Is this show called Takeover or Revolution? Who knows, who cares?

Welcome to another blog here on DOINOW.com. As you know by reading my work in the archives, I got my writing start covering professional wrestling. To give my old readers a reason to keep coming back to DOINOW.com, I will sprinkle wrestling stuff on here from time-to-time. Don’t worry, there are two Ranger games this weekend, plenty of Knicks debacles and the NFL playoffs are right around the corner. Keep checking out the site for new material, and if you haven’t already, check out the archives on the right hand of the site.
WWE’s minor league, NXT, presented another one of their live events on the WWE Network. I have done columns on this already, but the Network to me will never truly succeed with the current programming on Monday nights. You have a TV show catered for kids on Monday nights, but you want people who can blow $10 a month, to watch shows covering the Monday Night Wars incessantly. The current WWE fan wasn’t alive during the Monday Night Wars, but the WWE constantly plugs the Network where the majority of the content discusses the Monday Night Wars non-stop.
NXT is a refreshing break from hearing about how Vince McMahon kicked Ted Turner’s ass. (Do you think Ted Turner spent more than an hour a year worrying about WCW?) I have been disappointed in the last few WWE Free-For-Views on the network. Unfortunately, I don’t see it getting any better because there is no reason for it to. There is no such thing as buyrates anymore.
Every WWE fan breaks up into two groups – do you spend $10 a month to be a fan or you don’t? These kids are so spoiled these days. And yes, I know that every generation says that about the previous generation. But, man, these kids do not have to deal with “scramblevision”, tin foil on rabbit ears or buying illegal black cable boxes with every channel that would break within 3 months. Can you imagine telling your parents that the silly wrestling show you want to watch on Sunday is only $10? Plus for that $10, you get so much extra shit? Just different times, just different times.
I used to follow NXT on the Network when the Network first came out. However, NXT got kind of repetitive to me. What I liked about it in the beginning was that it wasn’t so over-the-top produced like it is now. While it was always under the WWE umbrella, it felt like a stepchild. Now, you can see heavy emphasis on it, due to HHH’s involvement, as this is his baby. One must realize that HHH isn’t doing so well to the WWE investors. His hand-picked signings of Kharma and Sin Cara bombed. CM Punk thrashed him, but luckily for HHH, TMZ or any other news site didn’t really run with it. When Vince teases, in storyline, as giving up his power to HHH, the WWE stock drops. HHH needs a project to be a homerun, and this is it for him.
With all the new NXT acquisitions, such as Prince Devitt and Kenta now in the WWE, I was interested in checking out the show, especially with no NY sports on and a Thursday night NFL game that doesn’t affect my fantasy playoffs. Here’s my take on the show, with all my silly wiseass commentary:
Kevin Owens d. CJ Parker
Great opening match, as it got the crowd hyped right from the start. The former Kevin Steen has the potential to be a big star. Obviously the big knock on him is that he is a fat slob in a T-Shirt. However, the way I look at it, so is 99% of the WWE Universe. Why do you think Dusty Rhodes got over? He was the common man. Even if Steve Austin was flabby, he would still be over because he was just like everyone else. How many members of the WWE universe are jacked up on steroids and inhaling Z-Packs?
Where I think Bray Wyatt sucks, because he’s just a fat guy in a Hawaiian shirt reciting lines from “JUSTIFIED”, I think Owens can be a star. He has that charisma going for him. He has an extremely indyriffic offense, so I wonder if WWE will try to break him away from that. 
Owens might of been the first person to get busted up hardway on their WWE Network debut. I’m not too familiar with CJ Parker, except for knowing I don’t care about his work, but that can’t be good for his career. It’s a shame how different wrestling is from as recent as 15 years ago. Blood would’ve been encouraged. Now you got Mr. Ultraviolent Drake Younger quickly cleaning the blood of Steen’s face. Just different times, just different times.
With the blood really starting to flow, they went home, and Owens wins with a powerbomb.
This was a very good showing for the former Steen. If you know me, you know I was never a ROH guy, far from it, but I’m glad to see Steen do well. I just hope he gets a fair shake before he’s discarded as a fat guy.
For the NXT Tag Team Titles
(c) Kalisto and the Fake Sin Cara d. Aiden English & Simon Gotch
Before this match, Corey Graves, the former Sterling James Keenan, announced he was retiring due to concussions. He was one of the first signings that made me think, “Wow, WWE is really going to give anyone and everyone a shot these days.” I’m happy for the ex-3PWer, but I didn’t see how he would ever be a star on WWE TV. Unfortunately, he will never get the chance it seems.
This was a blah match to me. I don’t really care about any of the guys here. HHH is big on tag team wrestling. These two teams just don’t do it for me. My days of knowing what was going on all the time are nearly 3 years ago, but I wonder if WWE is seeking tag teams? That might be a way for two indy guys, who don’t have a shot as a singles, get an in.
Kalito hits the sliced bread on Gotch for the win. I guess if you’re the mother of any of these men, you liked this match. If you weren’t, this was just killing time.
Baron Corbin d. Tye Dillinger
Who names these guys? Corbin squashes Dillinger. I don’t see how Corbin will be a star. He looks like a generic WWE 2k15 Create a Wrestler.
Corbin gets in a staredown with the former James Smith, a one Bull Dempsey. Smith was another one I was shocked to hear got a WWE deal. Good for him though, he was always a hardworking and nice kid. This just seems like it will be a watered down “unstoppable force vs immovable object” type of deal. Let’s hope they get a real story for their feud, instead of “HE’S BIG, AND UH, HE’S BIG TOO, UH, LET’S MAKE THEM DO AN 80’S BIG MAN MATCH!”
Hideo Itami & Finn Balor d. The Ascension (Viktor & Connor)
I have a lot of issues with this match. Where to start? 
Finn Balor got a comic book entrance. They went all out to push him like a superstar. The former Prince Devitt is another HHH project, as is the former Kenta, Hideo Itami. They are both great wrestlers, and I know I will be in the minority here, but I thought Finn’s entrance was gay as fuck. I know it looked cool and had all the jazz with it, but it seemed silly to me. I know I might be one of the few that think that and I’m sure his entrance was gangbusters for a lot of people. His appearance, I’m sure is cool for the comic book demo, but he looked like a post-traumatic Bill Cosby rape victim to me.
I didn’t get this match at all. Itami and Balor can be stars for the WWE’s future, so why are they in a tag match? The money is these guys against each other.
I’ve never been a fan of the Ascension. They just remind me of a WCW Saturday Night jobber tag team. Granted, I’m a casual NXT watcher. In the times I’ve seen them, I’ve never seen anything to differentiate the two or any character building. They are just two guys playing 80’s tag team to me.
I get Connor is big and Vince loves that shit, but I don’t see any money in Viktor at all. I don’t know how old he is. I’m assuming he’s young because he’s in NXT. However, he looks like a 40 year old man with the thinning hair, bad arm tattoo and bald spot.  I know WWE is bringing them up to TV soon, hence the job here, but I don’t see them lighting the world on fire or even having consistently great matches like the Usos.

