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Andrew’s NXT Takeover Brooklyn 4 & SummerSlam: Ratings & Review

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Well everyone, this is what happens when you have plans on a Saturday. So I didn’t get to watch NXT live, so now I get to power through 84 hours of programming at the same time.

Everything I’ve heard said the show was a good one, which is always nice to hear. Especially since I said during the picks article, that this was one of the shows with a very low amount of buzz. Time to find out what went on, before SummerSlam goes into full swing.

 

NXT Takeover Brooklyn 4:

 

NXT Tag Team Title Match: Undisputed Era (c) vs Moustache Mountain

NXT really likes the tag teams to go on early, but this match lived up to the story. The third match in about 5 weeks, with both teams getting one win, the rubber match was damn good.

Numerous callbacks to their previous matches, including the towel spot. Tyler Bate still did that stupid Fireman’s Carry/Giant Swing move, with makes no sense, but the match still flowed well. Trent Seven pulled off a move I’ve never seen him do, which looked like a Vertical Suplex lift, into a Flowsion, But the pace was so fast it felt a little too much, there were even times it looked like Kyle O’Reilly wasn’t quite ready when Strong was calling for tags.

Aside from nit picks, this was the best match I’ve seen between the two, I just wish it was paced slower. Undisputed Era came out the gates hot, and aside from one moment where O’Reilly had Tyler Bate in a Heel Hook submission, the frantic pace never seemed to change.

After Kyle kicks out of a Burning Hammer/Knee Drop tandem move, Strong slides in to cut off Bate and they land Total Elimination out of nowhere. The ending seemed a little abrupt, but with how the match was paced, it seemed very fitting.

Winner: Undisputed Era via Total Elimination

Rating: **** 3/4

 

Velveteen Dream vs EC3

This match was pretty awkwardly paced honestly. Dream with the HBK/Hogan over selling being kicked in the corner and then getting crotched on the rope. But I’m not really sure what they were trying to get across. EC3 controlled the pace until Velveteen Dream hit a Twisting DDT on the ramp.

I suppose if I need to say something, it’s that this was basically a main roster match on NXT. There were a lot of entertainment spots, that didn’t make a ton of sense or just looked awkward, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. A rolling Dream Valley Driver on the apron gave Dream the idea to hit the Purple Rainmaker on the apron, roll EC3 back in and squeak out with a Takeover victory.

Winner: Velveteen Dream via Purple Rainmaker Elbow

Rating: *** 3/4

 

NXT North American Championship Match: Adam Cole (c) vs Ricochet

Ricochet’s talent versus Adam Cole’s ego. Not sure if the battle is which is better or which is bigger, but it should be fun to watch.

Adam Cole talked smack most of this match, but the exchanges were pretty impressive. Cole showed a lot of spots of being the clever heel, but Ricochet threw haymakers and Cole ran out of answers. Tiger Feint in the corner ropes, Fosbury Flop, Inside Out Frankensteiner off the apron, all big impressive moves. But Cole had fantastic moments from timing a Thrust Kick perfectly to dodge the Asai Moonsault and kick Ricochet in the face as well as a nice Backstabber catching Ricochet mid Back Handspring.

The climax moment had to be the strike exchange that ended in a random near fall. Going back and forth and then Adam Cole falling on top of Ricochet made you wonder if the match was gonna end in a fluke way, or if Ricochet would realize what was going on. As you can see, Ricochet realized, overcame and picked up his first WWE championship.

All in all, the selling was solid, the story it was telling was great and amplified by Adam Cole running his mouth in the ring. It’s just one of those special moments and this was the first glance the WWE Universe got to see at a really great Ricochet match.

Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton

Rating: *****

 

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Kairi Sane vs Shayna Baszler (c)

The second of three rubber matches tonight. Kairi beat Shayna to win the first Mae Young Classic, but Baszler got her win back after they were both in NXT. Which wrestler has grown the most in the past year?

Kairi immediately starts off with going for submission holds, which gets into Shayna’s head. A Heel Hook followed up with a Stretch Muffler attempt get under Shayna’s skin and we see both women pulling out different things. Shayna’s striking has evolved, even pulling out an interesting Hesitation Bicycle Knee Strike.

Since Kairi was seen as the underdog the entire build, it was definitely driven home through the match. Kairi paced out the match much like Hiroshi Tanahashi, working through the pain to hit signature top rope moves and capturing the hearts of the audience while she just wouldn’t quit. Numerous close calls with the Kirafuda Clutch made it look like Kairi was as good as dead, hell, Shayna even kicked out of an Insane Elbow.

