna. I don’t think anyone should be able to just come into the WWE from another company and just act like they can run the place. Yes, she is an MMA fighter, so she knows how to hurt people and put them to sleep, but that doesn’t compare to Ember’s overall career and moveset. I’m hoping Ember will retain and they’ll back off the Shayna train a bit.
Kent: There’s no reason to take the belt off of Ember here. I don’t even think Shayna is that talented yet. They shouldn’t push her this much so fast because it will turn a lot of fans on here I think.
Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black vs Adam Cole
Cece: Another solid match booked. Can Triple H do more in RAW/Smackdown please? These NXT matches are always legit. Anyway, I’m really stoked for this. Aleister Black is a quiet storm and after he was provoked so long by Velveteen Dream, I really think he’s going to take all his pent up anger and rage on Adam Cole, especially since he cost him his opportunity.
Kent: I am not sure who is going to win. Aleister shouldn’t lose, but they seem to be booking Adam Cole extremely strong. I want Aleister to win, so therefore I am picking the Baybay. I expect this to be fun at the very least.
NXT Championship Match: Andrade Cien Almas vs Johnny Gargano
Cece: This is the only match I’m kinda meh about. If it goes all ‘underdog’ wins the title because he was bullied for so long by Zelina Vega, I’ll be annoyed. Yes, Johnny is a great wrestler, but we need some spice! I’d love to see either Candice come out and beef with Zelina, OR what would be best would be Ciampa coming out to interfere!
Kent: This is a solid matchup of 2 strong workers. This doesn’t feel like a main event match to me though. I like both guys and I am sure I will really like the match, but this isn’t a terribly strong main event and the undercard is underwhelming to me. Prove me wrong NXT!!!! Andrade should win. Is Ciampa due back anytime soon? I miss him. Oh yeah, Cien is winning…..I hope.
Cece: I am really excited to watch, however, I’ll have to wait bc I’ll be at a friend’s birthday party and I don’t wanna be rude. Sooo I’ll probably have to stay off the internet for a couple hours.
Kent: I want to like this, but the card doesn’t excite me, and I wish it did. Everybody knows that I love these NXT TakeOvers, but this one feels like a forgettable night.
I am back to give you the expert opinion on everything that went down at NXT’s Takeover Houston 2017. If you are looking for the typical internet wrestling fan’s perspective, pull your pants down and go fuck yourself. Just because somebody is the flavor of the week doesn’t necessarily mean that I am going to latch on to them. I don’t have a neckbeard, and I don’t apologize, mainly because I can’t grow hair.
Lars Sullivan defeated Kassius Ohno
Did this match go exactly as you imagined it would? Good, you’ve been paying attention then because this is what anybody who knows wrestling would predict. It was fun and I did suggest that it would be. Kassius knows how to perform, and Lars is still learning, but it’s fun to watch him develop. I was also right in suggesting that this would be the worst match of the night. It happens, but I had fun.
Aleister Black defeated Velveteen Dream
This may have been the most fun and entertaining match of the night. I had so much fun. I loved all of the psychology that they deployed in this match that was built from the feud itself. It was logical. It’s what pro wrestling should be. I loved that Aleister went for wrestling early rather than his usual strikes. The theme of this match was in the sequences rather than being spot monkeys, which we will get to later in the night. This is the type of match that I yearn for as a fan and I absolutely want to see this feud continue. Aleister on the mic after the match was a nice touch. I’m going to say that this match will be better than any match on Survivor Series.
NXT Women’s Fatal 4 Way Championship match
Ember Moon defeated Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, and Kairi Sain
This match let me down. I have many reasons. First, let’s talk about the positives. Ember Moon is a star and looked the part. She is the most deserving of the 4 women in my opinion based on what we have seen. Peyton looked great so I enjoyed that. When Nikki got her brief blip of offense, she looked like the girl that I love. I liked Regal and Asuka giving her the belt. Now for the negatives. Peyton did that great submission but could clearly see Ember coming, yet never relinquished the hold. That made zero sense. Nikki barely got any offense in and was there to bump. The stupidity of people just staring and waiting for somebody to do a suicide dive onto them. You gotta pretend like you’re fighting or busy, otherwise it just looks fucking terrible, like it did. But most of all, and I cannot stress this enough, Kairi Sane is not very good. She is the female Finn Balor. She has a gimmick that attracts the masses and has a bit of charisma and is attractive. Seriously, that describes Finn as well. Neither are great in ring but are hyped as great. Why does the IWC instantly give everybody from Japan a pass? Being in Japanese wrestling isn’t a guarantee that you are good in the ring. Her gimmick is tasteless in my opinion, and fucking stupid, gag worthy. Her only redeemable quality is her looks, at least from what I’ve seen so far. Her repeated strikes look fucking terrible and her finisher is a top rope elbow. Why are the announcers acting like it is breathtaking? Seriously, why is that move considered spectacular? Anybody? Exactly. Fucking IWC has to ruin shit. I talked with Eric earlier Saturday about her and he gave me an apt explanation of why she does nothing for me. He’s not wrong in reasons I would dislike her. He did fail to mention how bad she is in ring though and that’s the biggest sin. Hopefully she does porn down the road because that will most likely be the only time I give a fuck.
Rating: 3.5 Mainly for Ember being awesome, but the finish was also dumb as hell, just 2 women standing there waiting. How fucking silly.
NXT Men’s Championship Match
Andrade Cien Almas defeated Drew McIntyre and won the belt
Well, in the preview I said that Andrade was here to get Drew over even more. Boy was I wrong in that regard. On the plus side, for over a year, I have been singing the praises of Andrade, and anybody who has read my NXT stuff knows that I have long admired his work and hoped that he would get moved up. Well, this is even better! Both guys are main roster ready and I fully expect Drew on the main roster for the Royal Rumble. I would love to see him and Baron have a match. This match was way better than I thought it would be and I had hopes of this being match of the night. I really thought that this was well done, and that fucking spike DDT finish was scary looking and awesome. I know that the IWC losers of the world will try to hype up how good War Games was. No, this is a Match of the Year candidate right here. The psychology, the moves, the drama, it all worked and both guys worked their asses off. I will be rewatching this match again this week.
