Night of Champions 2015

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Night of Champions was an overall solid show, but could have been a lot more eventful if not for some peculiar booking.

Below are my feelings on each match and always remember, there are spoilers:

The Cosmic Wasteland vs. Neville/The Lucha Dragons – A solid pre-show match with a lot of high spots from the team of Neville and The Lucha Dragons that got the crowd excited. I am really enjoying the combo of Stardust and The Ascension. The Ascension were a great team during their NXT days and have been wasted on the main roster. Forming The Cosmic Wasteland with Stardust has been just the push they need and is a ridiculous gimmick that simply works and is a ton of fun. The Cosmic Wasteland won which was a smart move to keep this rivalry going which should be nothing but fun to watch develop.

Kevin Owens vs. Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship – The good thing about this match is Kevin Owens won the IC Title from Ryback. I loved Ryback as champion, but Owens has been in the middle of a big push and is extremely talented and will do a lot to elevate the importance of the belt as a great heel champ. What I did not like about this match was the basic nature of it. We did not see many of Owens amazing in-ring moves and the ending almost seemed to come of nowhere. The matched seemed oddly paced. I am hoping they have at least 1 re-match and the chance to put on a much better contest since I feel both men are solid performers.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev – First things first. I love Ziggler. He is one of my favorites and his entrance is my ringtone. He always puts on a great show and this match was no different. My issue is this rivalry has gone nowhere. They are both talented performers, but the booking team seems to have no clue what to do to really make this an interesting rivalry. Lana was a major part of it and I am sure her injury threw things off a bit, but the writers should be better skilled at working around obstacles since injuries are a typical part of professional wrestling. Ziggler won and I look forward to both men being put into different angles.

The Dudley Boyz vs. The New Day for the Tag Team Championship – The Dudley Boyz returning to the WWE after several years has been great for the WWE and the tag team division. They can still get a crowd going and put on terrific matches. The New Day are the hottest thing is wrestling right now. Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods are great wrestlers and amazing on the mic. They are talented athletically and funny as hell. This match should have been one of the top matches of the night. It was not. It seemed too short and oddly paced. The New Day held on to their titles which will lead to a re-match or two and hopefully, both teams will be given more time and the chance to put on more memorable contests which we know they are capable of.

Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship – In a future post I will discuss the Diva’s Revolution and the problems with it and why it may be turning around. In regards to this match, Charlotte winning the title was the smart move. Nikki put on a very traditional mat wrestling type of match which was interesting to see and came off well. My major issue is the WWE’s desire to make Charlotte look weak compared to the other women. She is very athletically gifted and an imposing person and has been involved in some of the best matches in the WWE (men included) while on the NXT roster this year. The booking team has her spend the majority of matches on the main roster selling everyone else. She should not steam roll everyone, but she should be made to look better and more imposing. She spent this match getting in way too little offense until the very end. Better booking and she could become one of the most popular wrestlers on the main roster.

The Wyatt Family vs. Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose/Chris Jericho – Terrific match and great story telling. Jericho was a huge surprise teammate of Reigns and Ambrose and got a huge pop from the crowd (and my household) when he came out. The match was solid with the Wyatt Family getting the big win. The big moment was at the end since Jericho’s surprise tag of Roman cost them the match. Reigns and Ambrose confronted Jericho in the ring after the match and he just gave them a nasty look and did the old ‘shoulder bump’ to Dean when he left the ring. The potential for an Ambrose/Jericho rivalry is very exciting and I hope it happens sooner rather than later.

John Cena vs. Seth Rollins for the United States Championship – Very good match. These two are at the top of their game and they always have a great match. Rollins and Cena are having amazing years and have both become so innovative with their in-ring performances that you never know what they are going to do next. Cena won the US Title and I cannot wait until the Cena Open Challenge starts back up.

Sting vs. Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship – With Sting having only his second match in the WWE I did not know what to expect in terms of the outcome. The majority of the match was solid until Sting got injured towards the end of the match. You could tell something was legitimately wrong with him and it was not part of the storyline when the medical team rushed in. After they cleared him to finish the match it came to a very quick and abrupt end with Rollins getting the pin. Hopefully, this will not be his last match in the WWE and he sounded in good spirits during interviews the past couple of days.

Overall, a solid show with some bizarre booking decisions and an unfortunate injury.

