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Bobby’s Good, Bad and Ugly Review: NXT Takeover Toronto II

NXT Takeover, SummerSlam Weekend, in a huge wrestling city like Toronto!  What more can you ask for? 

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NXT Takeover, SummerSlam Weekend, in a huge wrestling city like Toronto!  What more can you ask for? 

This card is jam packed with glitter and magic making the hair on most wrestling fan’s neck stand up in anticipation.  NXT delivers every single time and tonight should be more excellence.  Will this be another flawless night for Professional Wrestling’s hottest promotion?  Let’s get started on another Good, Bad and Ugly Review!

GOOD

NXT Tag Team Championships – Street Profits(c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish

“Bringing the smoke” as always the crowd was fired up right off the bat.  NXT is bringing major heat to Toronto.  The tag team division is alive and well in the “black and gold brand.”  Dawkins sparred and tried to show off some agility in his opening segments, especially with O’Reilly.  Montez Ford shined as usual.  It wasn’t always smooth though, some of the timing was off, and it was far from being tight.  It was still very Good though.  The crowd was into it, and we saw a lot of damn Good wrestling throughout.  Undisputed Era is beyond talented start to finish, and Street Profits are on the money.  This was entertaining and delivered.  It was a solid effort by Montez Ford that really got everything going, flying through the air and destroying everyone in sight.  He is a superstar, going for a “People’s Elbow” but getting interrupted by O’Reilly.  Ford continued his assault working hard to retain the belts.  Both teams putting up everything they had.  Leading up to the epic ending Dawkins hulked out, bodies everywhere, it was Montez Ford way off the top with a Frog Splash for the hard fought win!- Good!  Very Good Indeed!

Candice LeRae v Io Shirai

It is no surprise that Candice LeRae has potential star power.  Io Shirai is the best female talent in WWE/NXT world.  She is ridiculous.  LeRae came out hot but Shirai took over and slowly tortured her former friend.  Io controlled most of the match but there were little spurts of energy by the hard hitting LeRae even getting a few lucky close falls.  I’m not going to say this was perfect, but the crowd was hot, and we saw some great things.  Like the previous match it got better as it went on.  It wasn’t predictable.  LeRae would not quit, kicking out of everything Io Shirai gave her.  It would prove to be too much with a “koji clutch” putting LeRae to sleep and getting a brutal victory.  Again we had a Good showing by these superior athletes.      

NXT North American Championship – Velveteen Dream(c) vs. Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong

This had it all right off the bat, the crowd loves all 3 of the competitors, the energy was insane, as well as the non-stop action.  Everyone had their place and time to shine.  The offense was on point projecting the show somewhere higher. This was that special touch everyone was waiting for.  The title was constantly being sought, tons of near falls on every opponent.  All three going at it from bell to bell.  Anyone could have won at any moment of this chaos, but it was Pete Dunne taking way to much punishment, and multiple finishers before Velveteen Dream stole the victory.  This was the match of the night so far, and will be hard to follow up.  Luckily for all fans, the rest of the show doesn’t suck either!   

NXT Woman’s Championship – Shayna Baszler(c) vs. Mia Yim

I do not understand how Mia Yim has been so pushed so fast, I just don’t see it, but she is here, and she is ready to face one of the very best in Professional Wrestling, Shayna Baszler.  If Mia Yim has a chance she would have to bring it non-stop and terrorize the Champion.  That she did, bringing the pressure on in and out of the ring.  If you know Baszler you know she came back strong with her own onslaught of violence.  This was a war, a street fight, not a wrestling match.  Yim resorted to the same tactics imposed every match by Baszler and had the Champ in pain on the mat.  Out of no-where Baszler locked in her game ending finisher the “kirifuda clutch” however after getting her injured arm broken out of the hold, Baszler then got Yim in a Triangle Hold, for the surprising victory.  She had nothing and still one, the Queen of Spades is one of the best to do it!  Fantastic match!

