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Thread: The NXT Thread

  1. #20201
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    It was obvious last week that Gargano was going to use this opportunity to orchestrate the match in his favor for an opening defense. He's really done a tremendous job hamming things up as he's a heel but man oh man, what a bold-ass move by having Ruff beat Gargano. Good for Ruff as he's been utilized on WWE programming since the pandemic started. Ruff has obviously been a jobber but he has a pretty fun move set, bumps his ass off, and can be a compelling performer in the ring. The belt falling off him after Priest put it on him was a brilliantly hilarious moment. Priest being direct but nice to Ruff backstage was funny and the "go watch Wheel of Fortune" line to Gargano was fitting. Ruff is now the modern 1-2-3 Kid. Good for him, and it won't do anything but help Gargano build more heat.

    All things considered, tough spot for Atlas and Escobar to be in but they had a fun match. Atlas looked a little dodgy in some parts but he's still young so I'm fine with it. There's also something to be said with Atlas. He's pretty much been booked like a white meat babyface since showing up on NXT but I like that he's booked to have some edge. Just outright jumping Llegado de Fantasma in the parking lot is a nice touch. Plenty of upside for him. I like how NXT has kept in the lab with calibrating the ideal latino superstar. They keep going through different versions but I think they've got the right overall act in Escobar. He's basically got the ADR gimmick but doesn't appear to be a scumbag. Hopefully he's not one. They ran through this Atlas feud pretty quickly.

    Boa took a hell of a boot and a hell of a beating from Raquel. Beyond impressive that she did her one-armed power bomb on a dude the size of Boa. That's a ton of theatrics for the implications of messing with whoever is writing these letters to Xi and now Boa. It's going to deliver something substantial. I just hope it hits the mark.

    Think of the heat if Candice ran over that tank on Veteran's Day. Anyway...good on them to give Shotzi time to explain why the tank meant so much to her. Probably could have used that several weeks ago, prior to the incident, but it's good that the explained. Shotzi seems like someone who is going to be a major player in the women's division in terms of a title contender a year or so from now.

    JFC, one of Toni's legs might be bigger than Candice. The size disparity between the two of them was jarring at times. This was a really good spotlight for Toni to put on her working boots against someone more than capable to go with her in the form of Candice. I'm pretty surprised they had Toni lose here, with the obvious angle of Shotzi causing a distraction there, but at least it was a blatant cheap win. Indi being the reveal of Ghostface shocks no one but it naturally sets up a tag match (playa).

    Not a surprise that Thatcher went after Greene but a nice way to transition it towards Lumis by messing with the portrait. Anything with Lumis creates a wildly contrasting dynamic but this was a really massive one with Thatcher. Feels like less is more with Lumis' matches. It feels like the last 3-5 matches for him have been stretched out quite a bit. That almost comes across as counterproductive for him in some ways. The burlap sack may mean we get a blindfold match between Grimes and Lumis.

    Ciampa is a character of convenience, as I've said, but it may be a situation where he's spinning his wheels since there was no direct message for what's next for him. Still imagine it's buying time for Bálor in some form or fashion.

    The prime target didn't have the production value I was anticipating but it was still fantastic. I like how they spun Rhea's story. It generally came off in the moment that they were just trying to find stuff for her to do but they spun it as people were trying to pick her off after she had her disappointment at Mania. She rose above those challengers and is ready to take back her title. That's well and good, but Io isn't going to let that happen. Kind of surprised we don't have a "two weeks from now" announcement and the match is next week.

    McAfee citing "The team I was on lost to Drew Brees and his dumb baby" and calling Joseph "Michael Cole Jr." were moments of gold. Rocking a gold chain and a gaiter was a choice lol. The match didn't get a lot of time and was clearly a secondary component as it was about getting McAfee over and then getting the numbers game aspect for The Kings over. The ending was very chaotic. UE's absence is a little jarring, and the idea almost seems like they're using Breezango and Dain/Maverick as the foursome to take on The Kings. I'm guessing that's a convenient zag, but they're doing a great job of building heat on The Kings.

    Bálor returning and a massive women's title match next week. Looking forward to it.

  2. #20202
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Damn good show this week.

    Gargano is such a goddamn delight. The general gist of the mystery opponent was what I figured, Johnny setting it up in his favor, but OHMYGOD I did not think Ruff was going to score the HUGE upset win and the title. Incredible. This is the kind of shock that's been missing for awhile and it was brilliantly executed and benefited everyone involved. Show started off super hot. Loved the belt falling off Ruff's waist when he celebrated.

    Atlas/Escobar was solid. I assume since Atlas lost clean this time that Escobar will be moving on to a new challenger. Atlas still has loads of potential and has been progressing nicely.

    Very interesting turn of events with Xia no-showing, Boa getting his ass beat, and mystery old man with surprisingly high production value for his appearance and the scary hand mark thingie...intriguing. I know Xia has supposedly gone to Triple H herself to ask for a chance so I am optimistic that she's going to come out of this with some shine but it's definitely taking some curious turns.

    Toni/Candice was good stuff. Agreed with BG that the size difference was quite noticeable. Good set up for a future tag bout. Wondering if there'll be a second Ghostface yet that was helping Johnny or if it was always just Indi?

    Soon as they had Dexter drawing backstage I thought someone (I assumed Grimes) was going to wreck it and set something up. Nice set up with it tying into Thatcher/Grey's stuff. I thought Thatcher/Lumis was very good and the arm injury angle had me worked for a bit and I was cursing that the dude got hurt again. Well done. Figured we'd see Grimes at least, if not maybe Grey, too, and am real ok with Dex losing because of it and very much enjoyed the post-match stuff with the sack and the Cave-in on the chair. Grimes and Lumis are two of my favorites and I'm thrilled their feud rolls on.

    Geeked for Rhea/Io next week and very curious about Balor's return. I would suspect Ciampa steps up but I've also heard rumblings that Kross could be back any time now...

    I'm getting into this Kings of NXT faction. Decent enough tag match but it was more about the post match chaos which was wild and effective. I assume Breezango/Maverick/Dain will be the filler until UE return and set up the real 4-on-4 for the next TakeOver or whatever. Personally, I'd prefer it if UE didn't come back at all, el oh el.

  3. #20203
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    I'll amend my 4-4 point. Seems like Breezango, Maverick/Dain will be a foursome to combat The Kings and ultimately put them over, giving a false sense of security to them, then UE will return and set up a bigger four-on-four match.

  4. #20204
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    I'll amend my 4-4 point. Seems like Breezango, Maverick/Dain will be a foursome to combat The Kings and ultimately put them over, giving a false sense of security to them, then UE will return and set up a bigger four-on-four match.
    War Games should be coming up right? Seems like the perfect time for it.

  5. #20205
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurePlayer View Post
    War Games should be coming up right? Seems like the perfect time for it.
    The next Takeover is scheduled for December 6. I would think space at the CWC could make a War Games setup somewhat of an issue. Could be wrong.

  6. #20206
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    The next Takeover is scheduled for December 6. I would think space at the CWC could make a War Games setup somewhat of an issue. Could be wrong.
    True. Seems like the perfect time and feud for a War Games match too.

  7. #20207
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    ANNOUNCED:
    Finn Balor returns.

    NXT Women's Championship
    Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley

    NXT North American Championship
    Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano

    Blindfold Match
    Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis

    Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs. Ember Moon & Toni Storm

    ---

    I expect Ciampa to step up to Balor. Women's title match will obviously be hot fire and I'm super amped to see it. Thinking Rhea wins here unless there are some shenanigans. I'm thinking Ruff's reign's probably ending tonight. Blindfold Match stip never really results in anything particularly good but given the talent involved, it'll probably at least be a fun time. Women's tag should be solid enough.

    I've had a fairly stressful week or two so I'm pretty eager to sit down and enjoy some NXT.

  8. #20208
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    I like that Ruff was able to get more of that match than he did last week. Fluke or not, he got the win and I just like the fact that he was acting the part and being more competitive. That seems to be promising when looking at his outlook beyond the miracle win. It was a sly move by Priest to cause the DQ. I was curious to see how it eventually came around with Priest and Ruff crossing paths. I was interested to see how a tweener role would come across for Priest and I like how it was executed. Not intentional but Ruff, standing up for himself, said enough was enough. Priest didn't get mad and knew he had it coming. Setting up for an interesting triple threat.

    Grimes is perfect as a comedic heel. He's really nailed that as it has been dialed up with Lumis. I was curious with how far they were going to take it with the blindfold stip but I thought they got a good way to get that but it's bit annoying they didn't have a finish. Good leap over the cage, though.

    Nice video to have Shotzi supposedly rebuilding her tank and setting the stage for War Games. If Indi has been so enthralled with getting in Candice's good graces, I would have liked a visual payoff with that with their work. I'm sure that's something that can evolve over time but the first look at it left me wanting more.

    Good to see while drafted to Raw, Ruas was able to get an excursion in to NXT. Did NOT expect that effort and fanfare to promote him prior to the break only to face a buzzsaw in Kushida. Those two were clearly going to have a gritty, physical match and that worked out to display strengths for both of them. Very cool pinning combination to get the finish. I thought that went well in terms of protecting both guys, though Ruas really isn't a guy who needs protecting.

    The tag match was definitely entertaining. All four women had their moments to shine. I would have liked to see Toni and Raquel tussle some more in the tag match. That's probably got potential as a future singles match. Like Ember and Toni getting the win but don't necessarily like Dakota and Raquel getting the heat back so quickly. I'm probably missing someone obvious on the face side but you've got your women's War Games match right there by the end of that segment.
    P.S. Give Dakota and Raquel the tag titles. Thanks...

