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Posts posted by Go2Sleep

  1. Off topic, but the comparisons between WM 31 and 34 just show how embarrassingly little the main roster has progressed in that time frame. Brock/Roman main, HHH/Steph working with Rousey, injured Taker working a short match, Cena slumming it in the midcard, Rusev fighting for the US title, Usos, New Day, and Cesaro all fighting for tag titles...

    On topic, Gargano/Ciampa now leads the way for top match. Dunne/Strong moving down is a bit sad, but you can't argue with the storyline, heat, and finish of Gargano/Ciampa. I don't know if I would go so far as to call it "old school," unless we're all old enough that mid 2000s indy blood feuds like Jacobs/Whitmer now fall under that umbrella, but that's what it reminded me of (and that's a good thing).

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  2. 25 minutes ago, RolandTHTG said:

    Someone's beating Lesnar on RAW tomorrow night in under five minutes. Whether it's Roman, Braun, a returning Samoa Joe or AJ unifying them I don't know

    I will 100% forgive tonight's Roman/Brock match if they do a hard reset with Braun winning the belt tomorrow. Plus it would likely involve some hilarity with Cesaro and Sheamus wrestling a 10 year old boy for a short period.

  3. Ho hum, just another literally perfect wrestling show from NXT.

    Ember and Andrade look like the most obvious call-ups. Probably AoP too.

    The future never stops looking bright for NXT, though. Love that they pulled the trigger on the Pete Dunne face turn, and UE vs. the UK faces is gonna rule. Black as champ feels like a total Drew McIntyre replacement, but Black can work and I look forward to an eventual match between the two. Shayna's gonna kill it as the ace in the women's divison.

    This show is why I still give WWE $10 a month.

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  4. That was just a weird Wrestlemania. Way too long of course, as has been the case for the past few years, but not really overly good or bad. Found myself scratching my head at a lot of the finishes.

    The Andre battle royal was jobber-iffic. I loved how the announcers talked about how this match making someone's career when the last two winners were in the same match this year. Matt's woken universe may well be a life preserver for Bray Wyatt's WWE career at this point.

    The women's battle royal was slightly better because at least the NXT contingent infused a few people who actually gave a shit into the match. Kicking the can on Sasha/Bayley again was the first of many strange moments throughout the night.y

    The CW title match was just there. I feel like I've missed nothing having not watched 205 Live since like week 3.

    Seth Rollins gets the IC belt? Sure, why not?

    Asuka/Charlotte was a really good match and I while I wouldn't have ended the streak here, it didn't feel out of place. Whoever scripted the post match should not be leaving New Orleans as a WWE employee. Just terrible stuff that doesn't fit Asuka at all and makes both her and Charlotte look worse for how transparently insincere it was. A turn from Asuka here would've made way more sense than the turn later. Then of course you had the ref and Cena hamming it up in the background when that could have been done in any number of lesser matches.

    The US title match was boring as it looked, the least over guy won, and we're guaranteed more Jinder Mahal ppv matches in the future. Yay.

    The mixed tag was as good as it could've been. Ronda looked awkward at some points, but very good at others. She definitely has a lot of potential in the ring. If they let her tap HHH, the roof would've come off. They could've still had her take Steph out afterwards, felt like a missed opportunity. At least for one match on this show, they knew who the star was and booked the match accordingly.

    SD tag title match was surprising. I always liked the Harper/Rowan team, so I was glad to see them get a dominant showcase and take the belts.

    The Cena/Taker payoff was what it should've been. Hopefully both guys take a lot more time off.

    The SD gimmick tag match was the exact opposite of the Raw gimmick tag. So much verifiable talent, and booking that made no sense with it. Loved that Bryan's still the most over guy in the company when he steps in the ring. So of course, Shane works the bulk of the match selling a made-up injury when they could've had a better seller with a legit injury history getting serious heat for the heels. Then Bryan sells the apron powerbomb less than anyone, cleans house and wins clean to keep Sami and KO off SD? Why?