Looking forward to Hell in a Cell in October and what is being hyped as the final match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker! Should be mind blowing!

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WWE Female Roster

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The last week of straight wrestling talk is about how the female wrestlers in both NXT and the main roster are treated. This is something I am extremely passionate about, so just like the others, this will be just as long- maybe even longer.

Before anyone says it; I do not actually dislike Paige or any other Diva as an actual real person. When I talk about these women it’s about their characters.

I am not happy with the main roster’s Diva’s division. I haven’t seen a soul – other than Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn – that is content with it.

It almost feels like we’re going backwards with the Diva’s division. We had a six woman tag match just a few months back and it was twelve minutes long, and during all that, Natalya and Naomi were constantly interfering in the Superstar’s matches. It felt like we were getting somewhere – especially when the hashtag #Givedivasachance started trending, and Vince McMahon said, “We’re listening. Keep Watching.” A lot of us finally had a lot of newfound hope for the main roster’s Diva’s division. Apparently we were wrong, since we’re back to barely even five minute matches, and most of the time only a promo for Smackdown.

I don’t know what else I would expect from a seventy year old man and a fifty-eight year old man, but the things they are making Paige say are awful. There is no other word for it. Having her come out week after week saying that she’s “not like the other girls/Barbies” and therefore better is overall sloppy writing. When Paige comes out and body shames Tamina, calling her a man, it startles me. When the heels are the one that are saying that it’s okay to like traditionally feminine things and the faces aren’t, that’s confusing and very half-hearted writing. If you want to get more into just the writing, this is honestly exactly what AJ Lee did in the WWE. Paige is not AJ Lee and I don’t know why they’re acting like she is. As of late, Paige isn’t Naomi either- Her coming out and saying she wants to get what she deserves and wants to knock the Bellas off the top of the ladder. It is almost exactly what Naomi was doing, but because they have edged her out of the picture, they’ve had Paige take it on.

I feel like I can truly speak for a fair amount of people when I say this; I am a young woman, and I need role models. I need people to look up to. Of course I can always look up to my mother – she’s a strong woman, she has herself stood up in the face of inequality and adversity many times – but it would be nice to have other role models as well.

I can relate to Nikki Bella, I have the same sort of personality, I vaguely look like her, and she is definitely someone I admire and look up to. When everybody is constantly insulting her body, her looks, the clothing she wears, (by other people I absolutely love too) it becomes very, very tiring – and it makes me not like a lot of people. When I relate to a person that is constantly bagged on by things that I can relate to, it doesn’t just hurt the fictional character – it kind of hurts me. I relate to the material things about her – I cannot relate to her having a twin sister she needs to keep an eye on, or her backstabbing side, her two-faced side, her lying, cheating side. I cannot relate to her inability to fight her own battles. These are all things Paige, Naomi, AJ Lee, and others could have told her – but instead they comment on her tan.

Isn’t the WWE supposed to make me like the faces, not the heels? Aren’t the heels supposed to have unpopular, rude opinions, and the faces have words of encouragement and (mostly) respect? Most of the time I can barely even figure out who’s the heel and who’s the face in a Diva’s match, so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

I completely agree and believe that the NXT Divas are the future of the division- but we cannot let the twelve women we have on the main roster disappear or become even more buried than they already are. We all know that Paige, Nikki, Brie, Naomi, Tamina and Natalya are main eventers. We need to either let Alicia Fox, Cameron, Layla, Rosa Mendes, and Summer Rae train and get better or actually let them shine if they already can. The same four or five divas – and sometimes not even that much – is not enough.

The Diva’s division on the main roster must change before the NXT Divas come up, or it’ll be just like Emma except with Sasha, Charlotte, Becky- Divas we’ve come to love and Divas that don’t deserve to be buried. I don’t mean that Emma deserved to be buried or anything, but her character was very silly before her return to NXT – I am sure that a lot of fans have loved her through and through, but the goofy personality combined with not being told to put on a match longer than five minutes didn’t really do well with me.

Going back to Paige’s writing, I don’t want Sasha Banks and Charlotte coming up to the Main Roster and being told to say the same things that they’re having Paige say. Considering what’s happening in the storyline right now, and the fact that Vince McMahon is definitely fond of Banks and Charlotte’s in-ring abilities, it makes sense that they would be teaming up with Paige. The idea of two of my absolute favorite female wrestlers saying misogynistic things (E.G., “Because of who they’re married to?”) makes me feel very uneasy. I would be fine if it was that they team up with Paige, but they then take her down themselves.

