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KawadaSmile

WWE TV 09/16 - 09/22 Stop pushing Seth down our throats!

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7 minutes ago, C.S. said:

I am bit skeptical about an unsourced (and now defunct) gossip blog called "Cage Potato." If there was anything to this, wouldn't someone - anyone - more credible have picked up on it? Again, doesn't mean it's not true, but I am not going to believe it blindly.

I see what you're saying, but as I recall in the wake of the JBL controversy a couple of years ago, a lot of stories came out about Mauro behind the scenes.  I picked the Cage Potato article but if you look hard enough online there is enough evidence to support the idea that Mauro is not the easiest guy to get along with backstage.  In fact, Dave Meltzer himself even alluded to that very fact...and Mauro Ranallo has been a source for Meltzer in the past, and I think they even consider themselves friends.  Despite that, when reporting the JBL/Mauro story even Meltzer implied that while JBL is definitely a bully, there was blame on both sides of that issue.  No, there has never been unassailable proof of Mauro Ranallo doing something wrong, nothing has ever been caught on film...but I tend to believe it.

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3 minutes ago, KawadaSmile said:

C.S., there are hills worth dying on.

Calling Mauro Ranallo an all-timer, the best in the business is not one of them.

Didn't say all-time. J.R. in his prime still holds that crown (I am too young to have lived through Gordon Solie's heyday, though I've heard him after the fact), and I admittedly have a soft spot for all of my childhood commentators (even the lousy ones). But I do think Mauro is the best currently. You can name your Ian Riccabonis and Vic Josephs all you want, but to me, they're interchangeable and indecipherable voices. When Mauro's making the call, I know it.  

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28 minutes ago, SirEdger said:

That's not changing for Smackdown on Sportsnet 360. It's gonna air live on Friday nights. From what I understand, Sportsnet wasn't interested in NXT, which is surprising.

Oh man, that means the Sportsnet 360 feed is probably going to supersede the Fox feed and we won't get the original broadcast in Canada, I bet.  All so we get to see Canadian commercials, meanwhile the picture ends up getting compressed so they can run that stupids sports score ticker at the bottom of the screen.

The fact that Sportsnet doesn't want NXT at all is telling.  Maybe the ratings are down here in Canada, too.  Wouldn't surprise me.

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5 minutes ago, The Thread Killer said:

I see what you're saying, but as I recall in the wake of the JBL controversy a couple of years ago, a lot of stories came out about Mauro behind the scenes.  I picked the Cage Potato article but if you look hard enough online there is enough evidence to support the idea that Mauro is not the easiest guy to get along with backstage.  In fact, Dave Meltzer himself even alluded to that very fact...and Mauro Ranallo has been a source for Meltzer in the past, and I think they even consider themselves friends.  Despite that, when reporting the JBL/Mauro story even Meltzer implied that while JBL is definitely a bully, there was blame on both sides of that issue.  No, there has never been unassailable proof of Mauro Ranallo doing something wrong, nothing has ever been caught on film...but I tend to believe it.

I mean, it's certainly possible. But the degree of shittiness is what's in question. We've all heard things about J.R. (drunk, grouchy), Solie (drunk), Heenan (drunk), etc., so this would hardly be a phenomenon unique to Mauro. But there's a difference between "not being the easiest to work with" and (to random women) "you're a f***king c***" (or whatever that weird Cage Dog piece said). 

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2 minutes ago, C.S. said:

When Mauro's making the call, I know it.  

Yeah me too.  I can tell it's Mauro because my TV screen is all marked up from me throwing shit at it all night.  Plus my neighbors call to complain about the noise when I scream at the TV begging Mauro to shut the fuck up.

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Just now, The Thread Killer said:

Yeah me too.  I can tell it's Mauro because my TV screen is all marked up from me throwing shit at it all night.  Plus my neighbors call to complain about the noise when I scream at the TV begging Mauro to shut the fuck up.

Mauro's neighbors say he's a polite, well-behaved boy who's a pleasure to be around.

Perhaps it is you who is the problem and not Mauro. :lol: B)

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Beth: It's an interesting point to note that Roderick Strong chose to initiate mind games with Velveteen Dream by burning his couch, when usually it's Dream who likes to play mind games, Roddy seems to be taking the psychological battle t-

Mauro: -WILL THE VELVETEEN DREAM'S TITLE REIGN ALSO GO UP IN FLAMES?!?!

