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Thread: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans - April 7, 2018 - Card & Discussion

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans - April 7, 2018 - Card & Discussion

    Why did you skip the women's match?

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans - April 7, 2018 - Card & Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Why did you skip the women's match?
    I watched the event with one of my friends and due to time restraints...we skipped that match. We used that time to smoke. Hes also not big on womens wrestling.
    Here fishy fishy fishy.......

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans - April 7, 2018 - Card & Discussion

    I don't really watch much women's wrestling either. Never really does it for me. and I smoke too indyfan so lets be friends.

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans - April 7, 2018 - Card & Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Why did you skip the women's match?
    Yeah! Should of skipped the Gargano match instead!

    Smoking during the women’s matches reminds me of watching NXT in 2012 with Nash

  5. #305

    Re: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans - April 7, 2018 - Card & Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Yeah! Should of skipped the Gargano match instead!
    Eh, no need to skip the entire match. It was long enough that you could have just skipped half of it and not missed anything.

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    Re: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans - April 7, 2018 - Card & Discussion

    Sup.

    I had to duck out halfway through the show because 22 hours of airline travel snapped on me like a rat trap and I needed some sleep. Then I was busy and overworked and barely had time for anything. So here I am, a month later. Why be late when I can be fashionably late, right? Behold, my thoughts where I either pick or fawn at unnecessary details and shit on Roderick Strong, as is tradition.

    - Six-man Ladder Match for the North American Title: Man that's a shit name for NXT's midcard strap. I would've liked there to be some sort of meaning or quirk applied to the belt instead of making it feel like any other midcard belt. A 15-minute time limit like FCW used to have, or something similar, would make it stand out and give it it's own meaning. Instead it’s just another vague area-based name that won’t really matter so we could’ve called it the Antarctica Championship for all the name means right now. But since it's NXT, and given that it's the United States title with a slightly expanded border, I can at least trust there there won't be any 'hi I'm not from here but I've won this title with America's name on it, please boo me and my cultural customs while I shit on Podunk, USA' angles.

    Oh man this review just started after a month of nothing and my first thought is about something as trivial as the name of a new midcard title for the development brand. Off to a grand start. On to a more worthy paragraph: The ladder match was balls-out fucking brilliant. Like, a six-year old in a ballpit fun. Rarely a dull moment, filled with fun spots and segments that suited every character, from one of Ricochet’s first moves being a moonsault from a falling ladder – and really that says pretty much all you need to know about Ricochet - to Lars Sullivan and Killian Dain trying to outhoss each other, complete with multiple dramatic staredowns that keep getting comically interrupted by some undersized dweeb stumbling into frame and getting hoss’d to death by the two out of anger. This also includes some ‘Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better’ situations, from seeing how far they individually can throw Ricochet, to Killian attempting to one-up Lars’s ladder-breaking spot. There’s some serious UST between these two guys and if they ever decide to team together for TEAM HOSS then we might as well start mourning the passing of the tag division. EC3 also stands out with a solid mix of 2006-era midcard finishers being used as freely as possible and some nice but overlooked ladder spots, and Velveteen Dream, already a star with his customised tights featuring everyone else’s faces crossed out with a New Orleans flair, pretty much has the spot of the match with single Purple Rainmaker elbow drops on everyone, one by one, each higher than the last, all of which somehow paled in comparison to his Cartwheel Driver on a suspended ladder. The sheer balls on the guy to do that without shitting himself. Per usual Velveteen outshone himself, and if a NXT midcard was made for anyone, it was made for him. But true to his typical performance, Adam Cole was also there, stood out the least, and won.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, I would've preferred someone else to win. It seemed like a waste for EC3 & Ricochet's NXT in-ring debuts to be threateningly overshadowed in a funfest six-way ladder match without any reward for it, but then again I also have an issue with people debuting and immediately winning a title with no build-up so nuts to this point I guess. I mean, yeah, EC3 had that thing with Regal, but that barely qualifies. And there's the same problem I had with the MITB last year - the GM plucks a handful of names out of the air and boom, there's our match. Never mind the fact that two of said names literally just got here, would it really be too troubling just to have some qualifying matches? Don't lump in a random assortment of midcarders and two new signees, make them work for it. Anyway, back to the winner, Adam Cole's appeal continues to escape me, he was the least interesting guy in the match, he was Number Seven on my List of Dudes Who Should Win This Six-Man Match, and his catchphrase is still irritatingly offputting, but all that being said, not a bad decision, regardless of the winner, fun as hell match.

    - NXT Women's Match: Ember Moon (c) vs Shayna Baszler: Why does Shanya Bazsler’s theme start with mechanical horses getting ripped apart and pulled back together. I don't know what it MEANS.

