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Daily DeMarco: NXT & NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool Ratings & Review

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Pete Dunne WALTER WWE NXT UK Takeover Blackpool

Greg DeMarco is here with his match ratings for the UK’s first Takeover, WWE NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool!

The WWE’s NXT UK brand presented their first ever Takeover on Saturday, from the place it all started, The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool. The

  • Zack Gibson & James Drake defeated Mustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) in 23:43 to become the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions – ****3/4

This match was fantastic. I can’t speak enough to it. It built to the third act, which delivered in a big way. All four men had their strengths highlighted, and their weaknesses used against them. Zack Gibson and Trent Seven did an amazing job directing traffic, and all four sold like champs in this match.

I noticed one thing that sets this match apart. The tag team offense came as a result of communication. It wasn’t automatic. This felt real, and is the type of thing that could reinvent tag team wrestling again for WWE. Kudos to everyone involved.

  • Finn Balor pinned Jordan Devlin in 11:51 with the Coup De Grace – ***1/2

The rating here is for the entire story, including Travis Banks’ pre-match attack on Jordan Devlin that led him being helped to the back, and Finn Balor being introduced as “Plan B.”

Balor and Devlin put on a storytelling classic, with Balor taking the early advantage, and Devlin being at his cheating best to steal that advantage back. The match itself was “shorter” than you’d expect, but Balor is a former Universal Champion and is poised for a big 2019. Devlin still looked great in the loss, and this could be a thread in NXT UK over the next year.

By the way, Devlin’s Yanking Backdrop Driver is amazing.

  • Eddie Dennis beat Dave Mastiff in a No Disqualification Match at 10:48 – **1/2

The shortest match on the card, and it only took a few minutes for the stairs to end up in the ring, a Kendo Stick to be wielded, and the mats to be removed from the floor. Maybe it’s the over-used stipulation, but I didn’t love it. It wasn’t offensive, but compared to other matches of this style we’ve seen over the past year, this one fell short.

  • Toni Storm pinned Rhea Ripley to win the NXT UK Women’s Championship in 14:48 – ***

A good match, yes. But it was lacking in some areas, sloppy in others, and slow still in others. That showed in the crowd, too, as they were lowest for this match (unless people were kicking out of finishers). Even the applause seemed to be more polite than passionate.

They still popped huge for the finish, as Toni Storm is one of the most likable people around. Not in the business, but in the entire world. I also think the right person won, on this night, but Rhea Ripley (who was possibly champion due to injuries to others) has the potential to be a legendary WWE performer.

  • Pete Dunne forced Joe Coffey to submit to retain the WWE United Kingdom Championship in 34:13 – ***1/2

Joe Coffey has always looked like an ultra-talented Jim Neidhart, but damn is he good. I kinda wish he won this match, because he would make one hell of a heel champion. Sadly, it’s Pete Dunne’s time in NXT UK.

This match was decidedly equal. Coffey looked like a star, and the two botches actually worked for this match. Dunne won via submission, which he’s done a few times recently. After the finish we saw the NXT UK debut of WALTER, and I half worry that he’ll be given the championship right away.  Not that he won’t make a great champion, but I’d like to see more of a build.

Overall this was a great first Takeover outing for NXT UK. It wasn’t perfect, but it set the table for this great brand. I think it’s my favorite brand at the moment, and I can’t wait for what they do next.

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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#RAWisDVR: Greg DeMarco’s Accelerated Review of WWE Raw (2/11/19)

How much got the FAST FORWARD treatment this week?

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Each week Greg DeMarco watches WWE Raw on DVR with a stopwatch and sense of urgency. How much time will he save?

Let’s see how we go home to Elimination Chamber!

FAST FORWARD the opening nope. They did that for us!

