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The WWE TV YouTube Experiment (Week 8: RAW/ August 5, 2019)

The second-to-last week of my little experiment. I’m not sure that I’ll miss it. Or RAW. We shall see.



The WWE TV YouTube Experiment
Week 8
Monday Night RAW/ August 5, 2019/ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I’ve decided to do things differently this week. Instead of watching the YouTube clips, I’m watching the Hulu version of RAW. It’s an hour and a half long, there are no commercials, and they generally trim the fat, so stuff that’s not very important doesn’t show up. I’m still going to be checking the YouTube views to see what’s popular online, but that’s the only bit of this that I’m keeping, really. I bet the Hulu versions from a few weeks back had all of the AJ Styles, Gallows, and Anderson segments that YouTube didn’t have.

**Quick note: if you’ve been reading anything I’ve been writing the past two months, let me know! Send me an email at [email protected] and let me know. If you like it, that’s cool. If you hate it, tell me why! If you’re indifferent, thanks for at least spending some time with me.**

I missed last week due to some extenuating circumstances, although I did write about the majority of the show. To recap briefly:

  • I really enjoyed the 24/7 stuff (as usual) and Maria becoming the champion was a funny bit. I’m glad they seem to have dissolved that angle into the 24/7 stuff instead of keeping it on its own.
  • The wrestling was good overall, although the Hulu version cut out the US Title number one contender’s match. Never got a chance to check it out.
  • Dolph coming out to HBK’s music with some HBK inspired gear was a nice touch and added to what they ended up doing on RAW this week. The match was short and fine, and I thought the angle with Brock killing Seth was fantastic. Too bad the crowd was glad to see him get an ass-kicking, and it got even worse this week.
  • The final segment with Roman, Joe, and their respective bunch of fellow friends was awesome. It was chaotic in all of the right ways, and Cedric Alexander getting that chance to shine was unbelievably great. He’s not the best talker in the world, but he has a ton of natural charisma and knows what to do to get/keep the crowd in his corner. 
  • In all, I pretty much wouldn’t have changed anything about the show. It was really, really good. Plus, the big thing they cut from the Hulu version would have made the show even better. This felt like the best RAW in the two months I’ve been working on this project. Huge thumbs up.

This Week’s Episode
Monday Night RAW/ August 5, 2019
Week 8 of 9, the SummerSlam Go-Home Show

I’m going to start off by saying that my glowing review of last week’s episode of RAW is not going to be mirrored by what I’ll be talking about here. This week was, for the most part, the antithesis of last week’s show. 

