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NXT Minus 6: Best WWE NXT Matches Of 2018

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Johnny Gargano Aleister Black WWE NXT

In a year of amazing action for WWE NXT, these 6 matches rose to the top.

In 2018 NXT had one of the finest years of any promotion in American wrestling history. Of the 19 Takeover matches, there was exactly 1 clunker. Throw in the occasional PPV-worthy match on Wednesday night and the match of the year candidates quickly add up. After rewatching every Takeover (oh how I suffer for my craft), here are my top 6 NXT matches of 2018.

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  • Ricochet versus Velveteen Dream, Takeover Chicago
  • War Games match, Takeover: War Games
  • Undisputed Era versus Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch, Takeover Chicago
  • North American Title Ladder Match, Takeover New Orleans
  • Shayna Baszler versus Kairi Sane, Takeover War Games

6. Pete Dunne versus Ricochet, NXT Television

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This match is awesome but somewhat of a cheat. Both guys had great years and deserve to make the list. I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone. Here’s why I give it such high marks. One of the hardest things in wrestling to do is create drama when everybody knows the finish. It was almost a given that UE would ruin the ending. Despite that, Ricochet & Dunne didn’t slow down or hold back one bit. Luckily for us, this rivalry is far from over.     

5. Undisputed Era versus Mustache Mountain, part 2, NXT Television

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UE went old school, picked a limb & obliterated Trent Seven’s knee. Tried to cripple him. Tyler Bate had to choose between his best friend’s health & saving their tag team titles. Every time the Big Strong Boi reached for the towel, it tore at my guts. Some people didn’t care for the ending, but the drama in this match would have not been as intense any other way. This was the best match of the second best trilogy of the year.

4. Velveteen Dream versus Tommaso Ciampa, Takeover: War Games

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This match had less build than the others on the list. Dream simply showed up and wanted a title shot. I’m a big fan of the little things, & these guys pay attention to the little things. I loved when Ciampa threw the notepad at Ranallo. Then when the match is over, they are so exhausted they lay in a heap for about 2 minutes. Ciampa even takes the belt from the ref while he’s still draped across Dream. Those little touches separate good from great, and this was a great match.

3. Andrade Cien Almas versus Johnny Gargano, Takeover Philadelphia

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This match was closer to dancing than wrestling. That’s how well these two worked together. Could Johnny Wrestling, the heart and soul of NXT, finally achieve his dream and capture the title? Could he beat a man he’s never beaten? Everything made sense, even the interference. Zelina Vega and Candace Lerae did just enough to add to the storyline without overshadowing it. This match was so good and so early in 2018, we were left to wonder what Johnny could do to top it. Well…

2. Johnny Gargano versus Tommaso Ciampa II, Takeover Chicago

Image result for gargano ciampa chicago air raid crash

Any of the trilogy could have made the list. This is my personal favorite. Gargano’s Air Raid Crash was absolutely sick. The belt shots were brutal. The moment that sealed it for me was when Ciampa spit on Gargano’s wedding ring & threw it into the crowd. Wow. What a dick move. If this match happened in 1986, Ciampa would have needed a real police escort to get out alive. After another 5 star classic, we were left to wonder what Gargano could do to top it. Well…

1. EC3 versus Kona Reeves, NXT Television

This was easily the finest match NXT had to offer in 2018. The top 1% of…screw it. What am I doing?

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1. Aleister Black versus Johnny Gargano, Takeover War Games

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The moment this match ended, I went full Meltzer and gave it 6 stars. I stand by that. Some people talk about looking at a painting or listening to a piece of music and it brings them to tears. They are so touched by the level of beauty achieved by human hands. I feel this way about this match. The story was gripping. The action was beyond intense. There were at least 5 times I thought someone legit got knocked out. Aleister’s second Black Mass is as pretty as a finisher gets. I’m not saying it’s the best match I’ve ever seen, but I don’t think I’ll ever see one better.  

That’s right. I said it.


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

Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Ratings & Analysis 4/19/2019

Impact Wrestling’s penultimate show leading toward Rebellion! Andrew goes through the show and lends his analysis! How was the show?

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Impact Wrestling’s penultimate show leading toward Rebellion! Andrew goes through the show and lends his analysis!

Scarlett and Fallah debut as a tag team today! Tessa and Gail’s story continues to bubble up and Eddie Edwards & Eli Drake get their shots at the Tag Team titles!

The whole oVe story and Rich Swann continues as Tommy Dreamer apparently is getting sacrificed to Madman Fulton. Are we about to watch a murder?

 

Ratings:

  • Scarlett Bordeaux & Fallah Bahh vs Desi Hit Squad: Scarlett wins via Tandem Banzai Drop – * 1/2
  • Moose vs Dez: Dez wins via Body Scissors Cradle – ** 1/4
  • Madman Fulton vs Tommy Dreamer: Fulton wins via Lifting Reverse STO – ** 1/2
  • Madison Rayne vs Taya Valkyrie: Rayne wins via Roll-Up – N/A
  • IMPACT Tag Team Titles: Eddie Edwards & Eli Drake vs Lucha Bros (c): Lucha Bros retain via Spike Fear Factor – ***

 

Analysis:

Okay let’s be serious for a minute. This wasn’t a great match, but it was entertaining. The crowd enjoyed singing along to Scarlett’s music, Fallah did most of the work since the Hit Squad didn’t want to interact with Scarlett at first. Amusing spot was after Raj got hit with a Stink Face from Scarlett, Rohit pulled him out and sat in the corner asking for the Scarlett Stink Face. They pulled the bait and switch since she told him to close his eyes. Scarlett jumps on Fallah’s back and Tandem Banzai drop with Scarlett pinning Raj was the finish. It was amusing, not a great match, but told a story and was entertaining.

