Saturday, 27 September 2014
NXT September 15th 2014
Last week we saw a fun main event tag match and the debut of Hideo Itami. This week we have a Takeover rematch with the Ascension getting their rematch for the Tag Titles. Let's begin!
Mojo Rawley vs Bull Dempsey
I'm surprised that we're getting a match straight away. I'm not used to that on WWE TV. Mojo has already been squashed by Bull two times and the third time wasn't the charm as he was once again beaten in under a minute. I think he's practically a jobber at this point. Still it was a nice big win for Bull. 1/4*
Tyler Breeze who was mysteriously absent last week quickly appears and takes out Mojo. I guess that's a new feud starting even though Mojo really doesn't have a lot of momentum left.
We get a vignette for Baron Corbin as he looks like a badass in a scene looking like Sin City.
Tyler Breeze vs Justin Gabriel
This show has been all wrestling so far which is absolutely fine with me. Aren't both guys heels? Or have they just gone back on the Gabriel turn? Gabriel was in control for the entire match until Breeze came back at the end and hit his finisher. Weird match structure as it made it look as if Breeze just got a lucky win. 3/4*
Backstage, Natalya pleads with William Regal to give Tyson Kidd another chance at the NXT Title. Regal says that if Kidd can't pin Neville, then we won't get another shot while Neville is the Champion.
Bayley vs Alexa Bliss
It's amazing how well even the characters of the women here at NXT are so much more developed than the WWE Divas. Most of their characters are just supermodels that can't wrestle. The match was short but fun and the crowd was into it the whole way through. NXT women are awesome! The best match of the night so far. *1/4
Bayley grabs a mic and calls Charlotte down to the ring. Once she arrives, Bayley talks about how she let herself down at Takeover and she wants a rematch to prove herself. Charlotte says that Bayley earned her respect and now a rematch is set for next week. Well there's your reason to tune in next time.
Enzo Amore arrives at the Performance Centre with Carmella so he can train her. She stretches while Enzo is on the treadmill which distracts him and he falls off in a funny moment. I do enjoy these little skits.
Marcus Louis vs Enzo Amore
Marcus is Sylvester LaForte's sidekick who was turned bald by Cassidy and Enzo at Takeover. Another short match with Louis controlling it for the most part and Enzo getting the win after pulling off his wig and using a roll up for the pinfall. 1/4*
Tyson Kidd says he doesn't need Nattie to get his Title shot for him as his actions will speak for themselves.
The Lucha Dragons vs The Ascension
The NXT Tag Titles are on the line in this rematch. They had a good match at Takeover and I had a feeling that this one would be even better. It wasn't that much better but it was still good. It was pretty obvious that Hideo Itami would appear after the Ascension attacked him last week, and there was no way that they would lose cleanly again. A fun tag main event that featured some nice tag moves from both teams. Hideo did come out at the end to distract the Ascension and that gave the Dragons the victory. **3/4
Another fun episode of NXT and it set up next week nicely as we'll see a rematch for the Women's Title, a potential match between Adrian Neville and Tyson Kidd, and I'm sure we'll see Hideo Itami and the Ascension going to war.
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Night of Champions 2014 Review
I'm sorry this one has taken me longer to upload than usual but I've now finally got a chance to watch it. This is WWE's attempt to get everyone to keep subscribing to the Network so there's a good chance that this'll be a good show. Was it? Let's find out.
The Usos vs The Brotherhood of Dust
The Tag Titles are on the line. The Usos have been delivering great opening matches for the past couple of months so it was a safe bet to have them start things off here. This rivalry has been slightly intriguing especially with the recent heel turn of the Dust Brothers. A heel Goldust is an excellent Goldust. Cody impressed here as he seems to be comfortable in yet another entertaining heel role. I liked the fact that Jey worked on Stardust's leg as payback for his leg injury. This was a fun opener that built up to some exciting nearfalls and both teams ended up flying all over the damn place. Both teams impress as the night starts of greatly. ***1/2
Sheamus vs Cesaro
The US Title is on the line. Oh hell yeah this is the one I've been looking forward to the most. This one was just about the sleeper hit of the night back at Payback so I was excited when it was announced for this show. These guys bring out the best in each other just by being the absolute shit out of the other guy which I love to bits. Cesaro countering all of Sheamus's signature moves was awesome as it shows how well these guys know each other. This was better than their previous match and their back and forth counters towards the end had me marking out until it got to the point where it was unclear who would come out the winner. A fantastic match that stole the show and I would love to see a rematch at Hell in a Cell. Excellent work from both athletes. ****
Out come multi- platinum recording artists Florida Georgia Line for commentary for some reason. I have never heard of these guys outside of the WWE.
Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz
The IC Title is on the line. Damien Mizdow and R-Ziggler join their appropriate partners at ringside. I had high hopes for this one after their great Summerslam match and the fact that they've shown chemistry together, but this one wasn't nearly as good. It didn't help that the commentary focused almost solely on Georgia Line. Felt like a WCW show in that respect. Plus Miz winning the IC Title back seemed like a strange decision especially since Dolph just won the Title back on Raw making this bout a bit pointless. The match started getting good towards the end with some nearfalls though so it was pretty solid overall I'd say. **1/2
Seth Rollins comes out to award himself the match via countout since Roman Reigns can't appear due to emergency surgery. Fans are already chanting for Dean Ambrose as they know he's going to be here. Rollins issues a challenge to anyone in the back and sure enough here comes Mr Ambrose to a huge pop from the crowd. They have an incredible brawl through the crowd and the Authority comes out to ruin the fun. And he delivers an awesome flying elbow to all the security guards and the brawl continues. I smell a Cell match next month!
That was a ton of fun and I can't wait for the feud of the year to continue for as long as it needs to.
Mark Henry vs Rusev
I've been looking forward to this one as it has been pretty well built with Henry standing up to Rusev like the badass that he is CAUSE THAT'S WHAT HE DOES! Also loved Lillian's singing of the Star Spangled Banner and Henry crying to it was a sweet moment. This was a pretty dull match overall but the crowd was behind Henry so it had that going for it. Rusev did look dominant in victory too and even survived the World's Strongest Slam. Bland match. *1/4
Randy Orton vs Chris Jericho
This is one of the most thrown together feuds I've ever seen as it's obvious that both guys have nothing better going on and Orton's excuse for starting the feud was that it was Raw's Season Premiere. Great reason for a feud. But thankfully these are two great workers that know how to turn in a good performance. I loved Orton's facial expressions here as he was looking like the viper of old. Some of the young guys in the back need to start taking notes from these guys as they showed how to put on a great match with barely any story at all. The just built and built the match with the excitement level rising by the minute and it was hard to tell who was going to win. The RKO in mid-air was a great finish too. Great match. ***3/4
Paige vs AJ Lee vs Nikki Bella
The Divas Title is on the line. This is the only match I haven't looked forward to tonight and that's because Nikki Bella is never usually involved with anything good and I wish her feud with Brie would just end as the acting is just terrible. Nothing against Paige and AJ though as I could watch those two fight forever. I'm also fine with AJ winning the Title back since it means we'll get to see more of her Paige which is always a good thing. The match wasn't that bad but it wasn't anything that good either. It was just kind of there and it had no heat at all. *
Brock Lesnar vs John Cena
The WWE World Heavyweight Title is on the line. This has definitely been the most interesting match leading up to the event after Lesnar's dominant victory at Summerslam and it was hard to predict as some thought Cena would win, some thought Lesnar would win, and some thought Rollins would cash in and win. Well it ended up finishing with a DQ but it's fine with me as it means the feud will continue and that can only be a good thing. I loved the opening of the bout with Cena learning his lesson and blocking the German suplex and even hitting the AA very early and barely getting a one count. Lesnar quickly regained control and just dominated Cena for a while. It did seem a bit too much like the Summerslam much but Cena definitely got more offense in this time. It did get better towards the end with both guys trading signature moves up to the finish. A great match overall. ***3/4
After the match Seth Rollins gives Lesnar the Curb Stomp (I'm betting he'll live to regret that) but Cena stops him and sends him packing to the back. Lesnar hits the F5 and is the last man standing at the end of the night.
