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Thread: NXT

  1. #601
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    I really like NXT, and this week's show showed some "innovation" (at least for the USA version of the show)...

    But I'm kind of bored of it. I'll be honest, match quality really is the least interesting part of a wrestling show for me. I know, it's blasphemous. But in my opinion, whether it's Raw, Dynamite, NXT, Fusion, ROH, or Impact (I can't include SD right now), I can find matches I enjoy. It really isn't hard to find good wrestling matches.

    So what becomes interesting to me is how they get to the matches. And while I appreciated seeing another Dream promo that stands out from the rest of NXT, and the somewhat funny clips of the BroSerWeights trying to get to Portland, and the Ciampa promo in the auditorium, and Mark Henry hyping Lee vs Dijak, and the Robert Stone Brand promo in the boardroom... every feud really seems to be about simple athlete vs athlete competitiveness. Obviously, this needs to be the focal point of every wrestling show. But when it's the same idea over and over, it wears itself thin. Bronson was looking to fight Strong because of a backstage confrontation last week. Kushida got his match with Cole because... of a backstage confrontation last week. Dakota vs Candice took place because of a confrontation between them (I can't remember if it was backstage or last week, but it still fits the pattern).

    Right now, Raw is a more enjoyable show for me than NXT. Or maybe I look forward to Raw more, because it shows more variety overall. And that seems very very strange.

  2. #602
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    I tend to agree with Pen's statement. The matches are good, and entertaining, but outside of Cole/Ciampa, Dream/Strong, Gargano/Balor and Kai/Nox, why is everyone else feuding? There is no real story there.

    This Sunday with Ripley and Belair, feels like a formality because we all know the Story is Charlotte vs Ripley at Mania, unless they are going with a Triple Threat, as there is history between Belair and Charlotte. The Rumble elimination, and if Charlotte costs Belair the match on Sunday.

    But why are Lee and Djakovic fighting for the title? Lee just came out last week and offered him a NA title shot. Henry's video segment was great, but it seemed to be just...hey these guys has a great series of matches, so let's give them one more. Why couldn't NXT have Dijakovic cut a promo to why he should get a title shot?

    NXT has great wrestlers and they clearly have the Sports side down, but now they need to develop the Entertainment side of the Sports Entertainment.

  3. #603
    Dijakovic beat Dain in a No. 1 contenders match last week.

  4. #604
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    That was a #1 contender's match? I completely forgot. I guess that shows even more how there is no build to that match.

  5. #605
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    Yeah, that was a #1 contenders match.

    I don't disagree with the comments from Pen - I think this is what NXT has 'lost' in recent times. and why I'll often say the peak of NXT was when they had Sami pursuing and then winning the title because they actually told main event level stories. That run of events from Arrival to Unstoppable was great for the men's title, and then into Brooklyn and respect you had the run to finish off telling Bayley's story, which they had built with really soft hands throughout the couple of years before.

    The Balor/Joe stuff you could argue was a strongish story, but I also think it was around this time that the men's main event side became really stagnant and reliant on number one contender matches or backstage attacks and so on. Even the good stuff - DIY vs Revival, Almas vs Gargano etc - has come from a place of athletic superiority rather than actual stories being told.

  6. #606
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    Powder, you're way in the wrong here. The story isn't elaborate, but it's one of the rivalries that's been around the longest. Lee vs Dijakovic has been mostly a competition based feud, with them trading wins and looking even. Now that a title is on the line and Dijak earned a title shot, it's an easy match to book. Other than Ciampa vs Cole, it's the best story of the PPV.

    But all the stories are the same.

  7. #607
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    I get that they have a long history, but is that enough justification for a title match? IMHO, no. When they feuded on the beginnings of NXT on USA, it was clear that Keith Lee was the breakout star of the pairing, and Dijakovic was going to be a good worker who just got passed over. I still see that happening, BTW. But with that said, I think what would have been better would have been:

    Hold off on Velveteen Dream's return until Takeover,

    Then give Roderick Strong a rematch for the NA Title against Lee, during the ending of the match, Velveteen Dream either makes his return and costs Strong the title, or makes his return after Strong loses to Lee.

    During the weekly broadcasts NXT holds a #1 contender's tourney for the NA Title shot with the culmination match being at Takeover, where you get Dijakovic vs Dain on the PPV where Dijakovic wins and gets the title shot. Then that title match is set for the Takeover on April 4th. The match is then built around Lee and Dijakovic's long history. That would make people more invested, and long term planning. Not just Lee beat Strong, have a match the next week, and then fight for the title because you guys used to wrestle.

  8. #608
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    You're again doing the "here's why it's wrong, and here's how my idea is better for me"

    But no one cares about you except you. You're not considering the entire roster or the entire fanbase with your idea.

    Dream returning on TV is more important right now. As much as HHH and WWE downplay their concerns about losing ratings to AEW, they will be making changes to Wednesday nights. And making more story beats happen on TV will be part of it. Dream returning was more important overall to happen on TV and not on PPV.

    Also, I'm confident Dream and Strong will have some screen time on Sunday.
    Plus, you don't know the plan for April 4th. Maybe they have an even bigger match in mind for Lee. You're taking a single decision, and ignoring the fact that there was 7 weeks between Takeovers, and deciding they've done it wrong.


