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RAW is DVR: Greg DeMarco’s 8/19/19 WWE Raw Review & Ratings

Welcome to another edition of WWE RAW is DVR, where I watch RAW on a delay! Let’s see how long it takes me to watch the 8/19/19 edition.

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WWE RAW is DVR Dolph Ziggler

Welcome to another edition of WWE RAW is DVR, where I watch RAW on a delay! Let’s see how long it takes me to watch the 8/19/19 edition.

RAW is DVR is back, and I am excited to see how much time we can save! Before you go too far, give Steven Mitchell’s Raw Results and Report a read! If you’re not familiar with RAW is DVR, it’s perfect for me as living on the west coast i have no choice to watch RAW on a delay. I get to fast forward where I choose, and it really helps my viewing happiness.

Time Stamp: 00:00, Stopwatch: 00:00

Big Dog Opens Raw!

  • The crowd is booing and I am happy as shit about it.
  • FAST FORWARD the talking and the video recaps.
  • And here’s…Dolph? Okay, sounds good to me! I was expecting a promo.

Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler

  • Not gonna lie, this was a weird opening, but it’s a match so we’re happy, right?
  • Ziggler’s tweet was funny. #HumanRingPost
  • So we have a ref, and a promo? Rudy Charles FTW!
  • Dolph doesn’t get the credit he deserves for this run.
  • Ziggler’s promo here is fantastic. FANTASTIC. So underrated. And brilliant ending.
  • Reigns struggles early are…odd. The effects of the attacks?
  • FAST FORWARD the commercials!
  • Jerry Lawler calls back to Ziggler causing his heart attack!
  • Dolph Ziggler could pull off the late 80s Brutus Beefcake tights. I should tweet that.
  • Dolph Ziggler eats another spear, this time from Roman Reigns. Will he ask for more?
  • Match started slow, but picked up. Ziggler is a great storyteller, and Reigns is the man.

Roman Reigns pins Dolph Ziggler following a spear – ***

FAST FORWARD commercials, recaps, and more.

I tweeted it:

Time Stamp 28:39, Stopwatch 17:01

Becky Lynch Talks

  • Recorded earlier, and I am not sure why. At least they’re honest!
  • “Sasha Banks is the greatest woman on the roster, to never be great.”
  • This is a really good promo.

The King’s Court with Sasha Banks

  • FAST FORWARD to Sasha’s entrance.
  • Love Lawler bailing when The Fiend’s effects start.
  • The Fiend attacks Lawler and the crowd response is amazing. If they’re not careful, he will become the biggest babyface in the company.
  • Thank funny he still scares the kids.
  • DARIN CORBIN FTW!
  • The crowd is chanting “YOWIE WOWIE!” He’s a babyface!

FAST FORWARD the commercials and recap!

Time Stamp 20:48, Stopwatch 23:22

Oh hey, Vic Joseph. I like this.

Ricochet & The Miz vs. Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin

  • I might be the only person who doesn’t hate the “Ricochet sound effect” at the start of Ricochet’s entrance.
  • I should tweet that.
  • Good ol’ WWE booking seeing next week’s King Of The Ring pairings fight in a tag team match. I don’t hate it.
  • FAST FORWARD the entrances.
  • BARON. CORBIN. SUCKS.
  • FAST FORWARD the commercials.
  • Two matches, two mid-match commercial breaks. Remember when we weren’t doing that?
  • If they play their cards right, Ricochet can be a modern day Rey Mysterio. That means a Royal Rumble win and multiple world championships. Be patient.
  • It also means getting tossed around by Drew McIntyre.
  • Does Corbin wear that terrible wife-beater (can we call it that in 2019) to cover up those terrible tattoos?
  • Undertaker tattooing “SARA” on his neck thinks those are bad.
  • It’s not like Ricochet tattooed “TESSA” on his neck, right?
  • Great tag team match. In-ring, this show is delivering tonight.

Ricochet & The Miz beat Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre when Ricochet pins Corbin after The Recoil – ***1/2

I tweeted that:

FAST FORWARD the commercials

Timestamp 59:11, Stopwatch 34:37

FAST FORWARD most of the Booker T interview, and the entrances

United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Braun Strowman

  • So we’re going to commercial soon, right?
  • Knowing the spoilers for the end of Raw kinda ruins this match, not gonna lie. But let’s see how it goes!
  • SPRINGBOARD INTO A FLYSWATTER!
  • There’s the DQ. That’s why you have a crew, right?

