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NXT TAKEOVER - NEW ORLEANS - 4/7/2018

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I guess it's time for Almas to get the call up, but it definitely feels like they're cutting that reign off just when it's hitting it's stride.  And while I like Black, he is definitely not a Face of the Brand guy at this point.  Those promo segments are going to be brutal.

I feel like I need to go back and watch the tag title match to see if they worked it so Roddy never touched UE.  I really don't remember.

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5 minutes ago, EVA said:

I guess it's time for Almas to get the call up, but it definitely feels like they're cutting that reign off just when it's hitting it's stride.  And while I like Black, he is definitely not a Face of the Brand guy at this point.  Those promo segments are going to be brutal.

I feel like I need to go back and watch the tag title match to see if they worked it so Roddy never touched UE.  I really don't remember.

He did hit O Reilly but it was like small and minor.  and I know he did a back breaker on him. 

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Maybe since Bryan cant wrestle Blue Panther anytime soon, he can feud with Sombra once the business with KO and Sami is done. 

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18 minutes ago, Josh Mann said:

The profit in NXT isn't in NXT. It's Balor Club, YES!, King of Strong Style merch, etc., sold at the WWE fanbase level. 

 

True, But Vince sees those sales are due to WWE main roster TV programmng and not because NXT is catering to The Indie or fan Base outside of WWE Tv

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Loved the ladder match, thought everyone involved came off well. I like Lars the most of all the newer 'monster' types today. Cole wouldn't have been my top pick to win but I figured he would take it. Thought Ember/Shayna was awesome. Ember getting a Lzzy Hale live entrance was super cool. Ember's reign felt really short for how long it took her to get there but this was all good stuff. Tag match disappointed me a bit, probably mostly because of Roderick turning which was kind of whatever and not what I wanted to see. Had been rooting for Roderick to have a babyface triumph moment eventually. But it did make me wish they'd show up at Mania and take out the cruiserweights in retaliation for Strong not being in the final there.

Liked Almas/Black a lot. Almas has killed it so much this reign and Zelina is the best manager. Finishing stretch was nicely done if a bit sudden and abrupt. I'm glad it felt like a moment Black had earned rather than a rushed push straight to the title that I originally thought he would get. Zero investment in the main event so I was kind of tuned out by that point, I find Ciampa corny as all hell and have been over the endless Gargano 'epics' for awhile so this wasn't for me but the work was fine. From what I caught that stood out, Ciampas top rope finisher deal looked like it shouldve been the finish and the deal with the crutch was some goofy male version of bayley/sasha melodrama, also figured the outcome was never in doubt but I'm glad they can presumably move on now. Overall, another great Takeover for sure.

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So, I have one (relatively minor) gripe with Gargano/Ciampa: The exposed turnbuckle. When you set something like that up and don't come back to it later, it's Chekhov's Gun. There was a false finish that occurred (I think with the first time of getting the Gargano Escape locked in) that I could totally have bought if it weren't for the fact that that turnbuckle was still sitting there before someone went into it. It didn't need to be exposed as early as it was.

Which is just to say that it wasn't a perfect match. It was a fucking great one, and it's right up there with the Almas match for MOTY to date.

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—From Ciampa’s entrance on—and months before, honestly—this whole feud has used silence and stillness really well. Both guys are as good at the gogo leg-slapping style as anyone, but they put that extensive vocabulary together with an uncommon understanding of punctuation.

Too many false finishes, if I’m feeling picky... but I’m not. 

@CristobalFwiw, they did use the exposed turnbuckle. Not quickly, but they did go to it.

—Well, they might not be as good at the gogo leg-slapping stuff as Almas, because I’m not sure anyone is. His matches are just incredible aesthetic exercises. Maybe that’s not your thing, and it isn’t always mine; but I’m often open to that style, and always when he’s practicing.

Black is... good. And I like him. But I need a bit more to love him, beyond seeming like the guy in the scene who’s a little too mad Inquisition got kicked off Satyricon’s tour. 

—Baszler is that good. I am late. Sorry. 

 

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I know they used it. I meant that UNTIL they used it, I knew the match couldn't end.

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I enjoyed Ember/Shayna too. Dug Ember's entrance and liked the Eclipse to the outside and Shayna using her hair to help cinch the submission instead of her injured arm. Shayna will make a great bully champion and I'm curious who will eventually unseat her. Lots of good potential challengers. I'm assuming Ember is called up soon. 

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I LOVED that Johnny exposed the turnbuckle and that they waited for the payoff. It's Masterful storytelling.Your hero is desperate and will go to any lengths is what wrestling is all about.

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Black is heading down a similar road as Ember - a skilled wrestler with a unique look but who doesn't have much of any well defined character.  They've done a good job showcasing Black's personality in the vignettes and with his body language, but when he has a promo to do the material he's given to work with (no idea how much input he has for his own stuff) it doesn't reflect any sort of character work at all, just some generic stuff about being a person who has fought a lot to get to where they are and wants to be the best.  

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It was a great, great show.

- The spot where EC3 was pancaked by the ladders made me think he was dead. I'm not the biggest Velveteen Dream guy because his gimmick feels horribly dated, but he is turning a corner.

- Shayna Bazsler should give people hope on Rousey. She definitely has it.

- Percy Watson adds nothing to the broadcast. In fact, I think that Nigel did the best job when he had to do it by himself after they took out the broadcast booth.

- Cien is going to be huge on the next level. What's funny is that a lot of you guys are back peddling like Deion Sanders covering a wide receiver. A bunch of you left him for dead.

- No surprises at ringside for once. The WWE has too much talent to begin with.