The finish really made you feel like Shayna was going to win this when she got her feet up to counter the Insane Elbow and went for the Kirafuda Clutch, but shades of Ember Moon, Kairi just floats backwards and manages to reverse the submission into a pin. So where Kairi has shown more heart and a bevy of submission moves, Shayna lost the same way she did when she first joined NXT.

Curious how this will all play into the story moving forward.

Winner: Kairi Sane via Submission Reversal Roll

Rating: **** 1/4

 

NXT Championship Last Man Standing Match: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Johnny Gargano

Best friends turned bitter rivals, who love gimmick matches. I’m fully aware this is only a match because Aleister Black got legitimately injured, but I also can’t stop myself from being burnt out by this story. Hopefully whatever happens in this rubber match, puts some space between these two.

Well this match starts off slowly, but that’s necessary since there’s so much to unpack in this rivalry. After the Spanish Announce Table destruction, the match starts to really pick up. No amount of me talking about moves or spots will do this justice.

Going through tables, but propping himself up on a crutch is a layered moment for Ciampa. The handcuffs, the exposed ring, ripping the padding apart on the outside and even the end. Johnny has a tendency to let his emotions get the best of himself. All the way back to when Zelina Vega distracted him with a DIY shirt, to Chicago II when he knocked down the ref so when he had Ciampa beat there was no one to count his victory and then he literally walked into a DDT. So I’ve seen some complaints about the ending, but it makes so much sense that Gargano would do something to screw himself over.

There’s probably some layered comment about Cleveland and shooting himself in the foot, but damn, this was the best of their trilogy…and now I’m not completely sure what I said earlier holds up. Even if I’m sick of the story, these matches are tremendous.

Winner: Ciampa

Rating: ***** 1/4

 

Thoughts:

Well this definitely ranks up there with the previous Brooklyn shows. Ricochet vs Cole, Ciampa vs Gargano, those will be matches people remember for a few years. Hell Kairi and Shayna was surprisingly gritty and tough, not quite as good as Sasha vs Bayley or Ember vs Asuka, but damn good.

Takeover brought it and even if most people see NXT in an odd transitional period, it’s hard to argue with the quality of the last few shows. SummerSlam will have it’s work cut out for it.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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Opinion

The Good, Bad and Ugly SmackDown Live (2/19/19)

Bobby gives us the Good, Bad and Ugly of SmackDown following Elimination Chamber!

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Good Bad Ugly WWE Smackdown

Bobby gives us the Good, Bad and Ugly of SmackDown following Elimination Chamber!

Raw was okay.  That’s it.  NXT did their usual stellar job but the show had some major flaws.  It’s nothing major and overall Raw was Good and more than got the job done.  The whole roster both NXT and WWE Raw and SmackDown have been going full steam and ready for this WrestleMania which speaking personally feels very special this year for some reason. 

GOOD

Shane McMahon

Here comes the money!  Shane took to business hyping the NXT call ups, when Miz interrupted and apologized to his partner.  Shane O Mac and Miz can work the hell out of a crowd and bring a ton of emotions every single time!  Sometimes things get crazy and not everything clicks especially when high risk is involved which messes these guys up every single match.  They still continue to show up every show and put in work.  We haven’t seen their best stuff yet.  The Usos when they get loose out go wild and leave it all out there.  All legit vets that can work and will be present in the some fashion at WrestleMania.  It went a little bit slow and long but it was from the heart which WWE fans respect.  Uso’s joined and taunted McMiz to a rematch in a mocking fashion.  Fastlane Rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.  Good by a heartbeat, the match Fastlane hopefully will be better than the last one.    

Andrade w/ Zelina Vega vs. Aleister Black

SD Live whipped out the big guns in this one!  Holy talent!  No need to build up this match, it is Good the way it is.  As usual we had talent showcasing kicks, strikes and high risk.  That is these guys comfort zone and it shows.  The NXT crew has only made things better as they always do.  Being used in the NXT personas has been a great way to keep them prominent and seemingly safe from being buried on the main roster.  Andrade was a huge NXT Star himself at one time and him and Black are a perfect blend.  Zelina Vega is a pleasant addition to Andrade every match as well and always finds a way to get involved effectively.  However before she could get involved in this one, Aleister Black hits “Black Mass” for the win.  Solid, clean match with two very talented Superstars. 

“DIY” Ciampa and Gargano (NXT and NXT NA Champions) vs. The Bar Shamus and Cesaro

The promo of Cesaro talking trash and The Bar laughing and belittling DIY was entertaining and very effective.  Good little hype promo.  This is a solid contrast of teams.  All four are extremely intense and physical.  DIY has all the speed and the little bit of crazy that helps when you need it.  The Bar is all precision, pain and power.  Really stiff match here, a lot of punishment on both sides.  It was fantastic though as NXT Talent continues to show up ready to rock out!  The Bar had this match on ice but out Ciampa got the blind tag and an over the top “roll up” on the “Swiss Superman” for the upset victory.  Awesome Match!