Kenta teased the Go To Sleep here, so I’m assuming with Punk gone, Kenta gets his moves back. That’s what’s best for business. 

Maybe the slow build is Itami vs Balor, because that is where you will see some magic. However, booking them against two generic slugs seems odd to me. 

The match itself was ok and did its purpose. Balor, especially, got over as a big star.

Finish saw both babyfaces do a top rope double stomp on both members of the Ascension for the tandem pin. Crowd loved this. WWE has something with these two.  As long as Vince doesn’t go on his racist Asian kick or “he’s too small” shit, I can see them headlining Free-Per-Views.

For the NXT Womens Title
(c) Charlotte d. Sasha Banks
This was the second best match on the show. It’s weird how on NXT, they will push womens wrestling, but on WWE, it’s just an afterthought. I mean, it’s called the womens championship here, where on the main show, it’s called a Diva’s title. 

Trust me, I have a million Charlotte jokes here. I can talk about how her last name is being pushed harder than a needle going through Reid Flair’s arm, or how she may have a bigger package than Chyna or how it’s going to be uncomfortable for her when she’s on the road with the WWE and her father is swinging his johnson & bean bag all over the place, but that would be a disservice to this match.

This was a great match. Not as good as the Natalya/Charlotte bout from the last NXT live special, but a great match nonetheless. 

