Sunday, 4 October 2015

WWE Live From MSG: Lesnar Versus Big Show review

This was not a pay-per-view. It was a Network special. That was an important distinction to remember watching this event because the standard of WWE PPVs is generally pretty high while the previous two Network exclusive cards had been rejigged house shows with a camera crew and a production budget. By now it's clear that Network shows are not going to be of a pay-per-view standard. It you expected a lot from this show you were always going to be disappointed. But was it good on its own level? Let's find out...

After a brief opening video package focusing on the Cena v Rollins cage match and Big Show v Lesnar we were introduced to the show by Rich Brennan, JBL and Byron Saxton. JBL has lost his edge and Byron is irritating but Brennan is good and warrants more chances to call bigger shows like this. It's cool to see a bit of experimentation with the commentary lineups even if two of the guys have their drawbacks. Announcing is probably one of the most stale parts of the product.

The opening match was Rusev and Sheamus versus Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton. That Orty was on curtain jerk duty demonstrates that he has virtually nothing going on right now. This was a holdover from his rivalry with Sheamus which ended a while ago. There was no reason for it to be revived here beyond a mentality of "Welp, let's stick Orton on the spesh!"It was also strange that this was the first broadcast match in which Rusev and Orton faced each other because that's a singles pairing that could have been saved and built up. They could have done it here. The venue was ideal and it would have made Network specials seem more worthwhile, even if the match had ended up relatively basic.

The four ran through standard house show stuff, something which would be a theme throughout the evening. The faces larked about because they're Great Mates (or something) while the heels glowered. Shaymo and Rusev controlled most of the match before a hot tag was made, ultimately leading to the finish. The Show Off Vipers won when Orton sidestepped a brogue kick and Ziggler super kicked 'The Celtic Warrior' into an RKO.

After the match Rusev called Sheamus a "stupid non-American" (implying Rusev's hate campaign now includes both Americans and non-Americans, truly a vast scope) and berated him for being stupid, losing the bout, and being more useless than Lana. Sheamus Brogued him and sauntered to the back. The purpose of this was lost on me. They're not going to do Rusev v Sheamus. They're not going to turn either man face. It was just a way of killing a little bit of time.

Next was a recap. We were shown Rollins Pedigreeing Kane on RAW and the whole multiple personality thing that's going on with the COO pretending his unaware of his antics as 'The Demon'. Then Renee caught up with him in the back. He teased being out of control but ultimately assured Renee that if the demon that's been terrorising Seth appeared he'd come running. This isn't the best feud for Rollins or the best spot for Kane in 2015 but Kane is great with the material he's being given. He's one of WWE's better wrestlers at handling comedy segments.

Match two was Stardust v Neville. It was a fun match but there was nothing exceptional on offer. It was the quality of a standard TV match between the two. Neville won with the Red Arrow. I was disappointed we didn't get to see the Cosmic Wasteland out in full force, either as backup for 'The Prince of Dark Matter' or as part of a trios match.

Renee Young got more screen time after that when she chatted to Paul Heyman. He taught her how to do hyperbole, introducing himself and the show, building up MSG and dropping an uncharacteristic sports team mention. He ended by telling Big Show he'd be losing to Barack Lesnar. It was standard Heyman. Not that that's a bad thing.

Team Bella got a loud pop when they entered for their six woman tag match, actually louder than the ones Paige, Becky lynch and Charlotte got for their individual entrances. This illustrates that for all certain people hate on them the Bellas are genuinely popular with the majority of WWE crowds. That's overlooked too often. Their popularity is why the Bellas are so valuable to the company and they haven't been quietly de-pushed in favour of the new batch of call-ups.

The story of the match was that Team Bella had better teamwork than Team PCB because they all get on, although this came as much from commentary as it did from anything anyone did in the majority of the match. Aside from Paige showing some generally snarky body language and tagging herself in on Charlotte PCB got on fine. The Bellas and Fox managed to control the match less because of problems on the opposing team and more because they were simply better and outwrestled their opponents. This sort of booking will only help those face reactions. It makes Nikki, Brie and Alicia look competent, and modern audiences like competent wrestlers.