In the end, whether it’s Charlotte or Tamina or Paige, I just want these female wrestlers to be written well. I want their characters to have depth, just like the male wrestlers.

On a bit of a side note though; I understand that the WWE crowd has been rough and mean since the dawn of time, but the NXT crowd booing Eva Marie out of the building was seriously rude and uncalled for. It seems that the people that are complaining about her are also people that are body shaming her, calling her derogatory names, and questioning whether or not she “deserves” to wrestle- even if she hasn’t even had a match yet. They don’t seem to realize that Eva has been training with Brian Kendrick and that there is video evidence that her abilities in the ring have improved greatly since we last saw her.

WWE fans need to remember that NXT is a developmental brand, this is a place for Eva to get better. They can’t boo her when they haven’t seen her wrestle in almost a year. Some WWE fans really need to remember that.

Finally, a note to the commentary crews; Women do not naturally hate each other. Yes, wrestling is a competition, whether they’re male or female everybody has to watch their backs if they have a title but women do not naturally hate each other – And please, comment on the power of the Bella Bomb, not how gorgeous she looks while she performs the move.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

NXT

NXT

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As of late, I have completely fallen in love with wrestling, to the point where I would change my professional career path from being an artist to becoming a commentator for the WWE.

There’s a lot for me to talk about, but right now I’d love to take a moment this week and talk about NXT.

NXT has truly become its own brand. It is something I can stop watching and be satisfied with the outcomes of literally every single match. The writing for NXT is, arguably, better than that of Raw and Smackdown – especially for the female wrestlers, but that’s for a whole other post.

There is no one on NXT I necessarily dislike. Not all characters have swept me off my feet, (Sorry Bull Dempsey!) but a lot of them have. Sami Zayn, Charlotte, Hideo Itami, and Sasha Banks are just a few people I always pay attention to and I always know they’ll do well – unlike some over at Raw and Smackdown. (Sorry Big Show.)

It’s very nice with a developmental brand like this, because even if you’re not amazing in the ring, it really shouldn’t matter at the beginning. NXT is a sort of safe space for wrestlers that are still green. If they mess up, we shouldn’t yell and get angry at them – they’re working to get better, this is why they’re here. It’s kind of an honor to see these kids become amazing and perfect their artform. What with Kevin Owens being pushed to the main roster so fast, we truly do have future WWE World Heavyweight Champions and Diva’s Champions in NXT.

It feels almost definite; Kevin Owens having the WWE World Heavyweight championship belt within the next ten years, considering he is officially on the main roster. I personally think that he will take the belt from whoever is holding the title at the time at a Wrestlemania, and the Raw afterwards Owens will be doing a promo, talking about how much he’s overcome. He gets to a point in his speech where he sort of reflects on his reign with the NXT Championship, mentioning Sami Zayn and how he practically killed him for the belt – and then we hear Sami’s music.

It’s fairly necessary to revive Zayn and Owens’ fued when the time comes. Unlike before with NXT, Sami will stand tall with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt in his hands. I feel like that would be perfect, especially if WWE gave their all on the feud.

I’d actually love to take a moment to talk about Sami Zayn, considering he’d absolutely have to be the one to take the WWE WHC belt from Owens – and he is my absolute favorite wrestler right now.

Sami Zayn is such a great wrestler, he’s constantly adding new moves to his list, from a Tornado DDT to various arm drags to his absolutely fantastic Diving Crossbody. His Koji Clutch truly looks impossible to get out of, it looks very complicated which is always great. I could never forget to mention his finisher though, Helluva Kick, which has been with him since his El Generico days in Ring of Honor – it’s got such power and force and a finality to it, it’s a great move to make a finisher. I think it’s great that he’s kept that move for so long too.

Sami Zayn is constantly adding new moves to his moveset, it’s absolutely fantastic. He’s nowhere near needing to, but he does a great job at staying interesting in the ring. They’re always so amazing, his moves, it’s hard to not just say the same thing about them.  Overall, Sami Zayn is absolutely amazing – as the person or as the character. He’s a passionate, charming, engaging, and talented young wrestler. For a lot, including myself, it’s hard not to get excited when his entrance music hits and he comes barreling out – I absolutely cannot wait for him to come back.