    Nia/Alexa was decent. Alexa got way more offense than she should have, but the finish was right. I hope Nia can channel her off-camera likeability into being a good face.

    AJ/Nak was your standard "good WWE Nakamura" match. Nak's entrance was boss too. The post-match turn made very little sense on its own, and even less so in the context of doing a surprise turn that will require an explanation with a guy who doesn't do long promos in English.

    I don't care what anyone else thinks, the Braun/Nicholas team was awesome. They should've done more with Nicholas, but that was good comedy and I'm glad to see that the death spot didn't hinder the creativity or effort in this match.

    The main event was just bizarre. It could've been a decent match without that terrible F5-kickout-repeat sequence, but that ensured that the crowd turned on it, when it looked like they were going to dodge that bullet at first. Roman doing the first true WWE crimson mask in 10 years or so was pretty cool, but they had already lost the crowd at that point. Then Brock went over, which gets more and more puzzling each time you think about a different piece of Raw's booking over the last year. And as if Brock going over wasn't bad enough on its own, they just did it with a lame F5. They obviously planned the hardway blood like Brock did with Cena and Orton, but they didn't use it all. A call-back to Bret/Austin where Roman fades in the kimura would've at least been cool if you didn't think about the build up. The craziest thing is the multi-year plan to beat the audience down and accept Roman winning here had worked and everyone was going to let it happen to mostly indifference, then they just decided to make the wrong decision at every juncture for the last 10 minutes and we're back to square one. You figure it out.

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  5. Cole/Dunne was just as good as Strong/Dunne until the non-finish. Adam Cole is such a great weasely heel that mostly gets his ass kicked, but is tough and crafty enough to be credible on offense when he gets an opening. The timing on the backflip superkick was really good.

    Guess I should give Black some slack for his recent promo work and blame those terrible brooding promos entirely on the writing. He pulled off the standard WWE smartass face material just fine.

  6. On 3/13/2018 at 12:03 PM, Boydy said:

    I find it funny that people think Daniel Bryan is a better worker then Shawn Michaels, really lol.

    I'm not sure why that would be funny at all. I'll take Bryan's ROH title run against any stretch of Shawn's career, let alone 1998 or later. Not to make everyone feel old, but Shawn's back injury was over 20 years ago...

    That said, I'll defend second-run HBK more than most here. Having re-watched a lot of 2000s WWE in the last couple of years, he had far more good than bad during that stretch. His return match against HHH, the first chamber, Mania 20 triple threat, 07 Cena matches, 08 Jericho matches, and strong close with the Taker matches were all better than most guys can claim from that time frame. The worst stuff you could point to would be some of the longer HHH singles matches or the Hogan match (but at least that one was funny bad). Even in his forgettable stuff like his work with Masters, Kennedy, JBL, etc, he still proved he could work a crowd as well as anyone. He wouldn't be out of place in a WWE top 10 for the first decade of the 2000s.

    Bryan's just that much better. His 2002-2008 ROH run is about as high quality a run as you can get, peaking with work against Nigel, Strong, KENTA, and Morishima. The 2008 Nigel heel turn match is one of my favorite matches ever. Putting Bryan's WWE run against HBK's second run would be more of a fair fight, but not even necessarily one where HBK comes out ahead. Bryan still had matches with Sheamus, Punk, the Shield, Orton, Bray, HHH, and Roman that would give Shawn's résumé a stern challenge. Not to mention, Bryan had a stretch where he was the most over face since Austin and basically forced WWE to re-write a WM around him. That should count for something. Putting it all together is a no contest.

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  7. Cena's gonna be working the Andre battle royal at this rate with all his potential opponents going down like Mr. Burns' all-star softball team. Even if Lance Storm avoids the Springfield Mystery Spot or being accused of every unsolved murder in New Orleans history, you know Vince would can him last minute for not shaving his sideburns.

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    • Haha 1

  8. I'm surprised anyone is remotely worried about the Black/Almas match. They've been two of the better in-ring guys in the company the last year plus. Now, the promos leading up to the match on the other hand... If the last two weeks are any indication, Vega and the video package team have their work cut out for them.

