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Good, Bad And Ugly: WWE NXT (2/27/19)

NXT had an “ugly” match? Go figure!

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Sasha Banks Bayley WWE NXT

Bobby finishes the WWE trifecta this week with WWE NXT–was it Good, Bad, or Ugly? (Really, has it ever been ugly?)

NXT as expected is on fire at all times.  The roster even has brought insanely Good content to the Main Roster and are being used accordingly destroying Main Roster figure heads.  No more talk!  Let’s see how long NXT can rock out!

GOOD

Johnny Gargano

The match last week with Dream was stellar!  We saw pure Gold and were left satisfied.  Gargano even after losing the gold is still completely money!  Johnny Wrestling was doing well on the mic and completely is the total package even with his smaller size.  He is just amazing!  Just as things got real for Gargano, out comes DIY brother and recent ally NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa.  With the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic coming up looks like team DIY may whats best for business.  What are Ciampa’s intentions as they are always loaded?  It looks like his motive is more gold.  Will we see some DIY in the near future in NXT? The answer is yes!  Handshake and all, DIY is back and look to take over the upcoming tournament.

Ricochet Promo (Backstage)

This was very short but very noteworthy, as following the trend with DIY, Ricochet announced his upcoming involvement with the Tag Team Tournament with his WWE Tag Team Partner, Aleister Black.  This is All Good News here!

Limitless Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic

Major size in the ring in this one.  Both guys can move well below their respective weight classes as well.  This was textbook big guy vs big guy.  Irresistible Force vs Immovable object for you Gorilla Monsoon enthusiast.  No respect as Dijakovic pushed Lee away from a handshake, then “monkey flipped” Keith Lee who landed on his feet.  Dijakovic then hard chopped Lee but got a receipt for it.  This was stiff and full on physical from here out.  Back and forth, chest puffed out and pure powerhouse action.  This could have gone either way.  Dijakovic hit a sick sitdown chokeslam but couldn’t finish off the big guy Lee.  Dijakovic also kicked out after being spiked to the canvas.  This was a Good, solid match.  Again surprises galore, Dijakovic really showed off his skill set flying through the air with a huge Asai Moonsault but this proved to be too much for both men as they were to hurt to continue and resulted in a double count out.  Unfortunately the officials stopped them from continuing but this was still a Good match even with the disappointing ending.    

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions – Sasha Banks and Bayley

If there was a Great Category here, this would fall into it!  NXT Royalty and Women’s Division trailblazers, not to mention fan favorites in the house!  This is the type of magic that this show brings, huge surprises literally bringing superfans to tears.  NXT was bumping and praising the Champs.  They were there for a reason though.  They made it known that the Tag Team Championships will be up for grabs in NXT as well.  This is great news and may lead to some mega matches in the near future!

Non-Title Match – NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler vs. Mia Yim

Mia Yim is a badass but Baszler is a bigger one.  This was set up to be violent.  Very physical it delivered.  The crowd giving it up for Mia who had her hands full.  Yim beat the champ in and out of the ring, taking no prisoners and using everything in her arsenal to take control.  It was short lived though as Baszler countered and took advantage.  Baszler is so violent and physical. She is a tremendous talent.  Mia Yim almost took this one several times taking advantage of Baszler hurting her hand earlier in the match.  Over and over Yim had the Champion down and out but couldn’t put her away.  Baszler being the warrior she is, sucked it up and locked in a Kurifuda Clutch for the hard fought victory.      

BAD- No but definitely an Ugly moment.

UGLY

Vanessa Borne and Aliyah vs. Taynara Conti and Xia Li

The new trend of the women’s tag matches is a Good trend overall, but this really had some potential for disaster before it ever started.  Xia Li is Good though.  Borne is quite the Sensational Sherri and that is a Good thing.  Conti really put forth an effort, working hard to be unique and give the fans a show.  Overall however the crowd was dead, the pace was off, and when a slap is the highlight of the match it says a lot about how Bad it is.  Aliyah entering the match didn’t help anything get better, although the crowd woke up behind Conti during her long beatdown.  Finally Li got in there.  Things picked up literally as Xia Li is much better than the rest of the talent in this match.  Li did some great strikes and utilized her athletic background to perfection.  This match was just horrible though, especially Vanessa Bourne.  If it couldn’t get worse the end spot was cringe worthy.  Bourne and Aliyah Win. 

