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Chris King’s Takeaways For WWE NXT 1/29/20

What did Chris King takeaway from Wednesday’s edition of WWE NXT? Read on to find out!

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Tonight is the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will The Broserweights or The Grizzled Young Veterans walk away with the Dusty Trophy? Who will step up to challenge the new North American Champion Keith Lee? Last but certainly not least, will Tegan Nox finally get her revenge on her former best friend Dakota Kai tonight? Let's get right into the action! 

What did Chris King takeaway from Wednesday’s edition of WWE NXT? Read on to find out!

Tonight is the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will The Broserweights or The Grizzled Young Veterans walk away with the Dusty Trophy? Who will step up to challenge the new North American Champion Keith Lee? Last but certainly not least, will Tegan Nox finally get her revenge on her former best friend Dakota Kai tonight? Let’s get right into the action!

Finn Balor vs. Trent Seven

Following Balor’s vicious attack after Worlds Collide, Seven was barely able to make it to the ring let alone face The Prinxe. Balor beat the living tar out of his opponent. Seven tried his best to turn things around with his favor, but The Prinxe stopped him dead in his tracks.

This new and improved version of Balor is awesome and continues to get better every week. He’s nastier and sadistic, and a force to be reckoned with. Look out Johnny Gargano because Balor is coming for you!

Shotzi Blackheart vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Blackheart made her entrance in a freaking tank, somewhere I believe HHH is smiling right now with a throwback to the DX Invasion. This one was a quick match, Purrazzo played the arrogant veteran perfectly trying to school the young up-and-comer. Blackheart silenced her opponent with her devastating rope Senton splash for the victory.

Bask in the glory of the Limitless North American Champion as Keith Lee made his way to the ring. Both Damien Priest and Dominic Dijokovac want the gold and they will fight now.

Damien Priest vs. Dominic Dijokovac

The bell rang and both strikers beat the hell out of each other inside and outside of the ring. The Archer of Infamy hit a THUNDEROUS Crucifix Bomb onto the apron. The action was red-hot and destructive as both men delivered insane maneuvers for a series of near-falls.

Priest hit a gigantic avalanche Poison Rana and went for his finisher but Dijokovac countered into Feast Your Eyes for the hard-fought victory! I am very excited to see Lee vs. Dijokovac for the North American Championship in the near future possibly at TakeOver: Portland!

Tomasso Ciampa tells Cathy Kelly Goldie is coming home at TakeOver: Portland. He has a bat in his hand, the camera pans to three members of UE knocked out. Ciampa comes down with a table in hand. Adam Cole storms to the ring and eats a Powerbomb. The Psycho Killer signs the contract in his own blood for Portland.

Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai

The former tag team partners and best friends beat the hell out of each other. The match started in the ring but it quickly spilled out into the NXT Universe. Kai tried to use a steel chair but Candice LeRae took it away. This gave Nox the opportunity to blast her rival with the knee brace and hit The Shiniest Shining Wizard for the victory.

Chelsea Green w/Robert Stone vs. Kayden Carter 

There wasn’t much to this one, as Green was making her in-ring debut at Full Sail. She played the role of egocentric heel who was better than her opponent. Carter kept fighting though and eventually made a shocking roll-up after Green gloated about being done. The young up-and-comer walked away with a big victory over the seasoned veteran.

Main Event – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals
Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans

This match was superb. Both teams brought everything under the sun to become the winners of the Dusty Trophy. There were multiple uses of joint manipulation from both sides. The seasoned veterans from NXT UK tried every single way imaginable to pull off the victory, but The Broserweights would not quit. Both Riddle and Dunne hit stereo BroDerek’s for a long near-fall.

After an incredible hard-hitting affair, Riddle and Dunne are the 2020 Winners of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They also will face UE for the NXT Tag Team Championships at TakeOver: Portland. The Broserweights have proven that you don’t have to be a tag team for a long time to be able to have impeccable in-ring chemistry.

With Ciampa challenging Cole, and now Riddle and Dunne going after the tag team titles could UE’s days of running NXT be coming to an end?


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News From Cook’s Corner 1.17.22: Gory Self-Mutilation

AEW tried to catch lightning in a bottle for the second time. Did it work? What other news struck last week?

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! We’ve got a short column for you this week, which most of you were probably expecting when the Cincinnati Bengals actually on a playoff game. Nah, I didn’t party too much, just had an allergic reaction with my eye again. We’ve done this before. This time I’m pretty sure it had something to do with cleaning my bookshelf and rearranging my books. Hadn’t done that in awhile, so there was a ton of duct. Sitting down and looking at a computer screen sucks, so we have to limit it as much as possible.