It is truly saddening to me that Sami Zayn is going to be out until 2016. I definitely do think that they were going to move Kevin Owens and Sami at the same time, so they could maybe feud together after this John Cena and Owens feud. Zayn vs Owens for the US title is something I cannot wait for when he gets back. We all hope he has a full recovery and comes back at full health.

The same goes for Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Hideo Itami. Banks and Charlotte are two of my absolute favorite female wrestlers, and Hideo is a very close second for favorite male wrestler from NXT.

Banks and Charlotte have a great chemistry in the ring, and their feud was absolutely amazing – and I just cannot wait for Hideo to come back. I certainly don’t want to bore you with going through all of Charlotte’s, Banks’, and Itami’s moves. I will say, that not only does Charlotte look powerful, she is powerful. Sasha Banks has a sort of elegant strength that’s absolutely wonderful, and I certainly hope they give Hideo his amazing GTS back to him one day.

So many of these kids in NXT come from the Independent wrestling scene, – probably picked up by ROH beforehand- so it does make sense for people like Sami Zayn (previously known as El Generico) or Adrian Neville (previously known as PAC) to already have almost-mastered their artform. It does still stun me a bit though. They’re so fresh, yet they’ve already experienced so much. What they do in the ring, experienced or green, they’re all so amazing. I am so beyond glad that so many of these great performers are getting these chances to blossom in NXT and the WWE. Kevin Owens and Adrian Neville are great examples of what could happen to almost everyone at NXT.

I am so proud of Neville too, but I’ll talk about him later.

I always love seeing NXT every week, I have never once been overly stressed about it, I have always trusted Triple H and the writers in NXT. I trust the path they’re going with storylines and what they’re going to do with the NXT Championship belt and the NXT Women’s Championship belt.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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NXT Takeover: Rival

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NXT Takeover: Rival was simply amazing. Yet again WWE’s version of a ‘d-league’ has outshone the main roster. I will not go into great detail nor give match results since I really feel you have to watch this show. If you are not a subscriber to the WWE Network you can get it for free this month only and at least watch this show to understand what I keep going on and on about.

A few highlights:

The show started with Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze. Two great workers that fed off of each perfectly, put on a great match, and got the crown going.

Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch in a four way for the NXT Women’s Championship…WOW! Amazingly good with some incredible spots.

Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville was one of the best worked matches I have seen in a while. They paced the match perfectly and both came off great. Both men deserve to be on the main roster headlining PPV’s. This may be the match of the year in the WWE.

The main event was Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens for the NXT title. After Balor vs. Neville this main event had the potential to be forgotten, but both men put on an exciting and brutal match that will be remembered.

If you are a long time wrestling fan or just want to check it out, sign up for the WWE Network for the remainder of this month at no charge and give NXT a shot.

If this is the future of the WWE, then the future has never been brighter.

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Hey guys! Recently, I’ve really gotten into wrestling, and just as recently, the main roster has been a bit off, so I took more notice into NXT, where new wrestlers go to be exposed to WWE audiences and learn how to work in their environment and building up their characters. I’ve gotta say, it’s really amazing.

NXT is such a great place for these new wrestlers. The divas have a real place in NXT, they don’t just get two-five minute matches that are fillers, they get some legit matches there. The storyline for the divas is more intricate like the superstars’ are. That’s always upset me with the main roster. The divas work so hard to get where they are, but they still only get one match, and sometimes two. The NXT divas don’t have more matches each episode, but with how long they are I feel like the wrestling world might make some progress and we’ll get to see them all more often.

I have been absolutely loving Charlotte. She is such a great wrestler, and she has made her father, Ric Flair, so proud. Charlotte is amazing, and she was the first one to bring my attention to NXT’s divas division. She’s got great charisma, and she pulls off her gimmick really well, and her feud with Sasha Banks is fantastic, and I’m really hoping that the little fights between Bayley and Charlotte lead to them having a feud – and I would really love if this lead to Bayley maybe changing her gimmick a bit.

It’s hard for me to judge the other divas, I’ve always been focused on Charlotte, but I really feel like they’re all doing a great job with their given gimmicks. Bayley is the only one that comes off as a weaker competitor to me, but I do feel like she can get there.