    Grey's got himself a tan, haha. This was like a poor man's version of Kushida/Ruas in the sense it tried to give some to the guy who clearly wasn't going to win. The bigger deal was obviously what happened afterward. Convenience has come for Ciampa, and I would like the idea of Thatcher's gritty style going up against Ciampa. This honestly feels like it does more for Thatcher as he's been grasping at scraps to stay relevant since The Lion's Den match with Riddle. Hopefully this does them both some good.

    I wonder who Priest was going to face. My guess was it was nobody and this was just a convenient out to further build up Takeover for Priest, Gargano, and Ruff.

    It was quick but they had some advancement for the Xia and Boa story with Regal making a house call lol. "She's coming." NXT is freakin' loaded with depth there and now someone else is coming in or getting restored? Sheesh.

    Really solid match between Io and Rhea. Shame it had two commercial within it, killing some of the flow. That match just got more brutal as it went along. Can't imagine Rhea's ear was feeling all that great as it went along. Both women did a really solid job selling throughout the match. Thank goodness the table broke for that spot because it wouldn't have looked as great if it didn't. Great finish to have Rhea save herself by beating the count but Io being ready to pounce. Great stuff. The talent predicted Io would win, the creative predicted Rhea would win. What a swerve! Rhea leaving NXT, perhaps?

    Thought it's only been a few weeks, it was good build-up of The Kings to where it made sense to have them interrupt Bálor. They were running through people and they didn't want to be overshadowed by the champ's return and hubris made them feel like they were ready to take over everything. It's an interesting wrinkle to presume Bálor sprang a trap for them and coordinated things with Undisputed Era. The pop for UE returning would have been incredible. McAfee just gets it, man. Awesome on the stick, understanding the moment, and selling like a champ. He ate the hell out of that pump kick by Cole and just sold it like a million bucks. Of course McAfee got kicked lol.

    Bálor is back, it's looking like Kross may be back soon. They might have the opportunity to sneak a quick title match (perhaps Kushida) in for Takeover if Bálor is actually cleared before getting to that big boy match. War Games is coming together very nicely.

    Fun announcement for the guest commentator next week. KO in the booth should be fun. Not for nothing, McKenzie is really good at her backstage reporter role. She comes off way more authentic and genuine than what we see on Raw and Smackdown. She feels like a legit sideline reporter for a sporting event. Love that.

  9. #20209
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    Love what they're doing with Ruff. I assumed Johnny was getting it back and that Leon was just a cog in the machine of Gargano/Priest but I really am glad to see that this is just as much about Leon as it is about them and it was dope seeing him stepping up and wanting to prove himself. Triple threat should be good and now I'm thinking Ruff's reign might actually be substantial.

    Bllindfold Match was all about the antics and they absolutely delivered as I expected. Grimes and Gargano are both crushing the game as hilarious heels and I love it. Like that the stip didn't last long as there's not much you can do with it in an actual match so it was just antics to build what will likely/hopefully be a straight-up one-on-one between them at TakeOver which I am living for.

    Nice to see Ruas back in NXT and was surprised the match with Kushida was as competative as it was. Damn good bout. Loved the finish, very unique. Hoping that Ruas is actually going to be a regular feature going forward. Hoping Kushida's momentum is still leading to something meaningful soon (title shot at Balor?).

    Candice/Indi vs. The KC's was fun. Kacey does some fun moves and Katden ain't bad, either. Did well to establish the new heel alliance. The second women's tag match was terrific. Good post match attack to get the WarGames build going. I'm thinking Rhea and Io might round out the face side.

    August Grey looks like a total doofus jobber. Hard to care if Thatcher's beating on him when that's the case. Ciampa/Thatcher, though? Yes, please.

    "She is coming" is pretty interesting and like BG, curious if it's someone new or someone returning or hell, after the old man showed up, is it even a wrestler?

    Rhea/Io absolutely KILLED IT but fuck those two ad breaks getting stuck in there. I knew as soon as Balor returning was going to be the show closer that Rhea wasn't going to win. Still, they fucking WENT AT IT. The shoulder work was hard to watch and the bloody war really helped elevate the intensity. I actually thought it was going to end with a double countout after the table powerbomb and then have a rematch at TakeOver. Rhea still looked strong in defeat. Like I said, I suspect they'll round out the face team for the women's WarGames as I can't really see anyone stepping up to Io that's not already tied up in something.

    Didn't really like Balor stepping on the tail of the match but at least he congratulated the champ. Obviously The Kings were showing and I thought maybe Pat or Pete were going to challenge Balor for TakeOver 'cuz I'm stupid and I'm surprised I didn't see the obvious UE return coming here. Duh, WarGames you idiot. Still, nothing was addressed with Balor and the NXT title here which was a little disappointing considering.

    Also, speaking of stupid idiots...
    Kushida defeated Hoohas. Note: They never showed the new competitor's name on screen, and closed captioning showed it as "Who Has." So I'm aware I'm butchering the spelling of it. I've googled and checked the NXT Roster and haven't found him listed. If you know this person's name, please comment below and I'll correct it and credit you.
    ...can someone tell the guy that reports NXT on the main page that it's Aurturo Ruas not "Hoohass". The dude has been with WWE since 2015, has been on NXT before, was on RAW in August, is on the WWE.com roster page, and had a fucking promo video before the match. Jesus...
    Last edited by mth; November 19th, 2020 at 12:14 AM.

  10. #20210
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    Majority of us are cynical posters who can have a good guess where things may be going. However was the last time we were genuinely shocked at something? Ruff winning taking everyone completely by surprise and following through and running with it so it’s not just one of those Zach Ryder-like moment title reigns and having him just dropping it.

    Miss that genuine shock surprise moment and also extending that thought to AEW. NXT are providing it right here with Ruff. As much schneide that Hunter may get still from some folk, he knows his shit when it comes to running things.

    The least surprising thing about NXT is the parking lot but that’s a running gag we all know and love lol.

  11. #20211
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Oh, i guess Shotzi is leading the face team against Candice. I missed that video clip prior to Candice's match. So I suppose Rhea/Io won't be rounding out the face team...although, I could see Reha doing it if Io is defending the title against...someone?

  12. #20212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post

    The least surprising thing about NXT is the parking lot but that’s a running gag we all know and love lol.
    You have a tipping point, though. Rhea, Io, and Bálor all walked through that lot and made it through unscathed.

  13. #20213
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    You have a tipping point, though. Rhea, Io, and Bálor all walked through that lot and made it through unscathed.
    Probably add Damien Priest having a jacuzzi in the lot as well. Probably just got lucky with their timing though shouldn’t rest on their laurels. Next time Gadget (s), next time!!!

  14. #20214
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth
    Also, speaking of stupid idiots...

    ...can someone tell the guy that reports NXT on the main page that it's Aurturo Ruas not "Hoohass". The dude has been with WWE since 2015, has been on NXT before, was on RAW in August, is on the WWE.com roster page, and had a fucking promo video before the match. Jesus...
    I saw a headline that they’re looking for new writers. If you and BG applied, would totally bring some credibility!

  15. #20215
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    Bloody good this week. Ripley and Io was brilliant. And loving the Ruff/Gargano/Priest stuff.

    Bloody love the new group, lads.

  16. #20216
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    I'm loving the idea of Balor v. Dunne. I could not care any less about Undisputed Era but damn Pat took a bicycle kick to the grill like a champ.

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    Balor vs Dunne would rock the fuckin socks off or even Balor vs McAfee with loads of outside interference. McAffee as champ through outside interference wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to get outside eyes on the product plus possible rematch defence against Cole.

    Also love Io to bits in every way ever except her moonsault. I know it was a bit different in the finish here but still she buggers that up the majority of the time. Maybe give her a good submission.

  18. #20218
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    ANNOUNCED:

    Ladder Match for WarGames Advantage
    Pete Dunne vs. A Member of Undisputed Era

    Candace LaRae vs. Ember Moon

    Kevin Owens in the commentary booth

    ----

    They had originally just said "a member of each team" so I was hoping Dunne would be the guy for The Kings and woop woop, he is. Any member of UE should be fine, ladder matches are my favorite, should be a banger.

    LaRae/Moon has potential to deliver but I expect it'll break down into all the women brawling or something.

    KO in the booth should be a blessing.

  19. #20219
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    Please give us Dunne/Roddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    ANNOUNCED:

    Ladder Match for WarGames Advantage
    Pete Dunne vs. A Member of Undisputed Era

    Candace LaRae vs. Ember Moon

    Kevin Owens in the commentary booth

    ----

    They had originally just said "a member of each team" so I was hoping Dunne would be the guy for The Kings and woop woop, he is. Any member of UE should be fine, ladder matches are my favorite, should be a banger.

    LaRae/Moon has potential to deliver but I expect it'll break down into all the women brawling or something.

    KO in the booth should be a blessing.
    Dunne v. Kyle seems like a no-brainer but I could see it being Roderick given the history.

    Am I the only person who thinks Ember Moon is talented but directionless?

    KO at the booth will be awesome and I'm curious WHY. Are they setting him up for something in NXT?

    Quote Originally Posted by kdestiny View Post
    Please give us Dunne/Roddy
    Roderick needs to be released. The ROH Boys Club can survive without him.

  21. #20221
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    I love Roddy, such a prick as a heel.

    Any of them would be good though, I was just thinking history wise

  22. #20222
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    Hadn't really thought KO in the booth was anything more than a fill-in for Wade but it'd be pretty dope if it was setting something up for KO to be back with the brand.

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    Woof, KO was subdued like crazy until his KO Show segment was over. That wasn't expected at all. He sounded lethargic on commentary and just didn't sound like he wanted to be there. Glad that it did turn a bit for the better in the second half but it was so weird to have that happen.

    Truly a shame we didn't get to see that post-brawl segment on TV last week with Regal getting to do his shtick with War Games. UE and War Games just go together in the modern era.