Stephanie McMahon & Triple H start WWE Raw

  • Fake excitement Steph is so terrible
  • Okay, FAST FORWARD the PPV talk
  • It’s WrestleMania season when the Brand Split means nothing
  • FAST FORWARD Becky walking
  • Triple H should know better than telling women to calm down–he’s married!
  • The McMahon family is still in charge of the WWE–and this is about reminding everyone.
  • Enter Sasha & Bayley–super fast start to Raw!

FAST FORWARD the entrances and commercials
Timestamp: 10:53

Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan vs. Nia Jax & Tamina (losers enter the Chamber first)

  • FAST FORWARD some of the boring match
  • Watch some wrestling, FAST FORWARD the commercials
  • More wrestling, FAST FORWARD Tamina
  • Bayley stealing offense from Ronda!
  • And that’s finally over.
  • Nia Jax has become such a strong character

FAST FORWARD the replay, talking, and commercials

Hello I Am Elias

  • The multiple interruptions were stupid
  • FAST FORWARD the commercials
  • Elias is JUST NOW talking? This must suck live.
  • Thas was one hell of a guitar shot
  • Enter Lashley (and Lio).

FAST FORWARD so much stuff. Seriously, what is up with this episode?
Timestamps: 22:09 (real time 58:47)

Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre

  • FAST FORWARD the entrance and video for Finn Balor, and McIntyre’s entrance
  • The problem with this match–and it’s not a bad match–is that we are just waiting for Rush & Lashley to get involved
  • And there’s the expected DQ!
  • FAST FORWARD and now we have Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin Sucks. Braun NOVELTYman, anyone?
  • Yep, 6-man tag time, HOLLA HOLLA PLAYA!

FAST FORWARD the commercial
Timestamp: 27:03 (real time: 1:11:39 )

Finn Balor, Braun NOVELTYman, & Kurt Angle vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, & Baron Corbin Sucks (plus Lio Rush)

  • SHIELD camera shaking only works for SHIELD
  • Angle Slam and there’s no way that finishes it
  • FAST FORWARD Baron Corbin Sucks
  • FAST FORWARD more commercials (geez!)
  • WWE’s attempts to keep us from going away during commercials are so transparent. I don’t blame them one bit.
  • FAST FORWARD Baron Corbin Sucks
  • I just hit 30 minutes on the clock.
  • Finn takes out Lio to sell Sunday’s match
  • And Finn eats the fall. So terrible, “blown call from the official.” That shit is dumb.
  • And here’s DEAN AMBREF to restart the match. Because we can do that now?
  • WWE just reminding us that things are never going to be consistent. To quote Batista, DEAL WITH IT.
  • FAST FORWARD the commercials
  • I feel like the entire stretch of Balor/McIntyre to this has taken 90 minutes.
  • Love the way Lio holds the Intercontinental Championship on the outside.
  • You know, what if Finn Balor is The Demon this Sunday?
  • BRAUN SMASH! NOVELTY ACT!
  • At least he’s good at what he does.
  • 8 hours later, this is over.

Kevin Owens promo from the bowling alley

  • “One more month or so.” You can set your watch by it!

FAST FORWARD the entrances

Backstage Becky–this really is an Austin episode of Raw

FAST FORWARD more entrances and commercials

Timestamp: 1:44:00 (real time: 38:37)

Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riott

  • Nikki crazy, y’all
  • Nice touch for Ronda, wearing Reebok UFC gear backstage
  • See, Ronda wants to see the match, too!
  • I hate the mid-match interruption, this is a good match so far
  • Michael Cole voice change signifies commercial? NOPE! But lots of fake Ruby hair on the floor.
  • Riott Kick CONNECTS! (with nothing)
  • Do not fast forward Paul Heyman

FAST FORWARD the commercials
Timestamp: 44:49 (Real time: 1:55:24)

Seth Rollins promo

  • Seth here to remind us that he exists
  • Accomplishment, accomplishment, attach by Brock, good news
  • BROCK not here–crowd went nuts, too
  • Babyface Seth is the worst Seth. HE BROKE UP THE SHIELD!
  • FAST FORWARD the commentary
  • And here’s DEAN AMBROSE, who supports Rollins?