FINAL

  • Good- 5
  • Bad- 0
  • Ugly- 1

Overall

Good!  Not a perfect score this time, but a damn Good Show.  NXT continues to dominate and it’s the fans that are winning.  The product is the best around, and every week is a huge success.  NXT is the standard that everyone else needs to watch and learn from!  Awesome show!

Another week in the books, not as strong as the trends as of late.  Raw literally let us down, but an okay SmackDown and another amazing NXT, and we have had a decent week of WWE action.  One things for sure, we will continue watching.  Enjoy!   


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News

News From Cook’s Corner 3.1.21: No Big Show

Steve Cook brings the birthday shout outs and a nice variety of different wrestling topics! Check it out!

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! My name is Steve Cook, and I’m somewhat decent at remembering birthdays of people close to me thanks to social media notifications, but ages are another matter. A day ago, I would have wished Larry Csonka a happy 67th birthday. Not that he would have been 67 years old, it’s just a gimmick I do with people that are older than me. Assign them an age much older than they actually are. Greg DeMarco has been on the receiving end of this before.

It’s good times, loved by all. (Actually, Larry hated it and I’m pretty sure Greg does too.)

With the way things have been in the world over the past year, there’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you’ve lost somebody you cared about over the past year. Wrestling has seen a nearly non-stop parade of death, including the loss of the man who played Jocephus & The Question Mark last week. His passing touched a number of his brothers & sisters in the wrestling business, who posted about how great he was as a person.

All we can do is hang together and help each other through our periods of grief. We all go through it, and it’s definitely been way too much of a thing over the past year.

You can still donate to help out Larry’s family!

It’s tempting to wonder what Larry would think about the things going on now. I won’t pretend to know how he’d react to most of 2021, but I can safely assume that he would be excited as I am about Tully Blanchard having a match on television this week, and also wondering why a bigger deal isn’t being made of it. He probably would have written the best column about Tully Blanchard since 1999.

The best way I can think of to celebrate Larry’s birthday? Ramble through some wrestling news a day after it! Makes sense, right?

AEW Signs Paul Wight

This one came as quite the surprise when it broke on Wednesday. Paul Wight, the wrestler formerly known as The Big Show (or The Giant if you’re more of a WCW fan), has decided to take his wrestling and announcing talents to All Elite Wrestling. Wight had worked for WWE for most of the past twenty-two years, with the exception of February 2007-08. He hadn’t done much with the company over the past several years, appearing for brief periods of time in the ring. WWE did help produce The Big Show Show, a sitcom that lasted one season on Netflix.

It seems like this comes down to Wight wanting to do more, and WWE not really having anything for him to do. Since his sitcom was ended, he only made a handful of appearances on WWE television, with his last appearance consisting of Randy Orton berating him for not being able to wrestle anymore. Wight will apparently be doing some wrestling in AEW, which will be interesting on a number of levels since there isn’t a bevy of talent there that’s anywhere near his size. I mean, there is Shaq, and that’s been a dream match for some for years, but there’s no telling whether or not Shaq will be back after his tag match this week. He’ll also be announcing alongside Tony Schiavone on AEW’s new YouTube show titled AEW Dark: Elevation.

AEW has made it a priority to keep increasing their online presence, as we saw on Sunday night when they aired some of their Women’s Championship Eliminator matches on Bleacher Report’s website. Including Riho vs. Thunder Rosa, which made some pretty angry when it was announced as they would have preferred to see the match on Dynamite. While I get that they need matches like that to draw eyeballs to new platforms, it will raise some eyebrows from those that see things like this as demotions. They aren’t meant as demotions, as having Wight on this new show further indicates.

I don’t see this changing the momentum of the wrestling wars, but I think its nice for older talent to have viable options other than a WWE Legends contract.

