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Dolfan in NYC

NXT Takeover XXV - Bridgeport, CT - 6/1/2019

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Roderick Strong continues to be mechanically the best wrestler in the company. And since Riddle has charisms and personality to spare, and is pretty good in the ring himself, that worked in spades.

The tag thing was fun but nothing I'm going to remember. Street Prophets are good, Lorcan and Burch are really good, but I just don't care about them for whatever reason.

Dream/Breeze just felt like a throw away. I like Tyler a lot, but they've killed any chance I'll believe he's going to accomplish anything ever.

Shayna/Io was good. As others said, as soon as she did the bridging O'Connor Roll pin, it was too obvious what was about to happen. Shayna is great, but I'm really over her title reign. She's beyond ready to be called up.

 

The main event.... There was some great stuff in it. Outside hitting a Last Shot, Gargano did a great job selling the knee. The finish was good. Cole was absolutely fucking magnificent at times. But this was two guys who (whether you agree with the rating or not) just went to the ring trying to top their "best match in WWE history" two months ago, and it showed. A little bit trying too hard, a little bit going too far. But the best parts of it were as good as anything anybody has done all year.

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I think we have clearly hit the point we’re NXT isn’t fresh at all on there cards imo. I enjoyed Riddle/Strong, but was expecting to. Lorcan’s is kinda wasted with Burch but his upside is probably tag wrestler. Fords gonna be a star if they ever push him well. The Forgotten Sons suck. 

 

Breeze Dream was fun but was surprisingly forgettable in the grand scheme. Was hoping for something better. I will say I am firmly in the “over Shayna and her posse” grouping.

The main... look. This isn’t my style of wrestling. I’ve seen some people online calling this a classic and I think those people probably have the Space Madness. But man I just do not care one lick for Johnny Gargano at this point, and Adam Coles moveset is almost Seth Rollins bad. Just Superkick everything, then hit a stupid setup into a Canadian Destroyer for reasons. But that’s not the move that finishes the match. Nope. It’s a shitty fucking running leg. I’m not calling that shit a knee because it’s not a fucking knee. He just raises his leg to a 90% angle and that is fucking it. All the fucking crazy shit in the math and THAT is the kill shot? Go fucking away Cole. NXT needs more Undisputed Era like I need to see highlights from the Blues game tonight. It’s stale, and if we get heel stable protecting there champion out of this it will be like a worse version of Evolution to me.

Also, Mauro is an abysmal announcer. Every time he makes an out of place pop culture reference I wanna stab myself in the ears. At least there wasn’t a UK Title match so he couldn’t make a cheap Brexit comment again. 

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I think a big problem is they have nowhere to call people up to. Cole would be a top ten most over guy on the main roster tomorrow, ditto Gargano, but there's no spot for them. This company has so many people under contract they don't have enough room spread over four brands.

 

And that's before you count the 100 or so people who are only at the PC and maybe doing the Florida loops.

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Ugh. 

There was a lot of reckless, stupid shit done in that match. Damn near every single dude in that match is really lucky they didn't catch a ladder somewhere in the realm of how Joey Mercury did. 

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Yeah, I'm going to say this again, because I see people pretend NXT has flawless booking regularly. 

Why the *fuck* couldn't the Highlanders II job the titles to the Street Profits in the ring? What storyline purpose did *any* of that serve? Convoluted bullshit fuck finish leading to title relenquishing leading to convoluted bullshit clusterfuck multi-man tag?

And for those of you who are finally joining me in Gargano fatigue, I have bad news: they pulled the trigger on Cole a year and a half late too, so this one's probably also getting dragged way, way out.

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I loved the show top to bottom.  

 

Every Takeover event just reinforces my lack of desire to watch the main roster.  I get that some of the fucky backstage stuff with Ciampa getting hurt and The War Raiders getting called up reflected badly.  But considering what we could be dealing with.  NXT is still head and shoulders above the main roster both recently and historically.

