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Greg DeMarco

Top 5: Things I Learned From WWE NXT Takeover War Games 2018

What were the takeaways?

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Adam Cole WWE NXT Takeover War Games

Greg DeMarco chimes in with the Top 5 things he learned by watching NXT Takeover War Games on the WWE Network! Did you have the same takeaways?




I always enjoy watching Takeover, and NXT Takeover War Games 2018 was no exception. I know I gotta get over my War Games/Match Beyond distinction, but that’s going to take some time.

5. NXT is Just Pure Fun

Seriously, WWE NXT as a brand is a ton of fun. There’s just a lot to love. The talent is doing everything they can to turn heads, because they all have that WrestleMania dream. Some will make it, some won’t. A few will even main event the big dance, but that’s a small group.

This card had everything: fun “debut-like” atmosphere for one new star, hate-fueled grudge match, overbooked mess of a championship match, the star everyone loves coming up just a tiny bit short, too many kick outs of finishers, and another modern take on one of the greatest gimmick matches in wrestling history.

NXT takes itself seriously, but not too seriously. It’s like me watching my 12-year old son play soccer, or my 10-year old daughter dance. They work hard, they learn, they develop, but it’s okay with they stumble, fall, or make mistakes.

4. Bobby Fish is the Most Underrated Wrestler in the World

This is the part of the article where I need to disclose to you that I am probably the world’s biggest Bobby Fish mark. Since his days as part of Red Dragon with Kyle O’Reilly to his early time in WWE NXT, I have always loved his work.

In the ring he’s an amazing performer, but he does so many things right all-around. Facial expressions, mannerisms, great promo, and so much more.

He had a ROH World Championship match against Jay Briscoe in 2015, and I was visibly upset that he didn’t win. I got help, so it’s okay.

Bobby Fish is listed online as being 39 years old, and I’ve heard he’s slightly older than that. That’s not important–what is important that he’s older than most talents you’re watching today, but he wrestles with the joy and excitement of a much younger man. When he recently got injured, I was worried that we’d seen the last of him. Thankfully he’s back, because the world needs more Bobby Fish.



3. Aleister Black is Going to be a Major Star

Aleister Black has been over since the day he hit an NXT broadcast. I can’t think of a time during his NXT tenure where he hasn’t been over. And I can’t tell you why!

Maybe it’s the gimmick, which is driven by his real life father being involved in a religious cult when he was growing up. Maybe it’s his in-ring style, which features move after move that will pop a crowd. Maybe it’s because he sneezes “it factor” in a daily basis.

I don’t know what it is, but he lives over. And that’s before the bell even rings.

Well, the bell has to ring, and when it does Aleister Black delivers each and every time out. He tells a story from bell to bell that’s better than anyone else performing today. His offense is believable, which for a striker is impressive. He also makes his opponents look like a million bucks, which is equally impressive since he rarely ever loses.

NXT isn’t exactly the land of the giants, and many of the wrestlers there won’t get their opportunity to flourish on the main roster. But at 6’1″ and 215 pounds (Seth Rollins is the same height and 2 pounds heavier), Black will get his chance.

And when he does? Watch out.

2. Sometimes Less is Less

Anyone with time and knowledge in the wrestling business will tell you that “less is more.” The women’s championship match on this show proves that point. There was a little too much going on (and I am sure it had a purpose we’ll soon see on future NXT broadcasts), and it took away from this match on this night. A little less here would have been so much more in the end.

But then you have the case of Adam Cole. I am a huge fan of Adam Cole (see my comments about Bobby Fish–it’s like that). But in his last run in Ring Of Honor, he was a little too “less” for me. In a not so recent interview with Steve Austin, Marty Scurll talked about how he’s learned to do so much less in the ring, but in many matches I saw he was underwhelming. Then he steps his game up against Kazuchika Okada at ALL IN, and he’s amazing.

Now I fast forward to Adam Cole’s run in NXT, and HE’S amazing. He still takes his time, and he still lets everything breathe. But he’s not less is less, he’s less is more.

That’s the lesson here: less isn’t always more. There’s a line, and you need to stay on the correct side of it.



1. We Need Another NXT

It’s just not fair to Kona Reeves that the outside talent in NXT is this amazing. Or Bianca Belair. Or Lacey Evans.

NXT, especially on the Takeover level, is basically a main roster brand. It delivers more than 205 Live does, with the same amount of TV time each week. Think about it: could 205 Live support 5 PPV events a year? Well NXT does, with one hour of TV each week on the WWE Network.

Talent is busting their asses in the Performance Center for multiple years, and in march talents like Adam Cole, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Ricochet, Pete Dunne…the list goes on. When someone moves up to the main roster, who replaces them? Not Kona Reeves, but Keith Lee or Matt Riddle. And I am not upset about that–they deliver.

But if you look at this Takeover, only one performer was developed from within the Performance Center–Velveteen Dream. Every single one of them was a star somewhere else before coming in. Even Dream had prior experience, but not at the level of the others. Shayna Baszler didn’t have the wrestling experience, but she had MMA experience that took her all the way to the UFC.

I mean, it’s gotten to the point where The Street Profits and Fabian Aichner need to wrestle for EVOLVE because there isn’t room for them on the NXT roster!

The Performance Center stars need more exposure. They need a platform on which to perform. Maybe take the current cream of the NXT crop on the road more, and give them a show that emanates from the road. Let the Performance Center talent have the Full Sail crowd, while still rotating some talent through. Give them their own Network specials, where they can grow and develop, make mistakes and learn.