  • The opening tag match with the women was awful. Not the wrestling — that was fine. I’m not quite sure why Trish didn’t have any physical involvement whatsoever, though. That was weird. In the end, the segment made everyone by Charlotte look terrible. Trish did absolutely nothing, Natalya spent the majority of the match getting beat up by the heel in the other marquee women’s match that’s happening on Sunday, and Becky got beat up by Natalya. Only Charlotte was booked strong. Plus, why put the heels on different teams? It’s not like they even played it up at all. The whole thing was baffling and bad.
  • Hulu skipped the Mysterio/Andrade match. Here’s the clip from YouTube. Looked good. 
  • As usual, the 24/7 Championship stuff was great. Mike being the one to take advantage of his wife and winning the title was a nice surprise (I assumed it would be Drake or Carmella) and I’m oddly looking forward to seeing what Maria does to punish him. Damn them for getting me interested in that stupid angle. And Truth is back on track to overtake Raven as the winningest champion in WWE. He sits at 11 as of now, just 17 away from passing Raven’s 27 Hardcore Title reigns. He can do it!
  • Man — that Brock/Seth stuff was BRUTAL. The crowd was dead silent and it was hard to watch, and not the way they were intending. Seth’s promo afterward garnered silence followed by “What?” chants. Not good. In fact, actively bad. Very, very bad. This was awful, and the exact opposite of what they did last week. Seth didn’t look brave, he looked stupid. And the live crowd in Pittsburgh agreed.
  • Bray’s Fiend taking out another legend was a good move leading into the match with Finn, keeping The Fiend in the spotlight on RAW and the Firefly Funhouse on SmackDown. However, the fact that they used what was supposed to be the follow-up to Cedric Alexander’s heroic dive from the stage last week is mind-blowingly stupid. They could have come up with a hundred different ways to put Kurt in harm’s way without making Drew and Cedric become afterthoughts. Fucking pitiful. 
  • The stuff with Ricochet and The OC isn’t lighting the world on fire, but it’s not bad. I just hope that post-SummerSlam they push AJ and the gang to the main event spotlight because otherwise, they’re going to be Just Another Midcard Stable. They should be taking over! It should be a big deal! 
  • I don’t even know what to say about the Roman near(ish)-death stuff. I don’t get it. It looks corny, it feels corny, it is corny. I love the idea of a ‘whodunnit’ story, but the way they’re going about it isn’t fun at all. And what the hell are they doing with Joe? Is he going to turn out to be the mastermind? Is he just a random body? Why would they start building to a match with him and Roman only to seemingly completely abandon it? I’m hoping the endgame overshadows everything that has been leading us to it.
  • Bliss and Cross becoming the new Women’s Tag Team Champions was absolutely the best possible outcome. At least with them as champs, the belts are guaranteed to be on TV because Alexa is a mainstay whether she’s involved in a major angle or not. The match itself was okay until the final two teams. Once it got down to Bliss & Cross vs. Sane & Asuka, it was really quite good. They got the crowd, which spent the majority of the night sitting on their hands, involved in the outcome. That was impressive. The titles have been a giant bomb thus far. Hopefully putting them on Bliss and Cross will point them in the right direction. 
  • As I said at the beginning, this was a mostly bad episode of RAW. They did nothing to get me excited for SummerSlam (6 days away from the show) and the show felt absolutely lifeless. However…
  • The final segment was freakin’ great. I loved it. I fully believe that the plan all along was to do Ziggler vs. Goldberg. HBK was the red herring, Miz was the catalyst, and Goldberg is the endgame. It’s actually quite brilliant. It sucks for the people who really wanted to see Ziggler vs. Michaels, but is that really a dream match now? 5 years ago, totally. Now? Eh. Instead, the whole thing was a giant troll on Dolph. First, he gets antagonized by The Miz. Then they throw a curveball at him by getting Shawn involved, and make it look like HBK is going to step up and be his opponent. But nope, the next pitch was a knuckleball. Ziggler has been attacking Goldberg on social media for weeks, fully assuming there would be no response or comeuppance. Boy, oh boy, was he wrong. In my mind, Miz and Michaels were in touch with Goldberg from the start, and it all led to the closing segment of this week’s episode of RAW. It was short and sweet and did exactly what it needed to. As of right now, it’s really the only match I’m interested in seeing at SummerSlam. I’m looking forward to seeing how they handle Finn vs. Bray, but otherwise, eh. It’s a show. 

Final Analysis

I didn’t like RAW this week. Everything was either bad, disappointing, or just there. The obvious exception, to me, was the closing segment with Goldberg. Outside of that, I could have missed the whole episode and not felt like I missed anything at all. That’s the opposite of last week.  I have nothing else to say. I hope the post-SummerSlam episode, my final one of this experiment, is better. 

YouTube Viewership Stuff

Not doing any heavy-duty number crunching. I’m not really a numbers guy. I got into it for a few weeks, but it gave me a headache. Simple facts coming your way.