Dissension did play a part in the finish. Paige had tagged herself in and been worked over for a while. She finally managed to break away to make a tag only for Charlotte and Becky to jump to the floor. A shocked Paige was left alone to eat a Rack Attack from Nikki, putting her down for three. After the match Paige said she'd never behave like that and that she couldn't forgive their behaviour. This made sense for the PCB characters and long term stories it's just a pity it was all tied together with an average match.

Chris Jericho cut a promo about his twenty-five years in the business and pointed out Lance Storm before his IC championship bout with Kevin Owens. He pandered to the crowd by chatting about his dad playing hockey at MSG and pointing out more friends in the crowd (including one of my faves, Don 'Cyrus' Callis) and running through his catchphrases. The audience responded well to this but it didn't put them off KO. They were always going to pop for the former NXT champ.

This was the best thing I've seen involving 'Y2J' in I don't know how long. I'm chalking that up to Owens, a guy whose character and ring work I enjoy, because 'Y2J' did nothing outside of his usual "embarrassing dad" routine. Y'know, the same moves and mannerisms he's been doing for years. The match was lacking  in big moves from KO but that was okay, it played into his character: he got a cheap win raking Jericho's eyes and rolling him up as he tried for the Walls of Jericho. Then he left shouting "Happy anniversary!"

The first truly great moment of the night was New Day's pre-match promo on the Dudleys. They danced, the mocked the Dudleys' routine, and Xavier played the trombone. I'd recommend watching this skit and the last two matches from this show.

Sadly the match that followed couldn't equal that greatness. It was good, maybe slightly better than their clash at Night of Champions, but it was let down by another disqualification finish. The Dudleys caught Kofi with a 3D (outta nowhere) and Xavier, not legally in the match for his team, broke the pin up to save the belts. As with NOC New Day grabbed a table after the match only for Bubba and Devon to make a miraculous comeback and put Xavier through it with another 3D.

I understand the logic here. The Dudleys are chasing the belts and keep getting denied them by the rotten, cheating bad guys, which will eventually lead them to issuing the challenge for a tables match. But the specifics are uninventive. They could at least have come up with a different sequence to end on. Network specials may be treated internally as house shows but if we're expected to take it as a reason to subscribe (or stay subscribed) to the Network it needs to present us with more than reruns. DQ finishes aren't really the problem, the repetitiveness of them is. 

A picture of your boy Brock Lesnar. Because why not?
Big Show and Brock Lesnar took the semi-main event slot. They deviated from the Lesnar format established over the last few years with Show fending off the clotheslines, double leg takedowns, and suplex attempts thrown at him and dropping 'The Pain' with three choke slams. Lesnar would kick out and comeback with four suplexes and an F5 to win a four minute match. No, it wasn't exactly Show trouncing Lesnar and Lesnar getting a fluke win but Show got a lot more on offence in than I'd expected him to. 'The World's Largest Athlete' let tone giants everywhere down. Andre watched on from the big ring in the sky shaking his head sadly.
After the match Lesnar left then returned to give Show a belly-to-belly and an F5. Because there's time that needs filling on that there Network.

After some ads and a reminder of the two previous PPV encounters in their feud, including Jon Stewart's (who was in the front row) interference at SummerSlam, the cage lowered and we got the main event: United States champion John Cena defending against world champion Seth Rollins. In terms of match quality nothing else on this show came close to this, not that that's saying a great deal. They traded escape attempts, top rope moves, near falls (for the record I hate pinfalls and submissions being a thing in cage matches, but at least these guys made good use of them), an amusing but brief top-of-the-cage boo-yay, and signature and finisher attempts before Kane wandered out and scared Rollins back into the cage just as he was about to escape and regain the US title. Rollins dithered between leaping down and getting the title, leaving himself prone to an attack from Kane, and returning to the ring to defeat Cena honourably, something against his standard behaviour. 'The Future' chose the latter, leaping off the cage with a frog splash. Cena rolled out of the way and immediately scooped Seth up for an AA. That was enough to earn Big Match John a three count. Arguments could be made that this weakened the WWE champ but I'd disagree. He fell to an established match-winning finisher from a top guy after throwing himself to the mat from ten feet in the air.

