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ZAYN vs. HARPER  

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  1. 1. CHOOSE



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Both guys have had a great 12 months, but Harper has been slightly more entertaining for me. There's a consistency where you get a good-great Harper match at least once a week on TV, and I think teaming with him has helped Rowan improve no end. Also, it's hard to vote against a beast in a vest and jeans, with a wild beard, bald spot sticking out of the back of long, unkempt hair with a derranged look on his face who is clobbering guys. He's what I suspect John Zandig always wanted to be.

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Zayn has had a great year, but Harper has been a revelation. In a way I'm mad at myself because I feel like I'm subconsciously punishing Zayn for his best matches all being against Cesaro, which is probably not fair at all. Harper has had, in my eyes, a more robust year against a wider range of styles and wrestlers. 

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Tough call here although I went Zayn just because I think its harder in this day and age to come off as a generally likable white meat babyface than pretty much anything else in the realm of the professional wrestling.  I could certainly see the argument for both guys though since Harper is insanely to pretty soldlily good at everything I care about in wrestling.  Harper has good strikes (better than Zayn), works to fit his character (although the half nelson suplex and tope can be shelved for a while), can work 5-15 minutes in entertaining fashion, and looks actually intimidating.  Zayn does all of those things except the striking outside of the corner boot isn't as solid and the intimidating look (which he isn't going for).

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I really don't get the "take out the Half Nelson and Tope" stuff. The Half Nelson Suplex just looks like he's thinking "I'm gonna grab some body parts and throw him", and a Tope is just him throwing his body weight like a fucking mad man would do. If anything, the Tope fits the character, because no "average" big man is crazy enough to just fly out of the ring.

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I gave your points some thought El D and here's some more of my opinions which I will break up because they are different arguments.

 

I realize that I am applying a context to the half nelson suplex that does not apply to WWE world.  I've built the throw up in my mind as more of a death move that should kill a dude dead.  But this is like saying a La Magistral should be a super finisher in WWE like it is in lucha or that a tombstone should be death in Japan.  The move doesn't have that context in WWE since to my knowledge, it has no context in WWE whatsoever.  I agree with you regarding the execution that Luke puts into the move as a grab and throw but I'm just wary of anything that comes off too smooth when it comes to Harper.  I want him to be raw and off kilter as much as possible to stay within character.  So if he starts throwing out really good chain wrestling, I'm not going to look at it as a plus.  Again though, I see your point and don't think its too big a deal at this point.

 

The tope however needs to go or be edited to something else.  If for no other reason so it doesn't devalue Daniel Bryan's and the Usos' dives.  There seems to be a ton of dives to the outside in WWE right now and I while I get your explanation for Harper to do one, I think we are verging on too much of a good thing.  Harper's should be more like The Undertaker's dive over the top, saved for crucial points or changed to something like the Cactus Elbow to get him more uniqueness points.

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Harper's size is the thing that makes the tope unique though. Bryan, the Usos and Punk all use the tope because they have to throw their bodies around at death defying speed to make up for the fact that they are undersized compared to the other wrestlers. Harper is bigger than almost everyone on the roster, clearly could win his matches and punish his opponents just by being a super heavyweight, but chooses to tope and use a higher risk style seemingly just because he can. I feel as though the tope has been a big deal when he breaks it out and serves as a pretty big moment. To me, it's no different than Vader's moonsault which I don't think devalued other people doing top rope stuff. 

 

To me, the only move Harper does that takes me out of his matches is the Michinoku Driver. 

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This is a close one.  I went with Zayn because he's had good matches more consistently (?) over the year then Harper.  Harper's had a lot of good stuff, but there's a couple clunky tags here and there whereas Zayn has never had a clunky match all year.  Plus Zayn made Bo look like amazing.  

 

But, I have on problems with either one winning.

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I really like Sami Zayn. He's doing some good stuff down in NXT. Luke Harper, however, might be my favorite wrestler in the world right now. Which is funny because just a couple of months ago, I thought he wasn't really anything special at that he was overrated. He just seems to get it, though. The look, the power spots...playing the gimmick. The crazy eyes, the dirty t-shirt, the gator roll, the discuss clothesline...dude is money. Plus, although I really liked Cesaro/Zayn from NXT Arrival, The Shield Vs. The Wyatts from Elimination Chamber is better than anything Zayn has every done, including his El Generico run, in my opinion. That match was off-the-charts.

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The Michinoku Driver semi bugged me the first time, but he usually uses it as a running counter, almost like a sitout tilt-a-whirl. In that context it seems more like something a big crazy person would do in the moment just to drop you on your head, and it doesn't seem out of place anymore.

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Ugh, this is like friggin' Sophie's Choice. Voting for Zayn, because he doesn't use all the smoke and mirrors Harper uses, like the gimmick or the tag team partners. It's a weak excuse, I know, but I needed SOMETHING for a deciding factor.

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Ugh, this is like friggin' Sophie's Choice. Voting for Zayn, because he doesn't use all the smoke and mirrors Harper uses, like the gimmick or the tag team partners. It's a weak excuse, I know, but I needed SOMETHING for a deciding factor.

 

We won't berate you for this. Sometimes you just have to find that one downside.

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