    Indi actually looked more intimidating/imposing in her non-ring attire. Nice touch to add the lighting getup to the mask for Ember's entrance. It does feel like Ember has spiced up her work since coming back from injury, which is always a good thing. It feels like forever and a day where Candice has been in a match and it wasn't good. She's just so solid. It did feel like Ember and Toni were a little too friendly last week so I guess that was done to throw people off the scent for what we saw with Toni turning. That turn, and the heels surrounding Ember during the match, made it very egregious with Shotzi being nowhere to be found. (The moral of the story: Don't trust someone returning from NXT UK)

    The CW division is making you keep tabs of 205 Live now, if Stallion is the next in line for Escobar.

    I don't know why but it was funny that they hyped that Thatcher's students were in a green room of sorts, just getting ready to watch their teacher wrestle. The only thing missing with Kushida/Thatcher was a grander stage. You give those guys a Takeover setting and I think they would have had the opportunity to knock it out of the park. Based on his grill, seems beyond obvious that Thatcher is convinced the best way to brace his bumps is face first. That's what happened when he was on the outside lol. Kushida gets another impressive win with a very shocking result of making Thatcher tap out. It's gotta be setting up for a shot with Bálor.

    Small nod of showing Thatcher to be a fool: The second Kushida got the Hoverboard Lock fully locked in, Thatcher tapped. Thatcher is perfectly fine torturing his students in holds but the second he's in that position in a dangerous hold, he taps. Nice touch. Thatcher/Ciampa is totally fine by me.

    What KO was lacking in commentary he clearly made up in his talking segment. His comedy and self awareness/cynicism with bits really helped add some spark to the segment. KO saying "I don't know why I bring all these stupid chairs" under his breath absolutely killed me. Regal was great too. Ruff has a smile that probably makes Bo Dallas jealous. He really has owned the happy to be here guy role. He comes across so natural too. I'm curious to see how they make that triple threat go.

    "Stop playing in my kitty litter." The champ must have gotten a subscription to Cat Fancy while he was on the shelf.

    Pretty shocked Atlas was used for essentially a squash match but it did bring a unique way for a "promo" by Lumis for Grimes. I guess a strap match was the natural progression for Grimes and Lumis. There was that Strap Match between Lumis and Strong at GAB so Lumis can have a pretty good match with that stipulation. Just don't need a lot of gaga in it.

    Much like Priest's matchup last week, didn't seem like there was much of a plan for Rhea's address on NXT tonight. Shotzi was nowhere to be found again for another beatdowni? Eesh. Candice probably should have left well enough alone because she made Shotzi's decision easy for who will be on her War Games team. It is also a strange flex to have Shotzi as the captain of that team, with the champion and a huge star in Rhea on the team haha. Poor Indi, she got subbed out in a major hurry by Toni but I guess that was the plan and the "injury" allowed for that to play out. Makes sense since she's probably not ready for the high wire act of a match right now. Alright! My suggestion of Indi and Theory still is alive haha.

    Boa and Xia need sleep and food ASAP.

    Grizzled Young Vets being back is fine by me. They won't be in the tag title picture anytime soon, but it's good depth to have.

    Babyface UE still needs a little refinement but there's an obvious framework there to work with. "Pissed off to the highest level of pissedivity" KOR is a great KOR to have on screen. Now that Dunne is jacked up and lean, I'm not sure if his gear works. Probably need some time to get acclimated but it just looked a bit off. It's just a requirement now that KOR matches are slugfests and it was quite clear that Dunne was game to comply. The ladder spot was bonkers, then Dunne use the ladder for finger/joint manipulation was painful to watch. The tug of war spot felt oddly simple but extremely effective. All in all, these two made use of the ladders well. It was obvious with the setup for War Games and the fact it kept being brought up that UE has always won these advantage matches that they were going to lose tonight haha.

    War Games:
    Women's War Games match
    Men's War Games match
    Ruff vs. Priest vs. Gargano for the NA championship
    Lumis vs. Grimes in a strap match
    ??? (My guess is Bálor vs. Kushida)
    Last edited by BGMaverick; November 25th, 2020 at 11:07 PM.

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    Temet Nosce Caito's Avatar
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    Actually already watched this, which is odd for me.... but I’m guessing the masked gentleman will either be replacing Pat in WarGames or will be an outside influence during it. It’s two obvious that the inference is it is Pat, and two segments released after the fact points to that.

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    LIVERPOOOOOOOOLS NUMBER 1 is back

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    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Bit late but here I go...gonna do this a little bit shorter and less segment/by/segment.

    Seemed odd that Ember/Rhea would get beatdown by the heels without anyone coming out to help them like Shotzi. Seemed very odd that Shotzi wasn't even there. Toni's heel turn was surprising overall but I also called it a few seconds before it happened.

    Agree with BG that KO in the booth seemed fairly lackluster, I expected more energy and he was pretty dialed down. KO Show was a bit awkward for me, felt a little meandering and improvised, but I did think the chairs stuff was hilarious and KO predicting the interruptions was amusing. Ruff is developing well. Oh, and interesting they confirmed there IS a second Ghostface still.

    I was really hoping for a straight-up no stip match between Grimes/Lumis to show what they can really do without gimmicks but oh well. Strap Match is very fitting and I did like the way Dexter made the challenge but another Strap Match for Lumis is kind of underwhelming. Still, i trust they'll make it enjoyable.

    Balor's kitty litter promo was bad. He's leaning way too hard into this cat metaphor and I don't know why.

    GYV's being back is a nice boost to the tag scene though I'll admit I'm not much of a fan.

    Holy shit, UE's promos are so boring. What could've been 2 minutes backstage was 5 minutes in the ring saying all the most generic stuff. KOR is so unconvincing when he talks, too. Dunne/KOR ladder match was killer, though. Damn Dunne's shredded now. Some really creative uses of the ladder. Gotta say, I think Dunne's NXT Title ready. I assume the masked dude was supposed to be McAfee without actually being McAfee.

  27. #20227
    World Champion Donald's Avatar
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    Saw NXT beet AEW in the ratings last week. While NXT isn't too, too good, it surely is better than AEW and I'm glad that people are starting to realize this.

    I think when Karrion Kross comes back, things will pick up and it will be must see TV for me again.

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    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    To no one's surprise, Rhea Ripley and Ember Moon have joined Shotzi's WarGames team.
    Also, tomorrow's NXT will feature Shotzi vs. Raquel Gonzalez for WarGames advantage.

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    You know what's so odd....In the history of War Games, going back to the 80's, the heel team has always had the man advantage. It's so weird. Even the weird 3-team one, nWo Hollywood had the man advantage.

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    Heels just know how to call a coin flip.

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    FBI Warning VHS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Saw NXT beet AEW in the ratings last week. While NXT isn't too, too good, it surely is better than AEW and I'm glad that people are starting to realize this.

    I think when Karrion Kross comes back, things will pick up and it will be must see TV for me again.
    Bottom line, NXT is indeed the better wrestling show. While they've had their... mishaps, like for example the Grimes/Lumis junk... they're not putting on cringe musicals or beating you over the head w/ audience winks. AEW is just directionless and NXT builds towards end results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VHS View Post
    Bottom line, NXT is indeed the better wrestling show. While they've had their... mishaps, like for example the Grimes/Lumis junk... they're not putting on cringe musicals or beating you over the head w/ audience winks. AEW is just directionless and NXT builds towards end results.
    jdjdjabskso in dbbsoal

  33. #20233
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VHS View Post
    Bottom line, NXT is indeed the better wrestling show. While they've had their... mishaps, like for example the Grimes/Lumis junk... they're not putting on cringe musicals or beating you over the head w/ audience winks. AEW is just directionless and NXT builds towards end results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post

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    I'll definitely be tuning in for War Games. All the war games matches since the revival have been bangers imo and the cards around them generally really strong too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    You know what's so odd....In the history of War Games, going back to the 80's, the heel team has always had the man advantage. It's so weird. Even the weird 3-team one, nWo Hollywood had the man advantage.
    Ahh one of the unwritten rules in wrestling lol.

    Mayb next Wargames after this one they could change the formula bit. Start making all the draw entry’s random or even make it elimination style rather than wait for all eight to get to the ring before anybody can be beat or something.

  37. #20237
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Watch Shotzi's team gain advantage tonight...

    Just read a top NXT superstar has tested positive for Covid-19. Name hasn't been revealed, will have to see if/how it affects TakeOver.
    Last edited by mth; December 2nd, 2020 at 5:24 PM.

  38. #20238
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    Touching tribute for Pat Patterson to start the show. Nice, shiny new intro video for NXT too.

    Stallion was supposed to be on NXT this week but he was attacked....you guessed it, IN THE PARKING LOT, by Legado del Fantasma. Curious as to why that happened and why it really wasn't acknowledged on TV. We don't deserve the cheesiness of Gargano on commentary but we were blessed with it this evening. Not sure why we got a tank top added to Priest's look but oh well. We got hot-tag Ruff and that was fun while it lasted. Not sure this was ideal to put Legado del Fantasma in this spot to be there just to ultimately eat a loss but it was entertaining.

    Feels like we haven't seen Grimes in this kind of a role in a while for a match, one where he had to work a bit to get his opponent over in some ways. Grey did a nice enough job and some time to shine, but this was also about getting Grimes back in some rhythm and bring the mean streak back a bit. All in all, Grey was an ideal guy for the post match spots where he was the proverbial/literal whipping boy.

    Looks like Atlas got two things: a new theme, and a get-right match. It just felt weird that he was a glorified jobber last week for Grimes, so going up against Nese was gong to get get him back on track. Not sure calling this was the biggest win of Atlas' career hit like they probably wanted to but they went there. They're clearly behind Atlas but they've got to keep putting more work in since we already saw him lose to Escobar.

