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Ricky Jackson

NXT Takeover: New York

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She changed her hair color from blonde to dark brown-ish (with purple streaks), which shows how something relatively small can totally change someone's appearance.

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8 minutes ago, sek69 said:

She changed her hair color from blonde to dark brown-ish (with purple streaks), which shows how something relatively small can totally change someone's appearance.

It looks fantastic! 

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2 hours ago, ...TG said:

Jesus, Mauro, we get it - you listen to hip hop. 

I know this is pretty much a recurring theme with every Takeover, but Mauro Ranallo really is the fucking dirt worst.  His ridiculous shit actually takes me out of matches I was otherwise enjoying.  At some point during the opener, he compared Black and Ricochet to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.  I don't even know what that fucking idiot is trying to prove half the time when he opens his mouth.  Another highlight is his introducing Vic Joseph as the voice of NXT UK during the Dunne/Walter match, and then proceeding to interrupt Joseph and Nigel a bunch of times when they're calling the match, so he can shoehorn his stupid shit in.  Because gawd forbid we have one match on an NXT show where Mauro doesn't make some ridiculous analogy or pointless rhyming pop culture reference.

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7 minutes ago, Stiva said:

Riddle/Dream is already star-making material for both men

Awesome match, great finish, thank God we're getting more. I guess Dream is NXT for a bit while longer.

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A shame that main event wasn’t Gargano winning the belt off of Ciampa.  As it was, it was just an absurdity with the nearfalls, etc.  Glad Gargano finally got to win the belt but it was a pretty lame ride for the last 6-8 months of the quest.

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One of those Canadian Stampede-level shows in terms of every match being a hit. I wouldn't put anything here under four stars and the only thing that seemed to lose the crowd a bit was the Walter match. Career performance from Gargano in the Main Event, winning over a negative heat Cena crowd and somehow delivering the final act to an epic story with one of the key players out of the mix. To go from the enormous cheers for Cole in the introductions to the pop for the finish and sustained cheers for Gargano throughout the close of the show is really a masterclass in booking on display in a single match. The Clique deserves an Emmy. I see the negative comments out there but there's just no way for me to look at this as anything except a total home run for everyone involved. 

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4 hours ago, Zoo Enthusiast said:

A shame that main event wasn’t Gargano winning the belt off of Ciampa.  As it was, it was just an absurdity with the nearfalls, etc.  Glad Gargano finally got to win the belt but it was a pretty lame ride for the last 6-8 months of the quest.

There were things I really liked about the main event, but it came off like Johnny was having the same match with Cole that he would have had with Ciampa. Like Ricky said it's a bloated epic, that I wasn't terribly fond of last year. Hopefully, with Johnny no longer chasing something, he can have a different type of main event in a few months at the next Takeover.

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I thought it was the best Takeover in a long while. I became a bit cold on NXT/WWE in general after the last two Takeovers - which I felt like had some issues with match order and featured too many matches featuring the same styles and layouts. For example, when you've got Ricochet, Aleister Black, Adam Cole, FIsh and O'Reilly, and Gargano on the same show, you know you're going to get a ton of superkicks and knees and it all becomes too samey for me. 

I felt like this show did a better job of providing variety and if those previous shows had been filled with matches I'd rate 3.5-out-of-5 (above average but not "must see"), this show's matches often were just that half-point better. 

-  The opener was great. As much as I don't think Black and Ricochet should've been teamed on the main roster, in the NXT context for a final "send off" run, it worked and this match delivered. Mauro can be grating, but I liked his commentary here as he told the story of how this was a match that was expected to be a clash of styles but wasn't. I liked this better than the War Raiders/UE matches (when Strong started doing power moves on 300-pounders, it took me out of the match). 

- Dream/Riddle was great. To me, Dream's best matches have always been against strong, definitive characters - Aleister Black, for example, rather than heel Gargano. Riddle's gimmick may not be a colorful, but he's got undeniable charisma. Dream's moves, size, and expressiveness set him apart and I liked Riddle controlling things. Another phenomenal match.

- Dunne/WALTER was stiff as hell, told a great story, and truly introduced a ton of wrestling fans (like myself) to a guy that I'd really only seen a few matches and a couple of clips of. I'm hoping Dunne gets brought to the main roster sooner than later because he's obviously supremely gifted while WALTER (is it always all capitalized?) blew me away with all the cool little things he does. As an introduction to WALTER, I thought this was great - almost the same as Nak/Zayn in the level of hype and pay-off. 

- The Women's Match was great from bell-to-bell. Bianca's power spots were awesome. The Sky Pirates combo moves were great. Baszler had the least amount of spotlight moments, but then again, she didn't need them - she had the biggest target on her back and she spent the match bumping and selling and trying her darndest to just grab somebody and choke them out. Bianca is still not as polished as some of the main roster stars, but she's going to mix really well with them once she gets there. People have been clamoring for a Sky Pirates/Boss Hug Connection showdown and WWE would be dumb not to do it on a big show because it could be awesome. I don't understand anyone complaining about Baszler retaining - her title run and the expectation of who might possibly dethrone her feels way different than Asuka's run because we've seen Baszler repeatedly cheat to win/barely eke out a victory. We know she can be beaten (Kairi Sane did it), its just a matter of who is going to finally do it. To me, that's good, interesting booking as long as she keeps getting heat (which she does). 