Undisputed ERA defeated Sanity and Roddy & Authors of Pain
Well, if you like a match that is nothing but going spot to spot to spot and hitting the most cliche shit, well here you go. How many different variations do we need of the Tower of Doom in one night? The women had already done it. Let’s discuss the positives. Killian Dame hitting the Van Terminator, I will not call it bullshit coast to coast, was really great. Unfortunately, the cameraman painfully showed the O’Reilly I think it was, just looking and talking to the ref as the move got set up. Terrible camerawork WWE! Alexander Wolfe is a guy that I am very high on. He can do some great shit and I would love to see him and Luke someday. The super German suplex through 2 tables cut his head badly enough to take him out of the match for 5 or so minutes. I felt bad for him. The AoP continue to really impress me. I think that they are going to be huge stars for years. I thought Eric Young and Killian did some good stuff, I was impressed with Killian’s conditioning, and Eric does all of the little things right. Roddy doesn’t piss me off and I can growing to tolerate him, not like, but I don’t hate his matches as much. He tries. I came into this thinking that I like Bobby Fish, but he did nothing here in this match. I did see something in Kyle O’Reilly tonight that really impressed me. He has mannerisms and the way that he moves and acts, he’s a total package. He’s the best of the group. Speaking of the group, I don’t get the Adam Cole hype. The pecking order goes HBK > Dolph > Stevie Richards >>>>>>>>>> Adam Cole. He reminds me a lot of early to mid 90’s HBK, the HBK that was not very good, just had great conditioning and charisma. This guy is all flash and no substance. Jeff Hardy probably thinks that you are amazing. The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega probably think that this guy is brilliant. Yeah, he’s not. He’s not exciting in the least bit. I don’t even know what his moveset is, but it seems generic as fuck. This is why the IWC can all fuck themselves because they just cheer on what seems cool and new. This match was fun, and it kept my attention. I really didn’t care for the rules where both members of the team came into the match rather than rotating one guy at a time, which was the normal way as far as I can recall. This could have been better with some tweaks, but I did like it. Still, I won’t re-watch this anytime soon.
Rating: 5.7 The big guys made this match entertaining if we’re being honest.
This wasn’t the best NXT special, but it had 2 really good matches, plus a War Games. I’m positive that this was better than what Survivor Series will provide us as fans.
This match is a simple example of putting a monster that WWE is trying to build up in the ring with a great veteran ring hand to make this guy look even better than he is and carry him to a longer, PPV style match. Kassius deserves better in some regards, but I still feel that his physique is holding him back. That’s not me insulting his physique, I’m fine with it and KO and Joe are examples of dudes who can go despite a physique that doesn’t look like a typical superstar. I think Lars actually has potential. He moves in the ring fairly well, has a good look, and his moveset is decent enough, especially this early in his career.A problem with NXT is that they don’t have a good variety, it’s vanilla midget heaven. Who’s going to be the one who takes out Lars? Killian Dain or Alexander Wolfe? That’s a problem. This should be the worst match of the night, but it could be fun.
Prediction: Lars easily wins
Aleister Black vs The Velveteen Dream
My goodness, has Patrick taken this gimmick and absolutely owned it. Here’s the type of guy that is meant for a long career. He’s got a great look, a great gimmick, pulls it off, and is pretty good in the ring. He needs some more seasoning, but he should be a star. This has been the best angle on NXT since Summerslam weekend. It’s not even close. I love that it is bringing out a new side of Aleister, which was necessary. I see no reason for Aleister to lose, but I would be fine with either outcome. I honestly hope this feud carries on to January’s Takeover. I’d be perfectly happy if Velveteen loses and that makes him even more unrelenting in messing with Aleister. I am expecting this to be a very good and fun match.
Prediction: Aleistar wins but I am very uncertain
NXT Women’s Fatal 4 Way for the vacant championship Kairi Sane vs Ember Moon vs Peyton Royce vs Nikki Cross
OK, I am an unapologetic fan of Nikki. I think that girl is truly awesome and I love watching her. She’s like Dean Ambrose, only with a moveset and dedication to the crazy. I have long felt that Ember would take the belt off of Asuka but WWE did the bitch move and never passed the torch. Ember is main roster ready if we’re being honest and if she was the 5th member of Team Smackdown, that would be amazing. Peyton Royce is fantastic, and is now appearing to have moved ahead of Billie Kay, which saddens me. I love Billie and I want her to succeed, but Peyton is the star of the duo at the moment. Peyton would be an excellent choice as she has the unfair advantage of having Billie. I truly believe that this is the best person to put it on, to a point where they consider breaking them up and have them feud maybe at Mania the Takeover after. Then there is Kairi. I don’t get it. The Pirate Princess gimmick is fucking stupid. She does nothing in ring that wows me. She’s different and that’s enough to titillate the neckbeards that gather at Full Sail. Sorry, Kairi is nothing special at the moment. But Kent, she’s from Japan, so that means that she is really great right? This shit needs to stop. Just because you are successful in Japan or on the indies doesn’t mean that your style translates to WWE. Believe me, I will get to that soon enough. For right now, I give the following odds. Kairi 65%, Ember 20%, Peyton 10%, and Nikki at 5%. Peyton or Ember is the best choices as champion though.
Prediction: Kairi Sane and I will boo my TV
NXT Championship match – Drew McIntyre vs Andrade Cien Almas
I don’t know if this will main event or not. It shouldn’t because War Games is going to drain the crowd. That would suck for Drew and Andrade to have to follow it. I am so happy for Andrade because I have been singing this man’s praises for over a year now. I think the guy is great in ring, and now he has his valet chick, Vega, who is attractive, decent on the mic, and can hit moves. Unfortunately for Andrade, he is here to get Drew over. I accept that. Drew is a fucking stud and is so main roster ready. I’d prefer Andrade winning and moving Drew up, but that’s not in the cards yet. I expect this to actually be the best match of the night because both of these guys are amazing. I can’t say the same for some of the guys in the War Games.
