NXT TakeOver: Respect

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NXT is the hottest thing in professional wrestling right now and with the way things have been going there is no reason to believe that will change anytime soon.

Every NXT special has blown me away with the incredible athleticism and terrific storytelling.

NXT Takeover: Respect was another example of how great talent paired with excellent booking can make wrestling one of the most exciting forms of entertainment around.

On to the matches:

Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe vs. The Mechanics (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) – This was a semi-final match in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament and it was an excellent start to the show. Both teams worked very well together and showed off some classic tag team wrestling along with some excellent spots. The match ended with Samoa Joe performing his devastating Muscle Buster maneuver and Bálor hitting the Coup de Grace for the pinfall to earn a spot in the finals.

Baron Corbin and Rhyno vs. Jason Jordan and Chad Gable – The second semi-final match in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament was even better. All four men worked amazingly well together and the match ended with Corbin getting the pin after an insane series of moves and false finishes that have to be seen to be believed.

Asuka vs. Dana Brooke – This was Asuka’s first match in NXT after a great career in Japan and she blew the roof off the arena. The match was fast paced with a lot of stiff moves between these two women. Asuka won by submission and I cannot wait to see more from Asuka.

Apollo Crews vs. Tyler Breeze – These two worked great together and even though Crews got the win, Breeze still came off great and I cannot wait until he makes it to the main roster.

Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe vs. Baron Corbin and Rhyno – This was the final match in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament and it was a perfect way to honor the late Dusty Rhodes. All four men put their all into this match and told a great story with Bálor having to fight through an injury (storyline wise) and both teams putting everything in to this match that they possibly could. Bálor and Joe got the much deserved win and it was great to see the Rhodes family come out to present them with the trophy and to hear the heartfelt words from one of Dusty’s sons Cody. Truly a great way to honor a great man and performer.

Bayley vs. Sasha Banks – This was a 30 minute iron man match (the wrestler with the most pinfalls or submissions after 30 minutes wins) for the NXT Women’s Championship and was the first time the women have been the true main event of an NXT special. To see women’s wrestling get to this point of great respect and main eventing is a true joy. This match was simply incredible and despite a show full of great matches this one was by far the best. Not only do these two have an amazing in-ring chemistry, but they are terrific athletes and masters at telling a story inside the ring. Whether you are a wrestling fan or not you need to see this match. It was brutal, exciting, filled with the right amount of high spots and the end with Bayley retaining her title with a 3-2 victory was amazing and the emotion seen was genuine. Both women realized they had made history and everyone in the crowd showed there appreciation with a long standing ovation. If the main roster in the WWE booked the women like this then women’s wrestling would be main eventing much more often and hopefully will.

If you are a long time wrestling fan or are looking to give it a shot, then watch NXT. It will not disappoint.

Eva Marie

Hey everybody! This is just a little mini-post for Friday since I’m busy this week, but nevertheless i wanted to talk just a bit today.

Eva Marie has just re-debuted this week. I am not only extremely happy that she has been able to actually train this time, (with an amazing wrestler, Brian Kendrick) I am elated that she did so well in the ring.

Honestly, I could sit here and write that I was nervous about her re-debut, that even though we’ve had so many videos that she HAS improved, that there was still doubt inside of me – But really, that just isn’t true. I haven’t for a moment doubted that Eva Marie was going to crash in and make all her haters backpeddle. Even if they won’t say it, they were wrong.

Eva is still a bit nervous and hesitant, but can you really blame her? She was booed by the crowd furiously every time she was in front of them. I know that I’d be in worse shape than she is now – She’s actually been amazing during all of this!

We need more female wrestlers in NXT, because three of them just got pushed up to the main roster – which I will talk about next week. NXT only has Bayley, Emma, Dana Brooke, Alexa Bliss, and Carmella. Of course, they have plenty of women that can debut when they’re ready, but still, Eva Marie is ready now.

I am extremely proud of Eva Marie, and I know that I’ll only become prouder over the following weeks.

Thank you all for listening and have a great weekend!

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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: 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.