- The main event was the only match I'd put below 4 stars. Hated the first fall, but place the blame on the fact that at the past dozen Takeovers, Gargano kicked out of gunshots so seeing him get put down with a kick to the back of the head was underwhelming. I actually liked the second fall - totally made logical sense that Cole would tap to not sustain punishment (if your gripe is that Gargano's submission isn't particularly well-executed, that's fair, but to me, its been made to look impactful like Cena's STF). The third fall had too much no-selling and "let's do 6 spots in 2 minutes" wrestling in it, but the crowd was obviously enthralled and I would say that the suspense escalated, especially once the rest of UE showed up. The last 3-4 minutes were super captivating, I bit on the near falls, and I liked the post-match. It was the worst match of the night and it was still a 3.5-out-of-5 for me, well above average. 

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That is gonna be my take from this show : Takeover were much better when they lasted two hours +. 

Main issue with this one : it peaked with the opener. Damn, that tag match was all kind of awesome. MOTYC no doubt.

The four-way women's title was easily the second best match of the show, terrific fun. Bianca BeLair's tights are the best, Rick Rude would have approved. Shirai & Sane are awesome, Bazler was badass as fuck. Yeah, just terrific stuff start to finish.

I'm not as hot for Velveteen as others, mainly because of the cosplay stuff. That being said, he could be a huge star. His in-ring work is not always the crispest, but he's still super young. Plus he can follow Riddle, who's just as great as he was last year when I watch him have a zillion matches during the week-end. Overall, excellent match thanks to Riddle, and Velveteen is nothing but charisma and star power.

and then, well...

I thought Pete Dunn vs Walter was a total self-conscious epic. Masturbatory, went nowhere, way too fucking long, shit psychology. Remember when I complained about that stupid chop picture ? People were all "oh, but it's gonna be sold as death". And at the end of the day, well, not really, by the end Dunn was barely selling them, it was just another spot. A bunch of really great "moments", totally disjointed. Walter had a much much better match last year against PCO at Spring Break. So yeah, Self-conscious epic.

As far as the main event goes. Well, in the seventies, people were going crazy for Emerson Lake & Palmer. And they packed stadiums and shit. Good for them. This is a mega production for the "Sorry, I love you" crowd. Why the fuck not. Without me though. The worst of bloated WWE wrestling by two really talented guy, but they really aren't responsible (maybe they are, in which case Gargano just has the worst taste in epic matches ever, it was already an issue during the Ciampa feud).

also :

MAURO SHUT THE FUCK UP.

18 hours ago, The Thread Killer said:

At some point during the opener, he compared Black and Ricochet to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

Yeah, I totally rolled my eyes at this too. 

18 hours ago, The Thread Killer said:

Another highlight is his introducing Vic Joseph as the voice of NXT UK during the Dunne/Walter match, and then proceeding to interrupt Joseph and Nigel a bunch of times when they're calling the match, so he can shoehorn his stupid shit in.

At one point you could feel the frustration from one of the other two as he basically talked over his latest irrelevant remark.

So yeah. Two bloated matches that took way too much of my time makes it not even close to the best match of the week-end thus far, despite two great matches and a very good/excellent one. I guess everything in WWE has to be just that, bloated.

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At some point in that main event it felt like we'd reached the point in modern day wrestling where the superkick is the new punch. Or at least in Johnny Gargano matches. How many superkicks did those dudes throw?! Gargano is obviously not the only wrestler who throws a bunch of superkicks, but he threw like two million last night and Cole threw only a couple fewer. I can't really say anything about the match because I didn't pay all that much attention, but the ending stretch was too much even if I bit on a couple of the nearfalls. Crowd were super into it if nothing else. Doubt I'll ever go back and actually watch it. 

Dream/Riddle ruled and Dream is the best thing going. Thought this was Riddle's best performance in NXT and he was excellent in it. Liked how he started out as chilled as he usually is, looking for the fist bump, generally having a fun time doing his thing. A couple of the early submission attempts were super funky. Then Dream stomped on his foot and pissed him off. Riddle was a total dynamo on offence when he took over (with the awesome German on the floor) and I dug how he acted sort of heelish in the way he'd just murder Dream with strikes. Dream's Hulk-Up is of course carny as fuck but I like that it at least led to the payoff from earlier and he was able to hit the double ax handle to the floor on the second attempt. Finishing run wasn't close to overkill (though you could probably say they moved on from a big bomb or two a little quickly) and no nearfall felt absurd. I mean, outside of the finish, the kickout after the HUGE German followed by the flying bro (or whatever the fuck Ranallo called it) was the biggest spot of the match. They didn't treat it as an afterthought by moving onto some other guff. They built everything really nicely, Riddle looked like a killer, Dream looked great for weathering the storm, and even if Riddle can tap someone out at any moment, Dream is good enough that he can stay in the fight even in the most dire of circumstances. I can't remember the last time I was disappointed by a Velveteen Dream match. 

