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Thread: NXT TakeOver: War Games Review

  1. #1

    NXT Takeover Special NXT TakeOver: War Games Review

    NXT TakeOver: War Games
    November 18, 2017



    Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan
    First time seeing Sullivan and he looks like he carries refrigerators on his back in his spare time. I dig him though. There’s absolutely nothing flashy about him, he just destroys bitches. In fact, this really risked just being a glorified squash before Ohno made his comeback late in the match and added some nice drama of Ohno having more and more success with his strikes, even knocking Sullivan down. If there’s one negative for Sullivan, it’s that I’m not high on his finisher. The Freak Accident slam just seemed a little too generic and uneventful. I wouldn’t expect Sullivan to have anything too special, but even something like a Black Hole Slam would seem a bit more fitting. Sullivan wins, impresses me, and Ohno managed to look as good as humanly possible in a match that was barely more than a squash. I’m curious to see what Sullivan can do against bigger stars. *** ¼

    Aleister Black vs The Velveteen Dream
    First time seeing Velveteen in action. I’ve heard great things about this match, but I have no idea what to expect. Just going off of looks, I look at Velveteen and all I see is TNA Orlando Jordan, which automatically makes me assume that he will be shit. Velveteen revealing his Rick Rude-like tights was a great way to start the process of getting me on his side though. Velveteen reminds me of a damn child. Craving attention so much, not caring whether it’s positive or negative. Early on, it was all about just taunts from Dream, striving for that attention. Throughout virtually all of the match, Velveteen demands that Black say his name. When certain taunts don’t work, Dream even lowers himself to stealing Black’s taunts or spots to try and get attention. Yet, it never even works for him. In fact, if one of them seemed to be shaken by the mind games, it’s Dream after Black did one of Dream’s taunts. Dream has some great facial expressions and although perhaps a bit spotty, has a nice collection of fancy spots including a killer looking DDT that begins in the Sister Abigail position. Being spotty plays into Dream’s character of craving attention though. It’s a bit like RVD in that respect. The crowd support for Dream blew me away. I don’t know what his overness was like prior to this match, but he certainly left feeling like a star. With plenty of nearfalls and big strikes, it ends on a perfect note with a desperate Dream still trying to demand attention from Black, only to be silenced with Black Mass to give Aleister the victory. This ended up being WAY better than I imagined it would be on paper. I’m really curious if Dream can continue this level of performance against others or if this is an one time deal with him being this good. **** ¼

    After the match, Black, sitting down on the mat, gets on the mic and utters, “Enjoy infamy… Velveteen Dream.” What an amazing way to cap off that program. Dream failed at demanding attention, but he got the attention by earning it out of respect. Fuck it, I’m adding a quarter star to my above rating, bumping it up from just four stars.

    Ember Moon vs Peyton Royce vs Nikki Cross vs Kairi Sane - NXT Women’s Title
    Time to decide who is the NXT Women’s Champion now that Asuka is gone. First time seeing Sane in action. What I’m curious about with this match is whether it can feel like a big deal or if it will just feel like a midcard women’s match filled with women who weren’t good enough to beat Asuka (Minus Sane), and now are just potentially winning the belt now that she’s gone. Well, I don’t feel as if it felt like a lesser match just because Asuka wasn’t in it, so that was good. I really liked Cross’ aggression, Ember and Royce had a few nice looking moves, and Sane’s elbow drop is a thing of beauty. I did find the repetitiveness in the second half to be a bit tiring. Someone hits a big move capable of ending the match, but the one receiving the move rolls out of the ring, allowing for a third woman to enter the ring, repeat. I didn’t see enough of Sane to form any real opinion, which was a little disappointing. There was certainly nonstop action, even on the outside, making for a fun experience. Ultimately, it was Ember hitting the Eclipse on both Cross and Royce, pinning Cross in the process to become the NEW NXT Women’s Champion. A good enough match to start a new era for the NXT Women’s Title. Now it’s up to Ember to be a worthy champion post-Asuka. ***

    Drew McIntyre © vs Andrade Almas w/Zelina Vega - NXT Title
    Ugh. Right away, I’m not impressed at all with Almas being in a title match at a TakeOver. The fact that I’ve never been high on Almas/La Sombra undoubtedly played a role in my disinterest in this one. On the plus time, with this being the first time I’ve seen Vega in NXT, I was impressed. She’s a great valet, constantly screaming for her man and interfering whenever she can. The highlight of the entire match was just the struggle to get the best of McIntyre due to his size. The best moment in this story being Vega hitting a nice looking headscissors on McIntyre on the outside, behind the ref’s back, but McIntyre completely noselling it, just hanging onto Vega and tossing her back onto the apron. Almas had similar “Success” against McIntyre including resulting in a McIntyre inverted Alabama Slam. I did lose interest the longer the match went on as it just became a matter of a big move, nearfall, kick out, another big move, so on. I don’t know, the fans seemed to be eating everything up, so good for the wrestlers involved in the match. The finish saw McIntyre miss a Claymore Kick in the corner, allowing Almas to hit a Hammerlock DDT, which McIntyre sold beautifully with some hang time before being dropped on his head to crown a NEW NXT Champion. The worst part of Almas winning the title is that I just can’t hope that he loses the belt at TakeOver: Philadelphia since that just means Johnny Gargano will be champion. My interest in the NXT Title picture has never been lower. A good enough match thanks to McIntyre and Vega though. ***

