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Opinion

Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE NXT (7/14/2021)

NXT Championship match and more… all part of Bodeen’s WWE NXT Top 5 Moments!

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Adam Cole WWE NXT Promo

NXT Championship match and more… all part of Bodeen’s WWE NXT Top 5 Moments!

As Raw and SmackDown begin to return to the road, NXT came to us from the Capital Wrestling Centre this week as fans were treated to a big night of action as Ember Moon and Dakota Kai faced each other in a solid opening match, as well as former Undisputed ERA members, Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish coming face to face for the first time ever in months with Johnny Gargano and Karrion Kross finishing things off for the night with a great main event for the NXT Championship as Samoa Joe looking on as the special guest referee as tensions between Kross and Joe continue to grow.

But what moments stood out above all on this action-packed edition of the black and yellow brand? Let’s find out right again as it is time to look at the top 5 moments from NXT this week.

5. Duke Hudson takes on Ikemen Jiro to open the NXT Breakout Tournament

NXT constantly receives a lot of criticism for its ability to make new talent with some fans thinking NXT has a dependency on independent talent such as Adam Cole who already have a big name for themselves. However, the NXT Breakout tournament has proven that NXT can still to develop new talent as they once again announced another tournament with the opening match taking place this week as Duke Hudson and Ikeman Jiro took on each other in a great match with both men doing a great job in showcasing their ability.

The match was the ultimate mix of styles as Duke Hudson was all about basic strikes and raw power, taking out the flash and glamour as Ikeman Jiro was the complete opposite wearing a flashy bright jacket and constantly using his agility and speed to get the upper hand throughout the match with Jiro even taunting the young Australian in the match, using this to his advantage as he got the upper hand against an overly aggressive Duke Hudson even Jiro even doing a tribute to his trainer,  Tajiri by applying the Tarantula submission on the ropes. However, Hudson’s raw power and strength were too much for Jiro as late in the match Jiro hit Hudson with a flurry of strikes only to be caught in a side-walk slam to give Hudson the win, advancing him to the next round of the tournament.

This was a great match between the two men as they did a great job in showcasing their styles. Personally, I feel Hudson winning was the right choice. Hudson’s raw style is a great sight to see in a wrestling scene that is focused on high-flying wrestling. Despite the loss, Ikeman Jiro has some great potential in NXT and does not need to win the breakout tournament to become a star, as his fun attitude and charisma is great to watch.

4. Ember Moon and Dakota Kai open the show in a great opening match 

Ember Moon and Dakota Kai would open NXT this week with both women putting on a great main event as they did battle as the NXT Woman’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez watched on from ringside. Both women would have an aggressive start to the match, talking trash to each other and exchanging holds as they tried to get the upper hand over each other. After several minutes of back and forth action between the two women, Ember Moon would get the upper hand hitting Dakota Kai with a  pump kick, a neckbreaker and a suplex with Moon finishing things off with a crossbody for the top rope for a 2 count as Requel Gonzalez watched on.

Kai would quickly turn things back in her favour and would hit a running boot in the corner, dragging Moon to the middle on the ring, only to get a close 2 count to her surprise. Both women continued to go back and forth late in the match exchanging strikes, however, Kai would ultimately get the win hitting Ember with the GTK for the win over Moon in a great opening contest. After the match, Xia Li came out and ignored Dakota Kai and she went faced to face with Requel Gonzalez with a match for the NXT Women’s Title being made official for next week’s edition of NXT.

Xia Li’s title opportunity is surprising, while it is great to see Li get an opportunity for the NXT Women’s Championship it does feel a little sudden, especially as there has been no build between Gonzalez and Li at all. This will most likely mean that NXT will want to make both women look strong next week on NXT and have the title match be a no-contest, most likely ending due to interference from Dakota Kai. While small gripe I have is how little of a mention there was of Shotzi and Nox. While Ember Moon did say she was happy for their pair to make their SmackDown debuts last week I would have loved to see one final interaction between the two women, especially as they were a great tag team to watch and help put the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship on the map. However, I do understand that the decision to move Shotzi and Nox could have been a sudden choice and with COVID restrictions and SmackDown just about to go on the road, there was a good chance the company could not do anything.