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According to reddit, Meltzer called Cole/Gargano "perhaps the best WWE match of all time."

I'm not as down as others, but it definitely won't make my Top 10 of the year for WWE and I can say that with confidence. It was the worst match of the night. It was still an above-average match saved by a very fun final stretch and got an extra push thanks to the emotional post-match, but the first two falls had some flaws. Not a "must see" and not even close to the Gargano/Almas match from last year.

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Tbf, it had most of the stuff he likes, and it was ramped up even more so than usual, so it doesn't strike me as that much of a HOT TAKE~. Like, I wouldn't have been surprised if he gave it seven and a half stars or whatever we're up to now, so this doesn't totally shock me either. 

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Okay. It has to be said. I tried catching a few minutes of the Tag Title match before work today, but I found myself way too distracted by the eyesore that was Drake Younger's spray tan.

Dude, what in the actual fuck are you doing?

I love me some indie scene Drake. His last little run in PWG was a super fun stretch. But does he understand he's just a referee now? Does he realize he's meant to blend into the background? I get that it may be a bit of a mind-fuck for a former worker, but come on. You're not going to impress Papa Aitch with your bod or your egregious orange tint.

Seriously. That shit was awful. Drake was practically radioactive. The orange on his skin was enough to make the Hulkster envious, dood.

Worst of all - there Drake was, the Ultra Orange Golden Boy, looking orange as fuck all over... Except the back of his head.

Hey, Drake. You missed a spot.

That's right. From his ears allllll around the back of his head and allllll down his neck(!) was still flesh-colored. Like living, breathing human flesh-colored. Which only further made the orange-ness stick out.

I mean, I know people are hyper sensitive about body-shaming or ever pointing out anyone's physical appearance these days. But fuck that noise. When you leave the house looking that stupid, you need to be called out on it.

Pretty sure Mauro picked up on how absurd Drake looked, too. Because he landed a line about Black "sticking to" Rowe "like a spray tan" during a rest hold.

That may very well be the highlight of Mauro's career as a commentator.

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Never got the obsession with ridiculous spray tans so many wrestlers have. None of them look natural, and in the era where everyone is watching in HD it looks even more silly.

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Haha. Obviously I wouldn't want anyone to become unhealthy on purpose, but Drake looking so ripped definitely caught my eye too. Maybe he can sit under Tim White's learning tree a bit and pick up a few tips about how to enjoy a cheeseburger and a beer every now and then?

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3 hours ago, DMJ said:

According to reddit, Meltzer called Cole/Gargano "perhaps the best WWE match of all time."

I'm not as down as others, but it definitely won't make my Top 10 of the year for WWE and I can say that with confidence. It was the worst match of the night. It was still an above-average match saved by a very fun final stretch and got an extra push thanks to the emotional post-match, but the first two falls had some flaws. Not a "must see" and not even close to the Gargano/Almas match from last year.

Meltzer just loves ACTION~! a lot more than I do

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23 minutes ago, SomethingSavage said:

Okay. It has to be said. I tried catching a few minutes of the Tag Title match before work today, but I found myself way too distracted by the eyesore that was Drake Younger's spray tan.

Dude, what in the actual fuck are you doing?

I love me some indie scene Drake. His last little run in PWG was a super fun stretch. But does he understand he's just a referee now? Does he realize he's meant to blend into the background? I get that it may be a bit of a mind-fuck for a former worker, but come on. You're not going to impress Papa Aitch with your bod or your egregious orange tint.

Seriously. That shit was awful. Drake was practically radioactive. The orange on his skin was enough to make the Hulkster envious, dood.

Worst of all - there Drake was, the Ultra Orange Golden Boy, looking orange as fuck all over... Except the back of his head.

Hey, Drake. You missed a spot.

That's right. From his ears allllll around the back of his head and allllll down his neck(!) was still flesh-colored. Like living, breathing human flesh-colored. Which only further made the orange-ness stick out.

That post made my evening. Glad someone is pointing out how ridiculous this guy looks. 

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Catching up on the main and Adam Cole strikes me as the new Edge. In the sense that I don’t enjoy watching him and think he’s corny as fuck but is going to be pretty much consistently over and a mainstay around the top of the card as long as he’s in the company.

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14 minutes ago, Stiva said:

Catching up on the main and Adam Cole strikes me as the new Edge. In the sense that I don’t enjoy watching him and think he’s corny as fuck but is going to be pretty much consistently over and a mainstay around the top of the card as long as he’s in the company.

Edge but somehow skinnier 

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