WWE: Still Big In India

Jinder Mahal WWE Bold Prediction

People like to make a big deal of how many viewers these wrestling shows have. One thing we often forget: Americans aren’t the only people that watch television! Sure, on average we probably watch more programming via various devices than anybody else. However, there’s a great big world out there of people watching wrestling that we often don’t keep track of!

Fortunately, we have people like Lucha Libre Online to keep track of places like India for us. Here’s what they told us!

4 million people watch Raw every week, while 3 million watch SmackDown and 1 million watch NXT. Which makes me wonder if Raw viewers are forced to choose between SmackDown & NXT. Are they in the same time slot?

People are making a big deal about how this means more people in India are watching WWE than in the US. I mean…India has a few more people, right? I’m guessing their share of the overall audience is lower than it is here.

All I know for sure is that all this proves that India doesn’t need Jinder Mahal pushed on top to remain interested in WWE.

NWA Pulls Videos From YouTube

NWA Power

I have to admit that I was concerned when WrestlingInc & other websites drew my attention to the fact that the NWA had pulled their videos from YouTube. Not really the best timing on that either, as I’m sure there were fans of Jocephus & Question Mark looking for something to watch after his tragic death last week. It’s easy to see why people thought the worst.

As we know, the NWA has virtually ceased production since the pandemic started. A good amount of their wrestling talent has moved on to other opportunities. If David Lagana has been replaced behind the scenes, we haven’t heard who it is. Heck, the women’s division has pretty much become part of AEW. We’ve been waiting to hear some kind of NWA news for awhile now, either good or bad.

We’ve finally got something new coming from the NWA. Dave Meltzer reported that they’ll be holding TV tapings from March 21-24. No word on where the tapings will be taking place, if fans will be allowed, or who will be involved. As we’ve noticed, a good number of NWA wrestlers have moved on to other places. Hopefully the NWA will be able to fill those slots with new, compelling characters that can give fans the same level of enjoyment they got out of Powerrr.

I’m always in favor of more wrestling produced for the people.

Marty Scrull Returns to New Japan

Marty Scurll

Our friends at Fightful got the inside scoop from the NJPW Strong tapings back in January and found out that Marty Scrull appeared on the show. He did an angle with Rocky Romero that will presumably air at some point. Scrull has not been seen or heard from in any major way since parting ways with Ring of Honor.

I remember reading before that New Japan might be the most likely landing spot for Scrull, since apparently sleeping or doing other things with underage females is less frowned upon over there. And there is a bit of a difference between having someone work for you as a wrestler or in a management position. Scrull was management in ROH, and keeping him around would have been unneeded publicity.

That’s what all of these Speaking Out defendants are going to be dealing with in their attempts to return to pro wrestling. The ones that haven’t yet will try eventually, it’s just a matter of timing and business. Companies will bring in these people if they find them valuable. New Japan finds value in Marty Scrull, who has enough friends there to help him out.

The question, as I’ve stated before, is if fans feel strongly enough about Scrull and his failings to hold it against the people that employ him. If they do, and they don’t watch NJPW Strong, Scrull won’t be around for too long. If fans don’t care, then promotions don’t need to, and Scrull will be twirling his umbrella back into the wrestling world.

As for my opinion? I’m really the wrong person to ask, as Marty Scrull wasn’t a draw for me before all his business came out. I’m not inclined to watch his stuff, but I already wasn’t. What matters is how the people that did fawn over Scrull in the past take to him now.

Klein vs. ROH

Kelly Klein

Its been a minute or two since we’ve talked much about the former Women of Honor Champion. It wasn’t too long before the pandemic when all of this drama went public with Kelly’s allegations about her treatment in Ring of Honor, Kelly getting divorced after her former husband (BJ Whitmer) accused her of being unfaithful with the man assisting her in making allegations (Joey Mercury), and ROH eventually stripping her of their championship and not renewing her contract.