    War Games
    I tried. I HONESTLY tried to just look at it as its own match and not compare it to other War Games matches. If you will, consider this a #WarGames match instead of a War Games match. Even then, I was left rather underwhelmed. There were two great sequences of the match. The arrival of Authors of Pain to destroy Eric Young and Undisputed, partially with Strong’s help and then the arrival of Sanity, bringing in the weapons for a nice surprise. Other than that? Ehhh. The opening segment of Young vs Cole vs Strong was uneventful, but it’s the first segment of War Games. You don’t have any real expectations for it. As long as it’s botch free and you’re not falling asleep, it’s serving its purpose. The arrival of Undisputed was really underwhelming. While the other two teams had ideas of how to spice up the match, reDRagon’s idea was just to get into the cage and stomp on people. Once the Match Beyond began and the fun of Sanity’s weapon uses ended, it was just a series of big spots followed up by some lying around the match until the next spot could be setup. I wanted to see a story, but I didn’t get one. It seemed as if they were trying to establish Cole and Strong as epic rivals, but then they were involved in maybe two spots together? Even the awesomeness of the AoP quieted down once the Match Beyond began. After seeing a few crazy moves, the match ends after Cole knees a chair in Young’s face? Really? That’s it? Just a chair in the face after several big moves? As I mentioned though, I liked some of the entrances with AOP/Strong and Sanity. In addition, the match certainly felt like it was a big deal. If NXT does do another War Games match, I hope that they find a way to add more of a story to it. Regardless, this is one of the weakest NXT TakeOver main events for me. *** ¼

    Overall
    As far as I’m concerned, this event should be called NXT TakeOver: Say My Name. That Black/Velveteen match was shockingly great and told an even better story. As I said at the start of the review, I didn’t know what to expect from Velveteen, but just going off of looks, I was expecting someone the “Talent” of Orlando Jordan. Instead, he put on this great performance that was also the best I’ve seen Tommy End/Aleister Black look in the WWE. I would have to assume that it was one of my highest rated NXT TakeOver matches. Unfortunately, this TakeOver is not named after that match. It’s instead named after the main event. Although there were certainly fun moments in the main event and just being a new gimmick match for NXT, it’s historic, it ultimately fell short for me and generally felt like a bout filled with mindless fighting until the end due to the thin story. The NXT Title match was also not geared towards me due to it featuring one of my least favorite NXT talents. The opening match with Ohno/Sullivan was fun though, despite its limited time. Besides the introduction of NXT’s War Games, this show also has the historic significance of the crowning of two new champions. Like all TakeOvers, it wasn’t bad at all, but I wasn’t nearly as high on the show as everyone else.

  2. #2
    Sweet Meat

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: War Games Review

    I rate almost everything higher, but i will say I love the idea of Lars using a black hole slam.

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  3. #3
    FUCK FACE

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: War Games Review

    It's a point a haven't seen raised against Lars before, but I 100% agree, his finish just doesn't have the right exclamation mark to it to end these dominant matches. Not impressive at all.

    I don't know whether to be impressed by how much you enjoyed Black/Dream without watching the build (my MOTN) or disappointed at how you rated the two other matches I loved on this show. I think this is the first time anyone had seen Dream in some kind of prolonged match and it really felt like a star making performance by him. I don't know what happened do him after the first few tapings post WarGames, but I hope his long absence from the show means the momentum from this night has been lost.

    Almas/McIntyre was my favourite NXT title match of the year, without Bobby Roode they could go all out in the action and give a spotty kind of match that the crowd enjoyed and weren't bored by - why is big move, nearfall, big move, kick out, finisher, kickout such a sin in this match but it's something you loved about Cena Vs Styles from the rumble? Good job on pointing out how great Vega is though, maybe that'll turn you around on Almas because it's what helped turn the NXT fans around on Almas too; McIntyre placing her rana attempt back on the steps was such an awesome moment. Your review here reminds me that you haven't seen Brooklyn III yet with the great Gargano/Almas match that you'll probably give 2 stars to.

