At the moment, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano are my favourite wrestlers in all of WWE right now. So, of course, their match against The Revival was my main event of NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II. Others didn’t impress me that much. I still don’t get why people aren’t excited about Andrade “Cien” Almas. The guy is glorious, much more than the guy overly hyped as such. Other impressions from the latest NXT live show, you can read here. Enjoy!
Something from the build-up to this newest NXT TakeOver event angered me gloriously. You might have already got it. The amount of hype from left, right, even as far as Pluto that Bobby Roode got basically left me speechless. Yes, sometimes there can be a good reason for it, because sometimes someone really is that good. But what I always suspect when someone is thrown laurels of that amount at him, is that this guy needs all this hype because people need to get brainwashed before they see the very man for the first time in an actual match, otherwise they’d be dead silent for him because they see nothing impressive at all.
So, I’m no-one for letting myself get brainwashed. Basically, I get easily annoyed by overly pushed people because if those guys need all the hype they clearly can’t get over by themselves because they’re just not good enough. They are just look like the boss, so the boss wants to live on in this younger self and that’s basically it. So, of course, I was immensely annoyed by Bobby Roode and the crowd’s reaction. When I’m part of a very little minority and I know I’m right, then I don’t start doubting myself, I just wonder why the majority is that stupid to not see what’s happened to them.
Yes, I know, wrestling is an easy concept and before the internet, people just ate what was presented to them. That’s why Goldberg is still as popular as he is today and questions about him are thrown at William Regal at basically every single event, the poor man attends in public. But I just refuse to turn out my brain when it comes to wrestling. I like to like what I see, not what people tell me I should like.
So, yes, I’m slightly annoyed by the direction that NXT took for several months now. It’s still some kind of the developmental area of WWE but more and more it turns towards a trash pile of old TNA guys, wanting to get a glimpse of popularity at the ends of their careers. I had some hope for Austin Aries but the man disappointed me. I don’t get the involvement of Rhyno in basically everything WWE these days. I couldn’t care less about Bobby Roode right from the beginning. And whatever the SANITY promo during NXT TakeOver was for, I hope it’s not yet another old TNA guy who’s got the nipples of Triple H, so the man feels some strange kind of connection and wants him on the NXT telly.
But enough arguing and moaning at this point. I guess, you got the idea. I still enjoy NXT, mainly because of Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano. Those two are already my favourites in 2016 – and because of William Regal, of course. So I will continue watching it. But I might start skipping segments because of this gloriously overrated Bobby Roode.
No Way Jose vs Austin Aries
- Match duration: 10:40 minutes
- Winner: Austin Aries
- Wrestling style: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
- Story telling: ♥ ♥
- Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥
NXT tried very hard to make No Way Jose the babyface in this match with an organised line of fans running behind No Way Jose dancing during his entrance. It just didn’t work. There were several “Austin Aries” chants and the biggest cheer from the audience happened when something or someone apparently funny in the crowd appeared. Fans just weren’t that much into this first match, the storyline or the two wrestlers involved. And so wasn’t I. At least, I enjoyed the beating that No Way Jose got but that couldn’t have been to the intentions of NXT officials. That match was far too long.
After the match, Austin Aries took No Way Jose into another Last Chancery when Hideo Itami payed him a surprising visit. A little brawl followed that was finished by probably the first GTS that Hideo Itami did in NXT. Can’t say I’m overly excited about this following feud. Austin Aries and Hideo Itami are two established wrestlers. They should have this feud in WWE, not NXT. As much annoying as No Way Jose is to me, I fear for him and his place on the NXT roster.
Billie Kay vs Ember Moon
- Match duration: 4:35 minutes
- Winner: Ember Moon
- Wrestling style: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
- Story telling: ♥ ♥
- Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
First of all: why does Billie Kay have yet another entrance music? Last time I saw her, she went with the Carmen theme and before that she did have another music, maybe another one. So, this is her fourth theme in NXT already? Is this her gimmick? I really liked the Carmen theme because it basically underlined her character as the femme fatale of NXT. The newest one reminds me a bit of the aria from The Fifth Element, so it’s okay but I’m still a little sad about NXT officials dropping the Carmen theme.
As for the debuting Ember Moon, I don’t like all the jumping during her entrance but I like how she enters the ring. Also: nice red contact lenses. But I’ve also got a question: where is the need for basically all women in NXT / WWE to get hair extensions if their natural hair doesn’t touch their behind? Asuka is the female wrestler with the shortest haircut but even she got those extensions. I’d still like to see a bad-ass woman with short hair and a non female gimmick – just something different would do.
The match itself was very short but alright for a debut match. Ember Moon showed some great moves and athleticism. There should be less screaming though – from both women.
Bobby Roode vs Andrade “Cien” Almas
- Match duration: 10:22 minutes
- Winner: Bobby Roode
- Wrestling style: ♥ ♥ ♥
- Story telling: ♥ ♥
- Overall: ♥
I already said it on Twitter, now I say it here: Bobby Roode is overly hyped the way he is because he’s basically a clone of Triple H. He even got similar nipples to Triple H. I bet Triple H sees himself in Bobby Roode and wants to live on through him inside the squared circle. I’m quite allergic to overly hyped guys and gals. I usually like heels but Bobby Roode doesn’t do anything for me, not a tiny little bit. And I felt for Andrade “Cien” Almas that he had to suffer in making Bobby Roode look strong. Because this match was all about Andrade “Cien” Almas wrestling amazingly and meanwhile Bobby Roode just destroying all good wrestling on his way. I only gave this match three hearts out of six for the wrestling style because of Andrade “Cien” Almas.