Prediction: Drew McIntyre
War Games – Sanity vs Undisputed ERA vs Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong
Here comes the pain and a lot of you hardcore fans will not like what I have to say. I say this, go shave your neckbeard and shut the fuck up. This Undisputed ERA group is trash. I really am not buying them at all. Bobby Fish I could possibly get behind. Adam Cole is like a poor man’s Stevie Richards who was a poor man’s HBK. Adam Cole is incredibly overhyped. He is a vanilla midget. I wish Kevin Nash would come out and squash them all. Same goes for Roderick Strong. Yeah, he can have decent matches, but boy is he beyond dull. He needs a personality transplant. So that leaves the AoP and Sanity. I love Sanity, I think they are great. I am high on Alexander Wolfe and WWE is high on Killian. I have long enjoyed Eric Young’s work. Authors of Pain are awesome. I wish they had paired up with somebody like Lars Sullivan or Johnny Gargano. Still, AoP is awesome and I love that Paul Ellering is involved due to his history with War Games. I just wish Dusty was alive to see this. Despite the vanilla midgets, this match shall deliver. I hope that they make this brutal and violent. Nothing that is going to shorten careers, but some blood and some vicious double and triple team moves could be super fun. People fondly remember War Games, as do I. Don’t let nostalgia fool you. There’s some really bad War Games matches. This hopefully won’t be one. I would have much preferred this when they had Ciampa and Gargano along with another team like Sanity or American Alpha. You could have had a better match with the better talent. You know I’m right. If you disagree with me, I’m sorry that you have shit for taste in wrestling and you value boring “technical” wrestling over entertainment. Oh, and there is zero doubt in my mind who the winner is because they gotta try to make it seem like these vanilla fucks are somehow important and talented. Ugh.
Prediction: Undisputed Vanilla wins
Bold prediction, Survivor Series will have 2 matches better than the worst match at Takeover. I expect some interesting entrances, or at least hope for them.
First I am tackling NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III by myself. After that, Russ helps me review the PPV that never seemed to want to end, Summerslam! This is a long one folks, but we put a lot of effort into this, so I hope that you enjoy it.
Kent: This was an adequate opener from my perspective. Unfortunately, the story simply wasn’t there so it felt more thrown together than anything. I’d rather have tossed on Roddy and somebody else in a match where the winner gets a title shot this week on NXT. Or even give us another UK Championship match.ALso, can we never start an NXT event with an awful concert ever again? Thanks! Even when Andrade is winning, it doesn’t feel like he’s winning, if that makes any sense. Something is missing with him. Midcard, at best, for life.
Sanity def Authors of Pain to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions
Kent: This was a surprisingly good match. I have been waiting for Wolfe to show us his potential, and quite frankly, I didn’t know if we would ever get to see it. Well we did and he put on a show for the fans. Eric Young is still a very talented in ring hand. The AoP is legit and this was simply a well done, fun tag team match. Nikki Cross continues to convince me that she will be a star. Her spot where she got sandwiched was a really well done one, and props for the spot getting booked, and the execution of it. Everybody involved should be proud of that match.
Aleister Black def. Hideo Itami
Kent: This was my favorite match of the night. I do like the strong style stuff when you have 2 guys who are up to task and know their strengths and limits. I get that it probably wasn’t match of the night for most people, but this was my most enjoyable. I like Aleister, but he is missing some mic time and he probably needs to add some more moves other than kicks and meditating if he wants to be more than a midcard guy. I would work hard to mold this guy in NXT so that when he comes up in a year or year and a half, you have a truly finished product. Hideo needs to get called up. He‘s not going to really improve much beyond what he has shown. Whatever you see, that’s what you have. It’s up to booking to put him in a spot to allow him to sink or swim. I really think he should have been the one that beat Shinsuke first……but Jinder.
Asuka def Ember Moon
Kent: This was a very well done match, but when Ember hits her finisher, I think it is getting Dolph’d, which is the wrestling version of getting nerfed a bit. I think she needs to get moved up because she’s caught in a precarious spot. She can’t move up because she is the clear cut #2 or 3 girl on the roster, but can’t get put over Asuka apparently, so move her up and see what she can do. Smackdown could use both her and Asuka for sure. I very much liked this match, and I don’t know if I would have it higher than my fourth favorite match. It’s not fair, but the last 4 matches all had their strengths and weaknesses and if you break it down, they were all win a point of each other on a rating scale in my opinion. If you don’t see it that way, I would suggest that your favoritism is showing. All of these matches were probably in the 6-7 range, which is to say that they delivered, but none got to the must see level either. Still, this match was fun as hell.
Drew McIntyre def Bobby Roode
Kent: I think this was probably the best match on the card, just not my favorite. I do love how Bobby finds ways to roll out of the ring after eating a finisher. That’s a solid gimmick. They dropped the ball on his entrance in that it was the same as the last NXT I do believe, and yet I enjoyed it. I was simply hoping for something different, especially if this was his farewell NXT match. Drew is ready to lead NXT right now, he’s the next gatekeeper, even if it’s not for very long. He’s main roster ready, but there’s more of an urgency for Bobby to get called up, plus Drew can showcase all that he has learned in his time away, especially in how he can carry a title properly. Both guys looked great out there and I would love a rematch down the line.
Match of the night?
Kent: Drew vs Bobby as far as quality goes, but you could put any of the last 4 matches here and I wouldn’t vehemently disagree with you. I would say Ember not winning with her finisher is the biggest nitpick. The Aleister and Hideo match was equally as flawed. The tag team match was damn good, but for different reasons.
7, Final Thoughts?