Now both Lesnar and Cena have something to prove as we head towards Hell in a Cell.
8.5/10. Another great show delivered by WWE here. We started off amazingly well with a fun tag opener that gave us new Champions, and Sheamus vs Cesaro stole the show with a hard hitting contest. It cooled down with Ziggler/Miz which was a good match with shitty commentary and outside shenanigans and we slowed down with a dull Henry/Rusev match. The brawl between Ambrose and Rollins was awesome and Orton vs Jericho gave us a surprisingly great contest. The divas were pretty bad but things picked up with the anticipated main event which delivered a great match. All in all a superb show and a nice follow up to the stellar Summerslam.
Sunday, 21 September 2014
The Daniel Bryan Collection
Yes I know I did a 'Greatest Hits' post on Bryan around six months ago but it looks like Bryan will be making his return quite soon so I want to do this post for it and I'll be splitting them up into different parts featuring different years to keep
I'm gonna start off with some of his Indie matches using YouTube but they won't be in chronological order as usual since the matches show up at random on the site, but once I get to the WWE posts everything will be back in order.
If you want to watch the following match, it's titled FREE MATCH: Bryan Danielson vs AJ Styles
Bryan Danielson vs AJ Styles
I have no idea when this match takes place, but it does take place in a National Guard armory centre that also has a basketball court with a crowd of around forty people. Both guys have come a long way since then. Bryan was great with his heel work here as he just kept taunting the crowd by calling them his baboons and taking advantage of the wrestling rules (I have 'til 5 ref!). There was a botch of a big move towards the end but it didn't affect the match much. This is the wrestling clinic you would expect from these two as it built slowly up to a an exciting finish. ***1/2
Bryan Danielson vs Tyler Black
From ROH Southern Navigation May 9th 2008. For those that don't know, Tyler Black is also known as WWE's Seth Rollins. You could already see the fantastic chemistry that these guys had here that led them to having some classics in the main stage of WWE in the future. The match was quite one sided to start with as Tyler got most of the offense, but that only got the crowd fired up for Bryan's comeback. The crowd was into this one all the way as these guys started off slowly and built up to a frenetic pace for the final few minutes of the match which featured some great nearfalls and counter wrestling. ****
Bryan Danielson vs Claudio Castagnoli
From ROH Northern Navigation June 25th 2008. Claudio is also known as WWE's King of Swing, Cesaro. It should have been obvious that these guys would have an awesome match in 2013 just judging by how great they were together here. It's awesome that Claudio still used the big swing here. Just like the last two matches, this one just built and built as it went on. I noticed the double monkey flip spot that was also used in Bryan's match with Cena at Summerslam. It was a cool looking move so no wonder he used it twice. A terrific match with an exciting finishing sequence that just went back and forth between the two amazing athletes. ****1/4
Bryan Danielson vs CM Punk
From ROH Reborn: Stage 1 April 23rd 2004. This is apparently the first ever match between these guys so it's pretty historic and there will definitely be way more matches between the two in these posts. Ricky Steamboat is also the referee here. The story here is that Punk attacked Steamboat earlier in the show, but Steamboat still made it out to ref. I liked Punk as the whiny heel here as he complained about Bryan's hair pulling and that earned him chants of 'Punk's a bitch'. This was much slower match than you would expect here but it did gain a much quicker pace towards the end. A great match by the end. ***1/2
Bryan Danielson vs Kaval
From FCW February 7th 2010. This'll be just before the shitty first season of NXT started then. Kaval was smart enough to leave the company when he did later in the year, but thankfully Bryan stayed on. It sounds like Wade Barrett is on commentary but I'm not too sure. Kaval was very impressive with his kicking style and it's a shame that his time in WWE didn't work out for him. This was a pretty short match lasting at ten minutes but they managed to pack in a ton of action and it was a lot of fun to watch. Good stuff. ***1/4
Bryan Danielson vs KENTA
From NOAH November 13th 2008. The commentary is in Japanese so I don't know the story behind the feud. This one seems very appropriate after the debut of Hideo Itami and this is the first match I've seen of his outside of NXT. The mat wrestling section of the match didn't last very long as they quickly hit each other with stiff uppercuts and high kicks. A lot of high flying involved as well. After watching this match I can now see why KENTA is so popular. His fisherman suplex in mid-air was absolutely unreal. A fantastic match where the action never seemed to stop and just built to an amazing crescendo. A must-see match in my book. ****1/2
Bryan Danielson vs Nigel McGuinness
From ROH 6th Anniversary Show and the ROH World Championship is on the line. This is also the first McGuinness match I've seen so I was looking forward to seeing why he was also so popular. The fans are split on both guys. This one was going nicely until Nigel hit the referee and caused a DQ eight minutes into the bout which completely turned the crowd against him. Thankfully the match is restarted. Now shit's going down! Nigel was pretty awesome in the heel role by just taunting the hell out of the New York crowd and the crowd hated him for it. This was an incredible match and one of the best I've seen out of Bryan. These guys fought a war to prove who was the better man, and through some devious means, Nigel was able to secure the win. I could have watched this match go on forever as there was not a dull moment to be had an excitement until the very end. If you haven't seen this one, I'd highly recommend it. Fantastic. ****3/4
Well that's it for the Indie days. Coming next: 2010 and 2011.
