Everyone loves ratings, and our Snowflakes are the true representation of quality. How did Survivor Series and Takeover grade out this year?
Alright, well after taking a few events off we’re back with my ratings and review. Yeah I know the title says “Star Ratings”, well that’s because Google tells us that’s the cool thing to say. Screw Stars, these have been Snowflakes since we started, so don’t get it twisted.
Well let’s get down to the shows.
NXT Takeover WarGames II
Matt Riddle vs Kassius Ohno
We were supposed to get this during tapings, but I guess someone decided it was best to do it now. As soon as the bell rang, the match was over when Riddle connects with a Bicycle Knee.
Winner: Riddle via Bicycle Knee
NXT Women’s Championship 2 out of 3 Falls Match: Kairi Sane vs Shayna Baszler (c)
A match that had a lot of build, but for some reason seemed to be rushing to spots. Kairi had a big DDT on the apron, which made the audience gasp, but it was a just too fast. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir interfere during the first fall, and it takes Dakota Kai and Io Shirai until the closing 40 seconds of the final fall before they came out to try and help. Sure Io looked impressive with a moonsault in skinny jeans, but the fact that as soon as we go back to the match, Kairi tries to hit another Insane Elbow, just for Shayna to roll it back into a crucifix pin.
Winner: Baszler 2-1
Rating: *** 1/2
Johnny Gargano vs Aleister Black
Another match that was hurt a little early by pacing. Plenty of cool spots and stiff strikes, but if it weren’t for the wrestlers speaking loud enough for the cameras to pick up, the storytelling was lacking. The fact that most people are talking about Aleister saying “I absolve you of your sins” and not that the match explained it through psychology, is exactly what takes a few points off.
Obviously not a bad match, but lacking in it’s finer points for me to gush over it.
Winner: Black via Black Mass
Rating: **** 1/2
NXT Championship Match: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Velveteen Dream
This is what wrestling truly should be. Dream throwing shade at Hogan again with the Hollywood Hogan attire and mimicking his mannerisms and moves at different points were great. Resiliency played a big part for champion and challenger, so even though it did start a little slow, that was smart. Coming off a match that light up the crowd like Gargano and Black, you need to give them a little time to catch their breath.
Desperation at the end was great, Ciampa has proven to be an “at all costs” heel, while Dream’s desperation tends to prove his youth. Dream hits his Popping Death Valley Driver and a Purple Rainmaker, but Ciampa kicks out. Dream gets over anxious and tries to hit a Purple Rainmaker on the apron when he thinks there’s an opening, but Ciampa moves, and makes the challenger pay.
Callbacks, near falls, and the palpable tension is what sets this match on a different level.
Winner: Ciampa via Draping DDT
Rating: ***** 1/4
WarGames Match: Undisputed Era vs War Raiders, Ricochet & Pete Dunne
For the way NXT does WarGames, these have been fairly exciting matches. Conceptually the match was paced well and the spots made some sense, but tended to last a little long. There were a few times in the match, you could tell they were waiting for someone to break a pin or show up for a move.
As a match it was still entertaining and people will probably be talking about Ricochet’s Double Moonsault from the top of the cage for years to come. Definitely chalks up as a match worth watching, unless you hate the use of the name WarGames when it’s not a classic WarGames match.
Winner: Pete Dunne & Ricochet
Rating: **** 3/4
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