    Going in, I didn't have high hopes for this. Their previous encounter was... fine, really, just fine, if a bit forgettable. The good news is right from the bell, the two immediately set off to make this encounter unique, as a furiously eager Ember immediately goes for a kick upon the bell ringing, only to be floored by a dismissive right hook by Shanya. I laughed, I wasn’t expecting that to open it up. Anyway, it’s all about DA HATE, and the two damn well act like it. Which leads into probably one of my favourite spots of the entire Moon/Baszler feud: So, previously, Shanya crushed Ember’s arm with that set-up stomp that I can’t watch without feeling queasy, and attempts it again here, but instead Ember turns the tables and instead crushes Shayna's arm, returning the favour with interest. It's a well-acted moment of a babyface stooping to a bully heel's level for revenge, and I don’t think anyone will argue no-one can argue she wasn't justified. From that point onwards, Shanya does some fantastic selling of the arm – which probably is less ‘selling’ and more ‘holy shit my arm just got crushed like a cerematic bowl in a hydraulic press, oh god oh god oh god oh god’ – and later leads to another well-acted spot, in that she smashes her own shoulder against one of the ring posts to pop it back into place. It’s a great show of resilience for Shanya, but unfortunately the commentary is slow to pick up what she’s putting down, so to say which kinda puts a damper on it. The arm even plays in to the finish unexpectedly – as Shanya is forced to improvise her Coqina Clutch with her hair to grip Ember in instead of her hurt arm, choking her out that way for the well-earned W. That's fantastic creativity. It's very well done, acted very well by Shanya, and a nice creative twist on the usual 'babyface fighting back from an injured limb' story. It's not the most perfect of matches, but I'm certainly more positive towards it than the previous Moon/Baszler encounter purely due to the storytelling and character work. Really, this made me like Shayna Baszler more, whereas previously I was just indifferent to her. Surprisingly good match.

    Although, there's a spot somewhere in the middle where Ember nails an Eclipse from the second rope to the outside, which I'm surprised didn't instantly shatter her tailbone into splinters, but also didn't effect the match too much. Shanya's able to climb back into the ring before the ten count under her own power and further kick out of a pin attempt, so Ember’s fury-driven super-edition of her finisher got reduced to a nine-count rest spot. Seemed a bit pointless, really.

    - NXT Tag Team Championships: Undisputed Era (c) vs Authors of Pain vs Pete Dunne & Roderick Strong: Man do I have words. Feel free to skip to the TL;DR.

    Okay, so, the Dusty Classic is back, slightly late but better late than never, right. Unlike the previous Dusty Classics, instead of sixteen teams, this was only eight teams. Not bad, keep it small and simple, sure. Secondly, all tag teams in this year's tournament were previously established tag teams, even if they were total jobbers such as Moss/Sabbatelli, to contrast the previous years rare matches where a few teams were singles competitors thrown together for the sake of numbers, none of which were expected to go far. And this year, that was all well and good, less wasting time with those thrown-together teams everyone knew were only there to fill numbers, right. Until Tyler Bate hurt his knee and Moustache Mountain had to pull out. Unfortunate, so what was NXT to do? Give a jobber team two minutes of screentime before being knocked out? That sounds nice, the Ealy Brothers are still hanging around, the Forgotten Sons have caused a stir on the live event route, I sure wouldn't mind seeing the Metro Brothers return once more, and it's not unheard of for the tag champions themselves to participate in the Dusty Classic as it was the original tournament, featuring my heartthrobs The Vaudevillains competing in it whilst champions, so, y’know, there’s options. But, no, that's not how things went. Roderick Strong (of whom I try really hard to like, genuinely, but godamn he makes it difficult whenever he does something other than wrestle) cut a dry and emotionless promo on Twitter, asking (really, demanding, the dork claimed Regal owed him this for goodness's sake) for a shot in this and, bafflingly, despite actual tag team options being available for, y'know, a TAG TEAM tournament, and Roddy having no tag partner at the time because he talks like a llama with influenza, William Regal obliged. Like, dude. You're better than this, Regal. Use that noggin. Bah. Anyway, for some reason Regal says yes, and for some other reason he also gives Roddy the chance to pick his own partner. Damn, bend over a bit more for the guy, Regal, it’s not quite easy enough for him. Anyway, Roddy chooses Pete Dunne as his partner, because the two had a good match together and had one (1) segment where Pete called Adam Cole a dork, and since Roddy’s a sad loser with the social skills of a deflated cactus that’s enough for him to consider Pete to be his best friend. The two worked great together during the tournament, and I started to kinda sorta forgive the stretch of it all, and began enjoying Team StrongDunne. I wish the road to here went by a little easier, but whatever, so far so good. So positive so far, right? Yeah, give me another paragraph.