Non-Title Match- (SmackDown Women’s Champion) Asuka vs. Mandy Rose

Mandy Rose wanted to fulfill Asuka’s Challenge.  Mandy Rose with her sidekick Sonya Deville came down and Mandy Rose faced the Champ.  Out of the blue, Lacey Evans came out distracting everyone.  Sonya Deville stood in her way and turned her around.  Mandy Rose looked great in there and working with someone as Good as Asuka is a big thing for her.  Asuka is amazing and is a strong person to have that title.  Mandy Rose hit a vicious knee on the outside and later played an eye injury getting a cheap roll up for the win and pinned the SmackDown Women’s Champion in this non-title match.    

Ricochet vs. Eric Young w/ Sanity)

Another very effective mix of talent here.  Eric Young who isn’t seen enough being as Good as he is, facing the best of the best, Ricochet.  This is a potential blockbuster.  Honestly though considering who was working here, this was a pretty slow match at times.  Looked sharp though but not the usual speed of these two.  Finally after Eric Young had controlled the whole match, Ricochet started moving.  Eric Young got busted open and Ricochet continued his assault.  Ricochet took down the whole Sanity crew flying through the air.  Ricochet maintained and hit his “630” Splash for the win!  Okay match, and with Ricochet, far from being a Bad one.    

Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy vs. Daniel Bryan (C), Randy Orton and Samoa Joe

Bryan, Orton and Joe, make Sanity look like a Boy Scout troop.  The heels isolated Jeff Hardy and took turns beating him down.  Rapid tags and effective offense kept them in control until Kofi Kingston got the tag and came in hot.  All hell broke loose, Kofi got slammed onto an announce table, with fighting all around.  Once things got back in the ring, AJ Styles got the tag from a beaten Kofi and AJ killed it but took some punishment as well.  Kofi came in again and shined!  Kofi went on to hit a “trouble in paradise” and pin the Champ, Daniel Bryan for the impressive victory. 

Shane O’ Mac then announced that Kofi Kingston will be getting a title shot at Fastlane against Daniel Bryan.  Well-deserved and well done!

BAD and UGLY- No and No.

FINAL

Good- 6

Bad- 0

Ugly- 0

Overall

Nothing is perfect but SmackDown was Good.  There were a few blah spots and times where it could have been better overall, but it was a solid show.  It was entertaining and continued the party on the Road to WrestleMania. 

NXT is the next one on the agenda and never soon enough.  But we seemingly have had NXT action all week so far which has been a huge success.  The audience wins all around with the addition of NXT talent to Raw and SmackDown.  What will that mean for NXT now though?  Well I would say it will only make everyone else there even hungrier to shine.  Looking forward to seeing what’s next!  Read the next Good, Bad and Ugly! 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Opinion

Cook: Don’t Hate Lafayette Because They Don’t Know #DIY

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Johnny Gargano Tommaso Ciampa WWE Raw

Steve Cook chimes in on the controversy surrounding the WWE Monday Night Raw crowd from Lafayette.

Anybody that knows me well knows that I’ve always been a huge baseball fan. It was the first sport I fell in love with as a kid and has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. I read pretty much anything I could about the history of it. I might be a Cincinnati Reds supporter, but I also have a good appreciation for most of baseball history.

That’s why I was excited when the New York Yankees came to town in 2011. The Yankees don’t come to Cincinnati very often. In fact, it was only the second series they’d played in Cincinnati since interleague play started in 1997. Whether you like the Yankees or not, it’s hard not to be impressed with their tradition of success. Their twenty-seven World Series championships are sixteen more than any other team has. Names like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle & countless others give the Yankees a tradition that’s unparalleled.

Aura & Mystique on the road

Even in 2011 the Yankees had some all-time greats on their roster. Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous Hall of Famer this year. Derek Jeter will follow him into the HOF in 2020. Alex Rodriguez…well, that vote’s going to be interesting. He’s got the numbers! Heck, Bartolo Colon was on that team, and his HOF vote will also be interesting if he ever retires.

I was lucky to get off of work and get a ticket to a Wednesday afternoon game. The stadium was packed & stacked, as fans in the area knew that the Yankees wouldn’t be back in Cincinnati for several years. Unfortunately for the fans & myself, Jeter was on the disabled list so he wouldn’t be playing. Nobody’s fault, these things happen. We would have expected A-Rod to play, but a rainout the night before resulted in Wednesday being a previously unscheduled doubleheader, and Yankee manager Joe Giradi opted to give Rodriguez the day game off.