  9. On 2/26/2018 at 12:08 PM, Hamhock said:

    Did Coach inadvertently spoil that Braun was coming out next? Commentary got a little quiet and stilted right after that.

    No, Elias was guaranteed the last spot as a result of his triple threat win over Cena and Braun on Raw a couple weeks ago. Maybe the other announcers were shocked that Coach gave the audience credit and didn't rehash everything in obnoxious, buzzword-laden detail.

    The show was pretty much what you'd expect. Sasha and Braun continue to get screwed in favor of the chosen ones. The booking for the men's chamber was so lame, it had to be all Vince. The entire main event scene on Raw sans Roman got their finishers buried by a guy who's likely going to be challenging for the IC belt at Mania. He should've lost to a finisher train followed by the 4-person powerbomb. Then you could get Elias a rub by re-creating the Santino/Bryan chamber finish with him and Roman since everyone knew Roman was winning anyways.

    If WWE has any sense at all, AJ/Nak will go on last since that's the match the crowd will be the most (appropriately) into. If Brock is in fact done after Mania, you can bank on another WM 20 situation with him and Roman.

  10. Not sure what the plan is with Baszler, but it felt like a mistake to not give her the title here. I get that Ember didn't really get a fair shake with Asuka on the roster, but it's also pretty clear that Shayna has a lot more potential than Ember. Ember has a Becky Lynch ceiling, where she'll always be good but not the top star or most interesting talent. They'd also be smart to keep Shayna and Ronda away from each other for quite a while.

    Dunne/Strong was the best NXT match in a while. Really smart use of the arm work, good selling by Strong, good pace, crowd-popping counter spots, and a great finish.

    Aleister Black always delivers in his matches, but man, his promos are brutal. Bad writing and bad delivery. They really need to re-evaluate what they want to accomplish with his character if he's gonna make it big.

  11. And to finish the list...

    16. Tyler Breeze - The gorgeous one perhaps took off a year too late. He could've found success if NXT went the direction of Bo Dallas, but when Tyler caught on, it was clear the Cesaro/Zayn/Neville wing was the future and Breeze, though solid, was not at that level. Still, not many took ownership of their character quite like Tyler. He made a hokey early 90s style gimmick work in the 2010s. And he performed his own theme song, that counts for a lot. While the comparisons to 92 HBK were absurd even at the time, he did manage to create a memorable character that walked the fine line between comedy and a credible upper midcarder.

    17. Adrian Neville - For most of his tenure, his character was "good wrestler with cool finisher," but the importance of that role can't be understated for early NXT. Between the transition from Bo and the Sami feud, Neville had to work title programs with Titus O'Neill and Brodus Clay and made the most of it, likely giving each their best career matches. He kept the credibility of NXT's wrestling up while the brand took shape. Then he had that awesome tweener run in the Sami feud that catapulted NXT in to the stratosphere.

    18. Samoa Joe - Fans had been clamoring for Joe in WWE for over a decade, but his age and excessive time spent in TNA had people wondering if this was just going to be more "what could've been." It took a couple months to get his feet back under him, but it wasn't long before Joe was the same ass-kicking fire-promo that everyone knew and loved. It wasn't 2005, but he worked briefly as a face and mostly as a heel as a central figure in the third wave of NXT dominance.

    19. Emma - Emma was certainly one of the more underrated figures in the women's revolution, despite never getting the top. Instead of one dominant run like many of the memorable NXT superstars, she had two distinct supporting runs. Her first tenure as a face followed the classic making something out of nothing model and her comeback heel run was a polished example of how to elevate people as a midcard heel. Both times around she didn't reach the top, but she definitely helped those who did around her.