    There's no need for long term planning with Lee vs Dijak. It wrote itself, and the fans are interested. The idea that these stories are all the same does not mean none of them should be this way. Lee vs Dijak has a great existing story, and that is enough.

  9. #609
    I see Mansoor will be on the Takeover preshow. I guess it’s time to defrost him for the next Saudi show.

  10. #610
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    I just read that Queen Cathy is leaving WWE after Takeover Portland. It's funny, but I feel like she's become an essential part of the show for me just as a regular backstage interviewer, in much the way Renee was in the early stages. Hopefully she gets one last segment with Dream before she goes.

    Is anybody else hoping that Finn just destroys Gargano this weekend? I don't really like Finn much, but feel like that's the best route for that match to take right now.
    Last edited by Oliver; 1 Day Ago at 06:25 AM.

  11. #611
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    Welp, another NXT event with an increasing amount of spots, insane kickouts that ruin "believability", and general wrestling silliness. IT wasn't bad in any way, but despite the online RAVE REVIEWS!!!!, I found myself getting bored as the show went on. Again, none of it was bad, but it felt like the same formula was used in most of the matches. The women were a little different, though still had their own kickouts and excessive setting up for spots. But I can't stress enough how little I care for Adam Cole. Whenever I'm not watching live, I skip his matches because they are the most formulaic of the bunch. And the Panama Sunrise is the silliest version of the already ridiculous Destroyer. Doing it on the floor, and it leading to a kickout when they get back in... I was done. Gargano's heel turn fell flat for me because I was disinterested in the match by the time he was ringside.

    Takeover went from the best WWE had to offer, to "meh" in about a year. And it truly feels like Adam Cole is the center of that (though the entire roster seems to be wrestling the style Cole brought to NXT main events about a year ago).

  12. #612
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    Cole...I've never liked Adam Cole. And he's never proved my dislike wrong.

    Takeover has become this thing where nearly every match goes five minutes beyond what it needs to. Last night, I would say the Lee/Dijakovic, Gargon/Balor, and Cole/Ciampa all outstayed their welcome by that long - with those last two possible nearing ten minutes too long.

    I think this is a shift from around about the time of the Gargano/Ciampa matches where they went out and started putting together 30+ minute matches. The difference is that they all worked together really well and told a thorough, detailed story in their execution. Gargano/Almas might be the true genesis of that theme. Before that match there had been only one match over 30 minutes in the history of Takeover, which was WarGames - and I'd argue you could make an exception around that. Sasha/Bayley obviously lasted exactly 30 minutes. Then there were only two matches in the 25-30 minute range, both Roode vs Nakamura matches.

    Since the start of 2018? 10 over 30 minutes (2 WarGames, plus the ridiculous 50 minute Cole/Gargano), and 4 between 25 and 30.

    The brevity of Takeover used to be the thing that really made it function for me, and I think they've started to take that away with these longer matches. Used to be in and done in a couple of hours - last night was up over three.

    EDIT: One of things I thought really popped last night, along a similar theme to the above, were the two women's matches. Both around the 14 minute mark, and both got their shit in and then left. Nox/Kai was excellent, I thought, and really hit the storyline beats that it needed to. Rhea/Bianca worked well in terms of character, Rhea getting to look like an absolute beast when on the attack and Belair getting to show off that she has great power and athleticism.

    I kind of hope that the Charlotte/Belair interactions lead somewhere - even if it's an NXT TV blow off bout. It probably has an obvious outcome, but I think that would be a good mini-feud to tell between now and Mania.

    Do we assume that there's isn't going to be a women's title match on the Takeover: Tampa Bay card if Ripley is defending on the Mania card? More than anything to avoid them having the difficulty of building to a match that will have an obvious winner at Takeover - going into Portland I felt like they did enough to build a little bit of heat between Belair and Flair to make it possible that they'd switch the title. I can't see that happening in the run up to Mania.
    Last edited by Oliver; 17 Hours Ago at 08:40 AM.

  13. #613
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    Didn't watch the show but I'm not sure there's a bigger example of my '.... and then, alas, the bell rang' in modern wrestling than Adam Cole. I totally get what they see in him in general and why several different bookers have put him in a prominent position, but my god I don't think I've enjoyed any of his matches, ever.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  14. #614
    I have to say I really enjoyed the show as I played video games on my other TV. I can't say I disagree with your criticisms but personally I wasn't too bothered by them.

    I definitely think Cole-Ciampa was hurt by the rest of the card being all top-shelf main-event type matches though. It also seems that WWE wanted this Takeover to be beefier since it was slotted like a usual WWE PPV on a Sunday with more advertised matches than any previous Takeover. Maybe a shorter seventh match and knocking off 10 minutes on two previous matches been better if they wanted this to go three hours? I don't know.

    The tag match and the Lee-Dijakovic were my two favorites, with the latter being one of my favorite matches this year.

    If both the men's and women's NXT titles are being defended at Wrestlemania, Ciampa-Gargano could possibly be the Takeover headliner if they really get the hype train behind it. I was not a fan of the ending of that match last night, but the feud always was supposed to have that one final match to end it all.

