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Found 83 results

  1. Woof

    NXT talk

    Since it seems like there's a bunch of us who follow NXT but don't really care to have our discussion on the yellow brand buried in the morass of the weekly WWE TV threads, I thought I'd start one where we can just talk about all things NXT, so here it is. Have at it, boys.
  2. I've made it no secret that this is my favorite feud in wrestling today and that their last match was my match of the year. And while that still holds true, this match brought a different flavor to the rivalry that still felt like a valid progression from the last match. The brutality was there, the hate was there, the big spots and big bumps were all there. While at times it does get bogged down by WWE-style theatrics, I am still generally a fan of those kinds of theatrics so I can't really complain. Perhaps the biggest thing going for this match is the finishing stretch. I'm sure a lot of people were annoyed or upset by the ref bump and screwjob tone. I thought it was great. It was unnerving and difficult to watch at points which is how I know they've got me emotionally hooked and invested. This was a violent spectacle the likes of Owens-Zayn II from NXT or Lesnar-Cena from SummerSlam 2014 and I am a big fan of violent spectacle. *****
  3. If nothing else this match will always be a watershed moment for women in mainstream wrestling. Sasha, in particular, was well thought of before this match. But after this match, people started talking about her as being the best in the WWE, if not the world. The match itself starts out with some back and forth exchanges leading to Becky ending up with the slight advantages at the end which force Sasha back on her heels. Sasha fires back in a big way by blocking a Becky kick and yanking her down to the apron by grabbing her arm. Sasha follows that up by spending the next several minutes just torturing Becky's arm, with the big highlight being Sasha bending back Becky's arm with her foot. I did like Becky's comeback leading to a good near-finish with the armbar, even if her selling was a bit spotty along the way. Didn't like the finish though as Sasha basically has to no-sell not just being thrown into the steps after her dive, but also the arm work, by putting on the Bank Statement with Becky right by the ropes. The last 90 seconds is what keeps this from being in the top tier of women's matches for the year. ****1/4
  4. Pretty much what you would come to expect from these guys. They went balls to the wall and crammed in as much as you'd expect them to in a tight time frame. As PWG a multiman match as you'll get in a WWE ring. I'm not particularly blown away by these types of matches, but I thought this was fun and served it's purpose of showcasing NXT talent to new fans. Shawn Michaels commentary was pretty neat, too.
  5. Like the rest of America I have a wrestling podcast. I recap the week in wrestling. I just watch ROH and WWE programming every week and give my thoughts on it. Itunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/webs-weekly-wrestling-rant/id1212156453?mt=2 and here's the first episode Episode 0 - "Pilot" Description: Welcome to the first episode of Web's Weekly Wrestling Wrant. This is the the Pilot episode. Check in every Friday for new episodes. This week I review Raw (Hulu Version), SmackDown, Talking Smack, 205 Live, NXT and Main Event and Fastlane predictions. Please leave comments, feel free to email me at and follow me on Twitter @WebConn69 https://soundcloud.com/websweeklywrestlingwrant/episode-1-worst-main-event-ever Episode 2 - "I'm Not Booked" Description: Typo free description this week! This week, I pay tribute to Dennis Stamp, give my thoughts on the March 12th WWE MSG Show, give a ROH 15th Anniversary Show live report. Plus reviews of ROH Wrestling, Monday Night Raw, Smackdown, Talking Smack, 205 Live, NXT, Main Event and after much wait Lucha Underground on Netflix Retro Review. Please feel free to send me questions comments and concerns to and follow me on Twitter @WebConn69 Colt Cabana Art of Wrestling with Dennis Stamp: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g4Af_X9PAU Dennis Stamp, Grado, & Dick Justice VS. The Iron Curtain: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkk21FTXhas https://soundcloud.com/websweeklywrestlingwrant/episode-2-im-not-booked Episode 3 - "Randy Orton Is The Christian Slater of the WWE" Description: This Week: I make a last minute addition to last weeks Dennis Stamp tribute, I give my thoughts on the WWE showing interest in buying ROH rumor. Plus I review ROH Wrestling, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown, Talking Smack, 205 Live, NXT, Main Event and top it all off with the Lucha Underground on Netflix Retro Review. Please feel free to send me questions comments and concerns to and follow me on Twitter @WebConn69 https://soundcloud.com/websweeklywrestlingwrant/episode-3-randy-orton-is-the-christian-slater-of-the-wwe
  6. A really good broomstick match with Bryan taking Khali's only attribute (size) and building the match around it. All it takes for Khali to get back in control is essentially just grab Bryan, while Bryan has to really work on combos and counters to manage to take Khali down. I really liked how he used the Guillotine to set up his kick combos and how he Missile Dropkicked Khali while Khali was still kneeling instead of waiting for him to get up, and his reckless bumping really put over Khali's offence as that of a monster. ***1/4
  7. I know a lot of people have soured on this feud, but I thought this match was good, albeit a big step down from their other two matches. One of the biggest problems with this feud is the order the stipulations have come in. The unsanctioned match should have been the blowoff, not the first match, but that is not here nor there. From the get go you know what they are going for as they quickly begin getting up from big moves such as air raid crashes through announces tables and such. Ciampa getting desperate and throwing everything he could find ringside on top of Gargano to try and keep him down was pretty neat. The lack of blood hurt this I thought and the finish was lame as it made Gargano look like a buffoon, but I thought Ciampa falling off the ramp and landing on his feet was pretty cool and unexpected as I thought it would end in a double count out.
