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[2019-04-05-WWE-NXT Takeover: New York] Pete Dunne vs WALTER

paul sosnowski

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Played catch up on WALTER vs Dunne one day late.

Things i loved:

- Dunne's selling of WALTER's chops early. Just the way he dropped and crumbled.

- How WALTER gradually took over in the first few minutes with Dunne trying less and less offense each time as WALTER overwhelmed him. 

- How the hope spots were all hold based. 

- How earned both the eventual comeback (at least three or four dodges and moves to get to a point where he was firing back) and really almost any offense Dunne got in the subsequent minutes (the top rope flip powerbomb only working after the finger to stop the cut off) and likewise how desperate a lot of his offense had to be.

 - Tons of specific moves (like the WALTER stop onto the neck). 

- So much struggle for 65% of the match, which is everything you want from a match like this. Everything. 

What I didn't love:

- Way too many kickouts at the end. The sleeper suplex should have probably ended it. I would have been ok with the stomp to the throat ending it (with a power bomb that hit), to be honest. Everything after the Sleeper Suplex from the top (with Dunne barely selling the landing) sort of felt like bullshit. What kind of fucking world are we in where a match like that doesn't end things? At the least make it part of a finishing stretch. Instead there was another what? 7 minutes?

- WALTER taking too much at the end. I get that Dunne has a legendary title reign, but there are so many excuses for why he'd lose this one while keeping him protected. It was worked like the third or fourth match in a series between the two of them, not a first. WALTER is huge. Protect him for the eventual bigger match. 

So yeah, first half of the match was great, absolutely great. Second half was  bullshit. I  By the time they were doing the strike exchange at the end, I wanted to be watching something else. By the time the ref got in the way to allow for the big boot, I was using the 10 second skip ahead to just get through it. Sorry. That I was so into the first half just made the second half so much worse.

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They kind of tried too hard to make this an "epic", but it was still quite the brutal war between the two. WALTER beat down Dunne with his massive chops and offence, and Dunne came back with his own signature strikes. Their wXw match was a better performance, but this felt like a great fight. Should've been a little bit shorter though, ****1/2.

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This was very frustrating. There obviously were plenty of solid bits with them brutalizing each other, but overall I wasn't a fan of how it went; I really don't want to see WALTER wrestle these 50/50 overly long generic NXT "epics". I kind of understand it, as Dunne is a big star & has been a very dominant champion for a looong time, so they didn't want his reign end "unceremoniously", but something like WALTER vs. Devlin part 1 would've been much preferred. This was just bleh. **

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I wasn't a huge fan of their chemistry in WXW, but I thought this was really good, far exceeding my expectations actually. I liked the way Walter established himself way more here than even in some of his squashes, but still without just gobbling up Dunne. I really liked Dunne going to joint manipulation, but when a limb was isolated or to isolate a limb. It was like he was using it because he couldn't out power Walter. It was also his downfall as he couldn't wear the big man down by bending his fingers and when push came to shove Walter still had all the muscles he needed to finish Dunne off. The story was good and the kickouts felt appropriate for this being the end to Dunne's epic run.  Its a changing of the guard moment and I don't think it got quite the fanfare it deserved, but it still felt pretty important to me. The story was wondefully told and I thought was nuanced. Maybe I was reading into it, but who cares; its what I got out of it. I thought the pace was excellent and they somehow maintained this balance of never really feeling like Walter didn't have a leg up, while also making it competitive and providing hope that Dunne might somehow - once again - pull it off.  ****1/4

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