  • In about 48 hours, almost 2 million people watched Seth Rollins get beat up by Brock Lensar inside what sounded like an empty arena. The two segments from last week’s show, after a week and 2 (ish) days, are at about 2.7 million for Lesnar interfering in the Ziggler/Rollins match and about 3.1 million for the rest of the destruction. 
  • People continue to not care about the Viking Raiders stuff. Under 90,000 views for both last week and this week’s clips. Please figure out something to do with them. They’re too damn good to be having sub-2-minute matches against 150-pound guys.
  • Roman Reigns nearly getting killed in the parking lot is at almost 1.5 million views, while the other two segments with Joe/Roman involvement were just under half a million each. The tag match where Trish stood on the apron is just shy of half a million views as well. Last week’s insane brawl is over 6 million views, which is should be. It was great.
  • The 24/7 Title stuff at the OB/GYN is at a little under 800,000 views, and the Goldberg return segment is just a smidge below 900,000 views. I honestly expected a much higher number for Goldberg.
  • The Fiend is sitting at around 830,000 for the attack on Kurt Angle. Nothing from last week. I feel like I recall the lights going out at some point, but that might have been last week’s SmackDown, not RAW. 

In a nutshell, everything is performing essentially the same as usual. The guys who are supposed to be getting the most hits are, the people in the middle are middling, and everyone else exists for posterity’s sake. No change in 8 weeks. That’s a simple observation, not a judgment of it being a good or bad thing. It’s like Roman Reigns in 2015. Something like that. 

Welp, next week is my last week doing this. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing going forward, but I’ll try to keep a presence here on the site. I feel it’s only right. Hopefully, someone cares. As I mentioned earlier, drop me a line at [email protected] if you read this or any of the other stuff I’ve written here in the last two months. See ya next week. 

Nick Marsico/ Writer (kinda)
The Chairshot Dot Com

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Greg DeMarco

Greg DeMarco’s ROH #469 Review: Pure Championship Tournament Kicks Off

Greg DeMarco starts playing catch-up on ROH with the Pure Championship tournament, featuring Jay Lethal vs. Dalton Castle and Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler Yuta!



ROH Ring Of Honor Pure Tournament Pure Championship

Greg DeMarco starts playing catch-up on ROH as the company makes its return to TV with the Pure Championship tournament, featuring Jay Lethal vs. Dalton Castle and Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler Yuta!

If you know me, you know I am a huge ROH fan going back to the “old days” when the company featured stars like CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Kevin Steen (Owens), El Generico (Sami Zayn) and many more. Recent years turned me off of the of the product, but with ROH making a return and focusing on the Pure Championship, I am ready to make my own return…to honor.

ROH episode #469

The company gives us a quick overview of the Pure Championship that was impactful for me–a guy who was already familiar with the product. For someone who isn’t? I think it’s lacking. Then we have Quinn McKay here to present the field to us, in a manner that was downright goofy with the majestic music and all. It doesn’t seem to fit the “pro wrestling” motif they are going for.

They also give us an overview of the rules, and I am left wondering if they simply forgot that the first closed fist earns you a warning, and the second costs you a rope-break if you have any left. If you’re going to bring this back, even using the old belt, let’s do it right!

Jay Lethal promo

We’re doing sit down interviews with each person, and it’s still just…odd. I don’t know if it’s the music, the way it’s lit, filmed, or what. It just seems like I am watching an old show, not something that was released within the past month. Jay Lethal does a good job selling the importance of the championship, but I question calling Brian Kendrick “Spanky.” Yes, that was his name when Lethal beat him, but today’s fan isn’t going to remember this as well. This is a problem similar to AEW. you’re trying to build new fans, not just appease old ones.

Dalton Castle promo

I am on record thinking that Dalton Castle was cheated in his ROH World Championship reign. but his promo didn’t sell me on ANYTHING. And I love Dalton Castle.

Pure Championship Tournament Block A First Round: Dalton Castle vs. Jay Lethal

I love, love, LOVE the stats on the wrestler cards on their way to the ring. Kinda reminds me of another company that was going to focus on stats….and hasn’t. The clock and rope break counter on the bottom of the screen is a nice touch. It’s strange to see if during a whole match, but it’s also something I will get used to.

Jay Lethal was manipulated into the ropes by Dalton Castle early, establishing the importance of the rope breaks. Later Castle used the rope for leverage, allowing Ian Riccaboni to explain to use that that wasn’t a rope break.