Beth: ...

 

I'm not anti-Mauro but this bit did absolutely crack me up.

This was a home run showcase I thought, even though the move to USA and off the Network (live) has absolutely screwed me personally in the arsehole and I'll probably never be able to watch the damn show in a timely manner or spoiler free ever again. But hey, I still have NXTUK.

The other thing that struck me is that here is WWE, launching a third branded show on a major network, live, and soon to be head-to-head with their main competition, this huge grand opening and they need a big bang to start off... and they throw the women out there. And not only women, but mostly women of colour. They trust these women to have a 15 minute balls out spotfest on live TV that makes the crowd go wild and chant "NXT" and demonstrate what the product is. With a female refereeing and a female announcer. And it was all so... normal. This is what the new normal has to be.

Fuck Dream losing and fuck Nickelodeon Evolution but hey. On second thoughts I'm fine with losing TV if it's just going to be all Cole, all the time for another six months.

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I actually thought the Network hour contained most of the stuff that should have been on USA. Ending with that huge brawl was a hot ending and Lio Rush and Matt Riddle come off as much bigger stars  than Undisputed ERA, even if the brand is going to be built around the latter. I’m sure someone thinks they’re cool but “stoned up dude who kicks people in the face in bare feet” is a much cooler aesthetic to me than “Dude who shouts his own name”

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Undisputed Era is played out as fuck if you ask me. I think jobbing Dream on their debut show was one of the dumbest things they could have done. 

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1 hour ago, Stiva said:

I actually thought the Network hour contained most of the stuff that should have been on USA. Ending with that huge brawl was a hot ending and Lio Rush and Matt Riddle come off as much bigger stars  than Undisputed ERA, even if the brand is going to be built around the latter. I’m sure someone thinks they’re cool but “stoned up dude who kicks people in the face in bare feet” is a much cooler aesthetic to me than “Dude who shouts his own name”

Yeah, that's one of the reasons I think NXT will benefit from 2 hours.

Finishing with a title change is not bad. In fact, it was a good match with some legit great moments, and the result did serve a purpose. However, if you had that AND managed to include the 2nd hour on TV, I believe more people would be inclined to watch the product the following weeks.

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The problem with a lot of announcers now is that they think they need to get themselves over.  The job of a commentator is to get the stories and characters over.  When JR was at his best, he added color to what was happening in the ring.  We remember what he said, but we also remember what it was in reference to.  You might remember some of Mauro's quips, but what was he referring to in the ring when he said it?  The guys on NXT UK do a good job of calling the action, moving the story along and adding a bit of color to what's happening.  That's what a good commentator does.

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The problem I have with Mauro is the sheer volume of his voice. When you chuck in his tortured, lame references, it becomes completely unbearable. Yeah, he has a personality but it’s grating in the extreme. People like him because he makes references and for 90% of people, references are the highest art form imaginable.

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It's representation. WWE for decades did everything they could to avoid, at all, presenting a product that made it feel like the nerdy/geeky/informed/smark/internet/etc. fan was being represented at all. It's why the Edge/Christian "This is a run-in" stuff felt like such a big deal and why everyone had about a three month love affair with Matt Striker in 2009 despite how bad he was. We're on the other side of the looking glass now though.

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I'd rather listen to drunk Vampiro than Mauro. It's sad, because like I said,  would probably check out NXT, but the last Takeover I tried to watch let my soul scarred. After three minutes I want to slap the fuck out of him so he would just shut the fuck up for ten seconds. The fact he's considered any good blows my mind. Matter of tastes, I guess, but still...

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3 minutes ago, Log said:

The problem with a lot of announcers now is that they think they need to get themselves over.  The job of a commentator is to get the stories and characters over.  When JR was at his best, he added color to what was happening in the ring.  We remember what he said, but we also remember what it was in reference to.  You might remember some of Mauro's quips, but what was he referring to in the ring when he said it?  The guys on NXT UK do a good job of calling the action, moving the story along and adding a bit of color to what's happening.  That's what a good commentator does.

It's the reason why I defend Cole so much. When he's not in a micromanaged environment, or even a couple of weeks ago when the commentary team was him, Renee and Vic Joseph, he did a great job at pretty much selling you on the match and explaining the story and motivations. Vic himself is great.

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23 hours ago, sek69 said:

I love how that person in the tweet was all "one show in and they're turning on Mauro" when people have been down on him for a while. Or is PWO just ahead of the curve?