    Reservoir Dogs UE wasn't something I was anticipating. It is interesting that they're portraying UE as this wounded animal. Yes, they've had their shortcomings over recent months but it felt like they were laying it on rather thick, though the package was solid. I guess that makes me think they get their redemption over the weekend. Kind of hard to believe McAfee's second match is going to be a War Games match.

    McAfee's timing on telling Vic Joseph to shut up was perfect. "A low-level paisan pizza shop" was a heck of a line lol. He's just too good at this talking stuff. Such a damn natural. He had his time for fun with Riddley, but I really like how Dunne has course corrected back into his natural stone face, not bothering to react to anything going in in the ring as McAfee does his thing. Feels like the stage is set properly for the match, and I'm interested to see what McAfee is going to do.

    It's all coming together. Xia is trying really hard or getting training to be able to cut promos underwater like Io does.

    Doesn't matter if it's taking a fleecing of NXT UK but I'm glad the tag division is getting more depth and attention. There's not a fresh breakout team there but there's surely enough there now to make it useable. One hot team and that's going to help get it back to its previous form. Not that Ever-Rise and GYV was a match I was dying to see, but I'm surprised they ran Imperium/GYV. Silly finish but t made sense based on the fact Ever-Rise got screwed out of their match.

    Thatcher actually had a student who liked him enough to help? Go figure! That was unique spin to Ciampa showing up during the Thatch As Thatch Can teaching segment. Good way to equalize things and get some heat back for Thatcher. Seeing Ciampa put to sleep was a nice surprise. Funny way to work the theme of distraction after the fact with Malcolm Bivens talking to Rust as Thatcher was getting interviewed.

    Seeing Ariel Helwani dip his toe in with WWE with the preshow this weekend should be a curious watch. Good on hm making it on AEW, Impact, and WWE within the same year.

    In terms of being a worker and looks, Raquel has to be everything Vince is dying to have Nia be. Raquel has come a long ass way since she reappeared on NXT in February. I was pleasantly surprised that Shotzi really didn't go out of her way to put herself in a death-defying spot. Smart recognition, based off the fact there's a big show she's prominently been promoted for this weekend. You could see it coming a mile away that Io was going to be the surprise participant for Team Shotzi. Kind of odd to see the face side get the advantage for War Games but they needed some momentum after how this has all played out.

    Takeover:
    Grimes vs Lumis in a Strap Match
    Thatcher vs. Ciampa
    Ruff (c) vs. Priest vs. Gargano for the NA Championship
    Women's War Games Match
    Men's War Games Match

    This is shaping up to be the first Takeover where the NXT Champion was not involved.
    Last edited by BGMaverick; December 9th, 2020 at 10:25 PM.

  39. #20239
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    I'm really liking Ruff and am digging how things have been playing out and look forward to the big win on Sunday to put the stamp on him as no joke. Gargano in the booth was a delight. How many Ghostfaces are there now? And who are they? Hmm. I guess Johnny could win if half a dozen Ghostfaces help out...

    Fun little deal with Grimes/Lumis and the strap. Shame about that green thing stuck to Dexter's ass, though. But also a bit of stubble on Dex is a sexy look, heh.

    Atlas still gunning for the CW Title is A-OK with me and I'd love to see him win. Happy for Donald that his boy Nese got some TV time.

    Skipped the UE video package. Unlike UE, McAfee is at least entertaining when he talks even if it was a bit long winded.

    This stuff with Xia/Boa just gets wierder and more intriguing every week. No idea what the end game is for this. Are they going to come out of it some sort of badass focused warrior-types with a spooky witch lady manager or something?

    GYV/Imperium was hard to get into when it's two heels teams and both of them are fairly boring as characters to me. If anything, Ever-Rise was the only mildly entertaining thing in the tail end of things and could make me pay attention to this situation as comedy chickenshit goofs.

    Ciampa popping up during Thatcher's thing was nice but Tatcher choking him out real easy was surprisng. @BGMaverick you might've missed that Thatcher/Ciampa was added to the card for Sunday.

    Ladder match was good. Nice clash of styles with some good spots. Raquel's power is just effortless. Io's appearance was never in doubt and a good emphatic way to round out the team and close the show.

    Real hyped for Sunday. Stacked card all around, I'm interested in every match, both WarGames should be bonkers. Hell yeah let's go, baby.

  40. #20240
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    Got it @mth Thank you

  41. #20241
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Oh and beeteedubz...
    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Watch Shotzi's team gain advantage tonight...
    Good job, me.

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    Level 6 Laser Lotus Bert's Avatar
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  43. #20243
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Oh and beeteedubz...

    Good job, me.
    The heels may take it away again, possibly in the dreaded parking lot.

  44. #20244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    The heels may take it away again, possibly in the dreaded parking lot.
    Damn, if she wasn't dealing with a brutal injury this would be money:
    Io (to set up a title program) or Ember was taken out early so the advantage was gone but who saves the day? Tegan Nox.

  45. #20245
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    I'd mark out.

  46. #20246
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    I have to say, Shotzi Blackheart might be the worst character in all of WWE that is getting a push. I don't see one good quality about her. And NXT building their show around her is laughable.

  47. #20247
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurePlayer View Post
    I have to say, Shotzi Blackheart might be the worst character in all of WWE that is getting a push. I don't see one good quality about her. And NXT building their show around her is laughable.
    My son and I were trying to figure out her push as well. It's not like the women's division is lacking talent/stars. Maybe they're preparing for the loss of Rhea Ripley and possibly even Io Shirai in early 2021. But Shotzi is getting the royal treatment imo and I'm not sure why. I wasn't familiar with her at all until that Evolve show with the chairs spot. That was dope and she's been cool so far but not "let's have every ad and Takeover star Shotzi Blackheart"

  48. #20248
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    I appreciate the effort she puts in the ring even if she could dial it back a bit. Still don’t like her character though, seems a bit of a try hard to be different. I hate that howl and there are better women than her that deserve a push.

  49. #20249
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    I get Shotzi's not for everyone but I love her and think she's damn good. She can go in the ring but besides that, she has buttloads of personality (whether you dig it or not) and personifies the attitude of the brand. I can see people not being thrilled she's getting so much spotlight if they don't connect with her but I'm surprised people don't see why she's getting that spotlight despite that.

  50. #20250
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    I get Shotzi's not for everyone but I love her and think she's damn good. She can go in the ring but besides that, she has buttloads of personality (whether you dig it or not) and personifies the attitude of the brand. I can see people not being thrilled she's getting so much spotlight if they don't connect with her but I'm surprised people don't see why she's getting that spotlight despite that.
    I know they created a bit of a backstory behind her tank and maybe being UK and not being the biggest comic book fan it didn’t resonate me but regardless I still think she’s a bit overexposed and a bit annoying. Chaqu’an a son gout as the French would say or type that properly. Each to their own I mean.

    As BG said earlier, it’s a shame about Tegan as that’s a babyface story I could really get behind.

  51. #20251
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Alright, predictions!

    I reckon Ruff's gonna prove he's no joke and retain the NA Title. Gargano's Ghostface folks will try to help and keep Priest preoccupied so Ruff can capitalize.

    Seems highly likely Lumis beats Grimes but at the same time, Lumis won their Haunted House of Terror Match and has been having the upperhand a good chunk of the feud so I could maybe see Griemy pulling off a cheap tactics win somehow. I'll go with big Dex, though.

    Ciampa beats Thatcher. No question about this one.

    Women's WarGames I'll say the heels take it with Toni Storm getting the big pin to get set up as Io's next challenger.

    Men's WarGames seems like an obvious win for UE with their triumphant return to shut up McAfee & Co.. I'd like to see Dunne get the big win to get set up as Balor's next challenger but I can't see the heels winning both WarGames matches. And I could see Kross back to go after Balor while Dunne has to wait a bit longer, so yeah, I'll say the Era boys get the win.

  52. #20252
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    Ruff retains
    Lumis wins
    Ciampa wins
    Team Shotzi wins
    The Kings win

    Can't see heel/heel or face/face winning at WarGames so with Shotzi being so front and center with the advertising/marketing, I think they'll win and UE will be fine with a loss.

  53. #20253
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    My preferred option is for UE to lose and move to RAW.

  54. #20254
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    They need to do something to mix up NXT, getting away from calling folks up has ruined the charm of the product and made it particularly stale. UE, Gargano and Ciampa all need shifting to the main roster.

  55. #20255
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanny Batter View Post
    They need to do something to mix up NXT, getting away from calling folks up has ruined the charm of the product and made it particularly stale. UE, Gargano and Ciampa all need shifting to the main roster.
    I'm ok with Gargano sticking around as his heel run has freshened him up and made him one of the best things on the brand. Still need the Power Couple to actually hold both belts, imho. Agreed on UE and Ciampa, though. UE in particularly have really done all they can and could really use a change of scenery.

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    What's TCB? I know it's not Team Shotzi Blackheart.

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    Taking care of business is the one true meaning.

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  59. #20259
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    WWE is unrivaled when it comes to their video packages. Those packages really make the need to watch weekly less than necessary but the work they do to set the stage is phenomenal, with the lead-in to WarGames being no different. The WarGames setup into the CWC but it obviously looked great.

    The lighting was a little weird to get used it but I like how it made things a bit different. I didn't really like the fact the faces had the advantage here but it wasn't detrimental. I've said it once, I'll say it again: if it was evident before, it's quite clear Dakota/Raquel NEED to be the women's tag team champions. They're way too good together. It was also cool that we got more teasing between Raquel and Rhea squaring off. I'm down for more matchups between the two of them. Creative means to find a way to get an advantage back for the heels by keeping Io out as long as she was. It also made an opportunity for Io to have a baller entrance into the cages. The spots with the weapons for huge moves (which were pretty damn innovative) would easily be finishers but the saves helped increase the drama as it went along. Quite surprised at the actual finish and the fact Raquel was able to secure the win. That has to bode well for her future (clearly a title shot opportunity). Candice is a great seller or she hurt herself with the chair for the Shotzi spot. (Later confirmed that it's possibly a broken arm) Really fun match.