A couple backstage segments with Lucha Bros and Eli & Eddie hyping the tag match. Eddie is still imbalanced singing “We are the three best friends” song, of course referencing Kenny the kendo stick as the third.

The final leg of Moose’s revenge against the Rascalz. Moose took the match lightly, and controlled the majority of the match. Lawn Darting Dez into the corner was cool. Hell Dez tried to do a Dragonrana on the outside, Moose caught him smooth as butter and then smashed his head into the steps, before throwing him into the other Rascalz. After rolling him back in, the other Rascalz get involved for the first time and allow Dez to roll through with a Body Scissors into a Cradle.

After the match we see Rosemary and Kiera Hogan arguing. Kiera says as long as there’s two of them, two of them will fight Su Yung. So Rosemary proceeds to beat the crap out of Kiera and choke her with the chain leash that held the Bunny before she was killed in the Undead Realm. Yes, I know what I just wrote.

GWN Flashback Match: Tag Team Title 5150 Street Fight: LAX vs OGz, Slammiversary 7/22/2018

After the flashback we get a decent length segment of Tessa going to one of Robert Irvine’s restaurants where she runs down Gail, says she’s most famous for screwing a famous chef. Then she proceeds to terrorize different people all while looking for Robert Irvine. She doesn’t find him, has some interesting lines, and she sells things well. Not everyone acts well in the segment, but it wasn’t completely awful. A few amusing moments.

Not really sure why Madman and Dreamer are in a non-Hardcore match. It’s an alright match. Dreamer gets most of his offense in when Fulton takes too long to go to his next move. After hitting the DDT, Dreamer goes out to get a kendo stick…in a normal match, misses and Fulton hits a Reverse Lifting STO (think Corbin’s End of Days). Not sure what Fulton is calling it, but that was the end. Then a brawl between oVe and the rest of Dreamer’s little rag tag team of Willie Mack and Rich Swann.

Taya ran down Canada, said she wasn’t gonna do the match, but Madison jumped her before she could leave. Then after surviving the initial flurry, Taya tries to powder out, but Jordynne Grace throws her back in. Taya is mad and distracted, School Girl Roll-Up. So nothing to rate, but I guess this is comeuppance for one half of the douchey championship couple.

Interesting match even though it felt to be less than 10 minutes long. Lucha Bros start fast and spotty, but eventually Eddie and Eli slow it down. LAX tries to cost Lucha Bros the match, but they fail. Eddie tries to throw Kenny to Eli, but Eli misses. Eddie gets wiped out and they pin Eli with the Spike Fear Factor. Afterwards Eli turns on Eddie and beats him with Kenny.

 

Overall Score: 6/10

Above average. Not a bad show, but it definitely felt like an episode to try and put more focus on the smaller stories. Lance Storm getting involved in the main event story does add a little more star power. Given that D’Amore insulted Cage before the confrontation, it makes me wonder where management’s feelings lie.

So again, the show wasn’t exactly a blow away, but there were plenty of entertaining moments. Ideally next week should finish the hype for Rebellion, and I’m really hoping Rebellion returns to the good wrestling form that Redemption and Slammiversary had last year.


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

Carol: Is Lacey Evans The Right Opponent For Becky Lynch?

Lacey may have The Woman’s Right, but is she the right opponent for Becky? Carol explores the question.

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Lacey may have The Woman’s Right, but is she the right opponent for Becky? Carol explores the question.

It’s been one week since Becky Lynch won both the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships at WrestleMania. But Lynch doesn’t have time to rest because she’s getting ready to defend her titles against Lacey Evans.

Evans being the championship contender has caused mixed reactions with fans.

So I have to wonder, is Lacey the right contender for Becky Lynch?

I can see why fans are upset with Evans being Becky’s first opponent. Since Becky is the top star of the women’s division and fans would expect her first title defense to be with another big star such as Sasha Banks or Bayley.

I can see Becky feuding with someone like Sasha or Bayley, but their match would be saved for a bigger PPV such as SummerSlam. In the meantime, Becky will have to be put in a filler feud and Lacey Evans is her first opponent.

I don’t watch NXT so I’m not familiar with Lacey’s in-ring work, although I do know about her gimmick. Since arriving on the main roster, Lacey hasn’t competed much in the ring. The only thing she does is walk down the ramp like a runway model in the middle of a match.

This past Monday on RAW, Lacey competed in her first match on the main roster when she fought Natalya.  While the match was short, it did give the WWE Universe a chance to see Lacey’s wrestling ability. Lacey showed that she has a lot of strength when it comes to wrestling, but is that enough to make her a worthy championship contender.

Reports say that WWE views her as a future star in the women’s division. She fits the mold of WWE’s women wrestlers, so it’s not surprising they want to push her. But are they pushing her too fast by having her challenge Becky Lynch for the Women’s Championships?

It would be best to slowly build up Lacey’s character until she’s able to prove why she’s championship caliber. But at the same time, a Becky Lynch feud could be just the thing to get the WWE Universe interested in the wrestler.

Becky’s the biggest star of the women’s division and anyone who has a feud with her is sure to gain a lot of attention. If WWE is adamant about making Lacey a star, a championship match with Lynch could be thing to get her push started.

While some fans are hesitant about Lacey Evans and Becky Lynch’s feud, this is a big opportunity for both ladies.

For Evans, she’ll have to prove to fans and WWE officials that she has what it takes to be a big star in the women’s division. As for Lynch, she’s worked hard to earn her spot as the top star in WWE. After a successful win at WrestleMania, she’s going to have to continue her momentum going to keep her spot as champion and leader of the women’s division.

Of course, WWE’s booking will play an important role in this feud. But if booked right, Lacey and Becky could both come out of this feud looking strong.


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