There’s still a couple things that warrant discussion though, so let’s get to it.

WWE On The Offensive

Looks like this week’s top stories are about WWE trying to do things to undermine wrestling promotions. We start with Major League Wrestling, who has filed a federal anti-trust lawsuit against WWE claiming that WWE has interfered with their ability to make various media rights deals.

Some of the highlights:

-Former WWE executive Susan Levison allegedly warned an executive from VICE that Vince McMahon was “pissed” they were airing MLW programming. MLW claims that WWE had leverage over VICE due to the Dark Side of the Ring series often being focused on WWE subject matter.

-MLW alleges that when WWE found out about their agreement with Tubi, WWE threatened to stop doing business with Fox. The fallout from the Tubi agreement falling through led to a drop in ticket sales & event cancellations & delays.

-As an example of WWE’s anticompetitive behavior, MLW cited AEW being held out of two arenas in the Cincinnati market due to pressure from WWE. Jon Moxley wrote in his book that the Heritage Bank Center on Cincy’s riverfront refused to book AEW due to WWE influence. I don’t know the other, could be the BB&T Arena across the river on the campus of Northern Kentucky University where WWE has held house shows. AEW wound up running the Fifth Third Arena on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, and outdrew the Raw taping held at the HBC just prior.

-Apparently starting in early 2020, WWE started trying to poach MLW wrestlers that were under contract, and aired footage of an MLW wrestler without MLW’s consent. (Somebody would have to fill me in on this one, I haven’t the slightest idea who this would be.) MLW also claims that WWE sought to prevent wrestlers from working with MLW by refusing to hire wrestlers that had worked there, and that one MLW wrestler demanded to be released early from his contract so he could join WWE.

Do I think that at least some of these allegations are true? Having followed pro wrestling for over thirty years and having read up on the history of WWE…you betcha!

I don’t think there’s a question that WWE has resorted to any means necessary to drive potential competitors out of their market. They’ve been doing this since taking most of the territories’ top stars back in the mid-1980s. It’s been a monopoly for nearly two decades for a reason. The main question I have: Will a judge actually care, or will they throw it out of court because it’s silly pro wrestling?

How do you think WWE slips under the radar on things that other media companies & sports leagues actually have to deal with? People have been trained to not take WWE seriously. As much as people like us obsess over the rasslin’ business, people that don’t “get it” are happy to ignore it. Vince McMahon can do any darn thing he wants, and the reaction from folks outside the wrestling bubble will be non-existent. It’s wrestling! To outsiders, the whole damn thing is an outlaw mudshow.

AEW = Gory Self-Mutilation

The Toronto Sun did an article on All Elite Wrestling over the weekend, talking about their status as a competitor to WWE. They asked WWE for comment & got one:

“If you look at the gory self-mutilation that bloodied several women in the December 31 event on TNT, it quickly becomes clear that these are very different businesses. We had an edgier product in the `Attitude’ era and in a 2022 world, we don’t believe that type of dangerous and brutal display is appealing to network partners, sponsors, venues, children, or the general public as a whole.”

A few notes here:

1. I’ve been doing this stuff longer than I care to admit, and I never thought of asking WWE for comment on something. Should I start asking people for comments on topics I’m writing about? I doubt I’d get any answers, but it might be worth a shot.

2. This has been WWE’s strategy when asked about AEW for some time now. We remember Vince McMahon using the phrase “Blood & Guts” to describe the promotion on a conference call. They know that people get squeamish about blood, especially when it comes to blood coming from women. The Fabulous Moolah never busted anybody open on television, and she trained most of the women for years. People aren’t used to seeing it, and they often get uncomfortable with things they aren’t used to seeing.

3. Most people find other people bleeding pretty gross. There’s a reason why deathmatch wrestling is a niche produxct. People that love it really, really love it, but it’s a very small percentage of the marketplace.

4. WWE’s belief is that advertisers & media companies aren’t big on blood, so they make sure to mention AEW’s apparent lust for the red stuff whenever the subject comes up. Their hope is that advertisers will shy away from advertising with AEW, and media companies won’t give AEW big money when their current deal with WarnerMedia is up.

5. Thus far, whenever Tony Khan is criticized on something, he doubles down on it. So there’s a pretty good chance that we’re going to see even more matches with female bleeding. AEW’s female workers seem happy to do it.

6. WWE could be called out as being hypocritical on this front, but there aren’t many people that will hold them accountable.

It’ll be interesting to see how this goes. All I know for sure is that the smack talk between these two promotions and their fans is just beginning. Think it’s tocic now? Wait a couple of years.

Welp, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! Join me later in the week for some Divisional Round picks. Until then, keep your stick on the ice.

