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[2019-11-24-WWE-Survivor Series] Adam Cole vs Pete Dunne

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Adam Cole defends the WWE NXT Title.

Both guys are banged up after last night NXT show and they go straight to work on each others injuries. The crowd seem burnt out by the time this one starts, but they gradually get back into the action once things pick up. Dunne and Cole do great jobs at selling their respective injuries. Dunne tries to work through the pain, although it's clear that he's in a lot of pain. The finishing stretch is a thing of beauty. Any match that has an apron Canadian Destroyer and not take me out of the match is doing something right. These guys made a spot that I would usually hate work. The compact length stopped this from turning into one of the many Adam Cole NXT Takeover Kickout Fests that I haven't been a fan of. A great showcase for NXT on one of WWE's biggest shows of the year.

★★★★¼

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This was a really good match, but while I'm not a huge stickler for long-term selling, the fact that they were able to go through the finishing stretch with the injuries they had (particularly Cole) knocked this down a few pegs for me. There were some pretty outrageous spots and the final Panama Sunrise was probably the most logical way you could do a destroyer in a match. Just wish they had sold a tad more.

***3/4

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This is one of those matches where the entire concept is so galling to me that it was impossible for me to call it good - even though, in a vacuum, in a "video game wrestling" sense, it works because (a) as much as I don't buy Cole as a top guy, his execution is undeniably sharp and Dunne - while overexposed at this point - is just as good and (b) the crowd was definitely into it by the end. Cool moves, crowd that was into it, no real dead spots, those ingredients usually make for a good-to-great match.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, this is like having hot dogs and potato chips for Thanksgiving. It was simply the wrong match to have. Not only had Cole wrestled a WAR GAMES match before, he had taken a mega bump from the top of the cage through a table in said match, and also wrestled a ladder match on Wednesday (that I didn't see, but, lemme guess, he took some bumps off a ladder?). If I'm not mistaken, he also wrestled on SmackDown? 

Adam Cole not just taking the DQ loss or having his stablemates bumrush Dunne before the bell and beat him down with weapons or put him through a table and then give Cole the cheap makes him one of the dumbest heels ever and, instead of me watching the match and saying, "Wow, that Adam Cole sure is tough!" I'm left thinking, "Wow, the WWE really does not give a shit at all about building stories or characters, do they? WWE is just Cirque De Soleil or Ice Capades, where stories from 24 hours earlier don't matter, its all just the same show every night, like the circus." 

So, if you like the circus, if you like the athleticism of gymnasts doing floor routines, if you dig the Ice Capades, then you might really like this match. Unfortunately, I found it insulting, another example of Vince McMahon and Triple H mocking their own fanbase for actually maybe possibly thinking that a wrestling match on Saturday night might actually mean something on Sunday.

* Edit - Also, the idea that Cole "only" putting in 14 minutes makes this match different than the 30-minute ones we're used to just goes to show how trained we are. This match was at least 10 minutes too long if you think about what it really should've been/could've been.

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