FAST FORWARD stuff
Timestamp: 50:09 (Real time: 2:11:22)

Dean Ambrose vs. EC3

  • Who else is in the Top 1%?
  • This whole show has become a chore as we wait for Becky’s decision.
  • Dean wins. YAY.
  • Don’t know if you know, but Becky must apologize tonight.
  • One does not FAST FORWARD Alexa Bliss.

FAST FORWARD the entrances
Timestamp: 55:50 (Real time: 2:25:07)

WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable (c) vs. The Revival

  • #SAVETAGTEAMWRESTLING!
  • Gable & Roode are no makeshift team
  • FAST FORWARD the commercials
  • Computer and timer issues hit, but THE REVIVAL WON!
  • Don’t give me that “it should have been on PPV,” THE REVIVAL WON!

FAST FORWARD

Becky Lynch Promo (with Ronda Rousey, Vince McMahon, and Charlotte Flair)

  • Masterfully done yet again, Charlotte Flair is in the match (like I told you), Becky Lynch now has to fight her way back in (like I told you), and this story continues its twists and turns all the way to (and at) WrestleMania.
  • Note that this was the central focus of Raw, as it’s the most important program in the company. This will main event the show.

Estimated Timestamp: 1:25:00 (real time 3:00:00)
Time Saved: 1 hour an 35 minutes!

Overall this edition of Raw was just…weird. The show was cued up different than normal, and it showed. Let’s not yearn for the Attitude Era ever again. Onto the Smackdown!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Levin: The Continued Hypocrisy Of WWE’s Hall Of Fame

Since there is no written criteria, is the Hall of Fame inherently an issue?

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WWE HOF

Since there is no written criteria, is the Hall of Fame inherently an issue? David let’s us know what bothers him!

As the road to WrestleMania 35 ramps up and WWE begins to introduce its Hall of Fame class of 2019, I cannot help but think which former company superstar is going to get screwed out of their rightful place in professional wrestling immortality.

It happens every year once the Royal Rumble comes to a close and the Big, Bad Wolf, better known as WWE, plays politics with the selection process – much like the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Year after year, I write an opinion piece around this time, allowing my fingers to voice my displeasure for those deserving performers who have not heard their names called, the ones who have since passed and have been forgotten.

With the leaked news by several outlets that the Hart Foundation will be the first inductees for 2019, my crusade now begins in earnest. I have no issue with the decision to induct one of the greatest tag teams of the Hulk Hogan generation. It is what happens after the news of Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart and Jimmy Hart’s selection that gets me going.

A few years back, Mike Mooneyham wrote how WWE dropped the ball by not selecting the late Ray Stevens to the hallowed Hall while WrestleMania invaded Levi’s Stadium in California. It continues to be a slap in the face of the pre-Vincent K. McMahon business that is shut out from consideration. At some point, someone will have to explain to me why Ivan Koloff is not a member after doing the unthinkable and beating Bruno Sammartino in 1971. And for that matter, why are we so quick to bring Edge into the fraternity upon his retirement, but have failed to induct Owen Hart?

Like its new message to fans about better sports entertainment in the coming year, WWE must get this class right. The selection of the Hart Foundation means Demolition is still on the outside looking in.

If I’m picking the class this year, and no one asked my opinion, I’d keep the Hart Foundation and build around it. I’d add the late Brian Pillman, keeping Chris Benoit off the list for one more year. I’d add Koloff as Uncle Ivan is important to WWWF history. Chyna deserves her spot on the roster, with Sable being inducted next year. Batista could be a surprise inductee and the headliner of the star-studded group being The Undertaker.

While I have tried to hit a home run with this group of former wrestling greats, there are still performers who are deserving of a place in WWE immortality. I’ll leave that up for debate for another blog.


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