After the match Kane got into the ring and choke slammed and Tombstoned the WWE champion. The show closed with 'The Demon' dropping the title belt on Rollins and leaving. Because, hey, there are rivalries to keep heated here for the more important shows, okay?

Taken as the glorified house show from a major arena that it was this special was fine. The main event was good and Lesnar v Show provided what it needed to and surprised us as it did so. Everything else would have fitted in on an episode of RAW but this was at least shorter.


Results summary:
Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler defeated Sheamus and Rusev
Adrian Neville defeated Stardust
Team Bella defeated Team PCB
Kevin Owens defeated Chris Jericho to retain the Intercontinental championship
The Dudley Boyz defeated New Day by DQ
Brock Lesnar defeated Big Show
John Cena defeated Seth Rollins to retain the United States championship

Saturday, 3 October 2015

NXTweet 30.09.15

Next week is a Takeover special and this episode was just shunting bits and pieces into place. I'll leave the lengthy chat for the Takeover review.

Kyle Edwards recaps the Dusty Tag Classic so far

Tweet 1: Going to squeeze in some NXT. May pause though. Don't like doing it but whatevs.
Tweet 2: Hot start with Kyle Edwards and his Tenth Doctor cosplay.
Tweet 3: Flashbacks to Michael Cole on Livewire.
Tweet 4: Pleased to see my boys Gability and 'The New Double J' getting a win.
Tweet 5: And Dash and Dawson, the Not-Mechanics, are still my picks to win.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Enzo Amore and Big Cass v Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor

Tweet 6: What's up with Carmella's dancing? Pubic lice?
Tweet 7: Actch promo from The Realest Lads. #treat
Tweet 8: Billy Gunn would be in the Hall of Fame right now if he'd spelt out his two words.
Tweet 9: Finn Bálor thinking his leather jacket is all that and a bag of snazz. Nah mate. Joe's towel is where it's at.
Tweet 10: I did like WWE's shameless pilfering of the Bullet Club font though.
Tweet 11: Corey, Joe's good but he doesn't move like a lightweight.

Unbeatable combo? Sure... for now!

Tweet 12: Imagine Big Cass getting pinned off an STO. Takes more than that to put down Kevin Nash's spiritual son.
Tweet 13: Who'd have thought Enzo and Cass would lose that?!

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa discuss their NXT careers then get interrupted by Tyler Breeze

Tweet 14: 'Sweet' Johnny G and 'Wreck-It' Tommy Champ.
Tweet 15: These lads being on NXT is still pretty surreal. Getting promos. Sharing the screen with Tyler Breeze. When did WWE adopt this approach pls?
Tweet 16: Apollo Crews v Johnny Gargano. Winner gets an EVOLVE championship match.
Tweet 17: Waiting for Ethan Page to run in.

Museum piece, apparently.

Tweet 18: "That drop kick belongs in a museum because it's a work of art" - Byron Saxton, confusing museums and galleries
Tweet 19: Hope Johnny Gargano starts calling this abdominal stretch the Johnny Abdominal because why not?
Tweet 20: Looking forward to Sami Zayn coming back and Triple Paul booking an ROH v WWN thing.
Tweet 21: The guy with the contract won? I'm shocked (I'm not).

William Regal, Emma and Dana Brooke backstage

Tweet 22: #Regalpop
Tweet 23: Emma and Dana acting like naughty school kids here. Lol stuff.
Tweet 24: "Looks like a high-heena" - Dana Brooke
Tweet 25: Regal showing two women a video of another woman grunting and making slapping sounds. Sexual harassment in the workplace!

Dana Brooke and Emma v Billie Kay and Peyton Royce

Tweet 26: Dana Brooke. Now with added gloves.
Tweet 27: Heel Emma with her Heel Music and her Heel Gloves that don't cover her palms. She should've never been broken in the business!
Tweet 28: Third match in a row with obvious winners. The first two were good enough for that not to be an issue. Can this be too?!
Tweet 29: "Emma isn't my friend, she's my strategic ally."

Raw power.

Tweet 30: Peyton and Billie wearing matching gear, desperately trying to entice a women's tag division. I reckon NXT could handle it.
Tweet 31: "C'moooooooon!" - 'White Meat' Peyton Royce
Tweet 32: 'White Meat' got got by Dana's Alex Shane tribute.

