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WWE NXT UK TakeOver Cardiff: Abe’s Proposed Card

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WWE NXT UK Takeover Cardiff

Abe checks in with his proposed card for WWE NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff. What card should the UK brand present on 2019’s biggest wrestling day, August 31?

During NXT TakeOver: XXV it was announced that the NXT UK brand would be hosting their second TakeOver event. It’s set to take place on August 31st in Cardiff, Wales. Many realized the significance of that date right away. It’s the same day as AEW’s pay-per-view, All Out, where they will be crowing their first All Elite Wrestling Champion.

Fans took this as a deliberate sign of “war” and debates sprung over having to choose sides again. However, if you’re in the States, you’ll be able to watch both events live because of the time zones. NXT UK wont necessarily have to compete with AEW but they will have to set the bar and remain memorable by night’s end. Here’s my proposed card.

WALTER (c) v. Tyler Bate – NXT UK Championship

Tyler Bate has been out of the world title picture since Pete Dunne usurped him two years ago. Since then, Bate has spent most of his time creating success with Trent Seven and Mustache Mountain. There is nobody else on the roster that would create a bigger marquee match. Travis Banks and Mark Andrews are the next biggest named babyfaces outside of the British Strong Style faction. Neither of which have been booked like a threat to Walter as of late.

Nobody expects a guy the size of Tyler Bate to compete with Walter but that could make it an even more compelling match. We know how athletic he is. Bate was the inaugural champion for a reason. We saw how great Daniel Bryan’s and AJ Style’s matches against Brock turned out. It’s the same dynamic except Triple H would give them more time.

British Strong Style is set to take on Walter’s newly aligned faction, Imperium, next week. That feud can last all summer if spaced out properly, especially since six men are involved. Hold the third and final match between Walter and Pete Dunne halfway to Cardiff then use the remaining weeks to build up Bate. He’ll provide legitimacy as well as a familiar face for the fans that may not have tuned in recently.

Toni Storm (c) v. Jazzy Gabert – NXT UK Women’s Championship

Jinny recently unveiled her newest weapon in the form of Jazzy Gabert. You may know Jazzy from the inaugural Mae Young Classic or by her former ring name, Alpha Female. As soon as she debuted, she immediately came across as the most dangerous woman on the roster. I expect her to get the Shayna Baszler treatment – a linear path to a championship victory on her first attempt.

As for after the match, as soon as I saw the location of Wales, I knew this event needed to be the surprise return of Tegan Nox. A post-match beatdown followed by the save from the local hero would be a great moment.

Grizzled Young Veterans (c) v. SANITY – NXT UK Tag Team Championship

All of the current top tag teams on the brand are heels: Imperium, Gallus, The Hunt, etc. None would make sense to challenge the current champs. Mustache Mountain lost to Zack Gibson and James Drake at the last TakeOver. The more casual fans that are only watching the TakeOver events aren’t going to want to see a repeat match from their most recent memory of the UK brand.

Alexander Wolfe already moved to NXT UK and Killian Dain is doing nothing on Smackdown or NXT. Wolfe is German and Dain is Irish. Let them perform in front of a crowd that’s already on their side instead of a confused main roster audience.


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Jordan Devlin v. Ilja Dragunov v. Joe Coffey v. Mark Andrews v. Noam Dar v. Travis Banks – Inaugural NXT UK Midcard Championship Match

I tried to keep this match as a Fatal Four Way but couldn’t do it. That just goes to show how much NXT UK needs a midcard championship. Many worthy guys still had to be left off – Flash Morgan Webster, Kassius Ohno, Ligero, Dave Mastiff, and Joseph Conners, to name a few.

Devlin and Andrews have been with the brand from the beginning. Dar, even sooner by debuting at the Cruiserweight Classic. Coffey and Banks were the biggest names to come out of the second UK tournament. And Dragunov is NXT UK’s most recent acquisition who has all the tools to be pushed to the moon.

I want the belt to be called the Atlantic Championship. It’s the ocean that connects the two NXT brands and was the only thing I could think of that wasn’t lame or derivative. Some members of the roster are so gifted but too undersized to ever be chosen as the man to unseat Walter. Allow them to be the workhorse champions we know they can be.