Here’s the deal with Charlotte. She’s a fantastic worker and a great athlete. Will she be able to showcase that on RAW? They just had her do a two minute job to Natalya for no reason. Even worse, they had her being a female Flair, rather than getting all her cool shit in and being respected in a loss. She wasn’t chopping here. She wasn’t wooing here. She wasn’t screaming for Arn Anderson. She was herself. WWE needs to decide if they are going to let this piece of talent grow organically or are they just going to live off her last name. 

I don’t see money in Sasha Banks. There’s 20 indy women, off the top of my head, that would be better for this match or for her job.  Not to come off like a fruity booty, but whoever did her hair tonight should be fired. She looked like a street rat. 

This match was a Charlotte showcase, but at the same time, showed that Sasha could work too. Tons of impressive spots and they highlighted Charlotte’s flexibility through Sasha’s submission holds.

Charlotte wins after blocking a superplex and hitting a diamond dust off the top rope.

Her career is going to be interesting. Can she be herself or will WWE remind us every 2 seconds that’s she’s Ric Flair’s daughter? I wonder if the WWE will find her athleticism marketable enough, because she looks very manly and just like her father, minus the gig marks and the debt.
 For the NXT Heavyweight Championship
Sami Zayn d. (c) Adrian Neville to win the championship
Match of the Night for sure here. El Generico vs Pac would draw a house on the indy scene and it drew here tonight, as the crowd really woke up for this one. I’m assuming Pac moves up to the main roster now. 

The WWE has so much great talent in NXT. You got Zayn, Neville, Charlotte, Itami, Balor & others. I’m interested to see how WWE places and slots them on their shows. There is great WRESTLERS here, but Vince wants SPORTS ENTERTAINERS. Even one of the greatest in-ring wrestlers of all-time, Bryan Danielson, had to re-invent himself. If I see Kenta playing Funaki a year from now, all hope for this NXT program will be lost for me.

This was an excellent match, full of twists and turns. Even a match between two great in-ring competitors had a STORYLINE finish here. WWE rewound back to 1992, as Zayn & Neville played Wrestlemania 8, specifically the Bret Hart/Roddy Piper match. However, the roles were reversed, giving us a new age twist. In Mania 8, Piper had a ring bell and debated if he should cheat and hit Hart with it. He didn’t, and he lost the Intercontinental Championship. Here, the challenger, Zayn had the NXT belt, debated to hit Neville with it, didn’t, but still managed to win.

Neville would false finish Zayn after Zayn’s moral decision. Zayn then fired up, hit a Taz suplex into the corner, and finished up with the ALICIA YAKUZA KICK OF DEATH for the win, and to become the new NXT Champion.

Great match, great story, great performance.

The NXT locker room emptied out. They really dragged this out, as they had about 15 minutes of air-time left. There was 10 minutes of celebration. Luckily I was texting with someone, or I would’ve turned this off and missed the swerve at the end.

Kevin Owens was one of the celebrators, and the announcers acknowledged he was best friends with Zayn. All this bro-hugging, crying, anal sex and celebrating went on and on and on. Neville eventually came to, teased attacking Zayn, but felt him up with a tight hug.

Owens then came back out, attacked Zayn and it looks like Zayn will be losing the championship to his best friend on his way out of here, and hopefully onto better things. Zayn vs Owens would be better for WWE TV, but it looks like we will get a taste of the main course here, at NXT.

Final McWord:
Great show. It was a fast two hours. It’s sad that this show was more enjoyable, better promoted and had better action than the recent WWE Free-Per-Views.

I might watch NXT differently than some people. I’m just wondering how these guys will fit in on the main roster. Unfortunately, NXT hits like Emma & Adam Rose have failed miserably since being called up. WWE may assume everyone watches NXT, but it’s not the case. WWE has to educate their audience on who these guys are. I wonder if the WWE crowd will welcome these guys as much as the 200 drunk hicks in Florida do. 

As far as this show, a great effort and I would recommend NXT’s big shows to any jaded wrestling fan like myself.
I hope you enjoyed this blast from the past wrestling McReview here on the DOI. If you knew me or a fan of my writing from back when, give this new project of mine a shot. Chances are you like NY sports anyway. Plus, I’m converting many people to Ranger fans. Don’t you want to become one too? LETS GO RANGERS!

Two thumbs up

Sean McCaffrey
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter gimmick

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