Jason Jordan and Chad Gable talk to Devin Taylor then get interrupted by Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder

Tweet 33: JJ embracing his status as Jeff Jarrett's heir.
Tweet 34: Jamoke. Strong words, mate.

Tommaso Ciampa v Tyler Breeze

Tweet 35: Ciampa v Breeze. O rly?
Tweet 36: Assuming Breeze will win but it's the least obvious thing on this show so far.
Tweet 37: Ciampa being like "Breeze is stiff" though. FFS.
Tweet 38: Did I do a Tommy Penmanship gag last week? Think I did.


Tweet 39: Ciampa reveling in his stiff ring work here. Whaddaguy.
Tweet 40: Good match this. Ciampa getting built up is pretty cool.
Tweet 41: Barry and Big Terry have this tourney sewn up. Don't believe me? Ask 'em.
Tweet 42: Ending on a vid so I'm going to say that this show had some good hustle now. The video in question will obviously be great.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Bank of Ireland

Last time I wrote about Sheamus it was shortly after his return as a heel. With that haircut and those piercings. I've not mentioned him outside of reviews since because, as I feel is pretty well-established by this point, I find him dreadfully uninteresting to watch and as a character. The heel turn has helped with both of these things but not enough to make him actually enjoyable for me.

But he's swaggering around with that Money in the Bank briefcase isn't he? The one that entitles him to a WWE championship match whenever he fancies, something he's statistically likely to win. Which means the prospect of 'Great White' getting a third WWE title reign has been looming over WWE for a few months now. But as useful as statistics are in analysing these things I don't think they're an especially good indicator here. 

Fella in the Bank.
On the one hand I wouldn't enjoy a Shaymo title win. Not just because I find him dull (although there is that, of course) but because I'm enjoying the current work of Seth Rollins. He's not being booked especially well but 'The Future' does the best he can with everything he's given. He's become way more comfortable on the microphone than I ever expected him to during his Ring of Honor days and in the ring he's had cracking matches with guys like Cena, Orton, Neville, Ambrose, Reigns and anyone else he's been put in a match with. That he managed to make Sting look good in 2015 speaks volumes about S-Roll's ability. He's great, basically, and he utterly deserves a lengthy title reign because of this and because it makes sense for his character and the characters of The Authority. He's a weasel who'll do anything to stay on top and they want a toady who'll go corporate for them. It works.

It also feels like the natural guy to take the title from Rollins is Roman Reigns. Rollins won the strap at his expense, interjecting into the assumed chosen one's WrestleMania main event showdown with Brock Lesnar and essentially stealing his spot. Something which, by the way, could have been an incredible Reality Era (because that's what we're in, right?) story had it been played up correctly.

As the babyface Reigns has to get retribution on Rollins. This being WWE he has to do this for the title and enjoy a reign of significance after because Vince loves a happy ending. There's something quite appealing about the two having a rematch at WrestleMania and for it to have the full impact Rollins needs an uninterrupted title run. Because that builds him up as a rascal and increases the need for someone to finally knock him off his perch. It means more if Reigns gets to do this before anyone else because being the second guy to do something just isn't as meaningful. It would utterly ruin the Rollins v Reigns dynamic (although I will say that they could add Dean Ambrose to the mix and make it more interesting, because of the there's shared history as The Shield). Plus he'd be avenging Rollins' play at WrestleMania 31.

Which basically makes Sheamus a gooseberry. He can't defeat Rollins because he needs to hang onto the gold for his match with Reigns. He can't defeat Reigns within the first two months of his (assumed) 'Mania win (which he'd have to because MITB gimmicks run for a year and a year only) because Reigns needs a long run to validate his claim of being the biggest dog in the Fed. For all Sheamus's heel antics since late March have been entertaining the timing just doesn't seem right for him to get a world title reign. Which, ultimately, is okay because he's boring anyway, right?