- And if I'm turning on someone, I'm not going to turn on the guy that brings his belt down to the ring in his teeth. Pete Dunne would be the last one I'd try that on.

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That ladder match was insane. It was long, but what I did like about the length is that everyone got to look good and get a fair amount of spots in. My general and usual problem with ladder matches with this many people in them is that they aren't well balanced. Plus guys will spend huge chunks laying around outside waiting to get their next spot in. This one seemed a little more balanced in terms of showcasing all the performers.

Granted, I still hope everyone is OK because some of those bumps looked gnarly. Even though it's not the main roster, I'm surprised they let them do some of those moves, like that rolling Death Valley Driver. 

The crowd was really into it the whole show and they were there for all the near falls and false finishes. I can't remember the last time a WWE crowd was this energized all throughout the show. 

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2 hours ago, Sasha said:

I feel bad for Candice LeRae having to put up with whatever the heck that was during the pre-show.

Its name is Pat McAfee.

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Pat McAfee found a way to emulate the worst of Matt Striker and Mauro. He made Sam Roberts almost tolerable. 

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I'm hoping for Team Gargano vs Team Ciampa at Wargames.

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Holy shit. Just finished watching. I'm exhausted.

Almas is so fucking amazing. There is no one else in the company that turns it on like him. I love that he's the only guy that will hit a big move and won't always lay around to sell it. That motherfucker hits a big move and then he pushes the Insanity Mode button and hits warp speed into the next spot. It adds such a level of intensity to his matches during this run and I don't think anyone else can match that. I really love Aleister Black and I'm happy he won, but I also feel like maybe Almas should have won. Either way, great match.

As great as it was, the main event was still miles better. That match was one of the damnedest things I've seen in a WWE ring in a singles match in a long, long time. It was such a fucking fight. I do wish that these guys would take it a little easy and not kill each other. So aside from me being worried about each guy's well-being every now and then, it was about as perfect as you can get. Awesome storytelling. They got me hook, line, and sinker at the end with Ciampa looking pathetic and Gargano stopping himself from hitting Ciampa. I even yelled out "NO!" I wanted these guys to be friends again.

And then that bald motherfucker went to grab his brace. Finishing the match with the STF using the brace across the face wound up being a more holy shit move than Cena using the rope in the STF to finish Umaga.

I really don't want any of these guys getting called up because they'll just be lost in the shuffle. At the same time, I wish there were some turnover on the main roster to make room for some of these guys. Cole is crazy over, as is Dream. Then you Gargano, Almas, etc. and there's so many guys to lead the main roster if there were just room for them.

What an incredible show. Best NXT Takeover ever?

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Serious Question: Would Gargano/Ciampa's finish be on the Mount Rushmore of match finishes for anyone else? I thought it was fucking perfect.

The other two obvious matches on said Mount Rushmore btw are Magnum/Tully I Quit and the Hansen/Kobashi Lariat From Hell. There is probably a 3rd I'm missing.

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I think so. I also immediately thought of Tully and Magnum.

Part of me wants to say Eddy unlacing his boot so it came off during the ankle lock leading Eddy retaining the title, but that's me being sentimental.

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Austin/Hart WM13, guys. Come on. 

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I was thinking there was a Steve Austin match with an all time finish. Yep, that would be it. 

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This was the first time I can remember a wrestling audience giving a single fuck about a live band.  Hunter really does know what he's doing. That never works and tonight the crowd was loving it. 

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That ladder match was insane.

That women's title match was exactly the kind of wrestling I love and would've been nearly impossible to top on almost any other show.

The tag match was solid but something had to be the "worst" match. The turn might not make much sense, but I like it?

Almas/Black was good. Not as good as Moon/Baszler, but really good. Black is incredible, Vega might be the best act in NXT, and Almas has dropped most of his really stupid offense in favor of more of his really violent offense. 

That main event though... Good fucking God. Gargano is the best face in the world and Ciampa is basically the devil. The finish was off the charts.

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3 hours ago, Peck said:

I can't see Almas going up without Vega. Not only is she a great mouthpiece, she can work too. She'll get a decent push at the major-league level. 

They'd be crazy to bring him up without her. I know you guys all liked him, but he was like negative over before she was added to the act. 

The head first bump Black took off her rana was insane. That remains my favorite part of every Almas match, when she hits hurricanranas. 

But I do think he's turned a corner (I know, I'm the only one that didn't like him) and he's clicking in ring way better than a year ago. He's ready for the main roster, but they don't have anyone in place to challenge Black yet, so I'm guessing Almas might pull double duty for the next couple months.

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Just finished the show.

Gargano/Ciampa impressively delivered with expectations and the history between them in NXT from tag team to tag team champions to enemies. The reactions Ciampa got, swearing by fans in PG WWE is rare. Fuck you Ciampa and asshole chants. Both men with open shots to one another as the other hand was battling for the wrist tape.

The Ladder match for the NXT North American Championship is the most I've enjoyed a ladder match in years. I'd single out Velveteen Dream, Adam Cole, Ricochet as standing out from the pack. Dream's elbow's a beauty. Cole becomes the first NXT North American Champion.

Almas vs. Black was very good for the NXT Championship but may need to rewatch it again and see if I like it more second go around. Looks like Almas/Vega will be called up to the main roster, probably as soon as next week.

Bazler vs. Moon was a marked improvement over their match at the last NXT TakeOver. I know wrestling and MMA logic is different but I'd have liked the ending submission, the rear naked choke to have put Moon out sooner. Bazler is the new NXT Women's Champion.

Liked the triple threat tag team match between Cole/O'Reilly, Strong/Dunne and Akam/Rezar for the NXT Tag Team Titles and Dusty Classic Finals, the match had a pace to it. Needed more Bruiserweight.

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