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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/6/2020

A few big events, impromptu tournaments and decent television product. What made the Top 5?

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AEW All Out, New Japan and their Junior Tag Tournament, along with normal television product. We get a surprisingly diverse Top 5, where it’s actually 5 and unique shows throughout!

Let’s take a look at the August Pool first, this way you see who won last week; and of course, what it fighting for the MOTY spot.

August Pool:

  • NJPW Summer Struggle: Minoru Suzuki vs Yuji Nagata
  • AEW Dynamite: AEW Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs Darby Allin
  • NOAH the Chronicle Vol 3: GHC National Openweight & GHC Heavyweight Championship Double Title Match: Kenoh (c) vs Go Shiozaki (c)
  • Impact Wrestling Emergence: Impact World Tag Team Championship: Motor City Machine Guns (c) vs The North 
  • Impact Emergence: Knockouts Championship Ironman Match: Jordynne Grace vs Deonna Purrazzo (c)

So my pick won’t be a real surprise since it’s currently my number one of the year, Kenoh vs Go Shiozaki, is a double title match done correctly. Would be nice to see it get some love, but I think it has a real shot since Shiozaki’s Heavyweight run has gotten a decent amount of attention.

Now on to this week.

Quick Top 5:

  1. NXT Fatal Four Way Iron Man Match: Tommaso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano vs Finn Balor vs Adam Cole
    Rating: ****
  2. New Japan Road: LIJ (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) vs Ass Masters (Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato)
    Rating: ****
  3. AEW All Out: AEW Tag Team Championship: Hangman Page & Kenny Omega (c) vs FTR
    Rating: ****
  4. IMPACT!: Impact World Championship: Eddie Edwards (c) vs Eric Young
    Rating: *** 3/4
  5. WWE SmackDown: Women’s Tag Team Championships: Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (c)
    Rating: *** 3/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • AEW All Out: AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs Thunder Rosa
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • NJPW Strong Ep. 5: Jay White vs Flip Gordon
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • WWE Raw: Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton vs Keith Lee
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • AEW Dynamite: Thunder Rosa vs Serena Deeb
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • New Japan Road: CHAOS (Toru Yano, SHO & Kazuchika Okada) & Gabriel Kidd vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii) & Yuya Uemura
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE Raw: Keith Lee vs Dolph Ziggler
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • New Japan Road: Suzuki-Gun (El  Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs Ass Masters (Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE SmackDown: Jey Uso vs Matt Riddle vs King Corbin vs Sheamus
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • AEW All Out: Dark Order (Stu Greyson, Evil Uno, Brodie Lee & Colt Cabana) vs Dustin Rhodes, Matt Cardona, Scorpio Sky & QT Marshall
    Rating: ***
  • New Japan Road: CHAOS (SHO, Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada) & Yota Tsuji vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) & Gabriel Kidd
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW Strong Ep 5: Hikuleo vs Brody King
    Rating: ***
  • New Japan Road: LIJ (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) vs Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & Gedo)
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: Dez & Wentz vs Ace Austin & Fulton
    Rating: ***
  • New Japan Road: Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs Bullet Club (Gedo & Taiji Ishimori)
    Rating: ***
  • AEW All Out: AEW World Championship: MJF vs Jon Moxley (c)
    Rating: ***
  • New Japan Road: Yota Tsuji vs Satoshi Kojima
    Rating: ***

4t. WWE SmackDown: Women’s Tag Team Championships: Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax (c)

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Shayna drags Sasha around by the bad legs, steps through but Sasha cradle counters! TWO, Shayna DECKS Bayley! Shayna has Sasha’s legs again, and stomps away on the bad knee!! Sasha can only scream in pain as Shayna ties the legs up in a Deathlock. Bayley runs in, it’s just like Payback! But Bayley uses the BAYLEY2BELLY to counter!! Shayna is down, Sasha crawls to cover, TWO!! But into a BANK STATEMENT! Nia clobbers Bayley and kicks Sasha! Nia goes back to her corner, Shayna crawls over, and gets the tag! Nia has Sasha in a STRETCH MUFFLER!! Sasha powers up and sunset flips, TWO!! Nia drags Sasha up to a fireman’s carry, then goes to a corner! Nia climbs, Bayley gets in to save Sasha!

Sasha falls but Bayley helps her up. They see Shayna coming, and manage to give her the DOUBLE SLAM! But Nia LEAPS for a double crossbody!! Double cover, Nia and Shayna win!!

Winner: Nia via Avalanche Crossbody

 

4t. IMPACT!: Impact World Championship: Eddie Edwards (c) vs Eric Young

From My Results:

We see a great back and forth this entire match. Young eats some offense and smiles through it, going at Eddie full tilt. Young does the smart thing by focusing the head and next with strikes, lariats, Slingblades; all in a way to soften Eddie up for the Piledriver.

As Eddie continues to show his resolve, he goes for a Plancha to the outside, but lands a little oddly, jamming his knee. This is a great sell from Eddie for the rest of the match. He hits a Tiger Driver, but can’t get his legs all the way over since he’s selling the knee. Teases the Boston Knee Party, but EY powders, causing Eddie to go for a desperation Tope. Hampered by the knee, Eddie is slow to get back in the ring.