Sunday, 27 September 2015

No Mercy 2002 review

WWE recently announced Brock Lesnar's Go to Hell tour, a month of Network-related content centred around 'The Beast' himself. It culminate with a Lesnar versus Undertaker Hell in a Cell match. Having watched WWE for a while my first thought when this was announced was that it's a repeat of the No Mercy 2002 main event, which saw Bikertaker face 'The Next Big Thing' inside the Cell. I thought I'd give that show a watch in preparation for their rematch almost exactly thirteen years later. Here's what I thought...


Tweet 1: 'Taker versus Lesnar in Hell in a Cell has me so hyped that I'm going to watch No Mercy 2002, the show that featured their first HIAC match.
Tweet 2: Such a powerful opening shot. No better way to start a pay-per-view...

Tweet 3: I know nothing about this show other than it has Undertaker v Lesnar in a HIAC match...
Tweet 4: The intro vid is clearing some things up. Triple H v Kane is happening. It's World title v IC title. And it's the Katie Vick feud.
Tweet 5: Also, Heyman just said HIAC is Taker's signature. You're forgetting the dreaded casket match there, Paul mate.

World tag team championship: Chris Jericho and Christian (c) v Booker T and Goldust

Tweet 6: Opener features Chris Jericho. Seems to be heel Jericho. Timeline feels right for him to tagging with Christian.
Tweet 7: Yeah, nailed it. Christian will save this opener for me.
Tweet 8: Prime Christian.

Tweet 9: This show is thirteen years old and features JR knocking Fozzy.
Tweet 10: The Canadian Lads v Bookdust. Jericho aside this should be good.
Tweet 11: Trying to figure out if Jericho was still good at this point. The crowd are giving him some mad heat. That indicates he was.
Tweet 12: They're crazy into the main man, future royalty Booker T too. Little Rock, Arkansas knows what's up.
Tweet 13: Weird period for Jerry Lawler this. He's still pro-heel but he's happy when faces do their big spots.
Tweet 14: He seems keen to see a Spinneroonie here, for example.
Tweet 15: I miss Shattered Dreams. Possibly the best low blow with theatrics in the entire history of the grapple game.
Tweet 16: "A Spinneroonie, razorback style!" - Jim Ross, prompting a strong you wot, mate?
Tweet 17: Jericho won off a top rope moonsault. You know, the top rope moonsault he was always doing.

Funaki interviews Al Wilson backstage

Tweet 18: YES.

Tweet 19: Getting a recap of Al Wilson's relationship with Dawn Marie. I've stumbled into one of WWE's hottest post-Attitude Era periods.
Tweet 20: This is what wrestling's all about, folks.

Tweet 21: "Why were you wearing your clothes in the shower?" - Funaki to Al Wilson

Dawn Marie v Torrie Wilson

Tweet 22:  Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson are about to do a wrestle. Michael Cole and The Tazz are on commentary. This show just got rough.
Tweet 23: SmackDown was considered the work rate brand at this point wasn't it...?
Tweet 24: "We want puppies!" - The crowd within seconds of this match beginning
Tweet 25: Tazz and Cole analysing the win-loss record of these two against one another in lingerie matches.
Tweet 26: Spot where Dawn and Torrie roll about with the referee there. Dawn had a go at him because she's a heel.
Tweet 27: Face women of this era were fine being felt up apparently.
Tweet 28: Torrie winning off a swinging neck breaker because why not?

Jonathan Coachman interviews Rob Van Dam backstage

Tweet 29: Great chinos on Coach here. Meanwhile RVD sets himself up as a man of the people and parodies Ric Flair. It's poor.

Tweet 30: Not hyped for Flair v Van Dam.
Tweet 31: Who's this Tracey lass? JR says she's a Jezebel. Jerry thinks she's hot. Has she made accusations against 'Mean' Mark? No memory of this.

Ric Flair v Rob Van Dam

Tweet 32: "He is Ric Flair" - Jerry Lawler on Ric Flair
Tweet 33: The opening minute has been far better than I expected tbf.
Tweet 34: Lol at JR saying Flair may have won thousands of matches with the figure four.
Tweet 35: Rob Van Dam can't sell a figure four. Who knew?
Tweet 36: Quite enjoying this match and I'm going to credit that to 'Naitch' because I dislike more of RVD's work than I like outside of ECW.

