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.

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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!