  8. Another solid match with a great Shayna bully heel performance. Shayna attacking Kairi's foot with a brutal foot stomp was great, but unfortunately was meaningless in the development of the match. Shayna kicking out of top rope elbow drop was lame, but that seems to be a theme on TakeOver cards; i.e.; kicking out of finishers and big moves. Shayna's counter to the final top rope elbow drop was great as was the unexpected finish. Another solid match.
  9. They hit some cool looking spots here like Bate's dive followed up by that lariat he does bouncing off the ropes and the finishing spot. As usual though, they did a bit too much and O'Reilly kicking out of the knee drop into the burning hammer was lame as was the extensive heel hook. Bate's knee selling after the extensive heel hook was pretty bad and Seven just standing on the ring apron while O'Reilly has him int he heel hook instead of just diving in and breaking the hold they usually do in tag matches along with the towel throw tease was lame. Not a MOTY candidate or a ****+ match or any of that talk, but I thought this was a fun card opener regardless of that.
  10. Ciampa is just a remarkable bastard, isn't he? The guy just goes out of his way to embody as much of what being a heel is as possible. Not only does he play dirty and aggressive, but he's also a coward. Not only will try to DDT you onto concrete, he'll also grab the tights. And let's not forget GRABBING THE TOP ROPE ON AN ABDOMINAL STRETCH. That's the kind of classic old school heel heat that I can really get behind. It's a spot I don't even see that often anymore which makes it stand out all the more brightly. Black for his part played a decent babyface champion walloping the dastardly heel with some great kicks. Enjoyed his back selling in the early half of the match but that faded away as time went on down the stretch. The last half is dedicated to Ciampa just pulling every trick out of the book possible to get the win. Gargano's involvement was limited but a necessary step based on what the tapings show the direction they're going in is. I thought it only added to the match especially considering how big the pop for Gargano's attempted save was. Overall, a great title match featuring the best heel working in the world right now. ****1/2
  11. My dude Dream gets pro wrestling like no one. From straight up wearing Prince Puma tights to having a Hulk Hogan-based entrance, he is absurdly over, to the point where he outshines RICOCHET. Loved the reference to Rock/Hogan, too. The match itself was tons of fun, with Dream using some of Ricochet's spots early on, and getting overly confident. Ricochet showed that he can absolutely be an incredible all-around performer, as opposed to the shit he was doing with Ospreay a while ago. Reminder: Velveteen Dream is only 22.