Things died down on this front over the past year, largely due to the global pandemic thing. Klein isn’t going away though, as she filed a lawsuit against Ring of Honor & Sinclair Broadcasting, naming Greg Gilliland, Delirious & Jay Lethal as defendants. Klein’s issues with ROH came to a head when she suffered a concussion during a match and there was no protocol or staff on hand to address her problem. There were other issues, including pay, which apparently ROH’s female roster members get considerably less of than the males.

ROH has never really had much interest in pushing women’s wrestling. That’s just a fact. The Women of Honor re-boot in 2018 seemed to be a step in that direction, but the company quickly lost interest in featuring the competitors. Since the debut of the ROH bubble, the only woman regularly appearing on television has been the studio host, Quinn McKay. McKay has an angle going with Mandy Leon & Angelina Love, but that hasn’t been touched on at all on television and has been confined to an Internet show where they did one confrontation and that was it. Leon & Love appear in the opening video, but that’s the only place they’ve appeared on television in months. Vita Von Starr appears with The Righteous on occasion & Maria Kanellis-Bennett recently made her on-screen return to commentate on a match.

So, no, it doesn’t surprise me that ROH had/has no interest in paying women equally to men.

There’s a lot going on within the lawsuit, including harassment claims directed towards Lethal. The main thing to keep an eye on here for wrestling purposes? Klein is claiming that she was an employee, not an independent contractor, and the State of Maryland has a strong policy to ensure that workers are not misclassified. So we’re saying there’s a chance this issue might actually be addressed in a court of law after how many years. Stay tuned.

That’s all we have time for this week! Thanks for reading, and keep your stick on the ice.


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: The Most Pointless Match Ever

There are some things Brad really enjoyed, and others that made no sense. Do you agree with his assessments?

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Not just pointless. It was Charles Barkley turrible. 

Dexter Lumis - NXT Entrance (15-04-20) - YouTube

6. Dexter Lumis is in dire need of a makeover. Since his debut two years ago, the only thing that’s changed is the possible addition of new arm tattoos. Great athlete. Deceptively agile. No depth to his character. He is the worst thing you can be in wrestling. Boring. 

POLLOCK'S REVIEW: NXT UK 10/24 feat. Fans revolting on Zack Gibson

5. Zack Gibson strikes again. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain are Shrek and Donkey. Savage! Gibson is on the mic what Wade Barrett needs to be. I like watching him wrestle. I love listening to him talk. 

NXT Next Week: WWE Women's Tag Team Titles Will Be On The Line 4. How good was it to hear Shayna Baszler’s music again in NXT? I am cranked to 11 for the women’s tag team title match. So many stories. Baszler and Dakota Kai have a long history. Raquel Gonzalez and Nia Jax, the two biggest, baddest bitches in WWE are out to prove who is the alpha bitch. Titles on the line. Baszler’s homecoming. Kai’s shot at validation. I’m smelling MOTY contender.

Xia Li reacts after gruesome double attack on this week's WWE NXT

3. I am fully and deeply committed to the notion that Xia Li is the baddest person in the entire NXT locker room, male or female. Madame Li, I will never get on your bad side. If I accidentally cross that line, I will change my name and flee the unidentified state in which I currently reside. Un-Lished.  

2. That thing between Santa Claus Ice Cream Bar and Doomsday Saito was possibly the most pointless match ever. The feud was based on nothing. Why is a heavyweight going after a cruiserweight? Why do they continue to pretend Ice Cream Bar is a cruiser when he clearly isn’t? How does Saito survive a 3-on-1 beat down to pop up fresh as a daisy and get the victory? It dragged on and on and on and on and on and on and on, clocking in at just under 92 hours. Let us never speak of this match again. No, it doesn’t get a pic. 

WWE NXT results – 24/02/2021 (No DQ match, NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai in action) » FirstSportz

1. This week’s That’s Why I Love Wrestling goes to…unidentified camera man! I’m on my couch, digging Leon Ruff’s entrance. BTW, his music kicks all kinds of ass. Ruff is hanging on the ropes, loving life, when BAM! Kick to the head from Swerve Scott. I was genuinely surprised, never saw it coming, because the camera man was fully focused on Ruff, and so was I. Nice work, unidentified camera man.  


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