They can’t compete with the outside talent that is brought in, but they do have potential.




What did you learn from NXT Takeover War Games?
Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!


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

Greg DeMarco’s YouTube Performance Report: WWE Smackdown (4/23/19)

How did Smackdown perform on YouTube this week?

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WWE Smackdown YouTube Kairi Sane Peyton Royce

A look at the YouTube performance for the April 23rd edition of WWE Smackdown!

As we all know, social media and other outlets have become a huge means of drawing in interaction and viewers for WWE. Most people will point to television ratings like they did during the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990’s, however that can be skewed with so many various means of watching today that do not include cable television. As such, YouTube has joined social media as a metric as important to WWE as television ratings (if not more).

As you’ve become accustomed to, here is this week’s RAW YouTube Report, compiled Wednesday morning, for the 4/23/19 edition of WWE Smackdown:

  • Kofi Kingston vs. Shinsuke Nakamura / Kevin Owens attacks Kofi & Xavier Woods – 1.18 million views
  • Shane McMahon & Elias attack on Roman Reigns – 865k views
  • Lars Sullivan attacks Chad Gable, R-Truth, and The Singh Bros – 531k views
  • Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair promo – 478k views
  • Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley – 404k views
  • Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce – 365k views
  • Finn Balor vs. Andrade – 289k views
  • Becky Lynch announcement (2 MITB title matches) – 221k views
  • The New Day (with Kevin Owens) promo – 212k views
  • Roman Reigns accepts Elias’ challenge – 191k views
  • Aleister Black promo – 181k views
  • Elias’ challenging Roman Reigns for Money In The Bank – 144k views

Ratings analysis appears after the ad – buy a shirt!


Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!

 

Be like Elisa and get yours at:
https://www.prowrestlingtees.com/related/thechairshot.html


Greg DeMarco’s WWE Smackdown YouTube Ratings Analysis

Kofi Kingston and The New Day continue to dominate the top of Smackdown, and man does it feel good to say that. It’s good to see this act getting so much attention. The attack from Kevin Owens was a matter of when, not if. It happened here, and that’s our lone Smackdown video over a million views.

Roman Reigns and Shane McMahon are elevating Elias to the top of the Smackdown card, and that’s a good thing. Elias was part of the #2 video of the week with 865k views thanks to the Samoan Sex Machine and the Boss’s Son.

Biggest surprise for me was LARS. Lars Sullivan occupied the #3 position thanks to his brutal attack on Chad Gable, R-Truth, and the Singh Bros. He was followed by the women, who are in the midst of a resetting process but came in at #4, #5, #6, and #8. I think the Becky Lynch Fatigue is a real thing (article coming soon?), but the focus is there.

I am sad for Aleister Black bringing up the rear, as he is such a talented performer shifted to Smackdown because of someone else’s relationship. Let’s boost that video up now!

What did the YouTube results for this week tell you?


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

Greg DeMarco’s YouTube Performance Report: WWE Raw (4/22/19)

You shouldn’t be surprised at the video that topped Raw on YouTube this week.

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Bray Wyatt YouTube Firefly Funhouse WWE Raw
Credit: WWE/YouTube

A look at the YouTube performance for the April 22nd edition of WWE RAW!

As we all know, social media and other outlets have become a huge means of drawing in interaction and viewers for WWE. Most people will point to television ratings like they did during the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990’s, however that can be skewed with so many various means of watching today that do not include cable television. As such, YouTube has joined social media as a metric as important to WWE as television ratings (if not more).

As you’ve become accustomed to, here is this week’s RAW YouTube Report, compiled Wednesday morning, for the 4/22/19 edition of WWE Raw:

  • Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House – 2 million views
  • Seth Rollins’ challengers emerge – 1.58m views
  • AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin – 904k views
  • The Miz vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Baron Corbin – 815k views
  • AJ Styles vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe – 775k views
  • Becky Lynch & Lacey Evans promo – 450k views
  • Robert Roode vs. Ricochet – 440k views
  • Becky Lynch vs. Alicia Fox – 395k views
  • Naomi vs. Billie Kay – 332k views
  • Cedric Alexander vs. Cesaro – 325k views
  • The Revival and The Usos Backstage – 292k views
  • Sami Zayn runs down the WWE Universe – 282k views
  • The Viking Raiders decimate The Lucha House Party – 225k views
  • Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins discuss The Viking Raiders – 126k views

Ratings analysis appears after the ad – buy a shirt!


Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!

 

Be like Elisa and get yours at:
https://www.prowrestlingtees.com/related/thechairshot.html


Greg DeMarco’s WWE Raw YouTube Ratings Analysis

It should be no surprise that Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Funhouse comes in at #1 for the week, surpassing 2 million views. We are in the post-Easter week, so numbers are down overall (only 2 videos over 1 million views), but this one definitely has people talking. It’s also the #18 trend on all of YouTube.

Seth Rollins also topped a 1.5 million, as we had the show opening multi-man promo scheme designed to set up the matches for later. The set-up and those matches were the major focus on Raw on YouTube this week, ranking #2-#5 in terms of views.

Becky Lynch didn’t deliver this week, as she might be suffering from a bit of overexposure. The Raw women’s division continues to rebuild, making me wonder why they broke up The Riott Squad. The division occupied spots #6, #8, and #9, and cumulatively they barely broke a million views. But let’s be honest, the less people that see Becky Lynch vs. Alicia Fox, the better.

Also bad news for the tag team division, as they occupied 3 of the four bottom videos.

My favorite video…the Robert Roode pornstache!

What did the YouTube results for this week tell you?


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