Episode: NXT #200
Recorded: 09 June 2016
Aired: 15 June 2016
Duration: 5:30 minutes
Let’s start this match analysis part with a very important explanation: the difference between clothesline and lariat. For how many times I have been left furious now by commentators all around WWE because almost every one of them calls every outstretched arm a clothesline. Mauro Ranallo might still be the exception from the rule but I haven’t watched WWE for over a month now, so he might have changed his correct callings to the common false one.
Now, the difference between a clothesline and a lariat is actually pretty easy and also easy to tell and see. We all know what a clothesline usually is: a line where you can put your wet laundry to, so it can dry in the wind. The most prominent feature of a clothesline is that it’s static, it doesn’t move. So, in wrestling terms a clothesline is an outstretched arm and your opponent is doing something with it – like running against it. But the wrestler doing the clothesline isn’t the active part here.
Quite contrary to the lariat that is always done actively. Means, a lariat is an equally outstretched arm but you move it actively towards your opponent – like the Pendulum Lariat / Lunatic Lariat by Dean Ambrose: he uses the ropes for momentum and then causes his opponent to fall back first with his outstretched right arm. You might wonder: but JBL used to have this finisher called Clothesline from Hell. From what you’ve just written, this might have been a Lariat from Hell, right?
Yes, indeed! Maybe that’s why JBL calls everything a clothesline, so it’s not that obvious that his finisher was wrong named for ages. I’m certainly not part of the wrestling business. I just pick what I like and enjoy watching it. But those commentators are former wrestlers, so shouldn’t they call the correct names of certain moves? It’s not heelish behaviour to act plain stupid when also the babyface commentators can’t separate between clothesline and lariat. I still don’t get why they can’t do their job and be professional. Because if I’m not that familiar with the moves, I want for the commentators to explain to me what happened and how it’s called. I want for them to call the very matches, not to put the dirty laundry on the line.
So, that needed to be said first. Now for this very match that started with Shane Thorne and Wesley Blake in the ring after the audience asked, “Where’s Alexa?”, and TM61 joined in the mocking about the missing girl. Now, Shane Thorne first tried for some finger / arm bending and twisting to wear his opponent down but an elbow to his face stopped his momentum temporarily. But it didn’t take long for him to take not just Wesley Blake out with a drop kick but also Wesley Blake in quick succession. A little pose set the exclamation mark to this first part of the match.
After the first tag from Shane Thorne to Nick Miller, both did a little double-team working to make Wesley Blake feel where it hurts the most. But Nick Miller didn’t get much ring time. Another quick tag to Shane Thorne produced a rather unconventional entering to the ring with a flop over the top rope right on Wesley Blake. And a third quick tag was even more entertaining when Shane Thorne seemed to be ready for getting hit by Wesley Blake but instead Nick Miller came from behind to add just a little more punishment to his opponent.
Finally, Wesley Blake was able to get his partner Buddy Murphy tagged in. But Nick Miller was able to counter both of their moves and got a tag of himself to Shane Thorne again. And this fast forward part of the match was finished with their signature double-team move of the fist drop by Nick Miller and the standing moonsault by Shane Thorne on Buddy Murphy. Right after, Shane Thorne prepared for another quick tag but this time Wesley Blake helped his partner with removing Nick Miller from ring side. It wasn’t a hard attack but it was enough to give Buddy Murphy the upper hand against Shane Thorne.
Now, Shane Thorne was beaten up in the corner of his two opponents, so Buddy Murphy and Wesley Blake were finally able to let out a bit of frustration about their own fractured relationship. But their partnership didn’t work as usual. So, Shane Thorne was able to overcome the punishment in using the force of Buddy Murphy’s leg to hit his own partner Wesley Blake. And another accident made Wesley Blake hit Buddy Murphy with a lariat for Shane Thorne to finally get his tag to Nick Miller.
Nick Miller, being well rested now, let it out against Wesley Blake. And his assault ended in a huge spinebuster when he tagged in Shane Thorne again for their finisher, the Thunder Valley, for the win.
One of the biggest differences between ex Indie wrestlers who finally come to NXT / WWE after five, ten or more years of wrestling experience all around the world to wrestlers who are made by NXT, isn’t just different styles. A huge difference is also the ex Indie ability to straight up connect with the audience, those small gestures, facial expressions and all around body language. They just have got the experience of what they need to do to get the desired reaction back from the crowd to what they do in the ring. And if something isn’t working, they can instantly make up something else that will work.
Up until recently, it was hard for NXT wrestlers when they made it to the main roster of WWE because all of a sudden they had a different crowd every night. In NXT they only had one audience in Orlando, Florida, because if you paid notice you were able to see a lot of familiar faces into this crowd every week. Now, with all the live tours NXT does outside of Florida, it’s a better training, as well as bringing in international stars and Indie wrestlers to get more variation into the wrestling.
But you don’t just need experience, you also need to have some talent for hyping the crowd or make people boo you. And Shane Thorne is just one of those talented and natural wrestlers. I instantly liked him and his antics in the ring. And that’s why I put also the second match of TM61 in here, my little collection of Best Matches of NXT in 2016.
It’s an all around fun match, only a little too short for my liking, but still able to progress with the break-up story around Blake & Murphy. I still don’t really like those guys, mainly due to their epilepsy causing entrance but it’s interesting to witness of when and how they’ll finally break up. A feud between these two can only be interesting because the story basically writes itself. And if Alexa Bliss is back involved, this can be epic and worthy of a big match at the coming NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn show.