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NXT Minus 6: New Year’s Evil…Before

Ahead of WWE NXT New Year’s Evil, Bradley Jay ranks the matches in order of his predicted enjoyment!

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WWE NXT New Year's EvilWWE NXT New Year's Evil

Ahead of WWE NXT New Year’s Evil, Bradley Jay ranks the matches in order of his predicted enjoyment!

You know the drill. I rank the matches in order of my excitement to see them. After show, I’ll re-rank them to see what did or didn’t exceed expectations.

WWE NXT Live in Orlando Results (12/30/2020) — Lucha Central

6. Santa Claus Ice Cream Bar versus Gran Metalik

This match was thrown together at the last minute, for reasons that escape me. It’s cotton candy, nothing to sink my teeth into. I would like Ice Cream Bar more if he wrestled in that jacket. 

Damian Priest set for powerhouse collision with Karrion Kross | WWE

5. Damian Priest versus Doomsday Saito

If they destroy each other for 8 minutes, this will be a fun sprint. If it goes longer than that, it will be a not-so-fun marathon. There’s no backstory to turn this into anything special. I’m not even sure why Saito targeted Priest to begin with. It’s a puzzling feud. Saito isn’t losing his first match back from injury. They spent most of 2020 building Priest, so why is he in a feud he can’t win? 

WWE NXT Results: Timothy Thatcher vs. August Grey, Tomasso Ciampa Lays Down Challenge - The Overtimer

4. Timothy Thatcher versus Tommaso Ciampa

The only reason this is ranked higher than Priest-Saito is because of the Fight Pit. It’s a bad ass structure. So far the best part of the feud has been the emergence of Tyler Rust. I’m disappointed Fight Pit is being used so early in 2021, because I don’t want it overused & watered down. Maybe I’m worried for nothing. When was the last time WWE took a good idea and beat it to death?

Rhea Ripley Takes Down Raquel Gonzalez At Halloween Havoc?

3. Rhea Ripley versus Raquel Gonazalez

If not for Pete Dunne/Kyle O’Reilly, this would have been the Rivalry of the Year for 2020. It was already on fire, then they dropped that promo Wednesday night. Hot Damn! Two people (Priest/Saito) can beat each other up all day long, but there is no way to manufacture the story and history that RNR share. They have matching finger tattoos!!! There was a moment in the promo that I thought Ripley was going to go full blown mental and break from reality. If she brings that intensity to the ring, then we are in for something special.  

3 x 3: The best and worst of NXT December 30, 2020

2. Kyle O’Reilly versus Finn Balor

O’Reilly’s promo Wednesday night was the best of his NXT career. It gave me goosebumps. I was ready to jump in the ring and slap Balor in his smug, broke jaw. Wrestling is at its best when it blurs the line between real and fake. A man seeking revenge for a broken jaw is real. A man on a 15 year journey to shed the label of “tag team specialist” is real. I fully expect a MOTY candidate. I fully expect O’Reilly to win and I fully expect to shed many tears of joy in his honor.

Dexter Lumis to host NXT New Year's Evil1. Overall, this card is a mixed bag. There are two matches that should be early MOTY leaders. Then we have some stuff that could either be surprisingly good or poop the bed. And did I mention our host is a guy who never talks? Just your average hump night.


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NXT Minus 6: Bloody Brilliant

Brady focuses on the action across the pond, a little more than usual. Check it out!

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This week, NXT UK steals the show. 

WALTER to collide with Ilja Dragunov for NXT United Kingdom Title next week: NXT UK, Oct. 22, 2020 - YouTube

6. If you aren’t watching NXT UK, you’re missing some of the finest character work anywhere. Ilja Dragunov is a deeply tortured soul on the edge of madness. If I took a bazillion chops from WALTER, it would probably shatter my brain bananas too. Dragunov is on another level. His battle to overcome the WALTER demon should be the talk of the wrestling world. 

Kay Lee Ray retiene ante Meiko Satomura - MUNDO WRESTLING

5. Dragunov’s match this week with my man Thunderstorm Sam Gradwell was a-freaking-mazing. 4.6 stars. It started with solid grappling and broke down to a savage brawl. Post-match, Gradwell is laughing because he got knocked out and Dragunov is attacking a ref. Insane drama. This was as good as a mid-week match could be without a title or something bigger involved. But it wasn’t even the best match of the night. 

upNXT (@upNXTpodcast) | Twitter

4a. Kay Lee Ray versus Meiko Satomura was bloody brilliant. 4.8 stars. Near flawless. Oh how these two deserved a live crowd. I was worried because the build was rushed and forced. Silly me. After 25 years of bumps, Satomura is still quick as a blink. I can only imagine what she looked like in her prime. I’ll be honest. The post-match show of respect from KLR was so genuine, I shed a tear. Icing on the cake. 