Big Show chats to Stephanie McMahon backstage until Eric Bischoff turns up and says he owns him

Tweet 37: WE-ELLLLLLLLL it's a Big Show backstage segment. Top notch stuff.
Tweet 38: Yet another highlight here: the Bischoff and Stephanie feuding GMs thing.
Tweet 39: "I'm a giant!" - Big Show
Tweet 40: Show angry that he's not been on PPV since July. He was overweight and lazy. I'm with Bisch on this. Good call, buddy. Keep him off shows.
Tweet 41: Everyone's favourite IC title memory.

Cruiserweight championship match: Jamie Noble (c) v Yoshiro Tajiri

Tweet 42: Tajiri in a cruiserweight title match? I'm down.
Tweet 43: YES.

Tweet 44: Just noticed Brian Hebner is refereeing this match. I'm not going to let it get to me.
Tweet 45: First mention of women being tomatoes from Tazz there.
Tweet 46: Tazz putting over Tajiri and saying he's been in the ring with him. Failing to mention he wasn't happy facing or selling for him.
Tweet 47: Sickened by Michael Cole not talking about educated feet when Tajiri started doing some kicks.
Tweet 48: Nidia's not doing much here. Pretty much sums up her run. I always thought she was good and deserved more than she got. #justsaying
Tweet 49: Nidia helps Noble win. Tajiri forces himself on her to even the score. She smiles about it. This booking though...

Los Guerreros, Kurt Angle and [REDACTED] backstage

Tweet 50: Awks backstage segment.

World Heavyweight championship v Intercontinental championship unification: Triple H (WHC) v Kane (IC)

Tweet 51: Kane being pushed as a top guy by embracing being a "freak". My word.
Tweet 52: Clean shaven Triple H accusing 'The Big Red Machine' of murdering sweet, innocent Katie Vick, the purest girl in all of rasslin'.
Tweet 53: I remember hating this match at the time it happened.
Tweet 54: Jerry Lawler trying to flesh out the Katie Vick story is just ridiculous. Who, other than Vince, thought this story was a good idea?
Tweet 55: Let the record show Kane is wearing his sexy semi-see-through ring gear here.
Tweet 56: Lawler cracking jokes about a kayfabe dead woman. Whadda pro.
Tweet 57: This match would be so much more enjoyable if it featured time-travelled-from-the-future Corporate Kane. In a vest.
Tweet 58: I'd be interested in knowing who thought Triple H v Kane would interest people in 2002.
Tweet 59: Plus side: this is the best period of Triple H's career as far as his hair is concerned.
Tweet 60: Hahahahaha run-in by The Hurricane hahahahaha.
Tweet 61: "Triple H is still alive" - Jerry Lawler, who I fully expected to follow up with "... unlike Katie Vick!"
Tweet 62: Imagine if another human being actually hit another human being in the head with a sledgehammer though.
Tweet 63: Lost count of the number of ref bumps in this match. Genuinely more than I remember from any Attitude Era main event.

Stephanie McMahon chats to Tracey in the office

Tweet 64: Another segment with this Tracey woman who I don't remember. She just called 'Mean' Mark a bastard. #strongwords
Tweet 65: Stephanie and Tracey having a heart-to-heart, just them and the cameras.
Tweet 66: Tracey confiding in Stephanie that she lied and wants 'Taker back. In front of cameras. Also Undertaker WAS STOOD IN THE ROOM.

Tag team championship tournament finals: Kurt Angle and [REDACTED] v Edge and Rey Mysterio

Tweet 67: Should be good.

Tweet 68: By good I mean I'm pretty sure it won some MOTY awards.
Tweet 69: "Kurt Angle in search of the one title that's eluded him" - Michael Cole as Angle entered for a match to crown the first ever champs
Tweet 70: Edge with his poor "Never gonna stop!" Zombie lad entrance music here.
Tweet 71: I'd already recommend this match on the strength of the opening sequence between Mysterio and Angle.
Tweet 72: You'd never get WWE putting some of their best workers and biggest stars in an extended tag feud now. It's a shame.
Tweet 73: This three-way feud shows how effective it can be. I'm sure the strength of his work here helped Edge get over.
Tweet 74: *Waits for Rey to tag in and blow his knee*
Tweet 75: Rey Mysterio doing Bronco Busters... *shakes head*
Tweet 76: 619 to [REDACTED] as he had the [REDACTED] Crossface on is such a great spot.
Tweet 77: That was a career highlight for all four lads. Obviously won't make it onto any compilations because of [REDACTED] but it deserves to.