    20. Sanity - I was trying to avoid a cop-out group shout here, but other than Sawyer Fulton, it's tough to say anyone hasn't contributed significantly. My main issue is that I couldn't pick between Nikki Cross and Killian Dain who both seem to have lots of untapped potential yet. Nikki sells the "craziness" of the gimmick better than anyone in the group, but Dain certainly has the appropriate wildman look and most importantly, sells it in the ring. Still, Young has provided acceptable promos and some decent babyface work in tag matches, and Wolfe is the unappreciated workhorse who has shown a lot of fire when given a chance.

    Waiting in the wings: Adam Cole, Shayna Baszler, Velveteen Dream, Lars Sullivan

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  12. 11. Andrade 'Cien' Almas - Almas is another guy with sort of a meta character arc. He was supposed to come in and get over doing what he had done elsewhere and be a low-maintenance star. He didn't pan out right away, though, and ended up being used to put over hot free agent signings brought in after him. So, what did they do? Incorporate that into his character of course. Use his aura of entitlement to make him heel, and explain his poor record as a result of not taking his job seriously. Then fix him by pairing him up with a manager who channels all his talent and turns him into the superstar he was supposed to be when came in. Even if his story arc ended now, he would've had a great run, but his excellent ring work and the fact that he's in position to put people over now are only going to improve his standing as time goes on.

    12. Asuka - An undefeated gimmick is a pretty easy one to work with if you have even a small amount of talent, so needless to say, Asuka crushed it during her time in NXT. She was more of face due to the inherent appeal of an ass-kicker, but she never adhered to too many babyface conventions. At times, she was arrogant, relished hurting inferior opponents, and mowed down other babyfaces. Other times, she did play it straight, fighting off cheaters, hanging tough with larger opponents, and showing gratitude the fans. She was simply Asuka, and everyone had to respect her.

    13. Chad Gable - The dorky guy who put his name on his towel was easy to like the first time he was on camera. As he recruited a struggling Jason Jordan, you could see big things ahead for both of them. Chad took one of the long-forgotten pre-network home-growns and got him out of his shell and into one of the most successful tag teams in NXT history. In the ring, Chad could play a sympathetic babyface with the best of them and had no shortage of crafty amateur-based offense to balance the suddenly explosive Jordan. Along with the Revival, American Alpha opened the floodgates for the NXT tag team wave.

    14. Bo Dallas - While mostly a pre-network success story, this generic blue-chipper babyface finding himself as the all-time great "heel who thinks he's a face" was sign that NXT was moving in the right direction. He put Neville over strong to kick off the network, and provided some quality stooging heel work as the product began to take on a new direction.

    15. Johnny Gargano - Somehow, Johnny Wrestling turned a generic look and even more generic promos into being one of the iconic underdogs in NXT history. In the ring, his passion shines through, and it's hard to not pull for the guy. His underdog work highlighted the premier tag team feud in NXT history and has translated nicely to singles. As time goes on and he potentially completes a title chase and vanquishes his jealous former partner, he could see himself as high as #4 on my list, but that's still to be determined. As is, he has nothing to be ashamed of with a very successful NXT run that has likely exceeded just about everyone's expectations for him.

  13. Thread says top 20, so I need to continue.

    6. Finn Balor - Part of a loaded signing spree at the end of 2014, Finn was brought in as an equalizer for the much more hyped Hideo Itami who was being tormented by the Ascension. When it was time for the tag team blowoff match, Finn promised he would show them something they've never seen before. Out came the demon, and the equalizer had instantly become the next obvious future star of the brand. The whole demon gimmick could've been way too campy by itself, let alone with Finn's natural dorky personality, but he established himself as the most over act on the show at a time when NXT was going through its growth spurt. From charming bookworm and lego enthusiast to unstoppable warrior, Finn established himself as a guy that was ready to win a major title his first month in WWE when his highly successful NXT run concluded.

    7. Bayley - As the other key component to the NXT women's revolution, her story arc necessitated her being out of the spotlight while everyone else was established. However, when it was her time to shine, she was blinding. Her redemption arc concluded with two of the finest matches in NXT history opposite #1 Sasha Banks. Then she had several months of an underappreciated ace run, making next-gen mainstays like Nia, Alexa, and Carmella look great before she succumbed to Asuka, who needed no introduction. Bayley will always be known as the huggable underdog, but she had the range and talent of a complete superstar.

