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Edwin

[2021-03-03-WWE-NXT] Finn Balor vs Roderick Strong

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This was so much better than I expected it to be. To me, Roddy was always the best member of TUE and before the pandemic he was killing it at NXT live events with quality matches against diverse opponents. Finn has also had a really good year so far putting on a MOTYC against KOr and the TakeOver title match with Dunne which I know some folks dug, however this to me was a notch above the Dunne title defense and a notch below the KOr rematch. Strong's back work is usually on point and here it was no different. There was a cool choke Finn pulled out here mid match that I'd never seen before and would make for a really cool finisher if he decided to change it up (although his double stomp is pretty great, as is his 1916). Finn's countering the gut buster with a double stomp was insane. Dug the finish with Finn hitting two big moves and it ending instead of the 2.99 big move exchanges. Really good TV main event.

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I like the work around the elbow. I found it interesting trying to understand Balor's motivation in this match. Like, it feels like Roddy wasn't prepared in kayfabe for this match and was distracted in his mind by his issues with Cole. To me, it feels like Balor purposely goaded Roddy into this match, as if Balor had been planning to fight an unprepared Roddy this night. As in, he knew what to say to get under Roddy's skin and knew an unprepared emotional Roddy wouldn't be thinking straight and would be an easier win for Balor. So maybe it was to send a message to Cole, maybe Balor doesn't really trust the UE to be really broken up, and as well he may have seen Roddy as a possible contender down the line and it was better to get a win against him now in a "best defense is a good offense" kind of way. I really thought the way Roddy was selling in the first half of the match, it looked almost as if he had been caught. As if he was thinking "oh shit I wasnt ready for this I was too worried about Cole I didnt think about Balor!" These kind of things serve to make a match like this more enjoyable to me than a typical WWE TV main event.

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