Braun Strowman beats AJ Styles via disqualification after The OC interferes – **1/2

  • And here’s the babyface Universal Champion, complete with backwards hat!
  • Can we do something with Strowman’s beard? The length is good, but it can use some work on the sides.

FAST FORWARD Samoa Joe walking, commercials, talking, etc.

Timestamp 1:14:11, Stopwatch 41:38

King Of The Ring First Round Match: Samoa Joe vs. Cesaro

  • Samoa Joe would be the closest thing to King Harley Race we’ve ever had.
  • Can we get suit wearing Cesaro back?
  • I should tweet that.

I tweeted that:

  • Cesaro jump starting the match is brilliant. If you know why, you know.
  • Okay, I’ll tell you: Samoa Joe is susceptible to flash pins.
  • FAST FORWARD the mid-match commercials. That’s 3 out of 4.
  • Samoa Joe needs a haircut, but I don’t have the guts to tell him,

I shouldn’t tweet that, but I did:

Samoa Joe advances to the quarterfinals with a submission win over Cesaro – ****

Timestamp: 1:34:33, Stopwatch: 52:01

Hello, I Am Eliath

  • Are these fans chanting “BULL!” Like for Bull Dempsey?
  • Somewhere, a chaise lounge is missing it’s throw blanket.

See, I wasn’t kidding:

  • While I was getting a pic, R-Truth showed up.
  • El Kabong doesn’t happen, and Elias escapes with the WWE 24/7 Championship

FAST FORWARD the commercials

Time stamp: 1:43:15, Stopwatch: 56:28

Rey Mysterio Doesn’t Retire

  • I’d thank Charly for her time, too. “Money’s on the dresser, Charly!”
  • Charly is better than that, by the way. It was a joke.
  • Charly is taller than Rey. The dresser might be taller than Rey, too.
  • Rey about to unmask. and Dominic Mysterio is here to stop him.
  • Dominic has a Rey Mysterio tattoo.
  • What worries me about this Dominic promo is that it was the best take they got.
  • Dominic is gonna turn on Rey and have a career that will make David Flair proud.

Yep, tweeted it:

You do not FAST FORWARD The New Day’s entrance

  • Did Michael Cole mention the WILDCARD RULE???
  • WILDCARD BITCHES!

You also do not FAST FORWARD The Revival’s entrance.

  • SAY YEAH!
  • WE GO HARD!
  • Best tag team in the world.
  • Snakeskin boots? Fucking awesome.
  • By the way, it looks like a good crowd at Raw tonight.

The New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) vs. The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson)

  • Seriously, we are watching two of the best tag teams in the world. They ain’t scared, Nick.
  • Xavier Woods’ Iron Sheik boots will never get old.
  • FAST FORWARD the commercials.
  • That’s 4 for 5 on the mid-match commercials tonight.
  • RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!
  • RKO OUTTA NOWHERE TO KOFI!
  • Randy Orton is your next WWE Champion, and The Revival and Orton are a thing? God damn, man. The World Wrestling Federation is back!
  • SHATTER MACHINE RKO OUTTA NOWHERE! Shit, man. This is awesome.
  • See you guys on Smackdown tomorrow night!
  • It was great while it lasted, and the post-match shenanigans were better. They’re part of the segment, and they’re part of the rating.

The New Day beats The Revival by disqualification – ***

I tweeted it:

Michael Cole Interviews Sasha Banks

  • This is our second Michael Cole split screen interview.
  • Sasha is the second person to thank the interviewer for their time.
  • Sasha is the second person to fake cry.
  • Guy in the crowd is wearing a “Rats Get Bats” shirt……
  • The part of Damien Sandow will be played by Sasha Banks.
  • #YoureWelcome

Yep:

You do not FAST FORWARD Alexa Bliss coming to the ring.

But you do FAST FORWARD the commercials.

You do not FAST FORWARD Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville making an entrance.

  • I need to check out that new Steve Austin show.

Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville

  • That hug….
  • Fitness Model Mandy Rose is on her way to being a modern day Trish Stratus. You doubt me, but she’s ahead of where Trish was at this point in her career.

You guessed it!

  • Sonya Deville is a star in waiting.
  • That finish was outta nowhere, I wonder if time got cut.

Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross beat Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville when Cross pinned Deville – **3/4

Timestamp: 2:20:21, Stopwatch: 1:22:27

King Of The Ring First Round Match: Cedric Alexander vs. Sami Zayn

  • Cedric is a man of few words–and he proved why with that promo.
  • Sami loves the throne.
  • For the record, I picked Cedric Alexander to beat Sami Zayn here.
  • Hot start to the match, and I’ll be honest with you: I’ve never seen a Cedric Alexander match I didn’t enjoy.
  • Just a quick reminder that ROH had Cedric Alexander and no one told him to lose 20 pounds. WWE did, and look at him now! WWE – 1, ROH – 0.
  • Zayn fell over during the reverse head-scissors, and I can’s sell that as realism.
  • Lumbar Check gets it done, and this match was rushed. Something else ran long.

Cedric Alexander pinned Sami Zayn with the Lumbar Check to advance – **3/4

Not gonna FAST FORWARD the Street Profits.

  • The Profits being very sneaky and not wearing their NXT Tag Team Championships.
  • But they did get the lower third.
  • Braullins?
  • Tag Team King Of The Ring, Tag Team Royal Rumble, Tag Team Money In The Bank — we need it all! #SaveTagTeamWrestling

Tweeted it!

FAST FORWARD the commercials and highlights.

Almost fast forwarded Natalya’s promo, but Twitter told me I shouldn’t. Sasha attacks again!

  • “Sasha is my friend. Sasha was my friend.”
  • Natalya is a terrible promo. She needs a character to play.
  • Sasha’s attack was great.
  • “Go to hell Nattie, and tell your daddy I said hi” is a brilliant line from Sasha Banks. Don’t @ me.

You didn’t have to ask:

FAST FOWARD the entrances, commercials, and entrances.

Raw Tag Team Championship: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs. Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman

  • #SaveTagTeamWrestling is in trouble here, as the Vicious Cycle of WWE Tag Team Booking seems to be in effect.
  • They love to have Seth Rollins “work injured.”
  • Michael Cole just said “floundering for a piece.” I can’t even right now.
  • FAST FORWARD the mid-match commercials. 5 for 8 now.
  • FAST FORWARD a slow period.
  • This match has become The Seth Rollins Show.
  • FREIGHT TRAIN BRAUN ON THE OUTSIDE!
  • Mowing people over isn’t “waiting patiently,” Vic.
  • Powerslam and it’s over.
  • Love that Vic Joseph called the finish. Great job by Michael Cole to step aside.

Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins beat Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson to win the Raw Tag Team Championships – ***1/2

  • On the reply I realized how brilliant it was to have Seth hit the Stomp on AJ to keep him from causing the DQ, which Rollins eluded to earlier. Great foreshadowing.
  • Braun staring at the Universal Championship to close. Great work there, too.

Timestamp: 3:00:12, Stopwatch: 1:46:30

Summary

  • Best match of the night: Samoa Joe vs. Cesaro (****)
  • Time saved: 1:13:42

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

I can’t complain about tonight’s Raw. It was entertaining, it advanced storylines (Becky-Sasha, Braun-Seth, King Of The Ring) while reminding us of others. Dolph Ziggler, Samoa Joe, Cesaro, and Sasha Banks all delivered great performances. Good shit, pal.


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Bandwagon Nerds

BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Godzilla vs Kong (2021)

Big boy monster throw down of the year! The Nerds return with a current movie review, and this one should be interesting. Is Dave too forgiving? Is Patrick taking his role as the German judge too seriously? Find out where the overall ratings lands between these two!

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Nerd Review!  Every week the Nerds give you their take on a different movie from the Nerdosphere.  This week Dave and Patrick review the fourth installment of kaiju cinematic universe Godzilla vs. Kong!

The Flick:  Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

What’s it About:  A researcher believes a hollow world beneath the Earth’s surface is the birthplace of the mighty Kaiju.  He convinces and old friend to help him take the mighty Kong to find his birthplace even if it means incurring the wrath of the King of Kaiju Godzilla.   The battle between the two alpha Kaiju could result in the end of all mankind.

Metacritic Score: 59

The Nerds’ Take on Godzilla vs Kong (2021):

Dave It is time for the Main Event of Legendary’s MosterVerse, the showdown we have been waiting for: Godzilla v. Kong. If you have been following along with our Nerd Reviews, then you knew this was coming. What you don’t know is whether we feel the climax to the series is worth your time or not. Well allow me to give you my take on that topic.