    Good cleanser choice with Thatcher/Ciampa after the opener. Ciampa has been really good (though the sample size is small) in using his real-life injury concerns to sell his pain in a match. Thatcher's matches are quite predictable but that doesn't take away from the fact that they're quite functional when it comes to telling a story within a match. He also can't go through a match now without hardway bleeding lol. Clever and subtle way to build to Ciampa hitting Willow's Bell. Stiff as hell of a match but it was a banger. Hard to see a direct path for what's next for either guy. My guess is that they actually decide to run it back. The stare down after the fact kind of sealed that thought for me. I'd sign up to see them in the Fight Pit.

    Lumis/Grimes was a bit better than I anticipated. Part of me just felt it really didn't need to be on Takeover but I get it. I thought it went a touch on the longer side but I think that allowed the character work for Grimes to come out. early on. I did like the spots they had with the strap and the callback to when Grimes tried to escape originally during the Blindfold Match. I did like the finish, though. If anything, this Takeover had a lot of good, creative spots that led to finishes.

    Oh boy...Kross is coming for Bálor and his title. That should be wildly entertaining. Kross can be brutal in the ring and Bálor will take a beating.

    Not sure why they felt they were up against it to where Priest couldn't get a proper entrance. Cool barricade spot by Priest on Ruff. Good comeback with him and the cutter he hit on Gargano looked beautiful. It's hard to find a bad triple threat match in WWE and this one delivered as well. Priest continues to look like a big deal when he's in the ring. He was all over the place and looked great when he was in control. It got a little silly with the Ghostfaces multiplying basically but it opened the door a semi-chaotic finish. It's a shame Ruff's run ended here but I'm interested to see where he goes now. I'm not sure why there needed to be multiple Ghostfaces but the reveal led to what I was expecting all along. Theory should get a nice rub from being associated with Gargano and that's going to make it where it's now going to be awfully hard to beat Gargano and take the title.

    As I said at the start, another lovely video package to lead into the main event. Very smart to set the tone with KOR/Dunne as they were going at it. That was a great grappling sequence. I do like how this overall match was framed differently than the women's one. This wasn't as reliant on the huge spots (which should not be taken as a knock towards the women). There was more storytelling involved in this match and it made sense because you had one true group that has been together for years and then one, while makeshift, has shown they're adept at working together. It sure as hell sounded like McAfee did NOT get help from the other seven guys when he did his dive. Yikers. You knew he was taking a bump or jumping off the cage though lol. Frenetic finish. Lorcan took the bullet meant for McAfee and then he ate the hell out of that chair for the finish. McAfee is now 0-2 against UE. Does he have another move left? What's next for UE?

    All in all, fun Takeover.
    Last edited by BGMaverick; December 6th, 2020 at 11:33 PM.

  60. #20260
    Temet Nosce Caito's Avatar
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    Was talking a bit with BG during the show, so he knows a bit about this. Same with Torn during the main event.


    I thought the women’s WarGames match was pretty tame for a good long while..... until Io jumped off with her Oscar the Grouch impression. They then all collectively decided to try to murder each other. After that, brutal. I’m not completely sold on Raquel in-ring wise.... but I think she is good enough to have a believable match with Io. Either that, or her match with Shotzi just didn’t gel well. Either way, her getting a pretty definitive victory over Io is a clear set up.

    I LOVED Thatcher and Ciampa. That’s the kind of wrestling I love, where so much of it is trading moves and holds and much less about punching you in the mouth. You’re not gonna get a ton of that in this age, so for it to pop up every once in a while is lovely. I agree with BG, they aren’t done. The post match staredown confirmed that for me.

    Cameron Grimes is the kind of heel that you want to see punches in the face repeatedly, so I guess matching him up with Lumis is a good fit for Dexter... cuz otherwise, nothing about Dexter really enthralls me. Curious to see where Dexter goes after this as this is probably the end of that feud. Was a good solid match.

    Couldn’t have given me a peak at Scarlett, could you NXT. Just a ticking clock... it’s cool. I’ll wait.

    I very much enjoyed the Triple Threat. Was hoping the belt would go back to Priest, wouldn’t have hated Ruff. The only concern I have with Johnny winning it back is do they run the “Gargano loses in his first defense” bit again. The multiple ghost faces was kinda meh, but I was cool with Theory being revealed as the main guy. And then I was sold and completely bought in as soon as the words “It was me. Austin. It was me all along!” were uttered. Love little shit like that. I do wonder where Ruff goes from here, or if he is done and maybe they try to involve him in the cruiserweight division.

    Men’s WarGames..... in the spirit of transparency, I am a Pat McAfee guy. I loved him in the NFL, followed him closer when he got to Barstool and started Heartland radio, and listen to his radio/YouTube show daily. I thought he crushed his first match.... but I expected a twist here. I thought instead of coming out last, he was gonna suddenly introduce another hired merc. Instead, he got in the ring and worked his ass off in there. Moonsaults thru tables. Bumps thru tables. Chair shots. A Swanton where he very clearly was not fully caught and landed lower back full force on the mat. Torn in our WhatsApp chat mentioned that he isn’t great at selling, but my god he can bump.

    All of those guys killed eachother, but it flowed. Instead of the women trying to murder eachother with spots, this was a bit more of a clear story as to how to get to where they got. I was hoping McAfees team would win, but I was convinced they weren’t as soon as Shotzi’s team lost..... but the McAfee kicked out of Panama Sunrise (which he also took as well as any pro wrestler I’ve ever seen). And I had hope. But then Lorcan was absolutely murdered. Oney taking the fall instead of Pat tells me Pat isn’t done with UE and Adam Cole, and I have to say, with his first two performances, I’m quite ok with it.

    Stings Squadron v Dangerous Alliance is my favorite all time WarGames match, but this was probably the best NXT one they’ve done yet.

    Another fantastic Takeover. NXT simply doesn’t miss on these shows.



    One last thing..... give me KOR v Pete Dunne in a main event for a title one day. North American maybe. Those two are brutal bastards with eachother and I love it.

  61. #20261
    Splashin' on Gin & Juice Sasori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurePlayer View Post
    I have to say, Shotzi Blackheart might be the worst character in all of WWE that is getting a push. I don't see one good quality about her. And NXT building their show around her is laughable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    My son and I were trying to figure out her push as well. It's not like the women's division is lacking talent/stars. Maybe they're preparing for the loss of Rhea Ripley and possibly even Io Shirai in early 2021. But Shotzi is getting the royal treatment imo and I'm not sure why. I wasn't familiar with her at all until that Evolve show with the chairs spot. That was dope and she's been cool so far but not "let's have every ad and Takeover star Shotzi Blackheart"
    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    I appreciate the effort she puts in the ring even if she could dial it back a bit. Still don’t like her character though, seems a bit of a try hard to be different. I hate that howl and there are better women than her that deserve a push.
    Glad I'm not the only one who's been confused with her push. Shotzi's decent in the ring, but it was like she got the rocket strapped to her back overnight.

  62. #20262
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Had to go to bed early 'cuz I had to get up early so I didn't put this up last night. Overall, damn good show.

    Women's WarGames was pretty solid. The flying trashcan from Io was not just the highlight of the match but possibly the highlight of the night, super funny and badass. As was said, match kind of just went along until that spot when things really started picking up and we got all the bonkers stuff. Big win for Raquel, they seem really high on her, and she is pretty good so I'm not too mad about it.

    Ciampa/Thatcher delivered exactly what you would have hoped for. Just a nasty-ass fight where they beat the shit out of each other and the bloody ear was a cherry on the Sunday.

    Lumis/Grimes was very good. I thought it was better than Lumis' previous strap match with Strong. Helps that Grimes has boatloads of personality while Strong has next to none. Some great bumps, creative spots and use of the strap and the environtment, love the clash of personalities between them, Grimey got to look crafty and wily and Lumis got to look unrelenting and beastly in victory. Really good stuff.

    NA Triple threat was very good. I am pretty bummed Ruff lost it as I am really becoming a fan and would have loved to see him put a big ol' full stop on the "I am not a joke" going into this but he definitely showed he could hang. Priest looked like a badass, as well, particularly when he started standing up to the Ghostface Army. I'm ok with Johnny winning because I bloody love him (please feud with Lumis next!)/ No surprise about Theory but I'd have been fine if I never saw him again, honestly. "It was me, Austin!" was kind of brilliant, though.

    I didn't really give too much of a shit about the Men's WarGames match, I'll admit, as I'm not particularly huge into anyone involved but I watched because everyone involved is good and it's WarGames and it was exactly what I expected it would be which was a very good war of a match with some bonkers-ass bumps and solid wrestling. My hat's off to McAfee for once again going all in and balls to the wall. I'd say this one might've gone on a big longer than needed if I had any real complaint, trying a little too hard to be an epic battle. Big win for KOR, as well, another guy they seem high on (sorry but I don't see it, dude can go in ring but has the personality of beige paint). Would be pleased if this was UE's swan song and they go out on top.

    Kross vignette is good to see him back in the mix and I'd be curious if he might bring out the Demon in Finn (would sure be better than this cat bullshit as of late).

    Already stoked for New Year's Evil.