Rhea Ripley v. Piper Niven – Street Fight

It was brought to my attention before TakeOver: XXV that it’s been years since a TakeOver had more than one women’s match. When I looked at the rest of the roster, they were the clear choice of who I could trust to have the most compelling singles match and feud.

Both ladies are booked like stars every week. They’re two of the top four women NXT UK has and deserve better than the pre-show. Piper Niven made her debut back in March just to interrupt a Rhea Ripley promo. However, they have yet to settle anything in the ring. Niven even addressed the situation in a backstage interview just last week.

They certainly have the time to culminate this slow boil into a street fight. Aside from Jazzy, they’re the toughest and strongest women in the UK. Let the women have the most violent match on the show.


What do you think of the proposed matches?

  • WALTER (c) v. Tyler Bate – NXT UK Championship
  • Toni Storm (c) v. Jazzy Gabert – NXT UK Women’s Championship
  • Grizzled Young Veterans (c) v. SANITY – NXT UK Tag Team Championship
  • Jordan Devlin v. Ilja Dragunov v. Joe Coffey v. Mark Andrews v. Noam Dar v. Travis Banks – Inaugural NXT UK Midcard Championship Match
  • Rhea Ripley v. Piper Niven – Street Fight

Sound off on Twitter @theCHAIRSHOTcom using 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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NJPW PPV Coverage

Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 7 A Block

KENTA and Okada may start pulling away in A Block! Who falls first? The Rainmaker or The NOAH Outsider?

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KENTA and Okada may start pulling away in A Block! Who falls first? The Rainmaker or The NOAH Outsider?

Aside from the big names being stuck in the middle of the pack, we’ve got poor little Zack Sabre at zero points. Can he twist Fale into a pretzel and figure it out?

Then we have Okada facing a banged up Ospreay, while KENTA takes on a rising EVIL.

Do we still have any undefeated participants in A Block after today?

Ratings:

  • Yota Tsuji & Juice Robinson vs Jon Moxley & Shota Umino: Shooter wins via Boston Crab @3:55 – ** 1/4
  • Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto & Yuya Uemura: Kanemaru wins via Deep Impact @8:50 – ***
  • Yujiro Takahashi, Chase Owens & Jay White vs Jeff Cobb, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @9:50 – ** 1/2
  • Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs YOSHI-HASHI, Ren Narita & Tomohiro Ishii: BUSHI wins via MX @7:35 – **
  • A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Bad Luck Fale: Sabre wins via Countout @6:30 – ** 1/4
  • A Block: Lance Archer vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Tanahashi wins via Victory Roll @12:00 – ** 1/2
  • A Block: KENTA vs EVIL: KENTA wins via Go 2 Sleep @15:05 – *** 1/2
  • A Block: Kota Ibushi vs SANADA: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @19:15 – *** 3/4
  • A Block: Will Ospreay vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @21:55 – **** 1/2

 

 

Analysis:

Still a lot of heat from their NXT past and Moxley’s debut match in NJPW. Juice and Mox don’t face each other until the end of their block schedule, but if this needed more heat…well this was gasoline. Juice and Mox stay on each other, brawl to the back while the Young Lions fight, but Mox apparently gets the best of the brawl. He returns to the ring to help Shooter, hit their Hart Attack tandem move and Shooter sinks in the Boston Crab.

There’s history between Taichi and Goto centering around the NEVER Openweight Title, Yano and Suzuki have fun history and it looks like Uemura is stepping up to Suzuki. So there’s a lot of fun moments, Uemura has a death wish trying to fight Suzuki, but it’s still fun. A lot of moving pieces in this one that kept it very entertaining.

Honma got put through the paces, Jay White got tossed around a little bit by Jeff Cobb, but the Bullet Club tag partners proved to be more useful than Cobb’s. Chase has picked up a few wins in the tag matches, so he might get some kind of push coming soon.