    I knew before I clicked this thread that you wouldn't of like the new wargames; I agree the opening was dry, but once AOP entered the match it really stepped up for me and I loved the carnage. You missed out that Wolfe probably had his breakout NXT moment by taking that table bump, receiving a nasty gash but still wanting to fight on all bloody and disoriented.

    We're on the same wavelength on the women. I thought it was the weakest title match in years and I hated Ember Moon winning that way after two defeats to Asuka and Asuka just entering the ring to give her the belt in a reminder that 'hey you weren't good enough to beat me, but now I'm gone you can have some success'. All it needed was a pat on the head and a good job little girl from Asuka to complete the vibe. They should of just made the match Ember Vs Nikki/Royce if they wanted Ember to be the champion or Hojo Vs Nikki/Royce if the bigger focus was we need to do something with this MYC winner. Kairi already doesn't feel as special so they probably should of gone down the route of making her the champ on this night.

  4. #4

    Re: NXT TakeOver: War Games Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Almas/McIntyre was my favourite NXT title match of the year, without Bobby Roode they could go all out in the action and give a spotty kind of match that the crowd enjoyed and weren't bored by - why is big move, nearfall, big move, kick out, finisher, kickout such a sin in this match but it's something you loved about Cena Vs Styles from the rumble?
    Well, one felt like a giant Wrestlemania like match where I was completely invested in everything done and the other was just some random NXT match where I was never too into it. You're right, they both relied on big move, cover, kick out, repeat, but I was going crazy in the Cena/Styles match, believing that any moment could be the finish, while I wasn't in the Almas/McIntyre match

    Your review here reminds me that you haven't seen Brooklyn III yet with the great Gargano/Almas match that you'll probably give 2 stars to.
    Sure I have. It's been on the site for over two months.

    Spoiler: it's the highest rating I've given an Almas match.

    We're on the same wavelength on the women. I thought it was the weakest title match in years and I hated Ember Moon winning that way after two defeats to Asuka and Asuka just entering the ring to give her the belt in a reminder that 'hey you weren't good enough to beat me, but now I'm gone you can have some success'. All it needed was a pat on the head and a good job little girl from Asuka to complete the vibe. They should of just made the match Ember Vs Nikki/Royce if they wanted Ember to be the champion or Hojo Vs Nikki/Royce if the bigger focus was we need to do something with this MYC winner. Kairi already doesn't feel as special so they probably should of gone down the route of making her the champ on this night.
    Aww man, I was really hoping that Asuka was just going to be a dick and lay Ember out in Asuka's NXT farewell.

    Moon seems like someone that NXT is REALLY behind, but it feels a little forced. The booking seems odd though. They want to push her to the moon (HA!), but then they failed to pull the trigger properly by having her be the one to beat Asuka. But then maybe they were afraid of backlash? At the same time, Ember feels a little like Lex Luger in 1991 where she finally won the title, but it wasn't against her version of Ric Flair. Maybe it would have been better to give the belt to someone else and build up Moon beating that woman? Idk

  5. #5
    Sweet Meat

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: War Games Review

    Ember's booking and character development has been fairly lacking, but I highly recommend everyone check out the 10+ minute mini doc/video package on NXT last week (the best of show). Its at the end of the show and does wonders for her. Something we've needed for awhile.

    Spoiler:

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: War Games Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Sure I have. It's been on the site for over two months.

    Spoiler: it's the highest rating I've given an Almas match.
    Whoops.

    I can't keep up with your scattered approach to viewing these shows. What Takeover's do you have left?

    Moon seems like someone that NXT is REALLY behind, but it feels a little forced. The booking seems odd though. They want to push her to the moon (HA!), but then they failed to pull the trigger properly by having her be the one to beat Asuka. But then maybe they were afraid of backlash? At the same time, Ember feels a little like Lex Luger in 1991 where she finally won the title, but it wasn't against her version of Ric Flair. Maybe it would have been better to give the belt to someone else and build up Moon beating that woman? Idk
    Ember has been forced. Not in a Roman Reigns sense where she wins everything and is meant to be the best in the division, but because she just always seemed to be in that #1 contenders spot even though her matches weren't all that and she sucked on the mic, and when people speculated who was gonna beat Asuka finally, fingers were pointing to moon and dreading what was coming. Her loss to Asuka at Brooklyn III is where I turned a corner on her and I thought she really gained a lot of support that night and I was into the idea of her chasing for the title again. I just think they haven't executed the title switch very well and it's obvious they care more about protecting Asuka's undefeated streak more than anything else in their NXT canon.

  7. #7

    Re: NXT TakeOver: War Games Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Whoops.

    I can't keep up with your scattered approach to viewing these shows. What Takeover's do you have left?

    Uhh

    NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II
    NXT TakeOver: Orlando

    ?

    Until Philly happens in a few weeks.

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