NXT Heavyweight Championship – 2 Out Of 3 Falls – Adam Cole (c) vs. Johnny Gargano

A real life, Good Guy vs Bad Guy, hero vs. Villain except the Villain is loved by the masses as well.  This is top shelf right here.  As expected this was amazing, we had wrestling, brutality and all heart.  Two guys that stay hungry and stay sharp.  This is a true main event for a Championship that matters.  Gargano had a real mean streak here, doing all he can to damage Cole and take away his weapons.  Of course the NXT Champion didn’t give up so easy and did just as much to Gargano, working him head to toe.  This was a classic match with submission wrestling galore.  That first fall seemed like it would never happen it was a broken record of 2 counts.  Cole even had a swift kick to the hero nuts of Gargano for a two count.  Gargano used the chair, and beat Adam Cole with it taking the fall and then beating the hell out of Adam Cole in his now Street Fight Imposed Match.  With Adam Cole now up 1-0 Gargano got his second wind and tried to kill his rival. 

Gargano finally got his first fall back by submission after darting Cole into a chair into the corner then making Cole tap out.  1-1 a 3rd stipulation finally revealed as a no escape cage death match.  This was a barbed wire, cage match with tons of toys and weapons to add to the destruction.  You wouldn’t even know how much carnage had already taken place based on how hard these guys were going.  The match never let up, both hitting all of their move-set but unable to seal the victory, Cole even hitting 2 Panama Sunrises and resorting to biting Gargano to escape his grasp.  Cole kicked out of a Canadian Destroyer and still the fight continued.  The crowd even chanted “please don’t die” as the warriors were on top of the cage, both plummeting to the mat, Adam Cole then reached over with his last breath and pinned a knocked out Gargano for the victory, retaining his NXT Championship.  This was INSANE!  Just Amazing!    

BAD and UGLY – Have left the building!

FINALS

  • Good – 5
  • Bad – 0
  • Ugly – 0

Overall- Good! All of the above and some bad words mixed in, this was just another example of the very best doing what they do.  NXT no matter who is in front of us does it better.  They have a flawless system and tonight showed again, why we all chant “NXT”!

SummerSlam run by the Mastermind himself Vincent Kennedy McMahon is on deck. I didn’t do a preview for it but here it is, on paper it looks Bad, downright Ugly.  There are a couple of gems however that could make for a savable night.  Some believe the success of an NXT show makes no impact on the other shows however I am one who believes the opposite.  I certainly hope the main roster sees what their NXT brethren are doing and become inspired.  Time will tell at SummerSlam, and I will see you after the PPV for another review of the Good, Bad and Ugly!


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Opinion

Steve Cook’s Fave Five: March 2021

Cook gives us his quick snapshot of early storylines that might be the important things through the month of March!

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It’s March! You know what that means.

It’s time for me to channel my inner Booker T and list my Fave Five in the world of wrestling! This list could very well change tomorrow, or whenever this ends up getting posted, but I only type it out once each calendar month. Consider it a snapshot in time.

5. Cameron Grimes

People have been telling me about Grimes for years, going back to his stint with Impact Wrestling. I never really saw it. Decent enough competitor, sure, but he always seemed like Just A Guy to me. Now that he hit it rich on the stock market, he’s the most entertaining part of NXT.

Get rid of Finn Balor & Adam Cole and put the strap on Grimes! TO THE MOON!

4. Shane Taylor

One of my criticisms of ROH television over the past several months has been a lack of defined characters. As fun as Pure Wrestling is, everybody involved in the tournament & the division tend to sound the same. Then, with a lot of the main guys, it’s tough to tell whether they’re good guys, bad guys, or shades of grey. There’s a place for shades of grey, but it’s tough to be interested in a TV show where you don’t know who to root for.

