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NXT TAKEOVER: RESPECT

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Just catching up after missing it for perfectly valid reasons (cough honeymoon). As someone who usually just watches the specials, it's pretty damn weird seeing Devitt where he's not all gimmicked up... even as himself, that entrance just screams "superstar."

 

This entire show was excellent. Everyone looked good but the women really stood out... as everyone else said, Asuka looked great but it wasn't a carry job by any stretch of the imagination. Dana looked good with what she had to do and definitely has potential going forward. As for the main, it was tremendous, perfectly timed storytelling but depressing at the same time... because the main stage will NEVER provide that quantity and quality. Seriously, do you have any faith in the WWE to successfully mine the NXT women for what makes them what they are there?

None at all. With the main brand heavily invested in a television show (the Divas thing on E) that is banking on making women look catty and shallow, there is zero reason for the NXT women to be treated as anything different. The "divas revolution" starts and ends with Vincent K. McMahon and his shareholders.

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I apologize in advance if I missed it earlier, but is Asuka using "21st Century Schizoid Man" as her entrance music? Because if not, it sure as hell sounds like it. And if it is, mind blown.

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Meltzer mentioned that HHH said -- either in a stockholder meeting or press conference, I can't recall -- that he "understands that what works in NXT wouldn't necessarily work on the main roster."  If he truly believes that and isn't just saying it to stay in Vince's good graces, that really sucks and so much for the "I cant wait for Vince to retire and HHH steps up" talk.  We'll just continue to get NXT as the wrestling show booked to please wrestling fans and Raw as the goofy variety show booked to please nobody.

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He said that in part because there are "demands from networks" which is absolutely true. I'm sure he will change things around and maybe pushing the women will be part of it but he can't do 100% what he wants to do.  He will have to cater to some people who have no interest in NXT.

 

If NXT continues to grow why worry about what's going on with RAW.  View NXT as its own promotion.

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What are you getting at?  I didn't imply that at all.  Vince doesn't appear to care much about the women's division or at least he didn't for a long time.  I'm saying that when Triple H takes over maybe that is one aspect of the program that he will change.  But in his conference call he acknowledged that there are networks/advertisers to answer to and they can't always do everything the way they want. I'm sure the networks wouldn't care either way about that but there are some things they do care about. Also, the core RAW audience might have different interests than the NXT audience.  Look at the Bellas.  They are supposed to be heels but they get cheers every week. That's Total Divas. Some people like them based on the TV show. Others don't really want them involved in the title scene. If Triple H takes over what does he do with the Bellas? Does he have them front and center of the division? Does he use them as valets?  Who knows.

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The Bellas get cheers when? They didn't even get cheers against Naomi and Tamina back when they were inexplicably booked as the face.

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They received some of the loudest cheers at the SD! I went to recently but that was Providence.  Who knows what they're into.

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Yeah, hate to break it to you but Bellas get cheers from the main roster crowd.

 

I think that's the big reason why they seem to flip flop so much; it's because even when they come into a match after a heel promo, whenever they do their signature moves, the crowd still cheers for them.

 

They could do an Edge 2010-11 and book them as face (even though they continue to do heelish things) but with the NXT gals around, it'll be bizarro world depending on the crowd.

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This was the first time I’ve seen Asuka, really good showcase debut with the best ever usage of “You Fucked Up” in her match with Dana as Dana;s disrespectful tapping on the top of Asuka’s head. Bonus marks for Asuka using one of my favourite ever submissions, the Cross Face Chicken Wing as the finish.

 

That's one of her 30 or so submission finishers. I think I've actually seen her win a match with a bulldog choke.

 

Thank you.

 

I don't have anything to add except that was a fun ass show. The Iron Woman match has to be MOTY right?

If you only watch WWE product, maybe.

Japan watchers would prob give you other choices. Lucha watchers might suggest Atlantis vs La Sombra. BOLA watchers might say something else.

 

The only WWE matches I have ahead of the Iron Woman match: 1. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins. WWE WrestleMania XXXI, 29th March. 2. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins. WWE Royal Rumble, 25th January.

 

I think the Ironman match was the best of the NXT Woman's matches. It edge the first Bayley/Sasha match slightly. That match was as close to perfect as possible, and this match saw psychology built from that match -- reversals and counters, Bayley going after Sasha's hand, etc. -- and some of the best heel work we'll ever see. I'm also really partial to the Ironman gimmick.

Sasha/Becky was really great in-ring storytelling. But I'm nowhere near as attached to Becky as a character as I am to Bayley. That match was absurdly great arm work. But Bayley/Sasha was a two-year clash between mirror images of each other representing good and evil.

 

We're in agreement.

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I don't understand the "they have to answer to the networks" argument.  As long as they're not doing Attitude Era style bullshit, I don't think the networks care about the content, booking, etc.  The impression I got from HHH's quote is more along the lines of Vince's GOD DAMN IT WE'RE MAKING MOVIES PAL logic, how the main roster needs to be booked "for a broader audience."

 

("Broader audience" in this case is defined as "people who don't give a shit about wrestling but we'll desperately pursue them anyway.")

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I don't understand the "they have to answer to the networks" argument.  As long as they're not doing Attitude Era style bullshit, I don't think the networks care about the content, booking, etc.  The impression I got from HHH's quote is more along the lines of Vince's GOD DAMN IT WE'RE MAKING MOVIES PAL logic, how the main roster needs to be booked "for a broader audience."

 

("Broader audience" in this case is defined as "people who don't give a shit about wrestling but we'll desperately pursue them anyway.")

 

USA has allegedly asked for the McMahons to remain on screen characters, has probably asked for screen time for the stars of Total Divas. As for how they could effect RAW, they could want only 90 minutes devoted to in-ring action, no male on female violence, no choking, no low blows. Hasn't everyone who ran WCW at some point come up with a list of things Turner Broadcasting would not allow them to do (ala foreign object = international object)

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Considering NBC Universal owns both USA and E!, I imagine that there are heavy demands to feature the Total Divas stars.

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I'm not sure anyone is saying "just run NXT and call it Raw."  But if you did a show closer to NXT and just threw a few bones to the network, it'd be a hell of a lot better than the crap we're served every Monday.

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I'm not sure anyone is saying "just run NXT and call it Raw."  But if you did a show closer to NXT and just threw a few bones to the network, it'd be a hell of a lot better than the crap we're served every Monday.

 

I agree with that and I believe that is what Triple H would want to do. That's how I took his statement.  I believe he would change a lot of things but he probably wouldn't be able to change everything.

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Sometimes a rose is just a rose.  I took his statement to mean some of the campier/more organic gimmicks (Emma, Adam Rose, Bo Dallas, Ascension) can't just be called up and expect to be automatically over.

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A lot of these NXT gimmicks might have worked better on Smackdown before they killed the brand split. Smackdown was where a lot of goofy gimmicks started - including John Cena lest anyone forgets. It was an underrated system. Today Smackdown is 'content', but basically custom designed to be ignorable - it's a bit like The Main Event was - before The Main Event became another Superstars. The irony of NXT is that they're actually slowly recreating the roster split era.

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All this talk about why Raw won't change is getting a tad depressing and quite a bit maddening.  I wish it was simply just getting rid of Vince but that's no the case.  And it'd be pretty extreme to wish a bunch of people would step aside (Dunn, people from USA and NBC Universal, etc.)  But that is all-the-more reason for me to treat NXT as its own brand and not developmental.  

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