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NXT on USA - 4/22/2020

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Big show for tonight:

  • Velveteen Dream vs. Finn Balor
  • Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez

Interim Cruiserweight Championship Tournament

  • El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Jack Gallagher
  • Kushida vs.Tony Nese
  • Drake Maverick vs. Jake Atlas

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Really have half/barely watched recently, but I'm fascinated by Nese vs Kushida on paper.

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I love how the program guide on Spectrum cable earlier said watch tonight to find out who attacked Ciampa last week. 

Did I miss something? Because the week before they showed Kross at the end of the episode, then last week I thought it was crystal clear he was the attacker. 

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Hopefully no one coughed on him. Would be a hell of a way to draw some heat right now though.

 

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Okay, help me out here. Which of the following is true:

1. WWE announced Drake Maverick for a round robin tournament, then they released him, but are still having him work the tournament matches rather than find a replacement from their very large roster, and they're doing video packages on him and interviews with him, just giving him a whole lot of camera time even though he's out of the company after this tournament's over

2. They released a whole bunch of people for real, but Drake Maverick's release is a work

3. Some other option I'm not thinking of

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, S.K.o.S. said:

3. Some other option I'm not thinking of

They released him, but the vid he did talking about his release garnered enough attention that they plan to keep him/rehire him. That is my my guess at least.

Edited by Eivion
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I’m thinking that they’ve shot themselves into a work and have silently hired him back. If this was a work the entire time then Spud is the greatest acting wrestler alive in that Twitter video a few days ago. 

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5 minutes ago, Eivion said:

They released him, but the vid he did talking about his release garnered enough attention that they plan to keep him/rehire him. That is my my guess at least.

 

4 minutes ago, For Great Justice said:

I’m thinking that they’ve shot themselves into a work and have silently hired him back. If this was a work the entire time then Spud is the greatest acting wrestler alive in that Twitter video a few days ago. 

Okay, I can mostly buy that.  Everything that they did on this show makes sense in that context.

The part where they announce him for a tournament, but then release him, but then still let him work the tournament rather than just replace him (which all apparently happened before he put up the video) is still weird.  Very "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing".

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Thought tonight's episode was a lot of fun, and was a good mix of matches and character-building. Raquel Gonzalez also stood out in the opening tag match, catching Tegan's crossbody well and hitting a nice finisher on Shotzi.

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Just happy I got to see the Shotzi Tank again.

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I'm guessing they already booked Drake when he got fired and he just didn't want to burn bridges. I doubt they rehired him back. Hope I'm wrong.

Good episode tonight. I like how they are trying different things. Like Dexter Lumis teaming with the Dream and heel Candice. She cut a way better promo than her husband.

My favorite thing was Tom Phillips saying "Adam Cole got pinned by NXT champion Adam Cole". How did they not edit that out? Unless the commentary is live?

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8 minutes ago, Tim Evans said:

My favorite thing was Tom Phillips saying "Adam Cole got pinned by NXT champion Adam Cole". How did they not edit that out? Unless the commentary is live?

The whole show was live, right? I don't think they're starting their new taping schedule until Sunday. This Friday's Smackdown is live too, I believe.

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Io's interview was nice.

Dug everything with Drake from his promo vif to his match with Atlas to the post match interviews with him and about him.

Dakota/Raquel vs. Tegan/Shotzi was solid. Really digging Raquel more and more  as the weeks go by.

The stuff with Dream vs. UE was solid. Lumis making the save after Lee got taken out before he match began was weird, unexpected, and interesting.

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I only watched bits and pieces of the show tonight. Drake/Spud is such an amazing babyface. I have to believe if he has been hired back it's because of that twitter video he put up. If he was able to put on that kind of emotion just for show, they really have to get him in a movie.

I was surprised to see Jessie Kaimea on tv. I've liked her since the Mae Young classic where she was essentially AJ Lee but with the nerd factor turned up to 11. How she went from hot nerdy chick to this dark muse (I think that's what she says she is based on twitter and instagram) I don't know. But she showed a lot of potential with Mia. Then again Mia Yim is a really good wrestler and I can't wait to her and Charlotte. Charlotte really going full entitled heel was great. Calling Mia a "good hand" like she was a grizzled 20 year vet was great.

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(1)so do we know the legit reason Finn missed the show?