  63. #20263
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Negatives out of the way first. I skipped Lumis v. Grimes and the NA triple threat matches. I have zero interest in those feuds and to be honest it makes NXT feel a little bit too Impact-ish for my liking. Probably because it wasn't that long ago Sam Shaw and Trevor Lee were watering down that show to what it is now. Also, was not a fan of Thatcher v. Ciampa. Another feud I just do not give a shit about. Especially Thatcher. I like the idea of that gimmick, but he's whack.

    Women's WG was cool. The Great Io Sasuke spot was dope. This match made me realize Rhea Ripley is ready for the main roster bump. Let's get her back at the same time Charlotte returns for a rematch at Mania. Overall a good match. The heels winning=smart. Every single heel out there has main event potential.

    Men's WG, I'm 50/50 about it. UE win again, meh. But I'm also not sold on "For The Brand" being a long term stable as I'd rather Pete be a babyface. The other 3 are easy to boo, shit I still boo UE lol. But Pete is the guy who I think could definitely be the man one day soon. Him v. Finn Balor would be awesome.

  64. #20264
    Once upon a time... kdestiny's Avatar
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    The Triple Threat is pretty good stuff despite the dumb Ghost Face stuff.

    I quite enjoyed the strap match a lot as well. Really nice story trekking by both of them.

  65. #20265
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdestiny View Post
    The Triple Threat is pretty good stuff despite the dumb Ghost Face stuff.

    I quite enjoyed the strap match a lot as well. Really nice story trekking by both of them.
    I have zero interest in both angles.

  66. #20266
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdestiny View Post
    The Triple Threat is pretty good stuff despite the dumb Ghost Face stuff.

    I quite enjoyed the strap match a lot as well. Really nice story trekking by both of them.
    X-Pac said it was probably the best strap match he's ever seen.

  67. #20267
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    X-Pac said it was probably the best strap match he's ever seen.
    X-Pac also said he was there when Hulk Hogan beat Iron Sheik, when Zbsyko broke Bruno's neck, when Flair beat Race in the cage, and he has smoked A LOT of meth, crack, and weed over the years.

  68. #20268
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Well at least he actually watched it.

  69. #20269
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Well at least he actually watched it.
    Good for him, I had better things to do. If I got paid to watch wrestling so I could talk about it on my show I might have as well but I've sat through enough Grimes/Lumis matches, both against each other and others, to know that they could be in there with Kevin Nash and I wouldn't watch it.

  70. #20270
    Once upon a time... kdestiny's Avatar
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    I wouldn't want to watch anyone with Kevin Nash either

  71. #20271
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdestiny View Post
    I wouldn't want to watch anyone with Kevin Nash either
    There's no "either" here. Nobody was saying they didn't want to see Nash work, I'm saying I don't want to watch Grimes/Lumis and I'm not on an island of my own.

  72. #20272
    Once upon a time... kdestiny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    There's no "either" here. Nobody was saying they didn't want to see Nash work, I'm saying I don't want to watch Grimes/Lumis and I'm not on an island of my own.
    I was making a joke there because of how much you like Nash. Ha ha.

  73. #20273
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Is Ember Moon injured? Go back and watch her performance especially the first 5 minutes. She is extremely sluggish and hesitant with her movement. Especially when there's that chain that ends with the senton. It's almost like you can see her trying to remember the transitions as she's doing them "Ok now I'm supposed to do this, and then I THINK I do this...Ok I know I'm supposed to do a senton so here I go!"

    90% of the women I have watched wrestle over the last 25 years have one serious flaw and that's hesitation. Japanese and Mexican women wrestlers do not seem to have this issue they just straight shoot on each other it seems. But that's a small % of women that I've seen wrestle. Everyone else even Charlotte Flair have that fear of hurting the other person and it causes a shit ton of botches.

  74. #20274
    Once upon a time... kdestiny's Avatar
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    I don't think she's injured. I thought there was a lot of clunky movement in the match but most of it from what I saw came from Shotzi.

    Moon did have an awkward kip up into what was supposed to be a head scissors early on, but nothing else really stuck out as far as botches from her.

    That Eclipse into the chair looked gnarly though.

  75. #20275
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    I haven't seen enough of Shotzi to really notice anything other than her just kind of being there lol. Ember though moved a lot faster in previous matches so I wasn't sure if she was trying to pace herself for the 30-40 minutes she was about to go through or if she came back a little too early. Or maybe she's just always been slow and Iw as reallllly high when I watched this so shit seems even slower....?

  76. #20276
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    By the way, listening to Jim Cornette come unhinged about this match is glorious. I love the guy, and a big part of why I love him is listening to his rants over the last 25 years. He won me over roasting WCW during those Raw segments. Looking back it's weird considering how big of a fan I am of Nash and Hall but he was hilarious.

    Just listening to him go ape shit about women's wrestling in general is hilarious but this match he was so fucking pissed. I can't say I disagree with his criticism of most wrestling but I do have to call him out on the fact that he's talking about doing stupid gimmick matches and it's not like any of his favorites were Lou Thesz types.

  77. #20277
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    ANNOUNCED:

    NXT Champion Finn Balor will kick off the show.

    Ember Moon vs. Raquel Gonzalez

    Tomasso Ciampa vs. Cameron Grimes

  78. #20278
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    Very tropey start to the episode, especially coming during a fallout episode, but I thought they navigated it well with the parade of interruptions for Bálor (thank goodness the cat talk is over). I would have liked if Priest called out the match he had with Bálor as a reason for coming back for more. Dunne, KOR were great in their roles and while the names might not be flashy, the talent at the top of the card for NXT look great. Bálor not being scared of Scarlett (who might be starting to dress more like Poppy now) was a good touch. Priest certainly set himself up for the beating he eventually got for what he said but I'm down for a Kross/Priest match.

    Atlas/Scott was a fresh, fun match for what it was. Good to see Scott took a break from podcasting to come back. Guess we're now headed towards an edgier Scott with the loss. Both guys had some fun moments in there and Atlas is working back towards a title shot for Escobar. If the story isn't forced, it should be alright.

    Good triple threat tag match but the memorable part was when Matthews of Ever-Rise literally slid off a pin attempt of Drake for no apparent reason lol. I kind of thought Ever-Rise was going to sneak out a win here but it makes sense for GYV to build momentum because they'll eventually be right in the thick of the title picture when Lorcan/Burch lose the titles.

    Good recap video of the brutality of War Games. If you put money on it, the safe bet was going to be that Fish was the person who needed surgery after the match. Sounded like a serious triceps injury for him. It feels like he's made of glass now, and that seriously puts a damper on whatever momentum UE was building towards.

    They usually use the route of taped promos and having Io speak Japanese but her English is quite good. Toni went the obvious but sensible route of being mad at Ember for stealing her thunder when they arrived at the previous Takeover. It wasn't exactly clean as to why Toni and Io were tussling but I didn't mind it. If that leads to a match, I'm fine with it. Seems like the obvious two major paths will be Ember/Toni and Io/Raquel. Two potentially fantastic feuds and still plenty of depth behind them.

    Really good showing by Grimes against Ciampa. The guy is extremely versatile for NXT. If you need silly comedy, he can do it. If you need a shitbag heel, he can do it. If you need a guy who can go, he can do it. He's versatile but they need to avoid the risk of making him a utility guy ala Ziggler. Ciampa proved to be the better man compared to Thatcher in this setting because he didn't allow the same distractions (even more with the student running in) that got Thatcher caught a few weeks back. Give me Ciampa/Thatcher in the Fight Pit at New Year's Evil. (Galaxy brain idea might lead to fortunate timing for the DRTTC to return and this your oddball pairing that wins it or just goes far enough to lead to another match ... in the Fight Pit.)

    My dark horse pick for the mystery person leading the punishment for Boa and Xia: Bill DeMott in drag. Either way, they're being built to be damn monsters when they show back up.

    I feel like Gargano was dancing like how HBK would dance if he was at his peak in 2020. So the Power Couple's family will be called The Way? Gargano got his way with a timely Mandalorian reference. I'm glad they addressed that Candice has a broken arm. The good thing appears to be that it won't take her off TV. She can still be impactful without wrestling. That's a testament to how far her character has come over the last year. Could have used an explanation as to why Theory found his way with Gargano after quitting, so hopefully that comes around. Kushida being a fill-in for Priest is an inspired choice with a recalibrated ceiling. Obviously it would have been cool to see Kushida go against Bálor but he clearly wasn't going to win that. If it's leading to Gargano, he's certainly got a shot.

    Indus Sher might not be a thing anymore but it's good that Bivens is back. Not sure about the prospects of him pairing with Rust being any more promising than Indus Sher but Bivens returning to NXT is a good thing.

    Good enough brawl between Dunne and Dain. That kind of took the wind out of the sails of Dain, getting an injury angle, returning with not much fanfare, and then taking an L right out of the gate in the revenge match. Feels like that was booked into a corner as you weren't going to have Dunne lose if he's a potential contender for the champ. Subtle nod by Dunne to use a punt kick to turn the tide after a distraction. Dain lost here but I could see Dain/Maverick ultimately getting the last laugh by taking the titles from Burch/Lorcan...which then opens the door for GYV.

    There's no way I'm going to check, but this feels like it was rare to see one woman main event back-to-back episodes of NXT. Kudos to Raquel for accomplishing that feat. Pretty fun template to work with for a match: Big hoss versus a smaller, athletic wrestler. Great leverage spot with a Tornado Suplex by Ember. Quite surprised but pleased that Raquel won clean. You could have had a surprise appearance by Dakota or Toni interfering but no...you push your monster and No. 1 contender. I approve. Rhea/Raquel will be a great thing in NXT as long as they don't go to the well with it too often. If they do go with them again, this is where I can see a distraction finish playing out, haha.

  79. #20279
    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    Opening did well to set up several things. Glad Balor dropped his dumb cat stuff. Scarlett raiding Lady Gaga's wardrobe was my thought. I liked Balor not sweating her arrival.