Saturday, 20 September 2014
NXT September 18th 2014
I am definitely going to start reviewing these shows after three awesome specials. This would've been up sooner but I had a little problem with the service that allows me to watch the Network but it has all been sorted now. Right then let's get started.
We get a video package showing the results of the major matches from the great Takeover II show.
Titus O'Neill comes out to the ring. He says it's an honor for the fans to be in the presence of him. He's pissed about Sami Zayn and co. coming to his show on Raw, so he wanted to return the favour. Apparently the show is now called NXTITUS. Thankfully Zayn interrupts. It looks like there might have been some editing involved with Titus talking so I'm guessing he fucked up. Zayn says Titus couldn't win a match if his life depended on it. True story. And out comes NXT Champion Adrian Neville. He says he's here to defend NXT from anyone. Zayn is offended by this and Tyson Kidd comes out. I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that Tyler Breeze will show up too.
Kidd calls them all losers. Both Zayn and Kidd are a bit disappointed in the way Neville retained the Title at Takeover. Neville says that Zayn will never be the Champion. Ohhhhhhhhh! I can't wait for the match between those two. Out comes William Regal as he pulls a Teddy Long and makes a main event featuring Zayn and Neville taking on Titus and Kidd. Holla!
Not much of an opening segment but it set up the main event and showed some tension between Sami and Adrian which is awesome. Seriously their match will be something special.
Later tonight, KENTA debuts as Hideo Itami!
Still pissed that my Breeze prediction didn't come true.
Charlotte vs Emma
I have to say that one of the things I love about NXT is the Women's division. It's been amazing so far. I'm glad Emma is back where she belongs as she was just going nowhere on the main roster. Emma knocks the Title out of Charlotte's hand to get a collective 'Ohhhhh' from the crowd. You don't fuck with Charlotte! This was too short to mean much but it gave Charlotte a nice win and the finishing sequence was pretty good, even featuring a close nearfall for Emma. *1/2
Hideo Itami vs Justin Gabriel
I've been looking forward to this one for a while. I've never seen KENTA in action before so I was interested to see why he is so popular. It was easy to see why as those high kicks of his were very impressive. This was just a squash match but it was fun to watch with Hideo showing the fans his work. I do love his finisher and it looks pretty damn powerful. I approve of this match! *3/4
After the match The Ascension takes out Hideo. I smell a feud.
CJ Parker vs Baron Corbin
I don't see this going well at all for Parker. Corbin just looks like a total badass. This lasted around thirty seconds just like their Takeover match and I think Parker is pretty much history by now. A total squash obviously but a fun one. 1/4*
Enzo Amore is working out in a gym when a woman named Carmella storms in and yells at Enzo saying she was fired thanks to him and she wants a job as a fighter. I take it that she's a new edition to the NXT roster.
Next week, a Takeover rematch between the Ascension and the Luchadors for the Tag Titles!