Castle went for a Bangarang at the 11-minute mark, seeing his leg give out at the end. Lethal had to use his second rope break to stop the pinfall. Jay Lethal connects with the Lethal Injection at 13 minutes to score the pinfall.

Winner and advancing to the Block A Semifinals – Jay Lethal
Rating – ***
Impression: Great match, cheated out of fan reaction, definitely one to watch.

I really liked his this match established the rules of the tournament, as Lethal used two rope breaks and Dalton Castle used none. Castle was highly effective with his legal closed fists, telling that story as well. This was a good match to kick off the tournament.

Wheeler Yuta promo

I was exposed to Wheeler as part of Dojo Pro on Amazon Prime, but this promo did a good job establishing who he is. Might be worth it to secure some footage of his matches, even if it’s from Dojo Pro. Pictures are great, but footage is better. Wheeler Yuta fits in with ROH, and this promo told me exactly that.

I also really liked Yuta describing his in-ring philosophy as a “decoder.” One who figures out his opponent through film study and the feeling out process of a match, and then “decodes” how to beat them. Break down their tendencies and exploit them. If you want to see wrestling presented as a modern-day sport–this is it.

Jonathan Gresham promo

Gresham’s rise to prominence in ROH came when I wasn’t really watching, so for me this was a great opportunity for me to gain an appreciation for what he means to the company now, and how he compares to those who historically came before him. He ended with a bit of a manifesto on pure wrestling, and it makes me wonder if we could see a pure wrestling vs. non pure wrestling feud of some kind. Not sure it would work.

Honestly my reaction to the Yuta and Gresham promos makes me think I was too hard on the Jay Lethal and Dalton Castle promos. The goofy music didn’t matter as much to me, because I was engaged in both talents. I am literally sold on both after these not-so-short promos.

Pure Championship Tournament Block A First Round: Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler Yuta

Love the storytelling of Jonathan Gresham coming to the ring without his World Tag Team Championship, when Lethal did. Gresham was the one campaigning for this title to return, and he is fully focused on it. I love Wheeler Yuta already, but dude we gotta talk about your footwear. You stopped wearing a shirt, and look more like a wrestler. Get some boots! I knew Gresham was shorter, but didn’t realize that was 5’4″. I am going to assume that’s not worked at all, even though many heights are.

I don’t love the amateur wrestler in the background, this is pro wrestling. You don’t want to associate this tournament with a regression in the product–because despite this being a return of a championship after being gone for 14 years, it’s not that.

Wheeler Yuta is 6 feet tall, the tallest of all four competitors featured on this episode. And at 23 years old, he’s already a fantastic storyteller. If he adds size, he can be a big time star–not only for ROH, but in the wrestling business in general.

If you think the first match of this show told a good story, then this one told a phenomenal in-ring story. I can’t even describe the finishing sequence of this match, a punch of rolling pinfall combinations that ended with Gresham pounding Yuta’s knee into the mat until he tapped.

Winner and advancing to the Block A Semifinals – Jonathan Gresham
Rating – ****
Impression: Match of the night, which sounds silly when we only had two matches. But if there were more, this would still likely be on top.

Wheeler Yuta belongs in ROH, and he proved that here. Jonathan Gresham is one of the best in-ring wrestlers in the world today. Hopefully he sticks around.

Overall Impression – 8/10

Ring Of Honor is still a little too “goofy” for my tastes outside the ring, but they more than make up for it in the ring. I am not 100% sure others will agree. It makes me wonder who is producing the non-in-ring elements of the program, and what we have to do to replace them. The in-ring action honestly holds up against any in the world, but the other elements remind me of a high school media project. The talent deserves better.

I do want to talk about the environment. It reminds me of WWE NXT at Full Sail or the Performance Center. Outside of the WWE Thunderdome, I think it’s one of the best environments anyone has created during this “COVID era” of wrestling. I wouldn’t be opposed to piping in some crowd reactions to go along with this action, as there were some great moments in both matches that didn’t land as well without the crowd noise.