 

Hideo Itami is a great athlete and wrestler. His gimmick is good and serious, he’s strong and fairly fast, but I will admit that he is stiff (this is what NXT is for though, to expand yourself, to grow, and to learn.) – but right now his twitter feud with Tyler Breeze is fantastic. Tyler picks on Hideo and Hideo comes back just as well, in my opinion.

 

I really respect Tyler Breeze during this whole twitter feud. He has not once made any sort of comment on Hideo’s race, unlike Curtis Axel, whose first comment on him was about his race.

 

Tyler Breeze has such a fun gimmick, it’s definitely good to start out with a character like this. I think he’s hilarious, and – in a goofy way – charming. He’s a great wrestler too, he does a great job staying in character.

 

Adrian Neville is honestly one of the best athletes I’ve seen, and it’s amazing that he can only get better. He is a high-flying wrestler, and he almost always executes every move amazingly. He can keep pace like crazy and every match is so cool and fantastic. His feud with Sami Zayn was absolutely amazing too. It honestly was one of the best I’ve seen. It had depth, and it definitely showed me that NXT is a truly amazing place to be if you’re a new wrestler.

 

Sami Zayn is just as amazing as Adrian Neville. During their feud, they complemented each other perfectly throughout the entirety of it. He has recently gotten a bit more wild, and I really like that. It’s character development, and I am really excited for his and Kevin Owen’s match on NXT Takeover. I know they’re going to put on an amazing match, and I am just so excited for it.

 

NXT is amazing, I know that if Triple H had full control over WWE, it would be amazing. NXT has been nothing but perfect. I definitely feel like everyone should pay attention to these guys, even the ones I haven’t mentioned.

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NXT Takeover

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NXT Takeover was aired last Thursday, May 29, on the WWE Network and it is the perfect example of why the Network is worth more than the $9.99 a month charge.

For those who are not familiar with WWE’s NXT brand it is essentially their developmental league that has gained significant popularity in the past few months with the weekly shows being aired on the WWE Network and the amazing wealth of young talent on the roster.

They air a 1 hour program every Thursday and are looking to air 2 hour specials exclusively on the Network about 4 times a year.

NXT Takeover was one of the most entertaining 2 hours of wrestling aired this year. It is exciting to see the new crop of talent who busts their asses week in and week out with the hopes of getting to the main roster of the WWE get greater exposure and start to create reputations for themselves before the casual fans even know their names. It is to the point where some of the best matches in wrestling are coming out of NXT.

The matches for Takeover were as follows:

Adam Rose defeated Camacho – There was not a ton of ‘wrestling’ in this match, but the character of Adam Rose is very over and he still manages to put on a fun match even if their is not a ton going on. He is moving to the main WWE roster and hopefully, we can get to see some longer matches from him since he is a very talented performer and is quickly becoming one of my favorite wrestlers today.

The Ascension over El Local and Kalisto – I really enjoy The Ascension. They are one of those big power teams in the fashion of The Road Warriors and Demolition. I cannot help but think they will be on the main shows soon. Kalisto is an excellent Lucha Libre-style wrestler and El Local is as well, but man, he needs to lay off the cheeseburgers. He is a pretty good wrestler, but I cannot help but think he would be much better sans the spare tire.

Tyler Breeze beats Sami Zayne – Perfect example of how good NXT is. Both wrestlers have great characters with Breeze being the classic vain/pretty boy heel and Zayne being the underachieving face (good guy) that you love to root for. They are both terrific athletes and put on one hell of a match.

Charlotte over Natalya for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship – Great match! I absolutely love when the women in the WWE are actual athletes and can put on great matches. The Diva’s division has improved with Paige jumping from NXT, but overall, it is still just a large group of reality show participants who cannot work a match.  Charlotte and Natalya showed there are some great women’s wrestlers out there and the female division is improving greatly. Hopefully, this great of a match will continue this trend and show the WWE that having good female wrestlers is the best way to go.

The main event was Adrian Neville over Tyson Kidd and damn, it was a hell of match. Both of them are great performers and amazing athletes. They worked this match to perfection and it was exciting from beginning to end and told a great story.

This is a show you need to watch. It will be available on the WWE Network for a while and is more than worth $9.99 a month with a 6 month commitment (shameless plug)!