Kent: This show delivered a stellar night of matches. We don’t need all the special video packages and appearances, we just need wrestling. Glad to see the Adam Cole, Fish, and Reilly thing come to fruition. I think we are looking at a feud between them and Sanity, and I am very excited to see that play out. I suspect Asuka’s next opponent will be the winner of the Mae Old Classic. Drew could feud with any number of guys including Kassius, Aleister, Hideo, Roddy, or Cole I suppose. NXT is looking good right now. Keep up the great momentum!
Let’s tackle Summerslam now!
The Miztourage def The Hardly Boys and Jason Jordan
Russ: I missed this one due to a lack of caring about tuning in on time. 6 hours is too much. So I know what you are going to say, it’s on the network just watch it. Well, the match had no crowd reaction and it didn’t appeal to me. So I didn’t waste my time. I feel bad for The Miz. He went from the most relevant ic champ on smack down to a chump on Raw.
Kent: I saw the last minute or 2 due to pizza related issues. The pizza was better than this match. I feel bad for these guys due to how the crowd was still trying to get in. These guys all deserved better, and it is insulting to the IC title
Rating: N/A due to pizza
Neville def Akira Tozawa to become the new 205 Champion
Russ: OK, I’m glad they had a match on Raw because this was what I feared. The match was OK, but damn the crowd couldn’t have cared less. Not sure why they decided to have Neville reclaim the title, it made. Mondays great match irrelevant. Shame, but WWE knows what they are doing…
Kent: A rematch that wasn’t as good as the RAW match. This was good, but I wouldn’t want to rewatch it. The title change was so anticlimactic. I would have rather had Neville cheat Monday and then have Akira win Sunday. Instead, we got this, and I feel entitled to be upset with their logic.
Rating: 5.0 as I liked the match quality ,but wouldn’t watch ever again..
The Usos def New Day to become the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions
Russ: Fun match, definitely one of the better matches of the night (don’t hold your breath there is a lot of garbage coming up.) The right team went over. Now can we start moving New Day to some singles competition? It’s high time Big E got some titles of his own. They don’t have to break up, but let’s let him these guys shine on there own. Rating: 6.5
Kent: One of the best matches of the night, no doubt. This match deserved to be on the main card over a variety of others. This is tag team wrestling done properly. The finish made a ton of sense, the double teams and saves all worked incredibly well. The Uso’s winning indicate that Breezedango is going to get a turn sooner than later, but maybe the Hype Bros tell their story first. New Day, please feud with the Ascension and help them get over. PLEASE!
Rating: 6.3 as I have rewatched it and would again.
John Cena buried Baron Corbin
Russ: Alright there is so much h wrong with this match I don’t know where to begin. Well Kent will mention most of it. I’m just going to say that WWE has buried Corbin. He looks like an idiot for cashing in his contract and then he doesn’t even get revenge. Hell I would have accepted the match never getting underway and Corbin just going to town unfairly on Cena. Instead Cena wins and Corbin now is a joke. I don’t know how they can salvage this travesty. Maybe Corbin will wake up on Smack down and the past week will just have been a dream and he will still have his money in the bank contract. Hey, that’s a better scenario than WWE will come up with.
Rating 2.9 reverse deuce is the worst grade you can receive.
Kent: I don’t know why, but both of my hands are telling WWE that they think they are #1. What a great story and what a great match, and man, that was a great ending. It’s a good thing that the young hungry guy got the win in the match as he will need it to attempt to get over with the fans. WWE, you can seriously get butt raped for the next 5 decades, and I don’t feel that it will make up for this. Go fuck yourselves.
Rating: 1.0 I don’t have to be rational when they fuck my favorite wrestler this hard. And if you try to say, well at least he was in a match with John Cena, so that’s a push, I would be very likely to punch you in the face, and I hit harder than you do, so don’t say it.
Natalya def Naomi to become the new Smackdown Women’s Champion
Russ: This match was mediocre at best. Natalya looked good but it was an off night for Naomi. I’m shocked that Natalya won to be honest, mainly because I was shocked they even gave her a chance in the first place. I feel sorry for Naomi. Her title reign was subpar because they didn’t bother giving her any feuds or story. I hope they don’t make the same mistake with Natalya.
Kent: Naomi needs to stop with her awful jumping kicks. In the words of the great corpse of Enzo Amore, if I had a dime for every time that Naomi connects with one of those kicks, I’d have ZERO dimes! Meanwhile, This was one of Natalya’s 3 best matches that I have ever seen from her. You see, and Steve pointed this out in Monday’s podcast, Natty looked like such a great wrestler early on as she was surrounded by lingerie models with very little, if any, experience. As the women have been properly trained, the holes in Natalya’s game has grew in size, much like our collective asshole after WWE sodomized us with the Baron BS. Yup, I am vulgar. Natty pulled out a great showing, and my hats off to her.
Rating: 5.7 as I would rewatch it without issue.
Big Cass def Big Show
Russ: I don’t know if this was bad or awful. I don’t like shark cage matches and this one was utterly pointless. Enzo’s escape was funny in the same way a clown is funny. You know, you feel bad for them and give a pity laugh, but then you remember they ultimately chose this life and stop caring. His escape lead to nothing which is the story of Enzo’s life. He got booted immediately and then Big Cass won. I was hoping for a heel turn, since that didn’t happen, I hope these two move on from each other because I’m done with them.
Rating : 2.7
Kent: I know that I have done some bad. , but really, what did I do to deserve this shit show of a match? Seriously, Enzo took off his pants and lubricated himself mid match. Seriously, this was allowed. Big Cass booting him in the face was fantastic, but it’s like The Brooklyn Brawler defeating the Red Rooster. Yeah, it’s cool to put down the Rooster, but at the end of the day, it’s still just the Brooklyn Brawler. Yeah, Brooklyn! I seriously think I would prefer a proctologist appointment over seeing this ever again.
Rating: 1.5 mainly for the big boot.