Undertaker gets something injected into his hand

Tweet 78: What's 'Taker been up to...?

Women's championship: Trish Stratus (c) v Victoria

Tweet 79: Jerry Lawler talking about puppies, JR calling Victoria "chronically pre-menstrual", it could only be a WWE women's match from the early 00s.
Tweet 80: Disappointed Big Stevie Cool isn't paired up with Victoria at this point. That was an under-utilised act.
Tweet 81: Not exactly a classic that. But it was good. Could've done without Dawn v Torrie, splitting the time between this and the cruiser match.

Pre-Hell in a Cell chatter

Tweet 82:

Tweet 83: Pre-match video package establishing that Tracey was with Undertaker in 1995. He looked like this...

WWE championship Hell in a Cell: Undertaker v Brock Lesnar (c)

Tweet 84: The Hell in a Cell main is starting. Think I'm about to watch the best 'Taker-Lesnar HIAC match there will ever be.
Tweet 85: Mat wrestling and a cast plot line. This is how you start Hell in a Cell!
Tweet 86: I'm assuming this ends with Lesnar climbing to the roof and hitting a Shooting Star Press off the roof through a table.
Tweet 87: "The champion seeing his own blood. TASTING his own blood." Get a room, Cole.
Tweet 88: For the record I don't approve of pins or pin attempts outside of the ring in HIAC.
Tweet 89: I wish Tazz would refer to this as a big man extravaganza because that's EXACTLY what it is.
Tweet 90: Undertaker is wrestling in a bandana. I bet his Ministry of Darkness era self would be ashamed to learn of this.
Tweet 91: No Mercy: Battle for the Wank Rag.

Tweet 92: Lesnar and Heyman are both bleeding. If 'Taker doesn't blade it's ridiculous.
Tweet 93: Interesting note: Michael Cole is fully erect throughout this entire match.
Tweet 94: Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar in a Pub Car Park Disagreement match.

Tweet 95: Lol at 'Taker Hulking up here.
Tweet 96: Upset Tazz didn't refer to the choke slam as a goozle.
Tweet 97: This match should end with Brock taking a Tombstone then immediately kipping up to hit an F5.
Tweet 98: Pins on the floor are legal but rope breaks still count. What even are these rules?
Tweet 99: 'Dead Man Inc' fell to a single F5. What a weakling.
Tweet 100: I'll be amazed if they top that at Hell in a Cell.
Tweet 101:

Tweet 102: I liked that match and I liked that show. There was way more to it than I expected.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

NXTweet 23.09.15

As episodes of NXT go this was a strange one. It was very heavy of backstage promos and catch-up videos. They've become more common in NXT since it was stretched from forty-five minutes-ish to an hour each week but this is the most we've had in a while. The show was also light on matches. There were only three on offer: Eva Marie v Carmella, Breeze v Dempsey, and a tag title rematch from Takeover: Brooklyn. Of those only the Vaudevillains and BAMF produced anything worthwhile. The other two bouts were both underwhelming, although they did at least serve a purpose in continuing Eva's push, keeping 'Prince Pretty' strong, and giving Dempsey and Carmella some air time.

Future NXT women's champion? My money's on yes.
The main thing this episode is likely to be remembered for is the debut of Kana and her name change to Asuka. Her contract signing ceremony was interrupted by Dana Brooke and Emma. After taking a pop at the new girl they instructed her to leave. Breaking from WWE babyface tradition Asuka did, pausing briefly at the top of the entrance ramp to glance back at NXT's resident mean girls.

This was odd booking for a company that generally doesn't have its good guys back down from a fight under any circumstances. Presumably it will lead to Asuka "finding herself" and possibly a tag partner for a match against Brooke and-or Emma at Takeover: Respect where she'll get her first WW win before she's built up as a challenger for Bayley or Eva Marie in a few months time. At least I hope that's what they go with because this sort of booking, while fine in isolation, will do Asuka no favours if it's the long term plan.