    8. Enzo Amore - Recent flame-out aside, you have to give him his just due when it comes to all-time NXT characters. First, he unquestionably had the most over catchphrase in NXT history. Second, he provided a vehicle to get generic big-man-project Colin Cassidy off the ground, which was definitely not happening before hand. You could definitely draw some parallels between them and the New Age Outlaws, though Enzo was never the worker Road Dogg was. The biggest parallel is that they were a generational tag team act in terms of overness, and it was on the back of Enzo's mic work. Enzo's template was so successful, they tried to copy it with Carmella, only to find that his charisma was truly unique.

    9. Bray Wyatt - It's tough for pre-network era NXT guys to get a lot of credit here due to lack of exposure, but to me, Bray stands out as the early successful experiment that showed the true future potential of the new developmental system. After floundering as the horrendously-named Husky Harris, Bray was able to fully reinvent himself at the performance center, taking advantage of increased emphasis on character development and increased production capabilities. While most of his success would come from transferring his act to the main roster, the credibility it gave to the new system and proximal benefits it provided to Harper and Rowan earn him a spot on this list.

    10. Shinsuke Nakamura - Nak is a tough to rank because you want to honor the people who carved out identities from scratch and developed along with brand, while there's very much a "this is just Shinsuke being Shinsuke" thing going on with him, especially coming in when the brand was at its peak. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that over is over, though, and you just can't ignore what Nak brought to the brand, even if he was bringing the same thing to NJ for years prior. His charisma goes without saying, and he was one of the most over guys in the company the second he walked in. His first entrance was legendary, and his one uniquely NXT thing was the fact that he had the most over theme song in company history (edging out Glorious). While Nakamura would easily be over anywhere he goes, that should reflect positively on him, thus he rounds out my top 10.

  14. Joe's best NXT match was his 5-minute tv match with pre-DIY Ciampa right around the time Joe turned. Stiff slugfest that put Joe over strong, but helped separate Ciampa from the pack a little bit with a tough showing.

    Asuka's best NXT match was probably with Nia at The End. Her debut match against Dana was pretty perfect for what it was supposed to be as well.

    Nakamura's best NXT match was obviously the debut against Sami, but his match with Aries at The End is very underrated.

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  15. On 2/8/2018 at 11:56 AM, Hagan said:

    Just read the blurb in WON about how WWE wants to use Rousey to make Stephanie a bigger mainstream name. I mean, whatever, but it did remind that it's pretty clear that Stephanie is gearing up for a political career. It was Linda's dream and she's in government now and Stephanie has been laying the groundwork for herself as an ambassador and spokeswomen for various causes for years and trying to establish herself as not just a wrestling executive. She could probably win a Congressional seat in Connecticut.

    Couple pages back, but I don't think this is true at all. She lives in a D+7 district, and Connecticut is so blue there isn't even an oddly-shaped token R district she could move to. She wouldn't do any better than Linda statewide. A republican running in a blue wave year in an already deep blue state is DOA without even getting into WWE's shoddy business record and the large quantity of publicly available footage of her reveling in taking people's jobs. I guess she could break with her family and try to run as a dem, but rich pro-business centrist dems aren't exactly in style these days (and probably will be much less so in 2020), and that's before taking into account how poorly all the pics with her and Trump together will play, Linda in the Trump admin, etc.

    If Steph thinks she has a national political career ahead of her, that's just another example of a McMahon over-valuing themselves.