Ian Riccaboni makes a great point about how the fans would “come alive” when Lethal and Castle were both down, and he was exactly right. Caprice Coleman, being a wrestler himself, is really underrated as a color commentator. He does a great job adding to the story by adding the wrestlers’ perspective, as well as explaining the technical elements. Riccaboni sounds like a fan who has learned from commentators (not his fault, he’s not a wrestler) when getting technical. Coleman sounds 100% credible and legit.

Putting aside the goofiness of some non-in-ring elements, the only thing I would change here is adding a middle match that is designed to give us a break from the Pure Rules, and introduce (or reintroduce) us to other ROH talent. My 8/10 rating is propped up by the in-ring action, which has to make up for the goofiness otherwise.

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Greg DeMarco

Greg DeMarco’s NXT Takeover XXX Real Time Review

Pat McAfee and Adam Cole shock the world, and NXT Takeover XXX delivers like Takeovers do. What does Greg think?



WWE NXT Takeover XXX Adam Cole Pat McAfee Chairshot Edit

Pat McAfee and Adam Cole shock the world, and NXT Takeover XXX delivers like Takeovers do. What does Greg think?

Welp, another Takeover is upon us, and I am going to compile my thoughts in real time. Right now the Kickoff Preshow hasn’t started, but I am excited about this event. I am friends with someone works in production for NXT, and he said excitement is at a peak level in the building as of this morning. The set-up is rumored to be cool, and I think this event–which I look at as a rebuilding effort for NXT–could still steal the weekend.

Before we get going, I will give you some “pre-thoughts.” I’ll leave them here and we’ll see how dumb I look when this is over:

  • I am surprised by the lack of an Undisputed Era vs. Imperium match. Given the nature of the finish, I can see the justification of a rematch. At the same time, you can use that result as part of a future issue within Undisputed Era. So we’ll see. Sucks for Imperium to be NXT Tag Team Champions and not have a match at Takeover.
  • I am really excited for Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee. Cole has been at this for a decade, and I bet her never imagined wrestling a former NFL Pro Bowler at Full Sail. Yet here we are. If this match is great, that is a HUGE feather in the cap of Cole, who you know I regard as the best damn wrestler walking God’s green earth.
  • I would have added Rhea Ripley vs. Mercedes Martinez to this show, BUT we also need matches for the weekly TV show on the USA Network. That said, we are also getting Finn Balor vs. Timothy Thatcher, which could be the match of the night.
  • While I think Bronson Reed should win, I expect Damian Priest to become North American Champion tonight. He is a star on the rise.
  • Lastly, I have to admit I don’t have high hopes for Karrion Kross vs. Keith Lee. Kross has been dominant, and now we will see how he fares in an even match-up. I hope I am wrong in these hopes.

NXT Takeover XXX Kickoff

  • Pat McAfee is easily a better heel villain than 95% of the those playing that role on the WWE roster today.
  • I can’t shake the feeling that Karrion Kross is better suited for the “main roster” shows than NXT. But if the plan is to take NXT on the road for TV after this pandemic is over, then I can see him staying. Either way, I can’t see him winning tonight.
  • Correction — I can’t see Keith Lee losing tonight. I think Kross eats his first loss in WWE tonight.
  • Booker T sees a “pro” in Dakota Kai and that’s why he’s picking her. Does that mean he doesn’t see a pro in Io Shirai?
  • I love that Imperium is holding gold across multiple brands.
  • Digging the set with the XXX. Not loving Breezango in this match. It’s hard to take them seriously as a tag team contending for anything.
  • Still surprised we can’t get a NXT Cruiserweight Championship match at Takeover. Santos Escobar has made this championship important–treat it that way!
  • The white ropes with the longer XXX stage/set make this “look bigger.” It’s Full Sail with the fake fans, but it comes off like a bigger deal.
  • Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch might go down as one of the most underrated teams in wresting history.
  • Oh look, Breezango won. Hopefully the match will be good, but I hope they don’t unseat Imperium.