(2)The whole Drake thing is weird. I get using real life situation into a story when dude has sympathy and all, but is there really a point unless he ends up winning? I know we are talking about a company who loves to kick people while they are down, but "Yeah, you're fired. But you still get to compete in this tournament. What? You lost again? Fuck, that blows, brah. Best of luck in your future endevors!" is some bad story telling

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7 hours ago, Peck said:

The whole show was live, right? I don't think they're starting their new taping schedule until Sunday. This Friday's Smackdown is live too, I believe.

  Correct.

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In my head, someone showed Vince (the guy who apparently got annoyed with people for watching things other than old wrestlemanias while on flights) the Drake video and he went "Well goddammit pal, if this little guy cares that much about WWE, then WWE's going to care about him too." but it's probably all far more jaded than that.

 

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Drake's segment had me thinking i got worked about his firing, but at the same time, he has shown character wise if you give him a chance, he has the ability to shine whether as a heel or a face (his baby face turn when the broke up him and ec3 in impact was tremendous for those that didn't see it).

 

I don't know why they cut him in the first place, but I'm hoping he fights his way back.  There are enough impact guys that are here now that I would think are probably fight for him.

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10 hours ago, S.K.o.S. said:

Okay, help me out here. Which of the following is true:

1. WWE announced Drake Maverick for a round robin tournament, then they released him, but are still having him work the tournament matches rather than find a replacement from their very large roster, and they're doing video packages on him and interviews with him, just giving him a whole lot of camera time even though he's out of the company after this tournament's over

2. They released a whole bunch of people for real, but Drake Maverick's release is a work

3. Some other option I'm not thinking of

Haven't seen the show yet but this option 1 at least seems like a nice way for him to go out with his head held high.  It's interesting to see they'd do that for somebody they cut and even moreso when realizing the matches weren't pre-taped and they could have just subbed him out.

But if it's option 2 while he might be able to pull off one helluva acting job I can't help but feel this would be a bit fucked up.  With a bunch of people cut for real to have his be a work just doesn't sit right with me.  Not holding it against Drake though.

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Posted (edited)

Satin sheds a bit of light on some things here.  Right at the end of the article:

Quote

For those wondering … released talent is still being paid for the next ninety-days as usual. Sources say that because of this, it’s possible some may be booked on WWE shows until they’re officially no longer under contract.

So they have a few months to tell some sort of story with Drake.  He's not necessarily done right after the tournament.

https://www.prowrestlingsheet.com/drake-maverick-wwe-release-nxt-tournament-interview/#.XqGh78hKjIV

Edited by S.K.o.S.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Tim Evans said:

I'm guessing they already booked Drake when he got fired and he just didn't want to burn bridges. I doubt they rehired him back. Hope I'm wrong.

Good episode tonight. I like how they are trying different things. Like Dexter Lumis teaming with the Dream and heel Candice. She cut a way better promo than her husband.

My favorite thing was Tom Phillips saying "Adam Cole got pinned by NXT champion Adam Cole". How did they not edit that out? Unless the commentary is live?

Meltzer says that, since the company is paying main roster talent for 90 days, they feel entitled to use talent for 90 days if they want.

I won't be surprised if Drake/Spud keeps his job, since the video has gone viral.  They seem to have worked themselves into a shoot that they can turn into a work.

Also, last night's show was live.  Taped shows begin next week.  Allegedly.  Unless the live shows this week draw low ratings and Vince panics and changes his mind.  Or sneezes and changes his mind.  Or steps on a crack and changes his mind.

Basically, I'll believe in taped shows after it happens.  I predict WWE is back to doing every show live by.... May 20th (probably before that).

Edited by Tarheel Moneghetti
Can't spell

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I was under the impression the CW tourney matches were already taped? It seems pretty nonsensical to advertise talent in a tournament for a vacant title when their releases have been publicly announced. They're essentially saying "regardless of how these people perform, they're getting laid off anyways so wins and losses don't matter". Unless Drake's release has been a work all along in order to craft a larger angle. The theory of them working the viral response to his video into all this and re-hiring him sounds likely (reminds me of when Cedric Alexander got hired after the response to his awesome match with Ibushi) but who the hell knows with this company.

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Did they really have Jake Atlas give a pre-match speech about breaking barriers and representation without actually acknowledging which social minority group he's a member of?

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