    • Like 6

  16. 1. Sasha Banks - The 1/2 decision was a very tough one for me and I could probably argue with myself all day on it. In the end, though, I think the biggest contribution from NXT is its impact on women's wrestling. In the wake of an all-woman Royal Rumble closing out WWE's second biggest show of the year, something unimaginable even 5 years ago, it's clear to me that women's wrestling will be NXT's biggest legacy, and that legacy runs through Sasha Banks. While not following the tried and true babyface underdog path, no one embodies the true pioneering, visionary, land-of-opportunity spirit of NXT quite like Sasha. In retrospect, her character was rather meta. She was a very effective heel in practice, but her rise up the card and in the eye of wrestling critics was as heart-warming as any babyface arc under the surface. The "four horsewomen of NXT" all have much-deserved acclaim, but the other 3 made their careers by working with Sasha. The whole women's operation, and in fact NXT's greatest accomplishment, simply doesn't work without her.

    2. Sami Zayn - Due to NXT's multi-year sustained run of above average to all-time great weekly wrestling show, it's easy to forget the times before all the hot free agents wanted to work there and it actually resembled a developmental promotion. Before NXT could coast on the talent of established indy stars, securing a guy like El Generico was a huge coup for the brand, not just a given. Still, this wasn't just taking and using what a guy had been doing on the indies or overseas for years, he had to ditch his signature mask, take on a WWE-sounding name (albeit one of the better ones), and start as if nobody knew who he was. However, it didn't take long for Sami's talent to shine through and he quickly became one of the most beloved figures in the company. Only Sami and Neville could work at the level NXT fans are accustomed to today when the show launched with the WWE network. While Neville would go on to develop a good character, Sami's combination of in-ring ability, relate-able personality, and ability to make everyone around him better made him the heart and soul of NXT during its critical early stages. Sami was the foundation that important figures like Kevin Owens and Shinsuke Nakamura were built on, and Sami Zayn is basically synonymous with NXT.

    3. Corey Graves - While not being blessed with the longevity to make his mark in the ring, it's impossible to say that Corey's announcing didn't embody the NXT spirit in exactly the same way Sami and Sasha did in the ring. Corey was a natural when he first sat in the booth and became the stable figure in a sea of rotating mediocrity that was early NXT announcing. Corey's intimate knowledge and passion for the brand was essential in putting over the sensational rise of the company. Often times we get so caught up with what we see, we forget what we hear, but we all know NXT wouldn't (and indeed hasn't) sounded the same without Corey in the booth.

    4. The Revival - Even when NXT was solidified as a must-watch brand with all the hottest talent, it still had a rather lackluster tag team legacy. The Ascension had been shoved down everyone's throats despite being awful, the Lucha Dragons failed to take off, Blake and Murphy wouldn't be remembered were it not for them being Alexa Bliss' stepping stone, and the Vaudevillains, while a neat niche gimmick, were unbecoming as a top act given where NXT was at as a brand. Thankfully a concentrated effort was made to remedy this situation in the form of the Dusty Rhodes Classic. While the flashy cool team of Samoa Joe and Finn Balor won the event, the big find were semi-finalists Dash and Dawson, two lower key signings that hadn't amounted to anything in singles. In a time all the hottest indy talent was coming in and the women were breaking new ground, Dash and Dawson went back to the basics and ended up being the central pillar in making the NXT tag division mean what it should. Their old-school, no-frills approach was balanced with a modern pace and just enough cool limb-destroying moves to fit in to modern NXT, while using classic methods of getting themselves and everyone they worked with over.

    5. Kevin Owens - While a babyface like Zayn was essential to establishing NXT as a promotion, you could tell they made it when they were ready for a dominant heel on top. After debuting to hot face reaction in a surprisingly heated battle with CJ Parker, he became the most hated man instantly when he ruined Sami's big moment later that night in dramatic fashion. Being able to destroy the ultimate sympathetic face as his first feud certainly helped, but you can't ignore what he brought the table. This is a guy who could work a fast pace at a very high level, and had all the quick wit on the mic to become a cool heel, but he didn't. He stayed, weasely, smarmy, and obnoxious, but had the mean streak of a true ace. He worked main roster ppvs with Cena as NXT champ and didn't miss a beat. Though his run was short, he was a key in continuing the upward trend of the brand's credibility while the company depth piled up behind him.

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