Kickoff Match: Breeango beat Legado del Fantasma and Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch when Tyler Breeze pinned Lorcan to earn an NXT Tag Team Championship match

  • Finn Balor vs. Timothy Thatcher is a hell of a match to start the show. Love that announcement.
  • I know William Regal said McAfee’s buddies (and we’re not focusing enough on them, they have name value) and the rest of Undisputed Era can’t get involved. I really hope they do. This match needs shenanigans.
  • If Adam Cole loses to Pat McAfee, there better be a rematch. Otherwise, what does that say about NXT, WWE, and the business in general? Especially when McAfee, in character, has buried it.

NXT Takeover XXX

  • No one does video packages better than WWE. No one.
  • We got some pyro in Full Sail!
  • Love seeing Corey Graves pair up with Vic Joseph and Beth Phoenix tonight. I am guessing Mauro had another gig.

Finn Balor vs. Timothy Thatcher

  • Finn Balor is a great example of what I’ve been saying about faces and heels not mattering anymore, and it instead being heroes and villains. Thatcher is the villain tonight, and Balor is the hero. But both are heels. And that’s okay.
  • Not gonna lie, I miss the NXT crowd. Even at Full Sail. But imagine this in Boston?
  • Timothy Thatcher might not be the only person in WWE who likes to utilize this style, but he damn sure is the best.
  • Thatcher works a style that could really work on the “main roster.” I know he’s already 37, but I could actually see him pulling off a huge WrestleMania match someday, even as a show closing talent.
  • Starting a single-leg crab, and Thatcher just lays kicks into Finn instead. Damn, dude is SO GOOD. I really hope more people take notice in this match.
  • On the flip said of the Thatcher-WM comments, you have Finn Balor who damn well better close a WrestleMania before he’s done. I hate to say he’s wasted in NXT, but I can’t think of a better word.
  • Balor going over and Thatcher doesn’t even kick out of a finisher–not that he would want to–seems like a missed opportunity. Is losing to Balor really a break-out opportunity like they want us to think?

Finn Balor pinned Timothy Thatcher following 1916

  • Love that Sasha Banks and Bayley are in the crowd, fangirlling, tonight.

North American Championship Ladder Match: Cameron Grimes vs. Bronson Reed vs. Damian Priest vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream

  • Cameron Grimes strikes me as someone who should be residing in WrestleHouse. I don’t mean he shouldn’t be in NXT, but when he goes home, it should be to WrestleHouse.
  • Beth unintentionally making the comparison between Damian Priest and Razor Ramon is one I can’t disagree with. If he can have that type of WWE career, he will have done well.
  • Also makes sense since I picked Priest, and the North American Championship really is the modern day Intercontinental Championship.
  • “Johnny Gargano calls himself the hero that NXT deserves.” See, Gargano already knows–it’s Heroes vs. Villains!
  • I really wish they had kept Bronson Reed with Malcolm Bivens.
  • I want to love Priest mimicking Razor Ramon, Reed honoring Bam Bam Bigelow and Velveteen Dream channeling Scott Steiner, but let these characters stand on their own.
  • Damian Priest selling that DDT by….crawling out of the ring? Roll Damian. Roll.
  • I know I just criticized him, but Damian Priest could be the best striker in NXT, possibly in WWE.
  • That split spot for Cameron Grimes was creative. And it’s hard to do that in a Ladder Match in 2020.
  • Corey Graves on an NXT broadcast just feels right.
  • This might be the most blueish-purple in any NXT match in history.
  • Bronson Reed really adds an element that NXT has been missing.
  • That was a creative Tower Of Doom spot. And it’s hard to do that in 2020.
  • I really feel for these guys, doing this without a crowd–a crowd that would be on their feet going nuts for this.
  • THICCBOI gonna fly!
  • Cameron Grimes worked really hard to get a ladder into the ring…which already had a ladder in it.
  • A splash from Bronson Reed is bad enough. Throw 110 pounds of Candice LeRae on the back? Ouch.
  • Velveteen Dream is a dumb ass for not realizing the title was up there, and then going LOWER on the ladder before trying to grab it.
  • I feel bad for Damain Priest, having to sell Dream’s superkick that didn’t come within a foot of hitting him.
  • Honestly, Velveteen Dream is the least impressive person in this match.
  • I really wanted someone to stop Cameron Grimes, which means he’s done his job.
  • And despite the weird finish, the right guy wins.