I’m asking you: what exactly was glorious about this guy? The only thing glorious about Bobby Roode was commentator Corey Graves saying he was glorious. I was just mad about the audience not acknowledging the talent that is Andrade “Cien” Almas. Yes, I’m a fan of him and it’s a shame that the NXT crowd don’t appreciate him. But I still got faith in the NXT crowd in Orlando, Florida, that they finally get what Bobby Roode really is.
After replays from the gloriously overrated Bobby Roode beating the poor boy Andrade “Cien” Almas, we got a little promo vignette about chaos and anarchy, called SANITY, and I hope that’s the new gimmick for Dean Ambrose. Of course, it’s not but a man can dream. Both commentators acknowledged its screening but they wouldn’t say what that’s all about. Probably just another show on the Network that I won’t be able to see because I don’t have an 48 hours day. And the trophy for the winner in the making for the Cruiserweight Classic has been revealed – basically as big as Triple H’s ego. And then we finally came to my main event of the show.
#DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson)
NXT Tag Team Championship match
- Match duration: 19:10 minutes
- Winner: The Revival (and still NXT Tag Team Champions)
- Wrestling style: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
- Story telling: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
- Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I absolutely loved the new tee shirt of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa that says Nobody will do it for you on the back with the hashtag #DIY on the front. I don’t know if that was accidental or not but I think that should be their tag team name, just #DIY – Do It Yourself – because that’s basically what Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are doing their whole career and also in NXT. They weren’t hyped and overly pushed the way other Indie stars have been hyped and pushed, mainly initially they didn’t have full contracts with NXT, they were and still are wrestling in Indie companies and on Indie events, they’ve got their own shops with great tee shirts. So, it’s a fitting name. For some strange reason, this tee shirt isn’t yet available neither on the WWE Shop nor the Euroshop. It needs to arrive very soon!
Now, the only thing I didn’t like about this match was Corey Graves and his gloriously annoying commentary. It’s really better for my own sanity to watch this match with nice folk music next time. But apart from that, this match had everything: crowd interaction because Gargano & Ciampa but also Dash & Dawson know how to draw desired reactions, comical moments, great moves and fabulous storytelling. I also love it when I see stuff from Gargano & Ciampa that Dean Ambrose does randomly, like Tommaso Ciampa kneeling down on the mat, demanding for a beating from his opponent or Johnny Gargano doing the fake pistol shoot before doing a vicious attack.
Since Johnny Gargano still has to have his farewell match on the Indies in September plus getting married, the angle with his knee injury was done. That’s also the reason why #DIY didn’t win the NXT Tag Team Championship. But with great matches like this one, basically composed like a fabulous classical suite, including the near-falls fest at the end of it, they should win those championship anytime soon.
Bayley vs Asuka
NXT Women’s Championship match
- Match duration: 14:09 minutes
- Winner: Asuka (and still NXT Women’s Championess)
- Wrestling style: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
- Story telling: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
- Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
What I really like about women’s matches is when both competitors don’t scream just for the sake of screaming. Bayley hardly screams, only for dramatic effect near the end of a match when she really gets mad and Asuka’s screaming voice isn’t that annoying like Liv Morgan’s for example. Sometimes I’m unable to watch a women’s match because both my ears and brain hurt. But that’s another topic. One of the reasons why I’ve added this match to my collection of Best NXT Matches of 2016 is that it’s enjoyable to watch and to listen.
Now, the match between Bayley and Asuka obviously had a lot of drama, good moves and pace. But I had wished for better storytelling, a more straight line, so to speak. Just watch #DIY vs Revival again and compare it with Bayley vs Asuka. The tag match started slowly, increased in speed, slowed down again a bit but not to the speed of the beginning; then speed went up again, faster than before and slowed down again, right towards the fastest paced near-falls fest – like I said – like a well composed classical suite. On the other side, Bayley vs Asuka did have some cool clusters but no real connection in between. But I like both of their unique characters, the storytelling towards this match was far better than towards their first match, and, yeah, it was Bayley’s last match in NXT, so they deserve to be on my very list.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Samoa Joe
NXT Championship match
- Match duration: 21:14 minutes
- Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura (new NXT Champion)
- Wrestling style: ♥ ♥ ♥
- Story telling: ♥ ♥
- Overall: ♥ ♥
Now, I need to admit it but I don’t like Shinsuke Nakamura. I knew that he would take the title from Samoa Joe. But I hope that Joe is heading for SmackDown and will feud with Dean Ambrose, so I was fine with it. I didn’t like or hate Nakamura before his feud with Joe but I started to really hate him since he tried to crawl under the skin of Joe. I know that’s not what NXT intended and probably I’m the only one. But it is like it is, I like Samoa Joe whom I supposed to hate and I can’t stand Nakamura whom I supposed to love and adore.
So, this match, its booking, the injury to Joe and the crowd’s all over interaction, all that was hard to take and not really enjoyable for me. And all the hype by Corey Graves made it even worse. I mean, he’s the heel commentator, right? He talked shit about Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano which is fair enough because they were the faces. But shouldn’t he talk shit about Nakamura, too? I just don’t get it. Maybe someone feels free to explain this to me because I’m really here to learn.
My annoyance towards Nakamura even grew when his entrance was stretched out to five whole minutes. I usually like strings and the guy did great but it just wasn’t for me – made me hate Nakamura even more. Yeah, I know, I’m a strange fellow. Samoa Joe, on the other side, managed to reach the squared circle within one minute. And the main problem that I’ve got with that match was that it lacked logic and storytelling big time. Nakamura wanted to get under Joe’s skin so much before that match but he failed to continue with that strategy during the match entirely. This match was just about “let’s beat about senseless until someone breaks his jaw, so the other gets the belt”. If that was the story, no, thank you very much.