    So, the match itself: With the best part of the Era, Bobby Fish, hurting his knee, Adam Cole is forced to perform double-duty. So already I'm dreading having to suffer through more inopportune 'hey guys isn't my catchphrase cool, it's my own name + baby, watch me slow the action to a crawl to say it a bunch of times' work. Thankfully Adam Cole is quickly reduced to a non-factor, as Authors of Pain toss him through an announce table within the first two minutes, and I'm spared from any such catchphrases. Thank goodness. This leaves Kyle O'Rielly to fight alone, and the dude fucking shines, able to go solo against two other teams who want him dead for a handful of moments. Seriously, that triangle choke on Roddy/ankle lock on AoP #1 at the same time is fantastic. Add in the fake-out hulking up before collapsing in exhaustion spots, and Kyle O'Reilly has shot up on my list of 'cool dudes.' Everyone performs at double-speed, aside from Adam Cole who performs dead, and it makes for a very fast-paced, fun nailbiter of a unique match. I dig this! I like this! This is too good to be true, so-

    THEN WE GET TO THE FINISH, which deserves its own paragraph because of how illogical and offputting it is. Roddy 'Charisma of a Brick Wall' Strong, after teaming cordially with Pete Dunne for the entire tournament, throwing hands with Undisputed Era at every turn, and literally seconds before he and Pete would win the tag belts and the Dusty Classic Trophy, turns on Pete, stops what would've been a winning pinfall, and instead nails Pete Dunne with a End of Heartache and drags Kyle O'Reilly's body onto him. This is after previously rejecting Adam Cole's offer to join them a few months ago, and subsequently feuding with them for a month or so, now turning on one of his only willing allies, to join the group. He forcibly takes Adam Cole's UE armband and puts it on his own, signalling that he’s part of the group now, and based on the reasons of Cole & O'Reilly, neither dude knew about this, this was entirely of Roddy's own volition, no-one saw it coming, what what! Which makes it fucking stupid. Read it again. After battling the Era for months, Roddy spends the entire match co-operating with Dunne and trying to beat O’Reilly/AoP, then seconds before he and Dunne win it he randomly turns on his partner with zero foreshadowing or build-up to join up with the guys who routinely kicked his shit in for fun and profit. It’s a shock twist for the sake of a shock twist to turn him heel. It wouldn’t be out of order in peak WCW. Now, I understand that in all likelihood, douchebag heel Roddy Strong will probably be twice the character Robotic Face Roddy Strong was – even if 2 x 1 is still only 2 - and they had to get there at some point. But this, this was just ridiculous, and not in the good way. The plot bends over backwards to get Roddy into this match with zero authenticity, and looking back on it why would Pete Dunne even speak up to defend Roddy against the Era when his entire character up until then had been a finger-snapping selfish dick who cares not for allies. If Roddy’s intention was to join the Era, why would he spend the match kicking AoP/O’Reilly to shit and trying pin them multiple times? Look, if you want him to turn heel, why not have Strong turn at the START of the match? After Cole's been destroyed by the tables, Strong then ditches Dunne and tags with O'Reilly before any actual tags are made. Gives us a Cole double-duty fakeout, Dunne fighting from underneath in a face position, and we can get the idea of Strong turning heel after the Era approached him post-Fish injury, and coaxed him onto their side instead of this out-of-nowhere random turn literally right before he and Dunne would've won the match. Did I mention this was for the Dusty Classic Tag Trophy too? Because it was, as if the story wasn't enough of a clusterfuck as it was.

    TL;DR: To summarise, the winners of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is a team that didn't participate in the tournament, and only won due to a dude on the opposing team randomly turning on his own partner, of whom he had a friendly and cordial relationship with, right before he was about the win the match, to join up with the three dudes who had been routinely shitting on him for months, with zero foreshadowing or even hints of tension between Roddy & Pete or zero indication that him & Undisputed Era were at any point on non-hostile grounds. Look, I love NXT, and even looking aside my own at times irrational dislike for Roderick Strong, that's fucking stupid. That’s such a stretch of logic it hurts. That’s so big of a stretch it can fist itself without straining. On one hand, I'm looking forward to the inevitable 'hey here's why I'm suddenly a douche' promo trying to explain this, but then again, said promo will invariably be presented by 'Secretly Robot' Roderick Strong himself, which only adds to my despair. No winning here. Fun match, illogical stupid twist ending puts a damper on it. What a waste of the Dusty Classic.

    - NXT Championship match: Andrade Almas (c) vs Aleister Black: I just wrote three paragraphs about Human Brick Roddy Strong so I’m going to have to dial it back because I’m tired as heck.