Damian Priest retrieves the belt in a Ladder Match to become the new NXT North American Champion

  • That was one hell of a spot for Velveteen Dream, one you can’t do outside of this environment. I feel like it didn’t get sold long enough–that was a crazy spot!

Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee

  • Why is the main event going on third?
  • This is when we see just how damn good Adam Cole is. (He’s really damn good, btw.)
  • Pat McAfee not entering vi the backdoor is a missed opportunity.
  • Pat McAfee didn’t have to read his promo. Take that Dominik Mysterio!
  • Matt PacAfee?
  • Having this match start as catch-as-catch-can wrestling kinda proves that Pat McAfee is playing wrestler, AMIRIGHT?
  • War Games 2020?
  • Not gonna lie, Pat McAfee ain’t bad at this.
  • Okay, LOVE Corey Graves pointing out that McAfee has friends to teach him some tricks. Considering one of those main friends is COREY GRAVES.
  • And now Corey Graves is calling out Beth Phoenix contradicting herself. Damn I miss Corey Graves on NXT.
  • Pat McAfee > Dominik Mysterio. Some things can’t be taught.
  • I love seeing Twitter do a complete 180 on Pat McAfee. Great job Adam Cole!
  • Pat McAfee is a goddamned pro wrestler.

Adam Cole pinned Pat McAfee following the Panama Sunrise

  • One thing to keep in perspective here: Corey Graves added SO MUCH to this match on commentary. He’s really grown into one of the best.
  • And you, Adam Cole? Still the greatest wrestler walking God’s green earth.

NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai (champion) vs. Dakota Kai (with Raquel Gonzalez)

  • Sucks for these talented women to have to follow that match.
  • I feel bad, I am watching this match (which is good) thinking about how much money Triple H and Vince McMahon need to throw at Pat McAfee.
  • Dakota Kai could be a star. Not sure what she needs to take this to another level, but she’s right on the cusp of stardom.
  • No, not STARDOM. Stardom.
  • Io Shirai might be the best women’s wrestler in the entire world. Might be the second best in the world overall (behind Adam Cole, BAY BAY.)
  • Maybe this match is bringing out what Dakota Kai needs to be a star. She’s killing it.
  • Could we see Bayley and Sasha here?
  • Nope, just Raquel.

Io Shirai pinned Dakota Kai following a moonsault to retain the NXT Women’s Championship

  • Damn good match that won me over–and that’s saying a lot considering I was still reeling from Cole-McAfee.
  • We gonna use Rhea Ripley to build Raquel Gonzalez now?
  • Tommaso Ciampa returns Wednesday? I guess he’s not seeking retribution after all…
  • Look at Damian Priest stealing Joey Janela’s girl!

NXT Championship: Keith Lee (champion) vs. Karrion Kross

  • Imagine a Karrion Kross entrance at WrestleMania.
  • Glad to see Scarlett finally has the timing of the words down.
  • Karrion Kross’ pyro went off before the match. Using the Kane Principle, that means he’s losing.
  • Can you see The White Rabbit as NXT Champion?
  • I really love how they use the guard rails in this new, Plexiglas environment.
  • This is very much a “main roster” match right here, and that’s appropriate since both men could do well there–if they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
  • Keith Lee has been really…..helpful in this match.
  • Keith Lee for “main roster?”

Karrion Kross pinned Keith Lee following a Doomsday Siato Suplex from the second rope to capture the NXT Championship

  • Don’t love taking the NXT Championship off of Keith Lee this fast, making him a transitional champion. But that might have been the plan all along. Sometimes the title win is someone’s peak, and that might have been it for Keith Lee.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this NXT Takeover. It was really a rebuilding show, but it will be remembered for the Pat McAfee appearance no one saw coming.


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