I love the Dream.  Though he would probably not acknowledge it. 😎

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Posted (edited)

It's been about a year since I was really into NXT. I caught it last night and thought it was definitely lacking in panache compared to the previous TakeOver's. That said- it was a solid show. 

WWE Main Events are overproduced. That's just something you will have to live with. In fact you can say that the majority of Main Events in North America are over produced regardless of the promotion. 

The Tag Ladder match was fun. That concept is always good for a bag of popcorn. I was hoping for Lorcan/Burch, but happy to see Montez Ford get a strap. That guy is money.

Strong vs Riddle is the best I've ever seen either man. Fantastic match and an amazing opener. 

Shirai vs Shayna was also fantastic. Loved the beatdown. It's rare you see that kind of outburst from a face in a post match. 

The biggest thing I got from this show- which was a weekntonthe day if AEW... is that there's very few talent featured on this show that I can see being used positively on the Main Roster. Baszler will be a "monster of the week", Shirai will be DOA and end up like Asuka. The entirety of the UE would never be taken seriously. They'd end up like The Revival. Even Riddle is a guy that I can see struggle on Raw or Smackdown. 

Dream, Ford, and LaRae are the three that I think have the best chance. Dream and Ford just sweat charisma, ability, and the minimum amount of size needed for Vince to take them seriously. LaRae has that girl next door vibe, she's blonde, and she can also go. 

Edited by Wyld Samurai

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Baszler’s stranglehold on the top of that division and the endless Gargano/Ciampa storyline have just completely killed my interest in the Women’s and World title scenes.  And, as someone mentioned above, they feel a year too late in annointing Cole as champ.  UE is so played out in NXT, his reign *already* feels stale.

At least the tag scene had remained exciting, but even the War Raiders call-up debacle has fucked that division up.

If they don’t put the big belt on Riddle by Summerslam, I have no idea what they’re thinking anymore.  He’s the only fresh and exciting act on the TV roster right now (that they’re pushing at the Takeover level, anyway) , and he delivers the goods every Takeover.

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Queen Cathy and the Velveteen Dream.

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Seems like Kyle O'Reilly watched the MITB match and made a bet with someone that he could out due Balor in punishment taken. 

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I'm coming at this pretty fresh with the product.  This is only the second NXT PPV I've seen.  I'd watched a few TVs during my near decade run away from (regularly watching) wrestling.  I loved, like I assume most of you, the NY PPV.  

The Opener I agree with the consensus.  Roderick Strong has always impressed and he seems even better in 2019.  Riddle is so impressive, and in any well run company would be a potential number 1.  The match was everything I wish the standard to be in wrestling.  Physical and logical.  Strong's combos are unreal, and Riddle is so talented.  

The 'Scramble' ladder match was very entertaining.  These multi man, especially multi team, matches aren't regularly in my wheelhouse, but this one was entertaining thoroughout.  That leap to the ladder/finish spot was incredible.  I like everybody I was seeing in there.  All pretty new to me.  Also, the big man run in and beatdown was nicely put together.  Look forward to seeing more of these teams - especially this new Championship combo.  

Looking forward to the rest of the show.  Love what I've seen of the Dream.  I'm not overexposed to Gargano or Cole, so I'm curious how this will render my viewing.  

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8 minutes ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Not this time how was it?  Had a blast at NXT Takeover: New York.  

I just got done watching the show.   I think I gotta give Roddy and Riddle the MOTN.  That was spectacular.  I'm very pleased with the Street Profits winning. 

Great time. That ladder match was sick live. Somebody I know hooked me up with a skybox, I had an incredible view to go along with my $42 six pack of BL tallies

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Feel like I am with the consensus.

Riddle/Strong was excellent.  Matt has that RVD stoner charisma and can go.  Roddy was great here.

The ladder match was ok to me, but Ford is awesome.  Expected Lorcan to be a bump machine in this match personally.  And still after this much time HATE typing Oney or Lorcan.  Just the worst name.

Dream is the man but the result felt like a foregone conclusion.  Breeze at least got to show he can go a bit.