Nice to see that he's taking a page from Seth's playbook and play the "check the bank account" card though.

The Wrestling Features account is doing the positive Wrestling fan grift. A popular one and an easy way to gain followers.

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Speaking of announcers, it seems like post Fox there will be completely separate announce teams for Raw and SD. Dave said it looks like Cole will be on SD, so I wonder how things will shake out.

I really like the dynamic Corey and Byron have. Byron plays his role as straight man/comic foil great doesn't have to always have the last word like Renee does which causes the Raw team to sound like bickering children. 

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As was mentioned earlier in this thread, here in Canada we do not get the USA Network, so I was unable to see the debut of NXT on Wednesday.  However, the WWE Network showed a replay (of the USA hour and the Network hour combined) last night, so I finally had a chance to sit down and watch the whole thing.  I have to say, that was pretty damn good show.  That was the best two hours of WWE produced TV I can remember seeing in...I don't even remember how long.

- I could have lived without the cornball Triple H opening, but this is his baby so I guess we have to forgive him if he's a little hyped up. The crowd was very hot for this opening and the entire show, and that really helped the overall aura.  Speaking of which, there are so many things about NXT that I prefer to Raw and Smackdown, one of which is the lighting.  I am unabashedly old school, and I love leaving the ring lit and the crowd darkened.  It's things like that which distinguish between NXT and Raw/Smackdown.

- The opening Women's Fatal 4 Way was outstanding.  As has been mentioned by other posters already, this match clearly demonstrated that WWE has a ton of confidence in their NXT Women's division if they let them be in the opening match right off the bat of their first Broadcast Network show.  This was a super-fun match and it's so nice to see a high stakes match on TV which names a #1 contender that is actually going to pay off on TV as well, not a PPV.  There's not really anything negative you can say about this match, in my opinion.

- I am not familiar with Keith Lee, but based on the video package I am looking forward to his match with Dijakovic next week.  I liked Dijakovic a lot when I saw him fight Moose in ROH a couple years back and I assume he has only improved since then.

- The Cameron Grimes squash on Maluta was too short to be offensive.  Grimes certainly has a unique look. He's another guy I have heard of but not seen.

- Damian Priest vignette was good.  It reminded me a bit of Aleistar Black, which reminded me that as per usual, WWE took a guy who was doing great in NXT and have accomplished exactly jack squat with him since.  First he was in a Tag Team with Ricochet, and then...some vignettes, he fought Cesaro and now...nothing.  And this guy was one of the hottest acts in NXT.  Is he injured or something, or does "creative just not have anything for him."  Anyhow, if I was Damian Priest and I was doing a dark, gothic character, I would look at Aleistar Black and pray I don't get "promoted" to the "main roster."

- Surprisingly, I didn't enjoy the Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong match as much as I thought I would have.  I like both guys, but something about this match didn't click for me. Maybe it was too much of a styles clash.  Maybe it was the fact that Dream can't keep his pants up.  I dunno.  I still think Dream is money and it's scary how good he already is considering how young and inexperienced he is.  I think if he is brought along slowly and used properly (ha!) this guy could be big money.  Then again, I thought the same thing about Aleistar Black.  Wouldn't it be great if NXT on USA actually does well, and they end up getting seen as their own functional brand on par with Raw and Smackdown?  Then guys wouldn't need to be "called up to the Main Roster" and they could have good careers in NXT.  I know that is a pipe dream, NXT is a developmental league or the place guys like Breezeango go to die.  But it would be nice if it happened.  I for one don't have a huge issue with Strong taking the title here.  I am kind of hoping Velveteen Dream continues to feud with The Undisputed Era but gets moved into a match with Adam Cole.  And I love big heel stables who have all the belts, so I am not as tired of The Undisputed Era as others seem to be.

- Now we're into the Network hour, and I just want to say that I fucking loved loved loved the match between Ruas and Dunne.  LOVED IT I tell you.  Ruas has an odd style which I like because it makes him different from everybody else, and Dunne found a way to work with it.  The match wasn't crazy long or anything but I'd give a solid three and a half stars, that's how great I thought it was.  More of this type of match, and more of both these guys, please.

- Just like Cameron Grimes earlier in the night, the Xia Li match was too short to be offensive.  I like the fact that they are doing a couple of squash matches on the show.  It puts the winners over as a big threat, it gives the loser TV time where they probably wouldn't have gotten any otherwise, and it breaks up the pace of the show in a good way.  And I was a big fan of Li, from the little I saw of her.