Tweet 1: Early morning NXT watch go!
Tweet 2: Immediate shill for Takeover. Excellent work, Rich.

Eva Marie v Carmella

Tweet 3: 'Red Queen' Eva Marie? Does that mean she's a communist?
Tweet 4: Does Eva having red queen written on blue gear have a hidden meaning?
Tweet 5: Carmella. *puts ear plugs in*
Tweet 6: Carmella being a female Enzo is not cool.
Tweet 7: Running knee Nakamura would be proud of from Eva there...

Such power in that right knee.

Tweet 8: Eva has said "How you doin'?" more times than Carmella. Create your own shtick and use it, luv. It'll pay off.
Tweet 9: WWE teasing a story where a referee has a crush on Eva Marie in 2015. My word.
Tweet 10: Big Match Eva wins again!

Bull Dempsey v Tyler Breeze

Tweet 12: Dempsey v Breeze. If Adam Rose doesn't appear I'll riot.
Tweet 13: Bull Dempsey, the love child of Bam Bam Bigelow and The Taz.
Tweet 14: Lol at some girl screaming during Breeze's entrance.
Tweet 15:  Shades of Kamala from big, bad Bull there. #whataworker

Breeze doing some big bumps to make an undeserving Bull look good.

Tweet 16: This match is a chore. I blame Bull.
Tweet 17: I preferred Bull when he was an ineffective bad ass who couldn't live up to being Taz: The Next Generation.

Recap of NXT's Texas tour

Tweet 18: Texas tour recap, Maggle.
Tweet 19: I remember Finn Bálor. He's that lad who used to wrestle on NXT's weekly show.
Tweet 20: For some reason I'm surprised that Dana Brooke is getting house show title matches. I assumed Trips would save that for a Takeover.

Kana becomes Asuka, signs a WWE developmental contract, and gets scared off by Dana Brooke and Emma

Tweet 21: Regal introduces Kana. Konor from The Ascension comes out. It's awkward.
Tweet 22: Like a Graeme Harper episode of Doctor Who, Asuka is full of pace and energy.
Tweet 23: Emma and Dana Brooke. #feelings

Putting this here for #ratings.

Tweet 24: Tag match at Takeover? Alundra Blayze as Asuka's tag partner.
Tweet 25: So Asuka actually left? Weird.

Tyler Breeze walks along a corridor, Apollo Crews blocks his path

Tweet 26: Apollo Crews openly bullying Tyler Breeze there. Someone needs to smarten that kid up to Being A Star.

Hype Bros promo

Tweet 27: Mojo Rawley cosplaying as Ash Ketchum here for whatever reason.
Tweet 28: Dash and Dawson are my picks to win this tournament. Feels like Tripper's way of building up a team.

NXT tag team championship: The Vaudevillains (c) v BAMF

Tweet 29: I wish Jim Ross was still around so he could call a BAMF entrance. "Look at this pair of yahoos! These two young punks!"
Tweet 30: RIP JR's WWE commentary career.
Tweet 31: Saddest part of Ross's WWE career is that it didn't just end. It died slowly over years, via SmackDown, part time work and Todd Grisham.
Tweet 32: Saddened to see Alexa Bliss leave ringside.

Aiden English casually suplexing two men there.

Tweet 33: Nice to see Blake and Murphy still can't remember who's who and have retained the names on gear gimmick.
Tweet 34: 'Bigtime' Buddy Murphy still looks like a short, young 'Mean' Mark Callous.
Tweet 35: Kicks. Innovative offence apparently.
Tweet 36: "That's it, we're gonna have new tag champs!" - Corey Graves, letting us know the Vaudevillains would retain
Tweet 37: Good match that. I'd have to rewatch both but it was possibly better than their Brooklyn one.

Big Cass and Enzo and Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor promos

Tweet 38: Why end on a match when you could end on promo?
Tweet 39: Enzo and Cass reckon they're beating Joseph Samoa and Finn(lay) Bálor. I don't like their chances tbh.
Tweet 40: Dusty Rhodes was Finn Bálor's mentor. Apparently.
Tweet 41: There's nothing subtle about the Joe v Finn tease.
Tweet 42: Good show. Good hustle.