Sami Zayn & Adrian Neville vs Tyson Kidd & Titus O'Neill
I'm wondering why Titus is involved here but I'm guessing that Tyler Breeze was either busy with something else or he's injured. I liked the start of the match with Zayn and Neville showing their rivalry with blind tags and trying to outdo each other with athletic moves at the expense of Kidd. It probably didn't help that the crowd chanted 'Sami's better'. Even Titus was pretty good here. He'd probably be better off in NXT from now on. He can bring Heath Slater and Zack Ryder with him. A decent tag match but I think the face comeback could have been way longer. Still it was a nice main event and a good end to the show. **1/4
Once again NXT provides a fun hour of wrestling that you can't really get from any other show. Tune in next week for a Tag Title rematch!
Sunday, 14 September 2014
Monday Nitro #1 : 4/9/95
Yes it's the very first episode of Nitro. I was planning on doing a series where I reviewed a Nitro and Raw from the same night and compared them, but WWE haven't posted any 1995 Raws that coincide with Nitro so I'm just gonna do Nitro on its own until Raw is finally updated. We'll just assume that Nitro was better since 1995 Raw was pretty awful. Anyway let's begin.
For some reason this is listed as Nitro episode 79 on the Network.
Eric Bischoff, Bobby Heenan and (nevermind that shit, here comes) Mongo are here to introduce us to Nitro and to do commentary for the evening.
Jushin Liger vs Brian Pillman
Now this is how you kick off a show in style! Great choices here with two of WCW's best athletes going at it to show us what Nitro is all about. I wish this had been a bit longer as it did feel quite short, but it was filled with a ton of high-flying action and there was never a dull moment to be had. A good match showing off the cruiserweight side of WCW as Brian rolls up Liger for the victory and receives a nice pop from the crowd. ***
We get an interview with Hulk Hogan and he says PastaMania way too many times in front of a pasta restauraunt. Good God Hogan was so stale at this point.
Sting vs Ric Flair
Have these two guys ever had a bad match together? If they have then I haven't seen it. Just before the match starts, Lex Luger makes his huge surprise return to WCW in a moment that really showed that there was a war about to begin between WCW and WWF. This was a ton of fun as it was basically just a condensed version of some of their classics but they have some of the best chemistry in the business and they were able to make it work. The match ends in DQ as Flair won't let go of the ropes. ***1/4
After the match, Arn Anderson attacks Flair. Apparently it's Anderson vs Sting at Fall Brawl for the US Title. By the way I will be reviewing the PPVs as I go along with the Nitro episodes and the same goes for Raw if they finally update their episodes.
Scott Norton starts ranting and raving at the commentators and Randy Savage comes out to challenge him. I guess that's a feud set up.
We get a vignette for Sabu. I had no idea he was even in WCW so I'm guessing it didn't last very long.
IRS is debuting as Mr WallStreet and takes a shot at the WWF's New Generation.
Hulk Hogan vs Big Bubba
The WCW World Title is on the line. Even Hogan's music was awful at this point. It doesn't look great for WCW when two former WWF stars are main eventing over two WCW stars, then again that is what WCW did: used WWF stars so they didn't have to build their own. This was just a standard Hogan match where he is beaten up, Hulks up and then wins. It was pretty obvious that the crowd was starting to lose interest in Hogan. Still it was a pretty fun match while it lasted. *3/4
After the match, the Dungeon of Doom comes out to attack Hogan, but Lex Luger comes out to help him and they almost get in a fist fight. Time for an ad break.
The commercial for Fall Brawl airs and the main event just looks dreadful. I'm not looking forward to reviewing it.
The break is over and Luger wants to fight Hogan for the World Title. Hogan accepts and the Title match is set for the next episode of Nitro! Wow what a way to end! No wonder the ratings went up for WCW.
And that's it for the first episode of Nitro.
A great episode and the perfect way to start for WCW. They showed off their talent in some good matches, set up future storylines and new wrestlers, and also gave everyone watching a reason to tune in to the next episode. The Monday Night War has begun!
NXT Takeover II: Fatal 4 Way
Well the last show to be named Fatal 4 Way didn't end particularly well but hopefully this one will have better luck. I haven't been watching NXT as much as I probably should so I'll try and keep up as much as I can.