Shane Taylor’s presentation suffered from this for me for awhile. I wasn’t too familiar with his work pre-pandemic, so I’ve been getting to know him along with the rest of the ROH talent. From what I can gather, he was working one of those deals where the promotion didn’t really want to promote him, which can either make one very popular or largely ignored. The promotion tended to treat him like a heel. Either way, Shane looked pretty darn good in his matches, working a physical style that appeals to fans like me. Apparently it appeals to other people as well, since Taylor was the #1 choice of the fans to get a shot at Rush. Taylor was screwed this time around, but now has a story to sink his teeth into. Nothing wrong with that.

3. Tully Blanchard

2021 is quickly becoming the year of the olds. WWE has seen Goldberg & Edge emerge as top championship contenders. Keiji Muto won the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Tommy Dreamer celebrated his birthday by challenging for the Impact Championship. Sting will be taking part in a street fight this weekend.

Age is only a number, and Tully’s number is a little higher than these other men. He also spent more time out of the ring. Nearly fourteen years since he had any kind of match, but he went into Wednesday night with all guns blazing. J.J. Dillion was in the corner. Tully was wearing his classic robe & the silver US Heavyweight Championship, while FTR donned the classic NWA World Tag Team Championships. All the old school feels were being had before the match, and after the match as well, when Arn Anderson looked on from the entrance and flashed that familiar hand signal.

Tully had plenty of talent around him to make the match work, but he hit his spots well. Marko Stunt’s good to have around so he can take a slingshot suplex. JJ got to give his shoe to somebody to use. It ended up being a fitting tribute on the night of Jim Crockett Jr.’s passing, and maybe a sign that Tully’s got a little more left in the tank. (Multi-man would probably be for the best though, I’m not as confident that he can hang with Kenny.)

2. Bobby Lashley

As expected, The Miz joined the likes of Ivan Koloff, Stan Stasiak, the Iron Sheik and other men whose world championship reigns merely existed to get the title from one person to the other without having them face off. In the case of Bobby Lashley, it’s because they didn’t want him to beat Drew McIntyre for the title, so their eventual match will be a first-time (in this particular WWE run) meeting. It makese sense, and Miz played his part well, as you’d expect.

Now is Lashley’s time, and one can wonder why it took so long. The guy looks like what’d you’d expect a WWE Champion to look like. Huge. Powerful. Dominant. He fits the prototype of what Vince McMahon would have seen as an appropriate champion back in the day. Is there anything there that Vince wouldn’t like?

Bob seems to be on a collision course with Drew at WrestleMania, and that should be a pretty solid piece of business.

1. Rey Fenix

I don’t know who the “best in the world” is, but Rey Fenix is the most exciting wrestler currently gracing televisions & other viewing devices. All he does is go out there and deliver every time he’s out there, if you see him listed on a card you know it’s going to be a good match.

AEW seemed a bit slow to capitalize on Fenix’s abilities, but since 2021 began we’ve seen the masked man getting bigger matches. His win-loss record hasn’t been the best, as he’s come up short against Kenny Omega & Lance Archer and eaten the pin in some multi-man matches. He’s still making people take notice, and I’d be surprised if Fenix doesn’t jump up to the next level sometime this year.

My favorite wrestler to watch right now, which is how one tops a list like this one.


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Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE NXT (3/3/21)

Bodeen breaks out his Top 5 moments of NXT this week. Did he miss anything that made your list?

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After Adam Cole put the nail in the coffin in the Undisputed Era last week, many eyes were on NXT this week to see what the reaction from Roderick Strong would be as well as the Tag title matches after the Dusty Rhodes Classic. With all these factors it’s no surprise that NXT put on another amazing night of action that was entertaining from start to finish. So without further ado, it’s time to look at the top 5 moments from NXT this week.

5. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler beat Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez

It feels like so long ago we saw Shayna Baszler on NXT. Just a few years ago Baszler was dominating the NXT women’s division as she beats the likes of Kari Sane, Mia Yim, Bianca Belair and Io Shirai. After she lost the title to Rhea Ripley and moved to RAW, over time she lost credibility and she was slowly removed from the title picture. That’s why it was so great to see the submission magician back to her former self on NXT as she and Nia Jax beat Dakota Kai and Requel Gonzalas in a great match that ended in controversial circumstances

This was another great match for the team of Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez, with Raquel Gonzalez once again being the MVP of this match as she took a hot tag from Dakota Kai to dominate Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax. The match would end under controversial circumstances after Adam Pearce called for a referee to ring the bell after Kai was trapped in a submission despite the fact Gonzales was legal.