    Scott/Atlas was solid and I'm cool with Atlas' momentum continuing. Seems like a tease for a Scott heel turn which would be ok and a nice refresh for him, i suppose.

    Ever-Rise is really the only thing keeping me somewhat interested in the tag triangle feud because they actually have some personality. Can count on the others for solid wrestling, at least.

    Ciampa/Grimes was very good. As BG pointed out, Grimes can really do it all. Thatcher/Ciampa in the Fight Pit would be dope for NYE. No idea who this Rust guy is but he doesn't look particularly eye catching but I am glad to see Bivens back. I guess Indus Sher are done?

    Still not sure what the end game of this Xia/Boa stuff is but it's definitely keeping my interest.

    Not too fond of Theory but it seems his character has also become a bit of an idiot which could at least make him a bit more entertaining. Plus he's with one of the most entertaining things on the show with the Power Couple so it's alright. The no-look high-five stuff was pretty good. Glad Candace can stick around with the broken arm.

    Kushida filling in for Priest is cool (I thought maybe Lumis would step up). Priest/Kross as a filler before Kross likely moves on to Balor is fine with me.

    Good nasty fight between Dain/Dunne. I suspect Dain/Maverick will be getting a tag title shot soon.

    Damn good main event. Really liked how every time Moon got something going, Raquel stopped her momentum. Great clash of styles. Loved Raquel yanking Moon off the pillar, catching her, and lawn darting her into the post. Assumed Raquel was going to win but that powerbomb/roll-up counter from Moon near the end actually had me faked out for a second. Happy to have Raquel/Rhea II at NYE and dig that there's a lot of shit going on in the Women's scene with Toni/Moon/Io, etc., as well. Such a strong division.

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    Something I haven't noticed but noticed this time around: Rhea wore heels and she was toe-to-toe with Raquel. Sheesh.

    I would have marked the hell out (and I would have foolishly called this the greatest episode) if the opening segment was a tease with Dunne in the aspect he had the backstage interview and instead of Dain waiting for him...it was Tyler Bate. Outside of Devlin, Bate is the missing piece from this fleecing of NXT UK. Walter is the crown jewel and some like KLR and Niven would be fun, but Bate needs to be in NXT.

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    What’s happened to the Robert Stone brand lately? Did Ripley eat them?

    Title picture’s looking good and dumb Austin Theory has potential.

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    Robert Stone should manage Ever-Rise and maybe Cameron Grimes.

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    big ol' meathorse mth's Avatar
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    ANNOUNCED for this coming episode of NXT:

    Winner Faces Finn Balor at New Year's Evil for the NXT Championship
    Kyle O'Reilly vs. Pete Dunne

    Karrion Kross will be in action

    ADDED: Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm

    I also forgot to include: Ruff & Kushida vs. Gargano & Theory
    Last edited by mth; December 16th, 2020 at 11:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    ANNOUNCED for this coming episode of NXT:

    ADDED: Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm
    I believe there's been three matchups between these ladies on WWE TV and for some reason they just haven't quite hit that extra gear even with benefit of time. I think only one match, perhaps the Worlds Collide match, felt like it actually really underdelivered and produced a borderline so-so match. As I've said each time prior lol, based on age and already established upside, these two are arguably the two top cornerstone pieces (no worse than two of the top four) for the MAIN ROSTER so properly under the NXT umbrella, I'm hoping we get a banger here.

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    I'm blaming the pandemic for the mediocre episodes of NXT these days. When you have to sit through garbage like Ever-Rise it makes you appreciate stuff you thought really sucked like Damien Priest.

    Now it seems to be getting ready to get back to some really good matches and storylines. But when you have the Rockstar Spud/Killian Dane stuff or even Undisputed Era....At least it's Kyle but still. Part of me hopes they actually stay in NXT because the other 2 brands are struggling enough.

    I'm also not a fan of Kross. His woman is fire, but he is someone I literally do not understand any hype. Impact had a hard on for him as well. He doesn't have a great look, his promos are average, and his wrestling is nothing special at all. His finisher sucks, his catchphrase is lame. I'm not high on him being champion especially with Balor at the top. Another reason this pandemic shit is so lame, our boy Finn is doing some of his best work in front of 10 people.

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    Karrior Kross reminds me so much of people's try-hard dark and scary R-fed characters. Not saying I am anti-Kross necessary but it just clicked for me a couple days ago that he's absolutely everyone's teenage angst OC's made manifest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Karrior Kross reminds me so much of people's try-hard dark and scary R-fed characters. Not saying I am anti-Kross necessary but it just clicked for me a couple days ago that he's absolutely everyone's teenage angst OC's made manifest.
    100% agree. It's not that I hate the guy I just don't see what the promoters see. He definitely looks like someone I would have made when I was 18-19 playing Here Comes the Pain lol.

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    I'm willing to give the dude a fair shake as all I've seen of him is his NXT run thus far which has been pretty brief. I haven't seen anything pre-WWE but have heard good things primarily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    I'm willing to give the dude a fair shake as all I've seen of him is his NXT run thus far which has been pretty brief. I haven't seen anything pre-WWE but have heard good things primarily.
    I haven't been super impressed with what I've seen prior to NXT which wasn't much but it also doesn't help what I've seen of him in NXT. They don't just put nobodies in his position. You can 100% make an argument for Bo Dallas and Big E, the only 2 homegrown NXT champions (correct me if I'm wrong, neither man wrestled on the indies). Every other champion, they had a pretty solid following. So I'd like to believe that this man is going to finally hit that next level for me because he's got the tools, he just needs a few more tweaks and I think they'll be gold.

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    Doesn't help that his title match with Lee was cut short because he got hurt and the majority of his other NXT matches were squashes where he mostly went into Lesnar mode and just Doomsday suplexed people a few times and that's about it. The Ciampa match was alright but still pretty squashy and the one with Dijakovic was more about the story than the actual action so it's been hard to judge him thus far.

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    I don't like too many people in wrestling these days, but Karrion Kross makes me smile.

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    Jarring but pleasantly surprising to start a WWE program with a match. GO FIGURE! Scary spot with Ruff's dive where he clearly didn't have his footing. They did the best they could to protect him with the camera angles and then selling it. While Indie and Candice really didn't have in-ring chemistry at first glance, Theory and Gargano definitely did. The ATL was a decent enough finisher but it was generic. The Ataxia is a convoluted as hell flatliner but it looks awfully pretty haha.

    Rust looks like an American who spends too much time at Burning Man and loved NXT Neville. Regardless, he got a pretty significant amount of the match. Considering that, he was associated with Thatcher, and Bivens has been lurking around him, they must have some plans for him. Interesting note that commentary outlined that the attack Thatcher had on Grimes was going to have him taking no trips to the moon for at least 4-to-6 weeks. Sad. Still sold on the potential two paths for Ciampa/Thatcher: Dusty winners or Fight Pit foes.

    "This one is going to hurt for both guys." Well said, Barrett. He did a really nice job putting everything over during the battle. That KOR/Dunne match was tough as nails. Really great touch to have them locked on each other as the tag-team chaos ensued on the outside. Good callback to the liver shot from the Bálor match as Dunne went after that. These two just worked perfectly well together. Very little, if anything, to dislike with how these two worked through the match. If anything, they were just looking to exploit the little details to their advantage. Lovely match and I'm not mad at the fact that they can run back KOR/Bálor. It was class so I imagine the rematch is going to deliver. There's built-in animosity there for the champ. KOR coming for the title, Bálor coming for the receipt.

    Not much new to the torture porn this week. Maybe we get this culminating at New Year's Evil.

    Shotzi/Indi was the definition of a cool down match. Indi seems like she didn't really have much fluidity to her work. As a whole, the match was quite clunky in spots but it served its purpose.

    That hype video actually was welcomed because I kind of forgot Reed has been out of the picture for a while. Hopefully he's got a good story this time around because he certainly built a lot of momentum and equity heading into the chase for the NA championship.

    It makes way too much sense but oddly foreign to see someone like Kross return and starting back at the bottom and rushing back to the top. It makes sense because it allows him to look vicious and remind people how he can look gnarly in squashes. The test obviously comes in longer matches but it's good to get him back in the swing of things. Priest has been really great for several months so I'm interested to see how Kross can do at NYE.

    Ever-Rise got more rope to show some personality and it fits their characters. McKenzie actually trying to do her job but getting annoyed by them was a nice touch and helped all parties.

    Good questioning by Barrett. Lumis doesn't talk but he's somehow going to host NYE, ala Shotzi from Halloween Havoc. Should be interesting.

    Three straight weeks of the ladies main eventing NXT. Love it. Australia represent. I also like that they gave the main event purpose by allowing a video package to outline the history between Toni and Rhea and having the two of them spit fire at each other. I appreciate that they made the effort to explain that this is a storied yet still-evolving feud between the two of them. This was a pretty good match, but a commercial break hurt the momentum. Definitely a step in the right direction compared to the previous matches between these two. It still baffles me how Raquel is able to easily have her way physically with Rhea. This could be an instance where Rhea/Raquel square off again at NYE, Raquel gets the win, and then moves on to Io. At that point, it kind of feels like it needs to be Rhea's swan song in NXT.

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    Solid opening match. Shame about Ruff's bungled dive but glad it seemed like he's ok afterward. Love that cutter he does out of the corner. Theory's new finisher is ridiculous but I like it. Nice to see The Way have a name/entrance to solidify the group. Funny how there were actually a handful of other Ghostfaces at TakeOver that'll likely never come around again.

    Was quite surprised to see Rust given so much shine in the match with Ciampa as I was expecting a squash. Dude looks pretty generic, though. Being paired with Bivens would help make up for what seems like a pretty bland dude. Sad to hear Grimes will be out for a month-ish. I think BG's on to something with the options for Thatcher/Ciampa. Fight Pit's return would get my vote.