3. Santos Escobar and Dexter Lumis face each other as love grows between Lumis and Indi Hartwell  

Love would continue to blossom between Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis once again after Lumis took on Santos Escobar in a fantastic match. Early in the match, Escobar would try to get the early advantage against the mysterious Lumis dropping Lumis with a shoulder but Lumis would get right back up and hit Escobar with the Thesz Press, sending Escobar outside the ring with Lumis never taking his eyes off Santos. A furious Escobar tried to have Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza attack Lumis only for Lumis to not be in the ring, with Lumis then appearing under the ring, grabbing Escobar’s foot spooking Escobar yet again.

Santos would get the upper hand throughout the match thanks to Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza constantly interfering. Despite his best efforts, the number game would prove too much for Dexter Lumis as Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza distracted the referee when Lumis had Escobar trapped in the silence, allowing Escobar to tap with the referee’s knowledge. Wilde would then attack Lumis outside the ring whilst the referee was distracted, allowing Escobar to recover and hit the Phantom Driver to score the pinfall victory over Lumis. After the match, Legado del Fantasma’s celebration would be cut short as Hit Row came out as both groups talked trash with Legado del Fantasma walking to the back.

Later in the night, it was revealed that Indi Hartwell came out and tried to help Lumis to the back by carrying him but would struggle and drop him to the floor creating an awkward moment as Lumis and Hartwell looked at each other. Before anything could happen, Candice LeRae would come out and separate Indi from Lumis as love continues to grow between Indi and Dexter.

2. LA Knight sends Cameron Grimes to the broom 

After Cameron Grimes lost to LA Knight in a great match last week, it was time for Cameron Grimes to be sent to the broom as Cameron Grimes became LA Knight’s personal butler. Despite being in a bad position Grimes would look on the bright side of things putting on a smile and eventually getting the upper hand over The Million Dollar Champion.

Things got off to a rocky start for Grimes, as Grimes was late for his first day of work for LA Knight, however, Grimes would keep a smile on his face and tell Knight that he was a man of his word and that he was going to hold up his end of the deal. Unfortatanly for Cameron Grimes, LA Knight wanted to make the best out of this opportunity as he sent Grimes to the back and had forced the rough-looking Grimes to have a makeover. However, Cameron Grimes would love his new look as LA Knight’s plan to humiliate Grimes backfired. Grimes would eventually be sent to work by LA Knight with Knight forcing Cameron Grimes to mow his lawn. Despite the daunting task, Grimes would get the last laugh yet again as he managed to find a kid to do his work for him, using his fortune to his advantage. A furious LA Knight would berate Grimes, slapping the money that Grimes tried to pay the child with, with Knight then yelling at the child, the child would then retaliate kicking Knight in the leg as Grimes made the best of his opportunity and used a rake to sweep the money, sending Knight into the pool.

This was a great series of segments between the two men. It was great to see Grimes have a smile on his face throughout and eventually get the upper hand over LA Knight, despite being in a weaker position. Hopefully, we see more of this pair in the future and see plenty of segments like this in the future as both men have plenty of charisma and chemistry working together.

1. Johnny Gargano and Karrion Kross battle for the NXT Championship with Samoa Joe as special guest referee. 

Tensions between Samoa Joe and the NXT Champion, Karrion Kross would continue to grow this week as Samoa Joe was appointed special guest referee for the NXT Championship match between Johnny Gargano and Karrion Kross. Gargano and Kross would put on a great match as Gargano embraced the Johnny Wrestling of old embracing the fans as he pushed Kross throughout the match.

Gargano would show no fear against Kross, attacking the NXT Champion during the match introduction, however, Kross would get the upper hand sending Gargano to the corner and hitting Gargano with a snap suplex. Despite Gargano managing to hit Kross with a dropkick outside the ring and following it up with a running flip from the apron, Kross would get right back up and attack Gargano with Kross picking up Gargano by his neck and slamming him back into the edge of the announce table. Kross would then dominate Gargano throughout the match but Gargano would mount a comeback and embrace the Johnny Wrestling of old, hit Kross with a slingshot spear and hitting Kross with a suicide dive. However, Kross would then get the upper hand as he blocked One Final Beat and hit a Northern Lights suplex and hit a vertical suplex to regain control. Late in the match, Kross would apply the Kross Jacket on Gargano with Gargano just making it to the ropes. It would create more tension between Samoa Joe and Karrion Kross as Joe put his hands on Kross after Kross refused to break the hold. Both men would argue yet again after Kross tried to attack Gargano with steel steps outside the ring forcing Joe to put his hands on Kross yet again. This would allow Gargano to hit the suicide dive into a DDT on Kross, with Gargano throwing Kross back in the ring and following it up with One Final Beat for a nearfall.