- I was very surprised to see Imperium show up, and I never even thought about the possibility of WALTER vs. Kushida of all things, but now that I have...let's see it.  I assume this is another match they're going to want to show on Network TV, and so they should. That has the potential to be excellent.  And damn, is WALTER ever over.  Funny how the NXT US crowd seems really into him, whereas in NXT UK he has succeeded in getting himself across as a real heel, for the most part.

- Not gonna lie, I don't like Lio Rush, not one little bit.  I do love me some Oney Lorcan, and I was hoping he would win this #1 contenders match so we could see Lorcan/Gulak for the title. I am very happy WWE is planning on making the Cruiserweight Division part of NXT.  That can only mean a lot of good guys are going to get more work and TV time.  As much as I don't like Lio Rush, he looked pretty good in this match. That spot where he got thrown through the ropes but bounces back into a stunner was crazy, I've never seen that before. I also found it somewhat amusing that the announcers were talking about Rush being gone so long because he was dealing with some mental health issues and focusing on his rap career.  Apparently, being a jackass backstage so everybody ends up hating you is now a "mental health" issue.  Anyhow, my anti-Lio bias aside, this was a damn fun match.

- The Main Event was what it was.  The Riddle/Dain feud seems odd to me, although I like both guys.  I thought the huge brawl involving the entire roster was a good visual, and if you were seeing the show for the first time it would give you the impression that this will be a very unpredictable, exciting and fun show to watch.  Not a fan of Street Fights in general or inconclusive finishes, but it wasn't boring.

The only negative thing I can say about this show is (surprise) the horrible performance of Mauro Ranallo.  He can take a show this great and make it a chore with his stupid, pointless and shoe-horned in attempts at alliteration and his needless pop culture references.  I am sure he thinks that is his trademark, but it comes across as so forced and unnatural.  He just doesn't get that he is supposed to be putting the matches and wrestlers over, not getting his own stupid pointless gimmick over.  The show is about NXT, not Mauro Ranallo.  Also, there were several glaring examples yet again this week of him interrupting Nigel and Beth while they were speaking and trying to make a point.  As much as I hate Michael Cole, at least he lets his broadcast partners talk and doesn't interrupt them by screaming out the name of a manoeuvre or whatever.  And did you catch when Nigel was putting over the length of Pete Dunne's WWE UK Championship reign, and Mauro just HAD to jump in there and point out that he'd already made that point?  What an asshole.  And finally - and maybe worst of all, what the fuck is up with his constantly shouting and screaming?  Is this guy incapable of calling a match in a normal tone of voice?  I'm all for getting excited, all the great announcers did it at times, JR was as guilty as anybody - but he wasn't constantly shouting ALL THE DAMN TIME.  I find it really hard to believe that Triple H and whoever else is in charge there doesn't see Mauro Ranallo as a massive liability who can actually turn fans away from this product.  Because he is.

There was one more positive thing I wanted to mention.  I fucking hate stupid overused PC buzzwords like "inclusiveness" and "diversity" and "progressive" which all have perfectly valid uses and literal meanings, but they get overused to the point of being ridiculous.  However, having said all that - I was really impressed with how diverse the NXT roster and this show really was.  A great women's division with American, Japanese and Chinese women...and more.  And on the men's side, European, American, Japanese, Brazilian. Black and White. NXT really is a global brand that has representatives from all over the world, and I think it's really cool that we get to see people like Ruas and Li, who a few years ago we probably wouldn't have been able to see.

Anyhow, no matter how you look at this show...it was definite win for NXT.  If they keep putting out this high quality type of Pro Wrestling every week, I'm not going to miss it. It was a breath of fresh air, and totally different from the so-called Main Roster shows.  It didn't come off as overly scripted or produced.  Great stuff.

 

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Just now, SirEdger said:

@TheThreadKiller To help you out about Cameron Grimes, that's Trevor Lee.

Thanks brother.  It's funny, I always keep my eye on what's going on in Impact, yet I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of him being X Division Champion.  Weird.  Well, I liked his look and gimmick last night. 

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Enjoyed your post Thread Killer.

Velveteen Dream entered the match with Roddy with a back/lumbar injury and it got worse during the match. I hope that isn't a sign of his body breaking down already.

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