Plot wise, it has been some five years since Godzilla defeated Ghidorah and things have been relatively quiet and peaceful. Meanwhile, on Skull Island, Monarch has created a dome like structure to observe and try and control Kong. Kong has developed a relationship with a little girl, Jia, who seems to be the last surviving member of her clan. Jia has, for lack of a better term, been adopted by Dr. Ilene Andrews. Jia is deaf and she seems able to communicate with Kong through sign language.

Halfway across the globe, Apex Cybernetics is engaged in some sort of experimentation that attracts the attention of Godzilla, who shows up and annihilates their facility in Florida. Godzilla’s attack shatters humanity’s notion that he is their friend. Bernie Hayes is an employee of Apex, but he also hosts a Podcast focusing on conspiracy theories involving the Titans. He is soon joined by Madison Russell (from Godzilla: King of the Monsters) who is a fan of the Podcast, and her friend Josh as they start poking around the remains of the Apex site in Florida. We soon discover that Apex is looking for a massive power source that they believe is located in Hollow Earth. Hollow Earth is really more of an Earth within the Earth (Middle Earth, perhaps?) and the quandary is how to survive the trip to Hollow Earth. Nathan Lind is a Hollow Earth expert whose brother perished in a prior expedition to Hollow Earth due to a reverse gravitational effect. But Apex has developed vehicles that can survive the voyage. They just need Kong to lead them there.

In the process of transporting Kong to Antarctica, which has an entry point to Hollow Earth, Godzilla senses his old rival and attacks. Godzilla definitely gets the better of this battle, forcing the expeditionary force to transport Kong by air to Antarctica to avoid detection by Godzilla. Kong gets the group to Hollow Earth and it becomes clear there has been an ancient rivalry between Kong’s ancestors and Godzilla’s. Kong discovers an axe made out of portions of Godzilla’s ancestor’s skins. Back on the surface, Bernie, Madison, and Josh have been whisked away to Hong Kong and they discover what Apex is really up to….Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla can be telepathically controlled and it is Dr. Serizawa’s son who is pulling the strings, using the severed head of Ghidorah to do so. The problem is that to utilize Mechagodzilla to its full potential, they require more power, much more power to be exact. This is where the search for the Hollow Earth power source comes into play.

Mechagodzilla is activated and this attracts Godzilla. Godzilla also senses what Kong is doing in Hollow Earth and he sends a blast of atomic breath from Hong Kong to, in essence, the center of the Earth. Kong and the Hollow Earth expeditionary force follow the hole made by Godzilla to the surface. Everyone emerges in Hong Kong for a massive fight between Kong and Godzilla. Kong fares better this time around but is ultimately rendered near death by Godzilla. At about this time, Mechagodzilla is imbued with the power source from Hollow Earth and he also achieves sentience. This leads to the big brawl between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla and it is a mismatch in favor of Mechagodzilla…. until Kong is revived, evening the odds in an enormously predictable moment. Godzilla supercharges Kong’s ax with his atomic breath and the two Titans take down Mechagodzilla. Godzilla and Kong show each other a sign of respect and go their separate ways. Apparently, there can be two alpha Titans after all.

Let’s talk about the good stuff first: the monster fights. They are all fantastic. The battles between Kong and Godzilla feel as big as you would expect. They are titanic clashes in every sense of the word. Godzilla fans will have bragging rights after watching this movie because it is clear that Godzilla whups Kong’s ass on more than one occasion. Kong fans save face though by noting that without Kong, Mechagodzilla would surely have triumphed. As for Mechagodzilla, his appearance in the movie was not a secret and he did not disappoint. The clash between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla was done very well to show just how much more powerful Mechagodzilla was and why it took the combined might of Godzilla and Kong to turn the tide. If massive Kaiju action is your thing, then Godzilla vs Kong is definitely your movie.

Now for the bad: The people. Now, I know what Patrick is going to say. That the movie shifts the focus to the people too much and detracts attention from the monsters. I know he thinks the concept of humans using a defibrillator on Kong is absurd. I am OK with those points in a movie like this. The problem I have with the people is this: They don’t matter. Not at all! They are white noise in the purest sense of the word. 90% of the characters are wholly uninteresting and meaningless. They add little to the plot and just get in the way. So, to be real, Patrick and I are, to a certain extent, talking about different sides of the same coin. The exceptions to this involve Jia, who is quite important to the whole notion of establishing Kong as the “good guy”, and Bernie, who is a fun character and kind of represents a microcosm of conspiracy theorists that are quite common in the real world today. Bernie epitomizes the notion that just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t watching you. But, beyond those two, the characters are quite dull and just felt very pointless.