4b. By the way, the backdrop graphic they use in NXT UK is so damn cool. They should use that across all of NXT.

Kay Lee Ray Reaches New Milestone As NXT UK Women's Champion, Priest/Gargano - eWrestlingNews.com

3. I want to issue a formal apology to Kay Lee Ray. I called her 2019 Takeover match with Toni Storm the worst match of the year. I thought she was reckless and it was a matter of time before she crippled herself or her opponent. I was 100% wrong. KLR is world class and would be in the title picture in any women’s division anywhere. They desperately need to bring more worthy talent to NXT UK to challenge her. Right now she’s not just a big fish in a small pond. She’s a whale in an inflatable kid’s pool.

Dakota Kai & Raquel González vs Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax | Women's Tag Team Champions | NXT 3/3/2021 - YouTube

2. If it doesn’t end in a Wrestlemania rematch, then Dakota Kai-Raquel Gonzalez versus Nia Jax-Shayna Baszler was absolute ass trash. Why was the Raw GM there with a Raw referee? And why does the WWE think we’re too stupid to ask why the RAW GM and a Raw referee were backstage? There are a million ways to end a match dirty. This was possibly the worst. Even if they did still lose, Kai and Gonzalez deserve so much more. Speaking of…

Raquel González 💪🏼 : WrestleWithThePlot

1. This week’s That’s Why I Love Wrestling goes to…Raquel Gonzalez. Specifically, her pre-match pose. Shotzi Blackheart can jump around like a kid on a candy high. Doomsday Saito can have his veeeeeeery long low budget horror movie intro. Gonzalez’ pose is simple yet effective. She spreads those traps and without saying a word, she is telling you that she is a woman ready to kick all the asses. Less is more and right now Gonzalez is the most. 


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Cook’s AEW Revolution 2021 Gambling Picks

Time to gamble on wrestling! Steve Cook is here with your AEW Resolution gambling picks–for entertainment purposes only of course!

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AEW Revolution

Time to gamble on wrestling! Steve Cook is here with your AEW Resolution gambling picks–for entertainment purposes only of course!

All Elite Wrestling is presenting Revolution this Sunday. Sunday Sunday Sunday. Gotta keep that in mind since they usually run on Saturdays. They didn’t this time because of various boxing & UFC events, but ended up booking themselves against the NBA All-Star Game. No, I don’t know why the NBA is bothering with an All-Star Game either, but they are!

I liked AEW doing their PPVs on Saturday, as that’s a better night for most of their viewers for an exceptionally long wrestling show. This card’s pretty stacked, with an 8PM Eastern start time I can see it stretching past midnight. Which is a lot better for most people on a Saturday night. (Doesn’t affect me, my work schedule changes every week with no rhyme or reason and I never have a Sunday off. It’s a wonderful life!)

I went to BetOnline to find some odds on these matches and had mixed success. Granted, some of these matches were just booked, and others have moving parts. I’m doing the best I can here, people, I’m only one man! As usual, lines are subject to change, and this column is purely for entertainment purposes.

Buy In Match
Thunder Rosa & Riho vs. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. & Reba

Kind of an unfair match here from a kayfabe perspective, as Reba is not officially a wrestler and has also been beat up a bit lately. Unless Dr. Baker is allowed to find another partner, you have to give Thunder Rosa & Riho the advantage here.

The one thing that could go against them: Is Thunder finishing up now that the NWA is re-starting? If she is, I could see her eating one more pin from Dr. Baker. Nah, either way it’ll probably be Riho getting the win.

Casino Tag Team Royale
Bear Country vs. Alex Reynolds & John Silver vs. Evil Uno & Stu Grayson vs. Santana & Ortiz vs. The Butcher & The Blade vs. Private Party vs. Top Flight vs. Pac & Rey Fenix vs. Varsity Blondes vs. Matt & Mike Sydal vs. SCU vs. Natural Nightmares vs. Chaos Project vs. Gunn Club vs. Dark Order’s 5 & 10 vs. Possibly More

The winners here get a Tag Team Championship match at some later date. Considering we just had a gigantic tag team battle royal to get Chris Jericho & MJF a title shot at this show, deciding the next contenders through a Casino Tag Team Royale seems a bit repetitive to me. But it’s a nice way to promote their new casino app game, so there’s that.