Randy Orton buried Rusev
Russ: This was garbage. I am glad I stuck to my guns about how terrible Orton has been since Mania, because this helped further my cause. What a waste of talent. At least now Russev has a friend in the burial department in Corbin. Now he won’t get lonely.
Rating: 2.9: another reverse deuce, this ppv is shaping up well.
Kent: So Steve and I both jokingly guessed that as soon as the bell actually rang that Randy would hit an RKO and end the match. WE WERE JOKING, WWE! God damnit, this was fucking insulting. Rusev deserves better. Rest assured, the rematches will be very good. Still, if you put this and the Cass stuff on the Kickoff Show, then The New Day and Usos could have gotten their proper shine.
Rating: 2.9 because at least they ensured that it was short.
Sasha Banks def Alexa Bliss to become the new RAW Women’s Champion
Russ: Holy crap, this is turning out to be the worst PPV of the year. The match itself was decent, but taking the belt off of Alexa made no sense. There was no build up between the two so it didn’t feel significant at all. This just made Alexa’s title reign feel useless, just like this PPV. The last few matches better be amazing, that would be the only way to save this PPV. Even then I’m not so sure.
Rating: 3.5 the title change brought this way down.
Kent: Yeah, fuck the wrestlers that Kent likes, right WWE? What a stupid fucking ending to what was an otherwise good match. It wasn’t great, but it was pretty I am not OK with Bliss losing to the forehead, but if she has to, it should be done better. Sasha’s shoulder is hurt and she had to relinquish the Bank Statement. That doesn’t mean that after the announcers tell us why she let go that she should re-apply it immediately and get the win. Logical fallacies are a bitch. Sigh.
Rating. 4.5 because that ending was really poorly done. Damn shame as this could have been in the low 6 range. I feel that this was on the booking and not either of the girls. Hats off to both women.
Finn Balor def Bray Wyatt
Russ: Entrance: fantastic by both guys. I always love watching the demon enter and this didn’t disappoint. Rating: 6.3
Match: Meh, both guys can do better. I hope this feud goes further than this because I can see this turning into a contender for feud of the year (it’s got an uphill battle because Roman and Braun are far ahead of them.) They have chemistry, but they need the story to give us some stakes between them. If this is where these two end then shame on WWE. Rating: 4.5
Overall : 5.4
Kent: Now here’s a Tale of 2 Kitties. You have the entrances and then you have the match. Be honest, if you could only see the entrances or the match, which would you choose? You would choose the entrances, which were enjoyable. The match, well it was bland. When the entrance completely outshine the match, it can’t be that great. Hell, even the HHH vs Sting match falls in this category, you know, the one where Sting had his first and only Wrestlemania match and jobbed to HHH? Yeah.
Rating: 3.7 mainly for the entrances
⅔ of the Shield def Sheasaro to become the new RAW Tag Team Champions
Russ: This was a good match! I’m not just saying that because my boy won the tag titles (remember I didn’t want Sheasaro to lose.) All 4 guys really put on a good show. Loved the near falls and submissions. This was just a well paced match. Now, lets keep Rollins and Dean relevant and have them help the tag division heel teams get some time to shine. Rating 6.9 yes I’d watch this again.
Kent: The fisting duo won. This was another solid match. Am I the only one who has noticed over the past 2-3 months, just how good the tag team matches have been on both shows? Cesaro locking on the Crippler Crossface made me smile. The beach ball incident was great. I admired all the saves and near falls. The outcome was inevitable, so it was a match of appreciating everything aside from the ending, and all 4 guys delivered big time. This was the best that Seth has looked in quite awhile, same for Dean aside from that cesaro match. This was almost as good as the Uso’s vs New Day.
Rating: 6.2 Absolutely rewatchable. The predictable outcome did hurt it slightly in all fairness.
AJ Styles def Kevin Owens to retain the US Championship
Russ: I think this was good, I’m not sure because at this point I just wanted the PPV to be done. I was hoping that they would swerve us here and have Shane go heel, but what do I know WWE has their finger on the pulse! Overall, I enjoyed this match and I will say that this was the best match between these two. However, I’m still shocked by how these two high caliber guys can’t put together a match of the year candidate. Rating: 5.5
Kent: Speaking of predictable endings, did anybody out there think that this would end in a different way? I just need a show of hands. Has everybody lost their hands? Exactly. This match was fine, but would be have been better without Shane being too big of a focus. This has to go down as most disappointing feud of the year considering the caliber of the wrestlers involved, in my opinion. Glad to see that it should be over with.
Rating: 5.0 I don’t want to see it again, but good effort.
Jinder Mahal def Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the blue belt
Russ: The match was very mediocre. So now I’m starting to blame Jinder. He’s been in several matches with great competitors and none of the matches would be what I consider to be up to the caliber of a Main Event. If Jinder can’t put together a good match with the likes of AJ and Shin, then who the hell can he have a good match with? Also, if he can’t have good matches then at least give us a compelling story. Again, this isn’t happening. Get him in a feud with a good story or get the belt off of him. The worst part, they had a chance to make this a compelling story and instead they had Shin lose cleanly! Really? A cheap loss here would have been a great way to jump start a feud between these two. Now, I don’t know where they can go from here.
Kent: I am seriously asking, is this the worst world title run since JBL? No, we aren’t counting Brock or Goldberg or those stupid short ones that are just for storyline. This is like 3 months now with a full time wrestler, and it’s just not working. The matches aren’t improving. He’s had lackluster matches with Randy, Tye, AJ, and now Shinsuke. I fully supported his initial win and push. The joke is over. Jinder isn’t improving his in ring work by an acceptable margin and is not putting on upper card level matches. His ring work is that of a midcarder at best. His gimmick is there as well. Also, really, you had Shinsuke job cleanly? REALLY? Good job WWE. Don’t be mad when he leaves at the end of his contract.
Rating: 2.7 this was a very big dud. I didn’t derive much pleasure from this one unfortunately. SHin never had a chance to get into a groove to make the match memorable.