As far as this being the series finale, I greatly enjoyed the movie. The dynamic between Kong and Godzilla is interesting and keeps you engaged, regardless of whether you are rooting for one, the other, or both. There are some interesting concepts in the movie, specifically how Hollow Earth is different than you might expect and much more interesting, no matter how far-fetched the idea might be. Interestingly, this movie really showcases just how bad ass Godzilla is. I am not sure why it took three movies to get it right, but I digress. Then there is Kong, who ends up being a multi-layered creature that is shown even more heroically than he was in Kong: Skull Island. As for me, I always favored Kong over Godzilla and I left the movie feeling fine with the outcome of everything. If there is a downside it’s that it appears the MonsterVerse has come to an end, just when it was getting really good. That’s too bad. As for Godzilla vs Kong, the awesome action sequences and special effects vastly outweigh the issues involving the people. This is a very good final installment (we think) in this franchise. It is the best of the movies involving Godzilla. I still liked Kong: Skull Island more, but this was a close second.

Dave’s Rating: 4/5

Patrick:  Here we are again covering the fourth film in the Warner Brothers/Legendary produced Kaiju Monster universe.  And once again this film somehow finds a way to mess up a simple concept.  If you recall, in my review of Godzilla King of the Monsters I said good kaiju movies minimize the involvement of human beings in the film and let the monsters take center stage.  Unfortunately, the folks at Warner Brothers still have not quite grasped the concept here in its fourth Kaiju film. The result is an uneven film that shines when the monsters are on screen and leaves me tuning out when the focus shifts to the little primates.

In this fourth installment, we learn that Monster research organization Monarch I closely monitoring Kong.  Going so far as to create an enclosure around Skull Island so that he is safe from Godzilla.  This of course will not last because, well, humans.  One human in particular, a man named Nathan Lind comes with the backing of a mysterious tech corporation called Apex to search for “Hollow Earth.” Hollow Earth is a world beneath the surface of our Earth that is believed to be the birthplace of all Kaiju.  Lind visits his friend and Monarch researcher Ilene on Skull Island.  Lind believes Kong is the key to finding this hidden world.  Despite knowing, Godzilla will attempt to kill Kong, Ilene agrees to embark on the expedition.  Of course, Godzilla attacks and we get the first of three rounds of monster battling that we paid for.

Unfortunately, to get to round two and three, the audience has to sit through overwrought dialogue and subplots all in an attempt to help the audience connect to the experience.  It’s all really boring.  You know why?  PEOPLE DON’T WATCH KAIJU MOVIES FOR THE HUMANS. But, I digress.  Naturally the tech corporation Apex is not on the up and up with Lind.  Color me stunned, but Apex turns out to be the real enemy to both Kong and Godzilla.  I haven’t even covered the conspiracy theory guy and his gang of teenagers trying to expose Apex from the inside.  Again, no one cares because, read it aloud…NOBODY WATCHES KAIJU MOVIES FOR THE HUMANS.

But this isn’t the end of the dumb.  The audience is treated to an ancient history between Kong’s ancestor and the other Kaiju where we see Kong find the ancient axe of his ancestors.  Because a monkey wielding an axe is cool looking.  Did I mention Kong can charge the thing up with Godzilla’s radioactive breath?  AWESOME?  How about the humans using a high tech battery as defibrillator to revive a dying Kong?  Just dumb on top of dumb followed by more dumb.  And humans.  All of the humans.

The cast for Godzilla vs. Kong is quite the list of names.  Alexander Skarsgard essentially fills the role of human protagonist Nathan Lind.  Honestly, he is the only human character given anything to work with.  Kyle Chandler is back in his role as researcher Mark Russell, but if you blink you miss him.  Millie Bobby Brown is also back as Madison Russell, but horribly wasted in a sidekick sort of role to the previously mentioned conspiracy theorist.  She is limited to trying to discover why Godzilla has started attacking human cities.  Someone of her talent could have and should have been used better.  There are tons of other folks in this movie, and yet I struggle to understand why we needed them all.  All they do is distract from what the audience wants to see which is GODZILLA and KONG FIGHT.

Ok.  So what’s good about this film?  Well, the Kaiju.  The special effects team outdid themselves crafting these battles.  Kong and Godzilla’s bouts all feel epic.  I was also impressed with how much more well lit some of the night scenes were.  As Kong and Godzilla battle at night in a Chinese city, everything is well lit without appearing phony.  The choreography of the battles are terrific, albeit a little silly at times.  Again, radioactive monkey axe.  But the joy of Godzilla vs Kong is in these epic clashes.  I watched the movie on HBO Max, I can only imagine how amazing it would have appeared on an IMAX movie screen with Dolby sound shaking my eardrums.