Picking a winner in this thing is pretty much like picking one number on a roulette wheel. There are a few teams you can write off pretty much right away, but that still leaves a bunch of possible picks. I think Pac & Rey Fenix could be a pretty fun team to get a title shot, so that’s who I’d go with here. Not going to complain if they go with one of the Dark Order teams instead, or use this to get SCU their big title shot to continue the Christopher Daniels angle that I think is still on-going. I think I’d go with Daniels & Kazarian if there were odds on this thing, simply because it’s the easiest way to tell that story.

AEW Women’s Championship Match
Hikaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami

I have to figure that Shida would be the huge favorite whenever odds get posted for this, and she’s going to win so it’s not going to be worth betting on. No disrespect meant to Ms. Mizunami, who is a solid in-ring competitor, but I don’t see her being the one to take the title off of Hikaru Shida.

Now, if somebody reports in the next couple of days that Ryo is staying here for the next six months, my opinion on this might change. Otherwise, it’s Shida all day.

Face of the Revolution Ladder Match
Cody Rhodes vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Lance Archer vs. Max Caster vs. TBA

I haven’t seen odds posted on BetOnline, but apparently some books are offering this so you can bet on Cody Rhodes or “The Field”. If that’s the case, you have to take “The Field”, don’t you? Especially when there’s a mystery guy! The winner gets a shot at the TNT Championship, and Cody can always find another way to get a title shot.

If you can’t pick “The Field” and each wrestler is an option, I’d look at Scorpio Sky as a solid choice that should get a favorable price for your wallet. He hasn’t wrestled in a couple of months due to injury, but he’s been doing a podcast and was acting pretty darn heelish on commentary this week. He’s targeted the TNT Championship in the past, and he’d probably have a pretty darn good match with Darby Allin. Of course, there’s always the mystery guy too, who they might want to have go over on his debut. I’ll stick with Sky as the best way to make money if you can’t take “The Field”.

Of course, all of this can be voided out if Cody just wants a new nickname.

Best Friends (-160) vs. Miro & Kip Sabian (+120)

Trent’s out of the picture, so Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy are the Best Friends in question here. Easy to see why Orange would be a betting favorite here, as he’s one of the most popular people in AEW and has a pretty good win-loss record. I think things go a different way here, as Miro looks ready to step up & become the monster people think he should be, and Kip Sabian deserves some revenge for Charles & Orange ruining his wedding. Go with Miro & Kip Sabian here.

Big Money Match
Adam Page (-350) vs. Matt Hardy (+225)

Having Hangman lose to Matt Hardy doesn’t make a ton of sense here in 2021. I can make an argument for Matt winning because his spending Hangman’s money could be pretty amusing, and Hangman being sad over losing his money would be a pretty typical state of affairs. There’s also the matter of all these people Matt has helping him these days.

Maybe throw a few bucks on Matt Hardy if you’re feeling froggy, could pay off for you. Personally, I’d rather see Dark Order spending all of Matt’s money on BTE. They could finally get a new table for their lair!

Street Fight
Darby Allin & Sting (-450) vs. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks (+275)

I’d like to be able to make an argument in favor of Team Taz here, but there’s really not one to be made. Sting should win every first match he has in a promotion, and he & Darby will come out on top in what will apparently be a cinematic masterpiece. Hopefully AEW does a better job on this one than the Tooth & Nail match!

AEW World Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks (-250) vs. Chris Jericho & MJF (+170)

Tony Khan said this will be the opening match, and it should be a doozy with a good amount of emotion behind it. What Jericho & MJF may lack in flashiness & in-ring appeal, they make up for with personality, cleverness & chicanery. If this was a WWE show, I’d pick them without a problem, as Jericho had a pretty crazy amount of random partners he won championships with. Here in AEW, I think the Young Bucks are going to wait to lose to an actual tag team before dropping the belts. We’ve got an eventual Bucks/Good Brothers match pitting company champions against each other to build to, I assume.

How Jericho & MJF lose the match will be the story going forward for them. Miscommunication? Involvement from somebody else? One of them just gets beat? Time will tell.

AEW World Championship Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match
Kenny Omega (-550) vs. Jon Moxley (+325)

You would think that Moxley would get more love from the bettors, as something like an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match seems more his speed than Omega’s. That just goes to show how little people believe that Kenny Omega can lose the championship at this time. He just seems destined for one of those never-ending reigns, doesn’t he? I have to agree with the public on this one, as I don’t see Kenny Omega losing this match.

I do see Kenny Omega getting his ass kicked pretty bad during this match. He’s not losing the title though.


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