Liked Bayzler vs Io even with the obvious transition off the magistral setting up the finish.  Agree Bayzler should have been called up eons ago - figure the only reason she is still in NXT is that Shafir and Duke are too green to go up with her?

The main was typical overbooked main.  Totally expected that and got it of course. I like Cole but the Panama Sunrise is lame, convoluted and then , when ultimately not the finish, just sigh-inducing.  As someone else said, no idea where you go with Gargano from here.  After the presumed rubber match, maybe fake an injury until Ciampa can return for DIY on main roster (or Main Event since tag teams go nowhere)?

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10 hours ago, Tim Evans said:

that was a coming out party for Roddy.

Was it really? This is Roderick Strong. Even if you watch WWE almost exclusively, you know what Roderick Strong is capable of and what you think of his work by now. 

The tag title match was stupid as all hell. Why are we putting on a car crash match that's comprised mostly of nobodies (I love Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, but let's be real) on a show where every other match is already structured to be an 11/10? Why are we doing this a couple weeks after seeing performers who actually matter do this at Money in the Bank? This was a forgettable cluster on a show that didn't need it, and there were some insane bumps that I've already forgotten. Regardless of the execution or the insanity, this was dumb. I hated it. I may have hated it more than any other WWE match this year. 

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Internet wrestling fans: no one is emotionally invested anymore. Nothing feels important.

NXT Takeover Live Crowd last night: 13,000 wrestling fans emotionally invested from bell-to-bell and reacting viscerally to every nearfall during Gargano vs Cole.

Internet wrestling fans: NO, NOT LIKE THAT!

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Personally I felt the matches with Andrade and Ciampa told great stories and I could overlook some of the near fall bullshit. Plus,  Andrade and Ciampa are both two of the best in the world. I don't think Cole is on that level,  I liked their first encounter a lot but look I was in the building..   I left the building thinking it was a great match.  I didn't leave Barclays thinking it was a "classic" so I was surprised to see it regarded that way online.  

This one was nowhere near a classic.  It was decent but a lot of it felt like doing shit just to do it.  

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49 minutes ago, clintthecrippler said:

Internet wrestling fans: no one is emotionally invested anymore. Nothing feels important.

NXT Takeover Live Crowd last night: 13,000 wrestling fans emotionally invested from bell-to-bell and reacting viscerally to every nearfall during Gargano vs Cole.

Internet wrestling fans: NO, NOT LIKE THAT!

Was that a visceral reaction? I'm probably coming from a place of cynicism, but it seemed rote. So many of those chants, "Mama Mia!," "Fight forever!," etc. play into my feeling that a lot of wrestling reactions nowadays are sing-song and performative as opposed to genuine or visceral. And a lot of that is nebulous and may be me putting my shit on them. Who knows.

I'm not going to say "No, not like that." Like what you want. Live your truth. I just looked at that scene last night and saw a lot of "These are guys we like, so here's where we say the thing the shouty commentator says." I didn't resonate with me. Call me crazy, but when everything is an 11/10, what is important? I sure can't tell you. I recently heard Schiavone describe how he hated being directed to yell about how everything was so shocking and important, because then nothing is. That's how I felt last night during every single match. Even the ones I enjoyed. 

Like I said: Cynical. I'm not saying I don't think people enjoyed the show. I know they did. But there's something about it that makes "visceral" ring hollow. 

Side gripe: Adam Cole should come to Canada and get someone to teach him how to do a destroyer without first falling a short distance. Might save his legs, brother. 

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My feelings about the main event are this.  That match was great, until the Panama City Sunset on the floor, and then everything from then on was overkill.  People often talk about telling a story in the ring, and I think the story of that match ended when Cole's work on the knee paid off when Gargano was slow on that suicide dive and got killed for it.  

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1 hour ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Personally I felt the matches with Andrade and Ciampa told great stories and I could overlook some of the near fall bullshit. Plus,  Andrade and Ciampa are both two of the best in the world. I don't think Cole is on that level,  I liked their first encounter a lot but look I was in the building..   I left the building thinking it was a great match.  I didn't leave Barclays thinking it was a "classic" so I was surprised to see it regarded that way online.  