  12. Johnny Gargano has put on two five star matches in a four month span. Unless Daniel Bryan gets booked in a high profile singles feud, I don't see anyone topping the emotional investment and sympathy that Johnny Gargano draws out from a crowd. Pairing him with Tomasso Ciampa, who transformed from fun indie superstar into one of the best most vicious heels in the world today, is just absolute magic. The feud has been built up to simmer and simmer until it came to its insane boiling point here. The match was worked with an immediate sense of hatred and brutality. Big punches, heated brawling, all of them building up to big spots. The incorporation of weapons was ridiculously good and organic all throughout. I mean, Ciampa stealing crutches from a fan?! That's some 80's heel heat right there and it was perfection. The addition of the knee brace to create some truly magical storytelling moments towards the finish. I mean, I don't know how much I can gush about this match. It was just so good on every level and by far the match of the year. It's crazy what a long term build and two incredibly talented workers dedicated to their story can pull off. Absolutely everything right with pro wrestling. *****
  13. Velveteen is MONEY. Oozes charisma, airbrushes his opponent's face in his attire, has incredible mannerisms... and of course, the top tier entrances. The 30 or less knockout was a fun semi-stipulation to the match, and did they deliver. Crowd was so much into it from the get go. A fun slugfest with some sloppy moments. Ohno is a good base to make people shine (like Sullivan on the previous Takeover), but man did Dream make this match work wonders. Fun stuff. Dream deserves to be in the main roster after some polishing - that first Death Valley Driver spot was SCARY
  14. First of all: Shayna fucking rocks. Her presence reminds me of Minoru Suzuki, like one of those people that is legit dangerous, but at the same time they actually draw your attention to the violence they display. Considering she's new to pro-wrestling, it's amazing she can project that aura so well. As for the match itself, I enjoyed it a lot. Baszler being in control for much of the match, with Moon having offensive spurts is the best idea. The fluke-y finish worked well, and albeit some might have problems with the length of the armbar spot, I felt it was some well-made suspense. Good stuff. Shayna HAS to win the title on the near future.
  15. They get a surprising amount of intensity from this match, starting with Roddy's awesome dropkick through the ropes. I wouldn't have thought he would be the hot tag with Black the face in peril but that works great too, starting with Aleister taking a really nice apron bump off a Fish leg-sweep and ending with Roddy coming in super hot. I don't like the ending, with Aleister, who in the preceding months couldn't have his focus broken enough to say a dudes name, looking like a complete buffoon. The journey to get there was fun though. ***1/2
  16. I don't think this quite scaled the heights of their Takeover match (though I was at that one live) because it had less of the element of surprise on its side, but it was still really terrific. These guys work really well together and the match is paced really nicely for stuff like apron spots and loud chops to get the crowd into things at the right moments. The ending does a great job of continuing to tell the story of Johnny getting over the #DIY split and the story of Almas' rising aggression. It does that well enough that they could just end this feud (which hasn't really been a feud outside of the matches anyways) and move on, having made that progress. And if they do decide to have another match, that's very cool too. ****1/4
  17. I really like how they laid out this match to how they booked this feud. They found the right tone for Emma's character as she realized how dangerous Asuka is but still thought she could beat her by outsmarting her. Also really liked Emma's in-ring performance, she worked really smart and laid in a lot of her shots while not being afraid of taking anything from Asuka. It was cool to see Asuka dust off some of her old strike combos. The most noticeable difference between Asuka here and her work in Japan is how much she plays to the crowd. She rarely worked in front of big crowds in Japan so it's nice to see her adjust and work "bigger" here. The finish was smart even if there was a few minor issues with the execution of it. ****
  18. I like pro wrestling that preserves the struggle of a fight, even if it is one often resembling action/boxing/martials arts movie scenes more than an actual real competition or a fight. I don't like pro wrestling where the workers struggle to simulate the fight itself, and if you're not bothered by the sloppiness that is still very much present in many of these matches, well, good for you. But I'm having trouble taking Bayley seriously when she messes up very basic looking spots. The match was fine-Bayley got some solid shine early on and then we transitioned into a cool control segment where Asuka nailed Bayley with a brutal knee and kept cutting Bayley off every time Bayley attempted a comeback. Asuka really nailed some sharp kicks in here, it was a joy to watch. Unfortunately Bayley's comeback was pretty lame, slamming someone's head into the the turnbuckle as a comeback works if you're a tecnico and Fuerza Guerrera is bumping for you but as a means of vanquishing the biggest badass the NXT women's division has had so far it's not very convincing, especially when the slams themselves don't look especially violent. Bayley's babyface comeback offence of running elbows/kneedrops/legdrops would've been much more efficient if Asuka's control segment laster longer and was used as the actual comeback. Finish was also kinda eye-rolling, didn't really buy into Bayley becoming this huge badass, her acting wasn't there and her daring Asuka to hit her in the face and immediately covering up was just so stupid, it's the kind of stuff that happens when you have Triple H and friends laying out puro machismo tribute spots. Do I even need to explain how stupid no-selling a head kick is after treating it like a KO shot a mere second after? You fire up and barely get to your feet at best after something like that. That would've made for a much better and intruiging finish than what they did. ***