    Dunne/KOR was good and gave you what you probably expected going into it. The tug of war in the corner looks kind of stupid, though. Also, not keen that KOR's doing those dopey rebound in the ropes clotheslines like Ambrose used to use, they look stupid. Also, not thrilled that KOR won as he's boring AF in every way but in the ring and already had a title match but I guess he won the WarGames match so that momentum should carry forward...but Dunne is dope and seems primed for that main event spot at any moment.

    Surprised no one (like Ember) came to Shotzi's rescue.

    BIG BRONSON ENERGY. Hell yeah, looking forward to the return of the Colossal One.

    Kross squash was nothing new. Am looking forward to the match with Priest to see what the guy can do there, Priest's been killing it so it could be pretty good.

    I've gone from thinking Ever-Rise were bland-ass jobbers not worth my attention to starting to kind of dig them as they've been showing more personality and character lately (and more personality than half the tag division).

    Lumis hosting NYE is pretty intriguing. I guess he could do some live sketches to intro the matches? Very intriguing, though I'll admit I am a little bummed he won't be in action.

    Really good main event and when they could have easily had KOR/Dunne in that spot, I appreciate that the women are getting it on the regular. Definitely the best these two have done. I figured there'd be some shenanigans and am A-OK with what went down as more Rhea/Raquel is more than welcome and Toni stepping up to Io ain't bad, either.

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    Meltzer's WarGames Takeover Ratings:

    Women's WarGames: 3.5
    Ciampa vs. Thatcher: 3.75
    Lumis vs. Grimes: 3.25
    Gargano vs. Priest vs. Ruff: 3.25
    Men's WarGames: 4.75

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    Should be a good show this week...ANNOUNCED:

    Street Fight - NXT Tag Team Championships
    Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain

    Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai

    Jake Atlas vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott

    Bronson Reed returns

    A Very Gargano Christmas hosted by The Way

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    Early thoughts in bold:

    Quote Originally Posted by mth View Post
    Should be a good show this week...ANNOUNCED:

    Street Fight - NXT Tag Team Championships
    Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain

    Possible Breezango interference leading to more multi tag madness goodliness

    Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai

    Gonzalez strikes again further fuelling the showdown

    Jake Atlas vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott

    Should be good, maybe another loss for Scott to fuel frustration and maybe a turn?

    Bronson Reed returns

    Gotta be honest, forgot he was gone til you mentioned it. Nothing against him per se but so many and much more going on that can’t geek out.

    A Very Gargano Christmas hosted by The Way

    Laughs guaranteed!

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    Yeah, I'd suspect the street fight might see Breezango and Imperium show up and set up a fourway tag match for NYE. Totally on point on all the rest but I'm hyped for big Bronson and am stoked to see him back. Hoping he gets into something meaningful soon.

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    Stupidity in terms of thought process from the main roster trickled down to NXT. Why on earth are people tagging in and out during a Street Fight? Nice attempt at a save by Barrett when Dain basically hit the tables too far off by saying the tables are reinforced more in NXT. Kind of surprising that it played out where Lorcan and Burch retained. The story with Dain and Maverick has kind of fizzled with War Games being prepped but seeing them not cash in with a title win doesn't suggest things look promising for them.

    Enjoyed the special look at KOR/Bálor for NYE. Different look and I liked the serious tone to everything. I'm really looking for to that match.

    Swerve got a new look, new background for his entrance and it looked all quite specular. I like the story that's quickly developed in the sense that Scott has a false sense of entitlement and seeing Atlas get a second dose of momentum, ahead of Scott, has started to break him. These two are pretty smooth and unique in the ring so it was cool to see some fun, different stuff along the way. Don't necessarily hate the 50/50 booking here because you're trying to establish that they're evenly-matched competitors so the rubber match should be solid. Side note: Stallion was again mentioned as the top contender for Escobar. I'm not really sure why that is the case, and they need to make sure they build him up in anticipation of that.

    Rhea's look has really evolved since she had her initial makeover. She's really cranking up that intense demeanor. Probably could have had a more efficient way to provide the exposition for Raquel being banned from ringside but I appreciate the fact that they took the step to create that stipulation. The match between Rhea and Dakota was pretty solid. Rhea might have to do it more than she should but Rhea is quite solid with her selling. Of course, Raquel came out to the stage, testing the limits of the stip, but she looked menacing in street clothes. It's quite interesting how Toni/Rhea was the wired version of a rivalry in NXT UK but Raquel/Rhea is a truly inspired one for NXT. I like these two going at it. LWS at NYE should be quite interesting.

    Xia and Boa look ready to wreak havoc on NXT. Let's see where it goes.

    Man, Adonis looked like he could have been a thing with Scott when Swerve was in the CW picture but that clearly didn't happen, and he was chum for the returning Reed. I like the Tsunami name for the finisher. With a fresh cut, Reed looked like a hybrid of Joe and Akam from AOP. He looks different than most of the acts on NXT so hopefully he can gain some traction.

    The women's title picture is super, super confusing now haha. Toni has been chirping at Io, Raquel got the win over her at War Games, and Mercedes returned to attack the champ. Hey, Mercedes made more of an impact in one night than what Retribution has essentially done. Good for her to get out of there in a hurry with that. Anyway, the picture with the contenders is incredibly cloudy right now but I'm not mad that Io has three viable threats ready to go. Stacked division!

    I can't get over how hilarious the Gargano Christmas stuff was. So fantastic. My favorite parts:
    1. The Camcorder and The Way actually looking like a family
    2. Ghostface wreaths, Gargano figure on the top of the tree, Indi with a neck brace on her stocking
    3. Candice being so touched with the wheel from Shotzi's tank
    4. Theory settling into a doofus-in-training role
    5. Indi Wrestling (!!!)

    By getting the sneak win, it was oddly reassuring that 1-2-3 Ruff wasn't going to be an afterthought after it appeared that he would be by Thatcher's wildly adventurous promo earlier in the show. Good to see they'll make good with a straight up match between Gargano and Lee for the NA title next week. FIGHT PIT!!!!!! That's going to be brutal as hell and I'm here for it. Not thrilled to see Thatcher take a clean loss in anticipation of that but I'm sure that's not going to kill the build.

    Very simple but effective Priest promo. You don't always need bells or whistles to get someone over in a small sampling but this did the job. It was a nice and unexpected approach to have Priest suggest Kross may not be as tough as he appears due to sneak attacking him. Priest is going to get housed, of course, but I like that Priest isn't scared and he's ready to go to battle. Good retort by Kross and I'm interested to see how they work together.

    I like the early showings of the pairing of Rust and Bivens.

    It was interesting to see hear Dream needle Cole with the fact that the leadership has changed within UE. Cole almost smacked the shower cap off Dream's head. You can make a case Dream got that cheap shot because of that comment but also because Cole was tired of hearing him yap. The latter is the presented point because Cole said there isn't a leader in UE. When you see Cole/Dream as a Takeover championship match and then it dissolves into a random episodic match, that's speaking to the new state of NXT over the last year or so. It's certainly a retread factor that's going to have to be corrected.

    The match wasn't much of anything. If anything, it was just there to have the altercation between Dunne and Strong to create a match for next week. That match will be wonderful. Seemed like they kind of had to audible as Dream got the wind knocked out of him when he took the superkick on the outside. Seems like this should have been an instance where KOR had the match with Dream rather than Cole. Oh well.

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    Damn good episode.

    Dain not going through the table kind of took the wind out of the streetfight as he had to sell it like he did and it made it a bit anticlimactic going into the homestretch. Wonder if we'll ever see Dain finally dancing with Maverick to their theme music...?

    Great stuff between Scott/Atlas and figured it'd be Scott winning here to set up a rubber match and I am A-OK with that 'cuz these guys are good together.

    Rhea/Dakota was good, as expected, and the post-match stuff with Raquel was a classic approach that works. Cool way to reveal the LWS stip with Dexter and hell yeah, that match is gonna rule.

    Xia and Boa look like they're being prepped to absolutely tear through the damn roster when they get back and I am here for it. Wonder if/when they'll reveal the spooky lady that's running the show.

    Bronson with the big squash win is good. Eager to see him sink his teeth into something. Echoing BG's sentiments on Adonis, I was thinking we'd be seeing him and Scott maybe become a tag team and he'd be getting more NXT time/elevation but I guess not.

    MERCEDES IS BACK! YES! Marked out hard for her return, soon as she was outed from Retribution (thank the wrestling gods) I've been hoping to see her back in NXT as per the rumors. Hell yes. The women's division is so fucking stacked, I love it.

    Gargano Christmas was absolute gold as expected. No Way Jose reference, Indi Wrestling, Theory being a big dumb man-child, just so much terrific stuff.

    Very happy to see Ruff getting another win and that he ddidn't just drop back down to jobber status after losing the NA title. Nice way to do it, too, with Thatcher distracted by being overly focused on Ciampa. Fight Pit coming back is dope and this is an ideal pairing for it, should be brutal.

    Rust needs to grow a beard. His got the face of a guy that works in accounts payable. Other than that, he seems pretty alright and Bivens being with him only helps.

    Did not give a shit about the main event. Nothing at stake between two guys I don't care for with nothing eventful happening. Meh. Lackluster finish to an otherwise very good show.

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    It’s a shame No Way Jose isn’t still employed just for puns like that. Plus Indi Wrestling!

    Damn good show, not much more to add than what BG and mth have already said but I do wonder if Dream’s words affect Cole more than he shows and he ends up costing KOR this time around. Should be a damned good one regardless at NYE.

    Also intrigued how they’ll have Dexter host, maybe just have him keep drawing pictures.

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