I came into Godzilla vs. Kong with pretty low expectations.  I want to stress that I loved, loved, loved the action sequences involving the Kaiju.  Unfortunately, you have to sit through an inordinate amount of human exposition to get to those epic moments.  That’s not to say the humans and their stories need to be gone entirely.  The audience does need a guide and some context.  But Godzilla v. Kong would have been so much stronger with a pared down human side of things and a focus on the monsters. It seems Warner Brothers and Legendary pictures still haven’t learned the key to Kaiju: it’ all about the monsters.

Patrick’s Rating: 2.24/5.0

 

Overall Nerds’ Rating on Godzilla vs Kong (2021): 3.12/5.0


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NXT Minus 6: Stand and Deliver…After

Brad breaks down the NXT Takeovers and his favorite matches! Do you agree?

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These are the six best matches from Takeover week, plus a new bonus feature! 

The John Report: WWE NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver 2021 Review – Night 2 - TJRWrestling - WWE, AEW News, TV Reviews, PPVs, More!

6. Jordan Devin versus Santos Escobar, 4.3 stars Devlin turned in a star making performance. His moonsault off the ladder was absolutely perfect and batshit crazy. Escobar is technically so sound, everything he hits looks great, and he’s top notch on the mic. But he’s not a cruiserweight, and I will never forget that fact. Still, an exciting match that surpassed my expectations.  

Bate battles Dar and more: NXT UK highlights, Dec. 19, 2019 - YouTube

5. Tyler Bate versus Noam Dar, 4.3 stars This match was a blast. Both guys have such a wide array of moves, you’ll never see the same match twice from either of them. The only thing holding this back was the Heritage Cup format. I like it, but it’s hard to have the sustained exchanges necessary to elevate a match to greatness. The breaks slow things down right as they are speeding up. Give these two a straight 20 minutes for the NXT UK championship #1 contender, and you’re look at a MOTY.

WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver results – Night One – 07/04/2021 (New Champions crowned) » FirstSportz

4. Gauntlet Match, 4.4 stars Another match that was just pure fun. Leon Ruff continues to prove he’s not a fluke champion. Cameron Grimes is 100% working the rich hillbilly gimmick. They made the right call by getting L.A. Knight and Dexter Lumis out quickly. And in another star making performance, Swerve Scott started the match against flyweight Ruff and ended it against Bronson Reed. That kind of versatility is enough to earn my #3 Star of the Night. 

WWE NXT Stand & Deliver Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and More from Night 1 | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

3. Io Shirai versus Raquel Gonzalez, 4.5 stars

This was the intense, inspired Shirai I don’t think I’ve seen since her match with Dakota Kai at Takeover 30. If this was her last match, as some are speculating, then she’s leaving on a high note worthy of her greatness. As good as Gonzalez was in ring, her performance after the match was even better. You could tell she kept flipping from “Holy crap, this is real and I couldn’t be happier” to “Yes, I’m a bad ass and I’ll power bomb every one of you chumps.” 

MSK def. Grizzled Young Veterans and Legado del Fantasma to win the vacant NXT Tag Team Championship | WWE

2. MSK versus Legado Del Fantasma versus Grizzled Young Veterans, 4.5 stars

Some other federation might be on their level, but nobody does tag teams better than NXT. All three teams got considerable time to shine. In a match stuffed with terrific action & individual performances, Wes Lee shined the brightest. His hot tag was Cesaro-level awesome, and his athletic ability rivals Ricochet. He is a star in the making, and his performance earned him my #2 Star of the Night.

  WWE NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver results – Night One – 07/04/2021 (New Champions crowned) » FirstSportz

1. WALTER versus Tommaso Ciampa 4.7 stars

I gave Ciampa about a 1% chance of winning. Despite the lack of necessary drama, these two told a masterful story with near flawless execution. Something about WALTER brings out the best in whoever he faces. He did it with Tyler Bate and Ilja Dragunov. He did it with Ciampa. This was easily his best performance since his return from neck surgery. People say he’s a brawler, while guys like Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong are known for their gas tank. Ciampa showed that he can run with the best. His effort against WALTER earned him the respect of Imperium and my #1 Star of the Night.


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