  19. This was fascinating to watch. Nia Jax has no presence whatsoever and carried herself like she is much smaller than she is. She deserves more opportunities than someone of lesser size because (I assume) it's harder to find someone her size and you need as much variety as you can get. This felt very much like a Kiyoshi Tamura U-Style match against a not big name in that while it wasn't a total squash it felt close to it. At no point did you get the impression Asuka was in danger. It was interesting to see Asuka feed herself submissions and kicks and work around Nia. If Nia *got* the most fundamental things about her character I'd have advocated working a different much and would argue that one could have been much better, but as it stands I'll gladly take this since no one else is doing Kiyoshi Tamura vs Tom Burton right now. ***1/4
  20. Pretty simple story here as the beloved champion takes on the dangerous undefeated challenger. This does get off to a slow and even awkward start, (Asuka stiffs Bayley with a forearm after their first lockup.) Once they they settle down, they do get into a nice groove with each other. I do like that Bayley went right at Asuka and never showed any fear but that does cost her at times as she gets out-struck and outclassed on the mat. She does adjust and learns to pick her spots which leads to some nice counters. Also, I enjoyed the announce team as both Phillips and Graves put over both of the matchup plus point out little stuff like Bayley trying to use submissions that had got her wins in previous title matches. Overall, an incredibly well done title match the is different from the typical fare you get from the WWE. ****1/4
  21. This is a rematch from Takeover: London plus Asuka's last match leading up to her title match vs. Bayley at Takeover: Dallas. The opening part of this match quickly reestablishes the Bugs Bunny/Yosemite Sam rivalry between the two with Emma trying to outsmart Asuka but the reverse ends up happening. Emma does eventually gain control and starts to work over Asuka with a variety of holds. Unfortunately, this does take some steam out of the match as Emma doesn't really mix in anything flashy to get a reaction out of the crowd. They do pick it up for the finish though with Emma actually hanging in there with Asuka during a strike exchange, but she ends up costing herself the win when she argues with the ref after he caught Emma with her feet on the ropes during a rollup. One of the better WWE/NXT women's matches of the year so far. ***3/4
  22. Really great opener. Some convincing near falls that the crowd bough, and a nice Frye/Akiyama tribute trading strikes. I was worried that Gargano forgot about selling the arm during the match, but right on cue he started selling it again. Johnny Gargano may be the best babyface in the world right now. I enjoy Almas' work more than many, and he held his own in the match. The finish was the distraction from Almas' manager at ringside throwing a t-shirt at Gargano, which was a little bit cheap for my liking, however, it plays into Almas' character. ***1/2
  23. Pretty solid spotfest and all of them are pretty good in the ring. Charlotte still has a little awkwardness but nothing that won't go away in time. I just think she's so naturally talented that it's easy to overlook how a lot of her stuff looks a little unseasoned. Another throwaway match, but a good showcase of the women in NXT.
  24. The actual match portion of this is pretty good, I think, on par with their Takeover match more or less. Cross especially is just a ball of viciousness, which brings out good stuff in Asuka, and Ruby holds up her end of the deal too. As far as throwing a rating on it, I don't really have a standard for this sort of thing. Bell to bell it's recommendable for sure, but after it gets thrown out (which is a bad "ending") it really turns into an excellent arena brawl with Asuka and Cross. That brawl includes not only punching and getting thrown into the usual walls but Cross hilariously dunking Asuka's face into a water cooler and then pretty organically making their way over to the final table spot. I really dig the way the hate between Cross and Asuka has grown not really out of traditional WWE face/heel dynamics but organically out of their characters (I guess this is more or less heel vs. heel at this point considering how the Asuka/Ember stuff was shaking up). Like, of course if you put this rabid maniac and this woman who (rightfully) believes she's completely unbeatable in close proximity they will intensely brawl. I think bell-to-bell I'd put this at like ***3/4 or so but who is that rating for? Who is gonna watch this match and then hit stop at the bell, right? If you include the post-match, this is up there with my favs of the year so far, and I really hope their rematch in a few weeks delivers.
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