  15. #615
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    I actually liked the way they handled Gargano, specifically, last night. There was that moment in the Balor/Gargano match, when he hit the dropkick into the barricade, where I flashed back to the look he had during his descent into madness opposite Ciampa and how that all pulled together into explaining why Gargano acted like he did. It might have only been a small moment, but that association came to me immediately. And then it ties into the ending of the main with Ciampa/Cole, and Gargano going straight back to being against Ciampa because he started to lose faith in himself again.

    I'm not really against them going back to the Ciampa/Gargano well for one (hopefully) last time, as their story certainly wasn't finished when it was cut short. But I don't like that they did it without much more than that one moment in the Balor match, and that I'm really sure I'm extrapolating myself and actually has little or nothing to do with the story itself. I mean, I tied that together, and they might well have had the bigger story in mind through that bit of acting in the match. But it feels like they're pulling the trigger on something that could, and should, be a lot more complex given the history.

    We'll see. I'm happy to wait and see on that, because their previous work and storytelling has been so good.

    I don't think Cole should defend the title on the Mania card - unless they do a showcase match in the same way they did with Dunne at Survivor Series, which had little build but could be banked on to deliver. Having the Tampa Bay show without Ripley and the women's title is one thing. Having it without both top singles championships? That's a completely different thing all together, and I don't think it works.

  16. #616
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    I agree with Pen in getting board as the show wore on. That's been a problem for me with Takeover for the better part of two years now, though. The shows are structured really poorly in that they aren't structured at all, it's just six main event matches.

    The last two were a chore to get through. I have no idea why anyone in that company would allow Ciampa to take that wheelbarrow bump into the table. Are they not hoping to make money with that guy, or is he expendable? I was immediately done with the match at that point. Unfortunately it went on for four more years after that spot.

    I truly don't understand. With a few more basic wrestling exchanges and a little more selling, they could have eliminated a lot of the sequences in that match. In terms of story telling, they did like five matches worth of stuff. That table bump is the number one, top, countout finish bump in one match. The ARC on the apron is a finish of another match. The Destroyer on the floor is the finish of a third match. The interference stuff into the Last Shot is the finish of a fourth. And the actual finish is the fifth.

    Why do it all? Is it just to stretch to 33 minutes?

    Again, you can do that with a few more down spots and more wrestling up front.

    I think I'd be a lot less down on it if they'd cut the entire sequence with the ARC on the apron into the floor Destroyer into no-selling the floor Destroyer. And maybe kill the interference entirely if you're going to do a ref bump anyway.

    For a program with fairly little build, they certainly acted like it was the final match of a years-long angle.

    The whole show was like that for me, though. Lee and Dijak was a really fun match. I don't care for the Olive Oyl girls in the hardcore match, but I hope they're getting paid better than I've heard NXT deals pay the lower end folks. GIRLS DON'T NEED TO DO EVERYTHING GUYS DO so quit it with the unnecessary, and dangerous, table bumps. That one girl is lucky to be alive and not seriously injured. Gargano and Balor was a lot of fun and a well-wrestled match with a lot of great psychology. The Women's title match was off the charts good.

    And I wish they'd just ended the show there with Charlotte coming out and doing her thing.

  17. #617
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    Sounds like I turned it off at just the right time. I made it through the Balor/Gargano match, and while I enjoyed it all up until then... it seems like, with the exception of the Belair/Ripley match, I didnít really miss much else. Speaking of Belair, while I was impressed with her during the Rumble (first time seeing her), I have no desire to watch her again. I see nothing but a Sasha Banks wannabe, and... Sasha does it better. However, Tegan Nox is now on my radar, and I definitely want to see more of her.

  18. #618
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    I don't see anything in Nox or the other one.

    They're average girls. I know a half dozen of these girls. Average skills, average charisma, physically not built for pro wrestling, but they're so much more over than anything about them warrants because they're pretty, skinny, a little nerdy and come off as "gettable". Guys will fall all over these highly average girls because they're good looking, but not so good looking that they feel unattainable and girls will get behind them because they aren't a threat.

  19. #619
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    Dakota Kai is pretty? Ok...she's all yours.

  20. #620
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    I honestly wasnít basing that on looks or attainability. Iím just a sucker for a girl that throws a shining wizard.

  21. #621
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    Quote Originally Posted by meandi View Post
    Sounds like I turned it off at just the right time. I made it through the Balor/Gargano match, and while I enjoyed it all up until then... it seems like, with the exception of the Belair/Ripley match, I didnít really miss much else. Speaking of Belair, while I was impressed with her during the Rumble (first time seeing her), I have no desire to watch her again. I see nothing but a Sasha Banks wannabe, and... Sasha does it better. However, Tegan Nox is now on my radar, and I definitely want to see more of her.
    The tag match was, I thought, really good and probably my match of the night on a rewatch. Very easy to watch, good pace, and excellent in ring.

    As for Bianca - honestly, I sort of get the Sasha comparison when it comes to character but they are completely different wrestlers. I think Bianca has 'it' more than any woman on the NXT roster.

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