Brock Lesnar def Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, and Roman Reigns to retain the red belt
Russ: Finally, a match that delivered a PPV quality main event. It only took 4 of the best big men in the business. Braun is so over with the crowd it isn’t funny. Seriously WWE now is the time to put the belt on him. I remember about a year ago when we predicted that Braun would be gone by now. Wow, were we wrong and I’m glad we were wrong because he is one of the best things about wrestling. Brock winning was predictable, but I’m glad WWE made us think there was a chance he wouldn’t win, by using all of the MMA crap circling around the internets. I really enjoyed this one. It may have helped that I watched it fresh on Monday instead of bunched in with all the other crap I watched on Sunday.
Kent: This match lived up to the hype and expectations, as long as you had reasonable expectations. That means, you expected Brock to win the match. I will offer a critique in that Joe was never allowed to be dominant in the match while everybody else got a run as dominant guy. I do wonder if the flung chair may have hit Joe a bit too hard so they improvised a bit. It’s a possibility. Braun looks like the next big thing and is the most over guy on RAW and possibly the WWE in totality. I did feel bad for Brock’s knees. Watch the end of the match and notice how bad his knees look. Roman, I feel bad for him in a way. He was relegated to Spears and Superman Punches, and rest assured, the spear in Game of Thrones was way more effective. Suck it dragon fans!!! This match was a great way to end it and the NYC crowd came alive for this, so kudos to them as they must have been exhausted.
Rating: 7.2 as it was really fun and kept me excited the whole way through with some nice spots and close falls. It also told a logical story.
Bonus Deuce Deuce
Worst match of the night was?
Russ: the first hour of the PPV. What a garbage heap of matches.
Kent: Cena vs Corbin for me, but Cass and Show were right there.
Best match of the night was?
Russ: Fatal four way. The tag matches were good, but the last match was about the only redeeming thing on this PPV.
Kent: The Main event hands down with acknowledgement of the 2 tag team championship matches as well as the women’s effots.
Who got buried the deepest?
Russ: No contest, Baron. Sure Russev, Miz, and Enzo looked terrible, but Baron lost everything this week and looked stupid doing it.
Kent: Baron…obviously, but maybe Miz and maybe Enzo.
Dumbest decision of the night?
Russ: The fact that this was scheduled to be a 6 hour PPV and yet we still had several matches that weren’t worth a damn. I don’t want to sit in front of my TV for 6 hours, it’s just too much time. Add in the fact that many of the matches were not even suitable for a place on Raw or Smackdown’s card and it starts feeling like a chore to watch. I want to watch wrestling because it’s fun. This PPV was not fun. By the time I got to the matches that started getting good, I just didn’t care and that hurt the overall feel of this Summerslam.
Kent: Not to have the SD tag title match on the main card. I simply would have laid out the matches differently. Shinsuke losing cleanly is up there, as is the ending to randy and Rusev. Then of course, lolCenaWins.
Russ: I saw the first hour of the PPV and was seriously defeated, I was done. Everything was utter garbage. This just killed the rest of the PPV for me. Also, fuck 6 hours of wrestling. If it feels like work, and I have to sit there as long as I would for work it stops being fun. Overall this is one of the worst PPV’s I’ve seen in a month or so. (get it?) overall rating: 3.4 none of the good could save the complete trash that we witnessed for the majority of the PPV.
Kent: It was a mixed bag. 3 matches that we had seen 5-6 days prior hurt a bit. Lots of title changes that felt like changes for the sake of changes. It was a normal PPV in that you have bad, mediocre, and a couple of good matches. That’s really what a PPV should be. It shouldn’t be 6 fucking hours with 13 matches where Randy vs Rusev only get 6 minutes. Just don’t have that match. I’d rather have a match advertised for the week after Summerslam to get it time, rather than to blow it off at a PPV in that capacity. This was a hard PPV to watch. WWE’s choice in music was fucking awful as well.
All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.
Cece: I think this will be an interesting fight. The crowd obviously loves Johnny Wrestling, but honestly, I think Zelina will get involved. I believe this will trigger something in Almas to go full on rage and show his heel side even more.
Prediction: Almas wins to draw heat from the crowd.
Teddy: this fight doesnt really interest me because it was poorly introduced, but I do believe Andrade is gonna take this building into a bigger fued
Prediction: Almas wins building towards a fued
Kent: Andrade just likes to lose apparently, so he’s due for a call up. Johnny needs momentum for when Ciampa gets the call up.
Prediction: Johnny Wrestling
Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami
Cece: This feud is interesting. Poor Aleister having to pick up the pieces from the Kassius/Itami feud. But, as far as I’ve seen, Aleister has not lost many times. I do believe Itami needs to be knocked off his power trip.
Prediction: Aleister Black defeats Hideo Itami.
Teddy: Aleister black hasnt really had too competition in NXT, and Itami is looking like an Asian Dolph Ziggler (when he turned heel on kalisto). Its a weird booking but it was nice to see Aleister knock out Itami.
Prediction: Aleister wins and Itami attacks him after the match ends
Kent: Aleister seems to be a star in the making, but Hideo needs momentum just as much. If Hideo can lose and get some after match retribution, I can get behind that logic and continue their feud.
Prediction: Aleister Black
Authors of Pain vs Sanity
Cece: I have been waiting and waiting to see Sanity come up, but I think they’ll let it brew a little longer and put them over a lot as the best heel tag team in NXT. I mean, yes, they are already in my eyes. But I think they want them to come out and be very over first. So, I see this being a very brutal/heated match.
Prediction: My Sanity comes out on top. (No pun intended)
Teddy: AoP are too big for NXT now, and Sanity is the carrying NXT.
Prediction: Sanity wins, and AoP gets called up to smackdown.
Kent: Authors of Pain are the new Asuka for NXT, and with Asuka potentially losing, these guys are going to keep their hands on the belt for awhile longer.
Prediction: I’m down with AOP, yeah you know me.
