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!

NXT

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Before the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, I honestly had no clue what was going on with the WWE main roster. From the women to the men, to the Diva’s Championship belt to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt. Even during MITB, I still couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then, the next night on Raw, Brock Lesnar came out, and it all started to come into place.

There’s a lot to talk about, so this will be just like the NXT post- very long and very rant-y. I won’t be talking about the Divas here, but I will in another post – I’d love to start with the Kevin Owens and John Cena feud for now.

Owens VS Cena has been so great. I have loved every moment of it – I’ve loved seeing what Kevin Owens can do in the ring and at the mic and I’ve loved seeing John Cena push him more over than he already has been. I don’t hate John Cena, I never have and I never will. I’m not going to shout “Cena sucks” or be one of those major haters online. Of course though, I can understand both sides of the Cena haters and the Cena lovers – if both of them have actual reasons as to why they like him or don’t like him.

Kevin Owens really should win the United States Championship belt and go on to have a feud with Samoa Joe. It’s the best decision, in my opinion. When Sami Zayn comes back, I’m pretty sure they’re going to have him feud with Owens for the US belt. I think that was what they were going to do, honestly, was move up Zayn and Owens at the same time so they could feud after Owens and Cena were done. If anything, I think we’re going to get a Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens match at next year’s Wrestlemania- but hey, maybe I’m just really optimistic.

On another note, I have literally no clue what is happening with Sheamus and the MITB briefcase right now. I understand that the original purpose of the briefcase was to push midcard wrestlers up – Like Jack Swagger, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan. It’s so they can get their shot at the WWE Title if there really isn’t another way to get them into a WWE WHC storyline. I argue with my own point that Sheamus has already had the belt – and the worst part is that so many people talk about his title reign like a horror story. Very few people have been unsuccessful with cashing in the briefcase – Mr. Kennedy lost the briefcase to Edge in 2007, John Cena was unsuccessful in 2012, and Damien Sandow lost in 2013. Three people out of fourteen – the statistics don’t show that Sheamus will be unsuccessful. It’s a shame that I want him to be unsuccessful, I love Sheamus. He’s a great wrestler, a great performer, but him winning the briefcase is just a bad idea to me.

Sheamus being the winner of the briefcase makes no sense to me. Adrian Neville could have won, to show what winning that ladder match is all about. Randy Orton could have won and shown that he isn’t boring. Kofi Kingston could have won and gotten the chance to finally be champion. Dolph Ziggler would have gotten another great title run (He is such a great and hard worker, he deserves another run). Kane would have gotten revenge on Seth Rollins, and Roman could have gotten his revenge on Seth too. Roman, Dolph, and Neville were the safest and smartest choices – And yet they went with Sheamus. It just doesn’t make sense to me, and I hope we don’t have a moment of wrestling history repeating itself.

Now, about the Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt feud. I really am fond of this feud, but Roman really should just barrel over Bray at Battleground. This really shouldn’t go any farther than that. I definitely do think this is kind of like commentary on the fans. What with the ‘Anyone but you’ written on the walls, – representing what the fans were saying. The eyes and mouth cut out of every picture of Roman – representing the fans complaining about how his promos were, and some fans did complain about the color contacts. The word ‘liar’ written on the wall – ‘I CAN and I WILL.’

The feud is great, but like I said, it can’t last longer than Battleground. They have two obvious options for Roman right now – Him winning the Championship, or him with a reunited Shield.

I feel like it’s obvious that Seth is going to lose the championship at Battleground – Then again, I thought it was obvious that Roman and Dean were both going to win at MITB, so I might be jinxing it when I say that. But, if Brock does win, I think that Seth is going to be rejected from the Authority. When Seth is mouthing off at the Authority, he’ll end his speech with, “There’s always plan B” and Roman and Dean appear beside him. Obviously Roman would take pity on him- He’s certainly more forgiving than Dean is. I think the fact that they just won’t let go of Seth breaking up the Shield, showing it almost every time Seth does a promo, it’s kind of obvious that if anything they’re thinking about reuniting the trio.

It’s either that, or Seth retains, and Summerslam there’s a Triple Threat, with Roman, Seth and Brock. Maybe Brock doesn’t win again, and we get a Wrestlemania Championship Triple Threat, with Dean instead of Brock. I’m relatively sure that Roman would come out on top in the end either way. If anything, I really do want him to. They’ve put Roman in so many good spots just to take the win away from him.

Finally, the person I choose to talk about last, is Adrian Neville. He is in my top three for favorite wrestlers right now. He’s an absolutely amazing wrestler, an amazing performer, and great at the mic. Adrian is one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen, especially with being so new to the WWE. I know he isn’t new to wrestling itself, but I’m still amazed by him. I truly think he was the best person to win the Money in the Bank briefcase, if not Reigns. He was fantastic in the match anyways, I think later in his WWE career they might find that ladder matches are where he does his best work – like the Hardy’s or Edge and Christian. I hope they find Adrian a solid storyline and that he can really find his place in the WWE.

Thank you for reading, I cannot wait for the Live Tokyo Event on July 4th, and I hope you all enjoy the show and have a great weekend!

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.

NXT Takeover: Rival

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This Wednesday is the new NXT special Takeover: Rival. The buildup to this event over the past few weeks has been phenomenal.  NXT has really shown how to properly build up to special events week in and week out and alone makes the $9.99 a month for the WWE Network worthwhile.

All the matches on the show have great potential, but there are 2 that really stand out:

1) Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship – The build up to this match has been excellent. It started a couple of months back when Zayn won the belt and Owens came to congratulate him and then suddenly turned on Sami and attacked him.  The weeks following have featured great confrontations, excellent promos, and a fun contract signing that makes this match must see. This has been an excellent example of how to properly build up a feud that the fans will care about.

2) Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville for an NXT Championship shot – Oh boy…beyond a doubt two of the best wrestlers and greatest athletes not only on NXT, but also all of the WWE. The potential for this match to become the best match of the year is high. This has ‘must-see’ written all over it.

Overall, this show has a good shot of being one of the best of the year and next week I will give my review of it.

In the past year NXT has not disappointed and I really hope they don’t start anytime soon.