This one was nowhere near a classic.  It was decent but a lot of it felt like doing shit just to do it.  

I know I'm still in the minority here, but the idea anyone thinks Andrade is a better wrestler than Adam Cole leaves me completely baffled. Just, it's a concept that, to me, is so far out there I can't even comprehend it.

25 minutes ago, supremebve said:

My feelings about the main event are this.  That match was great, until the Panama City Sunset on the floor, and then everything from then on was overkill.  People often talk about telling a story in the ring, and I think the story of that match ended when Cole's work on the knee paid off when Gargano was slow on that suicide dive and got killed for it.  

I can definitely see that, but I loved it leading to Cole getting out of the Escape. That was just a beautiful sequence that told you Johnny was dead.

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1 hour ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Was that a visceral reaction? I'm probably coming from a place of cynicism, but it seemed rote. So many of those chants, "Mama Mia!," "Fight forever!," etc. play into my feeling that a lot of wrestling reactions nowadays are sing-song and performative as opposed to genuine or visceral. And a lot of that is nebulous and may be me putting my shit on them. Who knows.

I'm not going to say "No, not like that." Like what you want. Live your truth. I just looked at that scene last night and saw a lot of "These are guys we like, so here's where we say the thing the shouty commentator says." I didn't resonate with me. Call me crazy, but when everything is an 11/10, what is important? I sure can't tell you. I recently heard Schiavone describe how he hated being directed to yell about how everything was so shocking and important, because then nothing is. That's how I felt last night during every single match. Even the ones I enjoyed. 

Like I said: Cynical. I'm not saying I don't think people enjoyed the show. I know they did. But there's something about it that makes "visceral" ring hollow. 

Side gripe: Adam Cole should come to Canada and get someone to teach him how to do a destroyer without first falling a short distance. Might save his legs, brother. 

For the record, my favorite incarnation of Gargano is "tag team wrestler in DIY", I am someone who has never truly "gotten" why Adam Cole gets as much love as he does (for me personally, he is the epitome of "perfectly competent wrestler"), and Mauro jumped the shark for me about a year ago when the pop culture references became grossly unchecked, unfiltered, and out of control.

Both Takeovers, Gargano vs Cole was the match I was looking forward to the least.

I wasn't there live last night, but I was at Barclays Center for the first Gargano/Cole match, and I got sucked into hanging on every move after the second fall began, and can tell you that despite "Fight Forever" and "Mamma Mia" chants (which I don't participate in myself for some of the reasons that you stated in your distaste for them), that crowd was genuinely hooked and bit on nearly everything for the rest of the match in a non-performative way.

There's definitely reasonable discussion to be had in regards to HOW a modern live wrestling audience reacts to how live wrestling audiences reacted 30-40 years ago, but I think to just automatically dismiss their reaction to these specific matches as performative is disingenuous. This wasn't a crowd that was sitting there chanting "We Are Awesome!" or tossing beach balls around while the work in the ring was competent (something that pissed me off being in the crowd for RAW after Mania in Orlando two years ago). Much like big championship matches in UFC and boxing get vociferous crowd reactions without necessarily having a "heel" or "face", and I thought it was a similar reaction and atmosphere to that for these matches as well. But at the end of the day, it was still a crowd mostly hanging on to "We want Johnny to win the big one!" (the first match at Takeover) or the more 50/50 split last night.

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I don't know Brian,  I don't see anything out of Cole that would want me to place him up there with Andrade.  I think Cien's offense looks so much better and I think he works drama better as well. 

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@clintthecrippler, fair enough. Based on some of what you said there, I sense we share a lot of similar views about both Gargano and Cole, we just see these matches differently.

Cole is a competent wrestler who, like many before him, gets ahead largely based on dripping charisma and having an over catch phrase. I hope he thanks Steve Corino every day for the rest of his life, bay bay. 

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