Asuka vs Ember Moon
Cece: This is the one match I’ve been waiting for. I have a lot of anticipation about this one. Of course, Asuka deserves her long reign as NXT Women’s Champion as she is a great wrestler and worked her ass off to get where she is. So, I do see this being a bittersweet match. I truly believe Ember Moon will take the title from Asuka, bc I see Asuka moving up. I think it will be a very physical match-up, with both women do their best. I feel like they will have a sentimental moment if this is indeed Asuka’s time.
Prediction: Ember Moon taking title.
Teddy: I feel like Ember moon deserves the push because she is an amazing wrestler, but Asuka is still too over to take the title from her. Asuka is gonna retail till after she breaks the record for longest title reign and then will drop it to Ember and move up.
Prediction: Ember isn’t ready for Asuka 2.0
Kent: I think Asuka is showing up on Smackdown Tuesday. Brooklyn is the place to pull the trigger on it, so let’s do it! Ember is the best after Asuka, but not by much as Nikki, Peyton, and Billie are all very talented, but Asuka needs to leave for them to all blossom.
Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre
Cece: Oh lord… After the last few tapings of NXT, I have to saw I became a Drew McIntyre fan overnight. I was never really into him until he made his speech about ‘Our NXT’ and that was awesome. Plus, I can’t stand the pompous asshole that is Bobby Roode. I am not sure how this fight will go down honestly. I think maybe Drew looks like he may win, but the Bobby does something cheap to DQ or in a perfect world, Drew loses civilly and moves up, leaving Roode to his next challenger, Rodrick Strong.
Prediction: Roode loses but retains by DQ.
Teddy: this was kinda interesting to see, Drew doesnt want to be moved up and is trying to get people to see NXT is not developmental (it is though). Meanwhile, it’s clear Rodrick isn’t done with Roode and I believe Roddy is the one who is gonna dethrone Roode.
Prediction: Roode wins because Rodrick gets involved
Kent: I think it’s also time for Drew to be given the ball to run with it. Bobby needs to get called up. He is being wasted in NXT. The guy is better than 80-90% of the main roster. Drew is also very good.
Prediction: Drew wins after Roddy screws over Bobby
Most Likely Title to change?
Cece: Asuka. Hands down.
Teddy: Tag titles.
Kent: Women’s, but I think the men’s is also changing. Yeah, I’m calling for 2 changes.
7, Match you are most looking forward to?
Cece: Asuka vs Ember.
Teddy: Ember and Asuka
Kent: Aleister vs Hideo truly intrigues me, but I can see the women stealing the show tonight.
All pictures used in this blog are for review purposes. They are property of WWE and wwe.com.
Speaking of picture, here’s some that Cece and Teddy took while at a recent NXT taping. Please enjoy.
Welcome to 9 Deuce’s NXT TakeOver Chicago 2017 Review. This is the only blog that really regrets saying that this card looked lackluster and have been proven oh so terribly wrong. What a great show!! I am here with Cece today to give all of you a recap on what happened and our thoughts. Please enjoy.
Cece: This was one of the matches I was sort of happy to see. I have been following Roddy since the early 2000’s back when he used to come to my small hometown with FIP and followed him some throughout ROH. He’s a great wrestler and really has his heart and soul into this business. I’m only familiar with Eric Young from the last couple months I’ve been watching NXT. Anyway, the match was solid, and I was very happy with the outcome. Roddy came out on top and you could see how happy he was when the match was over. I give this match a 7.
Kent: This match was pretty damn good. The problem I have with both of these gentlemen is that it often takes a good 5 minutes to feel a groove during the PPV matches. But you recognize it as soon as it clicks, and then it’s on. Both guys can be in the main event soon enough and a year from now, I could see both guys on the main roster. ROderick really needs a strong feud and story to get him through the glass ceiling. EY has a great group that is main roster ready today and could have good storylines. I would give this a 5.8. I enjoyed it, I would watch it again, but I wasn’t in love with it.
Pete Dunne defeated Tyler Bate for the UK Championship
Cece: This was my favorite match of the night, to be honest. Both these men are so versed and skilled in the ways of wrestling. I was entirely too impressed by the fact that they were more entertaining than almost anyone in RAW or Smackdown right now. They both definitely have some potential. I was hoping for Tyler to keep this one, but it didn’t really bother me that Pete took it. The match was well worth it all. Solid 9.2
Kent: Jesus tap dancing Christ! I know that I suggested that people watch out for this match to steal the show, but we now have our second match of the year candidate behind the three way tag title match Mania weekend on NXT. This match had everything that I want in a match. Pete Dunne is fucking money. If the WWE can get it’s head out of it’s ass, they have William Regal reincarnated with a bigger, more athletic moveset. What I truly loved about this compared to the widely discussed Kenny Omega match in January, was that the big moves felt big but didn’t come across as dangerous or career shortening. I can’t give this a 9.2 because although this is great, the storyline heading into this was almost non-existent. I know that it is petty to hold that against a match, but imagine if this had had a great story heading into it. Oh, yeah, suddenly the match is all the cooler. There is zero shame in a 9.1. Fantastic match.
Asuka defeated Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
Cece: I feel like this match could have gone so many different ways. I was unhappy with the outcome. The timing was off in the end and the outcome seemed lazy and thrown together. I would have liked to have seen one of the other girls gain the title, even if just for a little while. I give this one a 6.1
Kent: I enjoyed this match at times, and other times it felt too much like a spot fest. Ruby Riot reminds me too much of Lita, and that’s not a compliment. She hits her spots, but she’s not a wrestler that can make a match great. She needs lots of help. With that being said, this is developmental, where you learn to do these things. She can still get to that point, and I hope that she does as she has a great look. Nikki is my favorite girl in NXT, bar none, and has been for 7 months or so. She is the total package, and if booked properly, she will be a surprise hit on the main roster. Asuka is fucking great. I don’t think this match was as good as the opener, looking back on it. I would happily give this a 5.6 and feel fine.