This finish made Kai and Gonzales look strong in defeat as they did not lose cleanly. It also sets up a storyline in the future, especially after NXT General Manager, William Regal stated he had an announcement to make that would change the NXT landscape.

4. The Way go to therapy 

The Christmas with the Gargano’s vignettes were one of my favorite moments from NXT in 2020. The jokes catered to everyone and ranged from inside jokes to die-hard wrestling fans to silly, cheesy jokes that you would see in a Monty Python or Adam Sandler movie. While the Way going to therapy wasn’t near the level of Christmas with the Gargano’s it was still a fun segment that continued to highlight how good Johnny Gargano is at being a goofy heel.

Gargano’s reactions were priceless to watch as he could not believe that Austin Theory enjoyed his time with Dexter Lumis. Indi Hartwell’s innuendoes were also hilarious to watch, as this series of segments did a great job in giving all members of The Way enough lines so that no member felt pointless being there.

With Dexter Lumis most likely the next in line for Johnny Gargano’s North American Championship, it will be interesting to see the involvement of Austin Theory in what is sure to be a highly entertaining feud to watch.

3. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch beat Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher  

While it was originally meant to be Dusty Rhodes Classic winners, MSK facing Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch we instead got the makeshift team of Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher facing the NXT Tag Team champions in a brutal, hard-hitting match that was intense from start to finish, with Lorcan and Burch getting the win after Imperium distracted Thatcher and Ciampa.

This match did a good job at bringing together Thatcher and Ciampa as they smiled at each other, sharing their joy for inflicting pain on their opponents. Despite sharing a moment with each other, the relationship between the two men would be tense as Ciampa seemed annoyed at Thatcher’s history with Imperium costing them the match.

2. Roderick Strong faces off against Finn Balor  

After Adam Cole put the nail in the coffin of the Undisputed Era by superkicking Roderick Strong last week, Strong would open the show this week and would waste no time in calling Adam Cole out to the ring. Despite Strong calling Cole out, Finn Balor would come out, with Roderick blaming Balor for Cole’s actions. Balor would reply by saying that Roderick does not have the killer instinct that Balor has causing Roderick to attack the NXT Champion, leading to a match between the two men later in the night.

This was my favorite match of the night as Roderick Strong, pushed the NXT Champion to his limit, with Balor once again doing an amazing job of selling, as he sold the back which, Strong attacked throughout the match. The match would end after Balor hit the Coup De Grace and 1916 on Strong to win, with Adam Cole coming out to stare off at Balor ahead of their title match next week.

With Finn Balor and Adam Cole ready to face each other in a TakeOver worthy match, it will be interesting to see who will win, in what is sure to be an amazing match.

1. LA Knight makes his intentions known 

While his name change has led to disagreement between fans LA Knight’s short time in NXT has been entertaining to watch. His promo skills and style remind me of a 1980s movie star as he is always the center of attention when he is on the mic. This week would be no different as LA Knight cut his first in-ring promo on NXT TV as he called out the entire roster as well as sewing the seeds for a feud with Bronson Reed.

LA Knight’s promo this week was absolute gold, as he blended cockiness, arrogance, pride and emotion brilliantly, stating that he is not in NXT to do flips and dives, but rather win regardless of style. LA Knight would make his big move against Bronson Reed, as he cost Bronson Reed a match against Cameron Grimes.

Bronson Reed is a great first feud for LA Knight, as it can perfectly show off LA Knight’s style well against a bigger man like Bronson Reed.

These were my top 5 moments from NXT this week. What were your top 5 moments and who do you think will win the NXT Championship Title match next week? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 


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