EY goes for the World Title, the referee takes it from him. While the ref is distracted putting the belt away, EY uses his hockey mask to crack Eddie in the head. Piledriver afterward, and we have a new world champ.

Winner: Eric Young via Piledriver

 

1t. AEW All Out: AEW Tag Team Championship: Hangman Page & Kenny Omega (c) vs FTR

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Hangman BOOTS Dax, spins Cash around but Cash gets around to club Hangman! Cash Electric Chairs, Dax tags in, ANOTHER BULLDOG DOOMSDAY!! Cover, TWO!?! Hangman survives and FTR can’t believe it! Dax tags Cash back in, Cash climbs back up, but Omega trips him up! Hangman dumps Dax out hard! Hangman climbs up to go after Cash, for a SUPER FALL AWAY SLAM! Cover, TWO!?! Cash survives and no one can believe it! Omega and Hangman want to finish this, “This is Awesome!” and they line up a shot on Cash. The ref tells Omega he has to go back to the corner but Omega doesn’t care. Dax anchors Hangman, Hangman kicks him away, slingshot but Cash ducks! Luckily Omega ducks, too! Hangman and Omega switch roles, Omega runs but Cash moves, Hangman takes the V-TRIGGER!!

Cash CHOP BLOCKS Omega’s bad leg! Omega tries to help Hangman wake up but Cash drags him away. Cash dropkicks Omega out of the ring, then tags in Dax. Dax drags Hangman up, Cash hops up, MIND BREAKER!! Cover, Dax taunts Omega, TWO?!!? Hangman survives!? Cash throws Omega out, Dax drags Hangman. Cash tags in, clobbers Omega, MIND BREAKER AGAIN!! Cover, Dax pushes Omega out, FTR WINS!!

Winner: FTR via Mind Breaker

 

1t. New Japan Road: LIJ (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) vs Ass Masters (Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato)

From My Results:

LIJ plays the heel roll in this match, and we all know it works perfectly. BUSHI takes a shortcut, uses his shirt to choke Wato, and then Hiromu comes back in and starts mocking Tenzan’s Mongolian Chops. Tenzan may have taken Wato under his wing a little, but now he’s getting a bit offended by Hiromu’s japes. Taguchi however uses the Mongolian Chop to break up a submission, and Tenzan nods and claps approvingly.

Wato fights off both Hiromu and BUSHI at different points to finally tag in Taguchi, and we get a mostly serious time save for two spots. One where BUSHI and Hiromu saw the Hip Attack coming, so they nonchalantly part and Taguchi’s ass goes crashing. Then Taguchi hits a Drop Toe Hold sending Hiromu head first in BUSHI…mostly where you’d expect that to land if it’s funny.

Taguchi did a really good job at trying to keep Wato grounded and buy him time, but BUSHI and Hiromu have such great chemistry and timing, they’re saves and distractions proved a little better. Wato and Taguchi show off a tandem move, Taguchi does a Wheelbarrow Facebuster and Wato comes off the top with a Bulldog; simple but effective, yet only a 2 count.

Wato and Taguchi get an opening to go for the RPP, but BUSHI shakes off Taguchi and slows down Wato just enough to make sure the RPP misses. A little more LIJ domination and we see the Tandem Facecrusher once again, now referred to as the LAT.

Winner: LIJ via LAT

 

1t. NXT Fatal Four Way Iron Man Match: Tommaso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano vs Finn Balor vs Adam Cole

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Ciampa staggers back and CHOPS Cole down! And he CHOPS Gargano down! The crowd is thunderous as Ciampa drags Cole up and snap suplexes him to the floor! Ciampa goes after Balor, and throws him into the boards again! We’re at THREE minutes left as Gargano fires off on Ciampa. Ciampa CHOPS back, and again, and again! Gargano flops down, Ciampa puts him under the ring! RING FRAME GUILLOTINE!! Gargano gasps and sputters, Ciampa drags him up and into the ring! Ciampa covers, but Cole drags him off it! Cole throws forearms, Ciampa hits back. Ciampa gets back to Gargano, Balor drags him off now! Balor and Ciampa brawl, Ciampa throws Balor all the way to girders! Ciampa throws Cole into more girders!

Ciampa hurries back to the ring, but Gargano surprises him with a cradle! TWO!!! Ciampa is up, and he throat chops Gargano!! We’re at 90 seconds!! Ciampa looms over the gasping Gargano, drags in him up and puts him in a corner. Ciampa CHOPS Gargano again! ONE MINUTE! Ciampa puts Gargano up top, CHOPS again, then climbs up to join Gargano. Gargano feebly resists, Ciampa brings Gargano up, SUPER AIR RAID CRASH!! But Balor COUP DE GRACE!! Cover on Ciampa, Balor gets the fifth fall!!

Winner: Tie between Finn and Cole

 

Thoughts:

This is an interesting week. Everything is fairly close quality wise, and nothing sticks out completely. Sure the Four Way was cool, but it wasn’t nearly as epic as some may have had in their mind. The All Out match, though the best on the show, was still a little bit of a drag because of other things. Junior tags was a damn good match, but kinda predictable and not something that will stick in minds much.

All things considered, I think I’m voting for the Women’s Tag Match. It was surprisingly high quality considering Nia was involved (they did keep her limited a little), plus we got the nice angle with Sasha and Bayley. So it all worked well together and I won’t lie, I was impressed.


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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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