BUSHI continues to pick up pinfalls in these tag matches, and this sort of builds for Ishii and Naito, but not a ton happens. YOSHI-HASHI is there, Shingo looks like a million bucks and BUSHI wins the match, LOL. This was very paint by numbers.

Sabre jumps all over Fale at the start and tries a plethora of submissions to no avail. A kendo stick shot from Jado pushes the action to the outside. Fale and Bullet Club look to have an advantage, but Sabre dodges some double team tactics, grounds Fale with a Triangle Arm Bar, and then races to the ring to beat the 20 count. Fale couldn’t make it back fast enough, so Sabre gets the first Countout win of this year’s tournament.

Tanahashi is really showing the age and injuries this year, so all of these flukey wins just come off as forced. The match was slow, had moments of being interesting, but Tanahashi not even being 50% of what he used to be makes these hard to watch at times. Archer is getting over well, but Tanahashi winning at this point does hurt the credibility a little. I get the story they’re telling, but unlike last year where Tanahashi could push through injuries, this year, they are much more obvious, and he’s much more hampered.

EVIL took the fight to KENTA and then they went to the outside. Through the back and then into the crowd area next to the ramp. EVIL went for Darkness Falls on a bunch of a chairs, but KENTA stopped him and suplexed him onto said chairs. When it got back in the ring, EVIL tried to weaken the legs and KENTA went after EVIL’s upper body to mitigate the power advantage. Heavily booed, KENTA played up heel nicely (I guess WWE did help for something), and eventually he gets the best of EVIL and lets him take a nap. KENTA moves to 4-0.

We get a solid match between two guys who are right on the precipice of the Main Event scene. Kota outsmarts SANADA early by not going for the stupid dueling Dropkick spot, and from then on it was an interesting struggle. Between fan support and the general “anything you can do, I can do better” pacing, this was entertaining, yet slow and felt too long in some spots. Both looked pretty good, but this could’ve been told faster and SANADA’s perpetual struggles are a little frustrating for anyone who is a fan of his.

Okada and Ospreay were expected to blow the roof off, and well I’d say this was a damn good shot. Ospreay is obviously dinged up, but he fought through the pain and pulled off numerous flipping counters and found a few different ways to hit the Os-Cutter. They both let their personalities fly and this was a lot of fun to watch. Okada always has this older brother aura since he’s the one that brought Ospreay to New Japan and Chaos, so whenever they get together, it’s very much like two siblings trying to outdo the other. Ospreay had a great flurry at the end, flipping through a Rainmaker attempt, to try his Stormbreaker, but Okada flipped through that and hit a short arm lariat. Rolling Rainmaker and a normal Rainmaker later, Okada edges out the little brother. Great match.

 

Overall Score: 7/10

Well this night struggled cause the first two Block matches were really weak. The next two amped-up the intensity a little, but fell short of a memorable match. The main event was fantastic, but generally speaking this felt like it was slow, plateau’d for a while and only picked up at the end. Nothing out right awful, but a lot of matches that could’ve been a little better.

Still a solid enough night if you’re following it all, but only the main event is worthy of seeking out individually. It is nice to see that everyone is on the board with some points. So if Okada and KENTA stumble a little, the rest of the block could plausibly catch up.

 

Block A Standings:

  • Kazuchika Okada: 4-0 (8 Points)
  • KENTA: 4-0 (8 Points)
  • Lance Archer: 2-2 (4 Points)
  • EVIL: 2-2 (4 Points)
  • Kota Ibushi: 2-2 (4 Points)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi: 2-2 (4 Points)
  • SANADA: 1-3 (2 Points)
  • Will Ospreay: 1-3 (2 Points)
  • Bad Luck Fale: 1-3 (2 Points)
  • Zack Sabre Jr: 1-3 (2 Points)

 


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

Rob: Brock Is Back! But What About Seth?

Rob evaluates the fans’ role in the run of Seth Rollins and the excitement around Brock Lesnar’s third reign as WWE Universal Champion.

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WWE Brock Lesnar Seth Rollins Extreme Rules

Rob evaluates the fans’ role in the run of Seth Rollins and the excitement around Brock Lesnar’s third reign as WWE Universal Champion.