    Lovely match. Though I’m starting to feel like Andrade’s finishers are all weak as heck – the double knee corner, the hammerlock DDT, and the double knee on the ring-post, it feels like by that point Aleister’s brains should’ve been a fine paste and when he tried to kick out his signals got mixed and instead his ears twitched with enthusiasm, but eh, whatev. I love how the same reason Andrade Almas was saved from purgatory, the same reason he smartened up and stopped wasting his potential, the same reason he won the NXT title and retained it, Zelina Vega, was the same reason why he lost it too. And not just due to a simple trick of hers backfiring, I mean yeah it backfired but not just because of Black being on the up-and-up, no watch the finish again – Zelina’s about to jump off the turnbuckle into Black, but Andrade is so focused that he inadvertedly pushes Black out of the way, catching Zelina in his arms and leaving himself unable to block Black Mass. Yeah Aleister ducks, but without Andrade pushing forward to try and throw hands at Black, Zelina would’ve just gone splat on the mat and the match would’ve continued. It’s not just Aleister Black ducking away, it’s Andrade being so steadfastly focused on beating Aleister Black that doesn’t even notice Zelina setting up for a shot and he accidentally pushes him completely out of her path and walks into the line of fire. Zelina’s underhand trick worked, but on the wrong guy, and it landed on the wrong guy due to her own teachings of him to become a more focused opponent. For a feud that admittedly came off as ‘ehhhh’ most of the time, it ended on a fantastic match with a fantastic finish that was the tail end of almost a year’s work of character development for Andrade.

    - Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa: Like, two years in the making. I got chills, man.

    Okay so first off how fitting is it that Tommaso’s music is absolutely nothing, so we can all hear the volume of the entire arena shitting on the guy? Good call. Also a good call: The first pin attempt in the match after a solid ten or so minutes of brawling and fucking each other up is broken with a one-count. We’re in for the long haul, nice. Not as much of a good call is the random yet obvious crutch plant, I’m surprised they didn’t just go with Tommaso dragging his own crutch out when he entered. Speaking of Tommaso, holy shit the balls of the guy to take a powerbomb on concrete. Fuuuuck that noise. With the beating Ciampa took I wouldn’t be surprised if he had to quietly go back in the injured list for a bit just to recover. What a fucking brawl. A+ Plus to both dudes nailing their individual parts of DIY’s finisher on each other, showing that they’re still connected though DIY despite that team being dead and gone.

    And I loved the ending so much I gave it it’s own paragraph. You remember back in the Cruiserweight Classic at the end of Ciampa/Gargano, Ciampa lowers the kneepad to utterly shatter Gargano into oblivion, but having grown fond of his DIY partner he has second thoughts, ultimately letting his guard down and leading to his defeat, before sitting down next to Gargano and embracing him to say 'no hard feelings'? It’s played with here. Gargano has Ciampa on the defensive, and is about to bludgeon him into paste with the crutch… but he stops. Ciampa is defenseless, Gargano has the advantage, and in his hands is Ciampa’s own tool of destruction, but he doesn’t attack, as much as he clearly wants to. Instead, he sets the crutch down, and sits beside his stranger-turned-friend-turned-enemy, and offers mercy. Offers forgiveness. Offers redemption. For the briefest of moments, through Johnny Gargano’s babyface qualities, the fire of DIY’s heart seems to flicker once more. But as much as Gargano’s a true face, Ciampa’s an asshole heel, so he rejects the olive branch, tries to attack with his own knee brace, and signs his own warrant for his loss with the brace-assisted submission. Holy shit. That’s fucking great. This is fucking great. Like, I love hot fire matches as much as y’all, but this is some top-tier storytelling shit, man. It played with my heart like a hackysack. This match, just… Fucking amazing, man. A great match alone is a great match, but a great match with great storytelling from the culmination of two years of build, is so much more. Loved it. I don’t do stars, but give it all of them.

    Overall: A fabulous Takeover. Not a bad match in sight, and even the weakest was good enough to make me say it was better than expected. I can’t even hate any of the finishes – except for the tag title finish but if I type any more about that I’m liable to have a stroke so I’ll leave it at that. Every match was different from the others, be it via stipulation or story, so at no point did it feel like I was watching the same match with a different plattete. Probably the best Takeover yet. It’ll be difficult to top this one.

    aaargh my fingers hurt why did I type this much
    Last edited by Smooth Jazz Wolf; 05-06-2018 at 11:40 AM.

  7. #307
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    Re: NXT TakeOver: New Orleans - April 7, 2018 - Card & Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Smooth Jazz Wolf View Post
    Why does Shanya Bazsler’s theme start with mechanical horses getting ripped apart and pulled back together. I don't know what it MEANS.
    I assume it's a reference to her being one of the four horsewomen of MMA and the ripping part is a reference to her ripping limbs due to her background and style.
    Spoiler:


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