Just to keep you guys posted; I know I haven't posted in a while but I've been dealing with some job stuff that has kept me busy but I should start posting more often again.
Anyway let's get on with the review.
The Ascension vs Kalisto & Sin Cara
The NXT Tag Titles are on the line. Man how long have Ascension held those Titles anyway? Well apparently WWE thought they'd held them long enough too and finally gave them to someone else. I guess Ascension's heading for the main roster soon. The match was a good choice for the opener as the luchadors kept things energetic. I was really impressed by Kalisto and he really reminds me of a young Mysterio. The match started slowly with Ascension in control but once Cara got the hot tag things really picked up. Good stuff to start the night off. ***
CJ Parker vs Baron Corbin
I've not a lot to say about this one as it only lasted about fifteen seconds. It was a very impressive victory by Corbin who could be a great monster heel for NXT now that Rusev has left. His finisher looked awesome as well. Nice squash that didn't waste a lot of time.
Tyson Kidd's arrogant promo was awesome. He would definitely do well in the main roster with that attitude.
We also see Enzo in a salon as he accidentally covers a poodle with hair removal cream. The dog was named Fifi. Was Rene Dupree around?
Sylvester LeFort vs Enzo Amore
The loser has to have their head shaved bored. This wasn't much of a match and it didn't last very long, but the crowd was really behind Enzo which shows just how good he is on the mic because he doesn't seem to have much in-ring ability. It was slightly entertaining towards the end but it was pretty boring before that. Enzo wins with a roll up pin. *1/4
After the match Sylvester manages to avoid a shaving which does seem like a bit of a cop out on NXT's part, but Sylevester's little sidekick took the hair removal cream instead so it wasn't all bad.
NXT General Manager William Regal makes his way to the ring for an announcement. He's here to introduce Kenta. He is now working under the name of Hideo Itami. Not sure how I feel about that as I was fine with calling him Kenta but I'm sure it'll grow on me. Anything's better than Kassius Ohno. Hopefully Prince Devitt and Kevin Steen receive good names too. Nice moment for NXT. Ascension decides to attack Hideo but he's ready to fight back and sends them packing.
Bull Dempsey vs Mojo Rawley
Not much behind this match as it just seems that Mojo is wanting some revenge for losing to Bull some time ago. This was another very short match as it only seemed to last twenty seconds. Bull looked impressive with the dominating win though and even managed to cut Mojo's eye in that short amount of time. No rating for this one.
Enzo brings out LeFort's sidekick to show his baldness to the world. I'm actually starting to find Enzo very entertaining. He could be an awesome comedy wrestler on the main roster.
Charlotte vs Bayley
The NXT Women's Title is on the line. You'd never hear of the Diva's Title being a main event on a big WWE show which shows just how awesome NXT is. I was really looking forward to this one after Charlotte and Natalya's classic at the first Takeover show, and while this wasn't as good as that one this was still a good match and miles better than anything you'll see on WWE TV. I did enjoy the story of Charlotte underestimating Bayley's ability and Bayley coming back with everything she had including trying some quick pins and an awesome frankensteiner from the top rope. Good match and the best of the show so far. ***1/4
Hideo Itami will be debuting next week on NXT! I'll really need to watch that one.
Sami Zayn vs Tyler Breeze vs Tyson Kidd vs Adrian Neville
The NXT World Title is on the line. NXT can even do main event fatal four ways better than WWE can. This one was pretty unpredictable as I could have seen any one of these guys (well maybe not Breeze) leaving as the Champion. I was really hoping that Zayn would win but he'll get his chance someday and I'm hoping we'll get an epic face vs face match between Neville and Zayn at some point in the future. This took a little while to get going but once the faces got their comeback the momentum of this bout just grew and grew. This was an insanely fun four way and one of the best I've seen. There were some brilliant nearfalls where it looked like the end was coming but it just kept going and got better and better. Keep your WWE, I'm an NXT guy after this classic. Awesome match. ****1/2
7.5/10. Another good show from NXT and while it wasn't as good as Arrival or the first Takeover, it still delivered the goods and left me wanting more. All the important Title matches delivered including a must-see main event and the other content, while not great, didn't really hinder the show in any way. NXT really is taking over.