So we are now back in the era of Brock Lesnar as Universal Champion, after he cashed in on Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules.  The WWE did a decent job of putting some suspense into it by throwing out the possibility of Brock choosing to cash in on Kofi Kingston instead but by the time it happened most of the people I interact with on Twitter were strongly in favor Rollins being the victim and weren’t the least bit discouraged when Brock brought his reign to an end.  There are a lot of reasons for that, and I’ll have to get into them another time, but it really seems that there weren’t too many people happy with Rollins time as champion from his biggest supporters to his biggest detractors.  So with that in mind I’m gonna do what usually do when it comes to stuff like this – that’s right I’m going to throw some blame at the fans.

Now I am not one that was underwhelmed by Rollins run with the title.  The match with AJ Styles at Money in the Bank was really good and I did not hate the Baron Corbin feud like a lot of you did.  I think Corbin is a good heel and a pretty good worker.  By Wrestling Twitter standards he’s no good because he doesn’t check any of the boxes that one needs to in order to pass their test – never worked indies, doesn’t have 5 star matches, doesn’t do 100 moves or work work 30 minute matches, and he isn’t charming or funny in his role.  But a lot of you guys were so appalled at the mere idea the Baron Corbin would get a program for the Universal Title that you either complained nonstop or checked out entirely.  But I gotta ask you guys a serious question here – do you really support him like that, or is it more the idea of Seth Rollins as Universal Champion?  Is Rollins the guy who should be champion in your eyes or is he the best representative of the type of wrestler you think should be Universal Champion?

What I mean is that Rollins checks all the Wrestling Twitter boxes – indie cred, workrate guy, is popular enough – and he’s also a big enough guy to not look like a joke standing next to guys like Roman Reigns or Samoa Joe or Corbin.  And because of that he gets favored in those circles over guys like Reigns or Brock Lesnar or Braun Strowman.  But none of that has stopped the crowds from checking out of some of his biggest matches – Summerslam 2016, Extreme Rules and TLC last year.  Meanwhile Strowman can get 11 million views for an arm wrestling match with Bobby Lashley even after a lot of people on Twitter think the ship has sailed on him, and Reigns got maximum crowd participation last year even in filler matches with Jinder Mahal and Bobby Lashley.  There’s a real gap between how he’s viewed on Wrestling Twitter and how the general public takes him for sure.

And what I mean by that is that the Corbin feud shouldn’t have been a deal breaker for someone who you guys really are invested in as the top guy.  Reigns didn’t check out during those programs with Lashley and Mahal last year and they didn’t check out during the whole Shane McMahon feud despite being pretty vocal in wanting Roman to move on ASAP from Shane and Drew McIntyre.  Rollins singles champ counterpart on Smackdown Kofi Kingston hasn’t had any issue maintaining his support even through a multi Pay Per View program with the often groan inducing Dolph Ziggler (I’m not a Dolph hater but a lot of you are).  You’re supposed to just want to see your favorite as the champ; being in a program with a top level guy or gal isn’t supposed to be a requirement, especially in what is supposed to be a post WrestleMania honeymoon period for a new champion.

So it’s pretty simple to me if you’re a big fan of Seth Rollins or anyone else.  Yes you want them to face the best people and have the best matches all the time, but if they’re going to hold one of the top two titles then sometimes they’re going to have to get through a month or two against somebody who isn’t one of those people and you’re gonna have to ride it out and support them.  The card has to be balanced out and the champion is supposed to be at least somewhat of an attraction by themselves.  But if you’re crapping on what turned out to be some perfectly fine matches (his last two main events with Corbin were not bad, they just weren’t five star movefests like some of you guys think big title matches should be) because of, who the opponent is then you’re not helping your favorite out here at all.  He’s not above doing a couple of gimmicked up sports entertainment matches with Baron Corbin, ok?

But if you say he should be the top guy and then you demand that he only get to work with certain people under certain circumstances then well……that runs contrary to pretty much all of wrestling history.  So you’re gonna have to either change your demands, or maybe change your assessment of the guy.


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