Lineup card subject to change

Playing third base for the Yankees instead was the immortal Ramiro Pena. He played 23 games in 2011 and went 4 for 40 for a batting average of .100. He had one home run, four RI & scored five runs. If you’re one of those advanced stats guys, he had a WAR of -0.8 for the season. In all fairness, this & 2012 were his least productive seasons in MLB. He managed to play 50 games in 2013 & 81 games in 2014 for the Atlanta Braves & wrapped up his MLB career in 2016 with the San Francisco Giants. From what Wikipedia tells me, he’s currently playing in the Mexican League.

Jeter’s replacement ended up accomplishing a bit more. Eduardo Nunez played 127 games for last season’s World Champion Boston Red Sox. He was also an All-Star in 2016, though I think that was due to the fact that every team has to have an All-Star & the Minnesota Twins didn’t have a ton of candidates. We also got to see Rivera close out the game, so it’s not like we missed out on everybody of historical importance. And yes, Jorge Posada was there playing first base and hit a home run. Any Yankee fan reading this will yell at me if I don’t mention Posada.

Core 4, baby

At this point you’re probably wondering why in the the world I’ve spent all this time writing about a random June 2011 Yankees/Reds game. In the big picture, that game wasn’t too terribly important. A ton of baseball games aren’t. The game came to my mind early Tuesday morning while I was catching up on Twitter’s reaction to Monday’s Raw episode.

Mostly, people were mad at the crowd. This week’s Raw was notable for being the main roster debut of four NXT Superstars. (NXT wrestlers are called Superstars too, right?) Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa all wrestled on Monday night’s show in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Triple H did the big introduction at the beginning of the show, we got videos with Michael Cole yelling buzzwords, and the four men got to take part in matches. Which is more than some of the last crop of NXT call-ups can say. Ricochet got to do some flips. Black got to beat up Elias. Gargano & Ciampa got to randomly re-form their tag team.

It was fine, if a wee bit random. I would have expected NXT fans to be happy that some of their favorites were on Raw-wait, no, I wouldn’t have expected that at all because NXT fans want their favorites to stay in Full Sail forever. WWE will mis-use them on the main roster, you see. So I was a little surprised that wasn’t the main thing that Internet wrestling fans were complaining about.

No, it was the crowd.

The Raw crowd didn’t make enough noise for these debuting talents. They should have been out of their seats for Ricochet & Black like they were Austin & Rock in 1998. And of course the fans should have gone crazy for DIY vs. The Revival because it’s great tag team wrestling.

Listen, I’m with you guys as far as the talent of these guys goes. I’m hip to the NXT jazz. I’ve been watching & reviewing lately, If I was in that crowd, I would have been cheering & rooting all of those guys on. The thing is…I’m not in the majority of wrestling fans. Far from it. I’m a wrestling nerd that consumes way too many hours of my day with watching wrestling & writing my opinions about it. From what I can tell, a lot of the people I saw whining & moaning about that crowd do the same thing that I do. We’re obsessed with wrestling & analyze everything way too much because that’s what we enjoy doing.

Not everybody does that.

Sometimes we lose touch with the fact that not everybody is like us. There are plenty of wrestling fans that don’t spend every day obsessing over the gossip or watching every single show they can get access to. I know WWE fans that don’t get WWE Network. There are even WWE Network subscribers that don’t watch NXT. I’m not going to get all hot & bothered & mad at people that don’t watch NXT for not going crazy over NXT call-ups. I might wonder why Baron Corbin gets a louder reaction than any of them, and I might think that reflects poorly on their taste, but at the same time, I realize that it’s because Baron Corbin’s been on TV long enough to establish a persona.

To the casual wrestling fan, Ricochet & Aleister Black are like random guys filling in for Derek Jeter & Alex Rodriguez. Hopefully their careers turn out a little bit better, but just like I wasn’t excited to see Ramiro Pena back in 2011 at Great American Ballpark, Lafayette wasn’t excited to see Aleister Black. You can’t fault paying wrestling fans for not watching all the shows, unless you’re just looking to lord your knowledge over everybody else.

Most of those fans at Raw didn’t have any idea what a Johnny Gargolye or a Tomato Chomper was. Hopefully they’ll get the chance to find out, and hopefully they’ll appreciate them as much as we do. Until then, give Lafayette a break. Don’t get mad at them because they paid to see WWE Superstars & got NXT ones instead.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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