In Memoriam: Pete was a longtime reader from back in the day. From my dealings with him he was a kind person that knew how to use his head. When you’ve written things on the Internet as long as I have, you learn that’s a rare thing. From what I’ve read from people that knew him in real life, he was the same way off the computer. Sadly he passed away from cancer on Friday night. Pete was always about serving others, as he was a U.S. Air Force veteran & a regular blood donor. He will be missed.


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NXT 2021 Year in Review: NXT UK!!!

With the OG NXT rebranding and losing a lot of credibility, at least NXT UK has been consistent! Brad brings his NXT UK awards!

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Let’s give out some special awards to the very best hour on the entire WWE Network.

Mark Coffey

Honorable Mention Most Improved: Mark Coffey

Most Improved is one of my favorite awards. I love watching wrestlers get better. This year, Mark wasn’t just decaf Joe. He showed his personality. Playful little bugger seems like the kind of guy you’d want to have a pint with. Even got a short run as a singles guy. Mark’s growth was definitely one of the highlights of the best overall year in the history of NXT UK.  

Oliver Carter is just getting started in NXT UK: WWE Exclusive, Aug. 28, 2019 - YouTube

Most Improved Male Wrestler: Oliver Carter

When Carter first showed up, it was obvious why he was in a tag team, eating all the pins. I don’t know who the trainers are in NXT UK, but someone put in overtime with Carter. Every week, he’s hitting new and exciting moves in the ring. He’s showing more fire on the mic. It’s only a matter of time before Ashton Smith gets jealous and turns on him.  

Stevie Turner NXT UK - Diva Dirt

Most improved Female Wrestler: Stevie Turner

Her first few matches made me wonder what anyone saw in her. Now I see it. She’s a real loony character, a female Dean Ambrose. She gets rambling about the Fourth Dimension and I’m not sure even she knows where that boat is sailing to. Add to that a significantly increased move set and Turner has legit championship aspirations. 

Kenny Williams | WWE

Most Underrated: Kenny Williams

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. If Williams was built like Drew Mcintyre, he would be on RawDown yesterday. I appreciate a smaller guy who doesn’t rely entirely on the flippy dip and acrobatics. Williams is a big bully in a small man’s body. The Scum of the Earth is ready to infect 2022.

Sam Gradwell – Online World of Wrestling

Best talker: Sam Thunderstorm Gradwell

Gradwell might be the best promo guy in all of NXT. He’s solid gold on the mic AND Twitter. He tweeted that WALTER versus Dragunov II is “Unruly Baboon versus Deadly Panda.” I still don’t know which is which, but it sounds fabulous. Now get on that, you bunch of yogurts!

WWE Women 🎊🍾 — ⭐ Isla Dawn and Emilia McKenzie ⭐

Best Character: Isla Dawn

I prefer personality over character. I don’t want SNL skit rejects. I want to believe there is no separation between who they are in the ring and outside of it. Isla Dawn is the exception. She goes into a trance. She’s collecting trophies from her opponents and doesn’t even care about wins and losses. I’m inclined to believe she’s not a witch in real life, but you never know.    

Noam Dar is ready for the Finals: NXT UK Exclusives, Sept. 16, 2021 - YouTube

Best Sidekick: Sha Samuels

With just a dry erase board & marker, the East End Bookie adds so much depth to Noam Dar, an already amazing personality. Unlike the terribly awkward pairing of La Familia, I get the feeling Dar and Samuels really are best buds. They seem to bring out the best in each other. I can’t wait for them to go after the tag team titles.       

Hamilton's NXT UK Review 10.14.21 | 411MANIA

Best Announcer: Andy Shepherd

He’s not just the best in NXT UK, he’s the best in NXT. Period. He takes everything Nigel McGuinness throws at him and he throws it right back, but he does it with an understated eloquence not typically found in rasslin. Shepherd earns the highest praise I can give an announcer: he sounds like a fan watching the show, shooting the shit with his buddies.  

 

Blair Davenport challenges Meiko Satomura: NXT UK Exclusive, Dec. 9, 2021 - YouTube

Most Improved Division: The Women’s Division

NXT still has the best women’s division. It’s now a little further east. In the past, it was Kay Lee Ray. That’s it. Not anymore. The addition of Meiko Satomura and Blair Davenport. The growth of Amale, Stevie Turner and Aoife Valkryie. The Nina Samuels Show. The steady veteran presence of Jinny and Isla Dawn. The division is not deep, but every week they continue to grow and put on quality matches. It started as obligatory, because you have to have a women’s division. They have since earned their spot. Much respect to the women of NXT UK. 

 

Up next, saving the best for last: 2021 NXT Matches of the Year


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