Gargano would continue to embrace the Johnny Wrestling of old, attempting a DIY superkick but Kross would reverse it and would dominate Gargano, hitting Gargano with suplexes and powerbomb. Kross would then go to the corner and finish things with an elbow to the back of the neck to retain the NXT Championship. After the match, Joe and Kross would argue yet again with Kross putting Joe in the Kross jacket to close the show.

These were my top 5 moments from another action-packed edition of the black and yellow brand. What were your top 5 moments from NXT and as RAW and SmackDown begin to return to live crowds on the road, what would your thoughts be for NXT returning home to Full Sail University and leaving the Capital Wrestling Centre? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section down below 

 


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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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Opinion

DeMarco’s Things I Learned From WWE Smackdown On FOX (June 17, 2022)

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

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WWE Smackdown Riddle Reigns

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

WWE presented Smackdown on Friday night, June 17, 2022, from “Moneyapolis” featuring the “big fight feel” main event between Roman Reigns and Matt Riddle, with The Tribal Chief’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line. We also continued down the road to Money In The Bank in Vegas.

RK-Bro Is Effectively Done

The video package and all of Matt Riddle’s tributes to Randy Orton are just a little bit too much. Riddle does “too much” very well–in fact, it’s his character. But the amount of tribute being played to Randy Orton seems to be a set-up for Orton’s eventual return (whenever that might be) OPPOSITE Riddle. Maybe it’s in the Royal Rumble, maybe after.

Regardless of how it happens (and much of that has to do with his surgery and rehabilitation process), I think we are closer than ever to a heel Randy Orton opposing the babyface Matt Riddle.

Madcap Moss Is Undeniably Over

“Madcap just might be a guy.” – Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee knows what he’s talking about on this one–Madcap is indeed a guy. Riddick Moss always had the tools, just had injury issues. Since making his return to competition as Baron “Happy” Corbin’s sidekick, all Moss has done is prove his worth to WWE. He’s got a good look. He can cut a good promo. He’s vastly a underrated in-ring storyteller. And above all else, he has “it.”

WWE is always looking to add to the main event rotation, but it seems harder to crack that right now. But Madcap Moss has what it takes to do just that.

Montez Ford Is Gonna Be A (Solo) Star

The Street Profits are a fantastic act, and are insanely over. But Montez is a guy–a guy who the company can build around. While I feel bad for Angelo Dawkins, I (along with so many others) see Ford being a solo star.

We’re Getting Baron Corbin vs. Pat McAfee At SummerSlam

It’s the perfect set-up:

  • Baron Corbin is highly regarded within the organization as one of the safest workers around, a point that has been made by Randy Orton himself.
  • Pat McAfee is a big-moment superstar, and SummerSlam is the moment for him.

And for the record, I love it. While I an a big time purveyor of “Baron Corbin Sucks,” I know what he can do in the ring. And him vs. Pat McAfee would have Nashville rocking–and that is what McAfee in the ring is all about.

Vince McMahon Is Literally A Man Of Steel

If you have listened to any of Bruce Prichard’s podcasts, you know Vince McMahon believes you “don’t sell.” Not in the ring, but whenever the world has turned against you in any way–including lawsuits and investigations–you don’t sell it. You hold your head high, and live above it all.

That’s exactly what the boss did when opening up WWE Smackdown On FOX. It’s entirely possible that the plan changed along the way, and we were going to get “Mr. McMahon” at some point–but what happened is trademark Vince. Not the character, but the man. And if we expected anything else, we haven’t been paying attention.

Matt Riddle Is Now A Made Man

Matt Riddle and Roman Reigns delivered a pay per view (or premium live event…pick your poison) quality main event on WWE Smackdown on FOX, on a night where the world was likely watching. Tonight was his moment, and even in a loss, he delivered.

With a singular world champion–and one who likely isn’t losing anytime soon–it’s hard to say when Riddle could become a world champ. But the stipulation added to tonight’s match (which wasn’t discussed enough on air) means that Matt Riddle now cannot challenge Roman Reigns again (that’s how the graphic showed it). That screams a Money In The Bank or Royal Rumble win to me.

It’s also highly possible that a Seth Rollins wins the Money In The Bank briefcase, and his cash in splits the titles back up, opening the door for Riddle come next spring.

Either way–one fact remains true: Matt Riddle is now a made man, and doing it on his own.


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