Bobby Roode defeated Hideo Itami to retain the NXT Heavyweight Championship
Cece: This was also another cliche outcome. Of course Bobby was going to retain. I’m not quite sure how I feel about Hideo but I know he’s a good wrestler and tries his hardest. Bobby just annoys me and seems like the type of dude who buys those nuts to hang down on his truck. I give this match a 4.9.
Kent: What a surprisingly good matchup! I really loved it. I’m old school, I love working over body parts, weakening them, and seeing how wrestlers not only sell it, but find unique ways to overcome that injury. I found this brilliant in that regard. Bobby has the HHH tendency to get boring for minutes at a pop for whatever reason. He’s a methodical wrestler, and it works for him, but it is still a fair criticism in regards to my enjoyment factor. Still, this match really wowed me. I was expecting a bland fuck you match. I give this a 7.2.
The Authors of Pain defeated DIY in a ladder match to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship
Cece: Oh man, I didn’t get a chance to watch this match due to chores around the house, but I did happen to catch the very end where Ciampa beat the shit out of Gargano and that was really intense. It was sad to see but I mean; here we go again… Owens Vs. any of his ‘best friends’ all over. I can’t really grade this match too well but I will say for what I DID see, a solid 8.
Kent: The pressure was on to follow up so much quality, and these guys absolutely nailed it. The Authors of Pain are F’N legit. Yes, they need guys to work against and have been fortunate by and large so far, but it will only get better when they get called up as far as level of talent is concerned. Readers of this blog know that I have been down with Ciampa since I first laid eyes on him. I oddly enough feel the same way about Oney Lorcan. Anyway, Gargano is no slouch, and this match had just the right amount of spots. What I enjoyed was the timing of the double team spots. The ladder to Gargano’s chin or face was cringe inducing, and he took it like a champ. Abraham Ford would have been proud of that hit. So they give us this great match, and the AoP leave and you are left wondering what is happening. I had 2 thoughts. 1. DIY were getting called up and were getting a nice farewell moment. 2. They were going to attacked by a debuting team. Then it kept going and going and I knew something was up. And then came one of the better beatdowns in recent memory, not as good as Braun on Roman, but this was more personal due to them being friends and partners. When they make it to 204, that division is going to be absolutely stacked and need more championships. My hat off to the match and after match. I give that a solid 8.2.
What was the worst match of the night?
Cece: Worst match of the night was probably Bobby Vs. Itami.
Kent: The Women, unfortunately. But there wasn’t such thing as a bad match, so no gripes.
What was the best match of the night?
Cece: As I’ve stated before, the U.K. Title match.
Kent: The UK match and anybody who says otherwise is a person who’s opinion shouldn’t be valued.
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Welcome to 9 Deuce’s NXT TakeOver Chicago 2017 Preview. Let’s face it, this is just a basic preview. But at the end, we talk about other stuff, so we have that going for us. This card feels lackluster to me. The Roddy vs EY match and the UK match don’t feel as important as some other matches could be, yet I suspect the UK match will absolutely deliver. I’m here with Teddy who watches NXT regularly so that you don’t have to just read my opinions, which makes you the winner.
Teddy: I feel like Eric Young will win to drive forward a bigger feud
Kent: Eric Young vs Bobby Roode makes for a great match up, as TNA fans can attest. Roode vs Roddy is also a quality match. My issue is that with Shinsuke and then Hideo and Ohno in between, Roode has been facing a lot of strikers recently, so I would prefer him vs a more traditional wrestler. I’m going to pick Eric here, but the Roddy vignettes this month were well done.
UK Championship Match
Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne
Teddy: I like Tyler Bate in this match. I really don’t see him dropping the title before the WWE UK show starts
Kent: Like Teddy said, it seems unlikely to have Tyler lose the belt prior. Pete is a guy that can give Tyler a great match, so they can highlight each other’s strengths. I like Pete’s moveset better, but he’s losing.
NXT Women’s Championship Match
Asuka vs Nikki Cross vs Ruby Riot
Teddy: Asuka is Bae but she wont retain. I want Ruby to win but I think Nikki Cross will win
Kent: Nikki is my girl but Asuka is keeping the belt because the other girls will cancel each other. When it’s time, I think Ember is getting that belt, unless she runs interference tonight.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match
The Authors of Pain vs D.I.Y.
Teddy: D.I.Y.? Idk both bore me anyways
Kent: I love both teams. Authors of Pain have such huge main roster potential, that won’t be realized, but still. DIY will probably never be huge on the main roster if Enzo & Cass, The Ascension, and American Alpha can’t break the glass ceiling. AoP is winning so they can take on Heavy Machinery next.
NXT World Heavyweight Championship
Bobby Roode vs Hideo Itami
Teddy: Bobby is going to retain but not in a clean match.
Kent: I can’t imagine Bobby losing. Hideo really got screwed by his injury. Shinsuke made him a distant memory. Bobby is ready for main roster any time, but they may be wise to keep him til SummerSlam. Bobby retains in a HHH type way. Also, I highly recommend a song by Eminem, Obie Trice, and DMX called “Go To Sleep”. It’s a great angry style song that can get you amp’d.
Do you feel underwhelmed by this card with so many people left off? If you could add a kickoff show match, who would you put in the match?
Teddy: maybe Aleister Black but versus someone who isn’t a jobber. Dream match would be drew mcintyre versus black
Kent: So we don’t have Aleister, Drew, No Way Jose, Heavy Machinery, Andrade, Oney Lorcan, The other 2 Sanity, and of course Kassius. You could basically make an equally great card out of who’s not wrestling. They shouldn’t have give Drew vs Andrade so soon unless Andrade is moving up soon. I say Drew vs Aleister vs Andrade vs Kassius for a #1 contender match would be great, especially elimination style. All Aleister needs a bit more time but the other 3 can get called up any day. Well Kassius needs to drop a bit more weight.
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