IHAO on ... NXT Takeover

NXT, last time we talked about it here, debuted big on the WWE Network.  I bought the Network with NXT Arrival as the clencher.  It was surprising and interesting and new and I loved it.  And I am incredibly excited for the next installment of NXT Special Events, with NXT Takeover.  I can gush about this thing match for match, wrestler for wrestler ... and you know what, I think I will!

1) Adam Rose v. Camacho

We open with a feud that had been building, but really this was to continue to build Adam Rose as a credible contender and act with this "Party time, all the time" schtick and all his antics and such.  He is a hard sell, but he works.  Camacho, son of the legendary wrestler Haku (Meng in WCW), and he has got some skills.  His current gimmick isn't the best, considering it is ... just ... not having one ... and being from Mexico.  But he wrestles in a tank top and khakis with converses, which is unique.  And he is beyond skilled.  His butterfly suplex is the best one of the night.  Ultimately, this match was just the curtain jerker, and was perfectly enjoyable as one.  But I came for much more than this ...

2) The Ascension v. El Local and Kalisto

The Ascension are amazing.  I am a huge mark, but beyond that, they are legitimately good.  They have such a presence and power and tenacity.  They fight with vim and vigor, and are so incredibly amazing to watch.  Within all those I watch, I was the first to love them, and now everyone basically does.  We all want them to have a feud though.  For months, we have watched Connor and Victor brutally destroy all competition, with me and many others "Ya! Ya! Ya!" -ing away the whole time.  But we wanted real tag teams.  And over the past few weeks we saw a handful, including El Local and Kalisto.

El Local you may know better as Ricardo Rodriguez, but he was a legitimate luchadore before he was just a lackey to Alberto Del Rio, and he is back to his roots.  Kalisto is potentially better known to you as Samuray del Sol, a luchadore who has made a name for himself pretty quickly and got scooped up in WWE and given a new name.  These guys answered the Ascension's call for a real team to face.

And then we brawl.  But not just brawl, a real tag match.  We see great saves, control, and work from these teams.  And even better, we see the best thing about the Ascension: they are face because the fans won't let them be heels.  They are like the Steiner Brothers or Legion of Doom, just absolute gonna-wreck-your-face wrestlering warriors, and the fans are behind them.  El Local and Kalisto try to get the fans on their side with a nice chant of "Lu-Cha! Lu-Cha!" but the majority of fans aren't having it, "Ya! Ya! Ya! Ya!"-ing right back.  And the Ascension continues to Rise with a victory over a real tag team.  I cannot, absolutely cannot wait for them to make an impact on Raw.

3) Tyler Breeze v. Sami Zayn

I talked about Sami Zayn in the past.  He's great.  He continues to be great.  Awesome ring work, great rapport with his fans.  He has become a huge star here, and he continues to be one.  Tyler Breeze is ... how do I put this ... ok, his gimmick is perfect.  Prince Pretty, the Sultan of Selfies, having the ring announcer announce when he has entered the building a match or two before his match, all of that works.  His promos, his voice, his face, his entrance, his look, it all works great.  His ring work ... I dunno.  I'm not sold.  He's perfectly fine, but I just am not sold on his matches.

And that is kind of how this match goes.  The first time I watched this match, I was quite frankly bored.  It was just spot then spot then spot.  There wasn't a lot of psychology or storytelling, and that was boring to me.  On a rewatch it worked and flowed better than I originally thought, but it wasn't nearly as good as I was expecting.  A missed spot here, a missed communication there, a weird finish ... this match doesn't work well for me.  But both guys work hard, and I think they have a lot of great matches left in their future.  This one just didn't do it for me.

4) Charlotte v. Natalya

This match was amazing.  I am not overstating this.  Charlotte and Natalya work harder than I've ever seen either of them work, and put on a great match, filled with emotion and storytelling, great maneuvers, and awesome work.  If this match had been on Raw, it would have been LUCKY to be five minutes.  But here, we got a clinic at 16 minutes.  Ric Flair was in his daughter's corner, and Bret Hart was in his niece's corner.  This match had gravity, and a BIG MATCH feeling.  That is hard to do for any match, let alone a Divas match where we are trained as viewers of the WWE to take our bathroom breaks during them.

I implore people to watch this match and the next one if not the whole event.  They built an incredible story here that tied into the next match as well, and it was amazing to see.

5) Tyson Kidd v. Adrian Neville

I am a big fan of Neville.  I bought his shirt.  I love his matches.  He had a great ladder match with Bo Dallas.  A great GREAT rematch with Dallas.  A good feud with Brodus Clay.  And now this.  And ... wow.  This match went twenty minutes, and is one of the best matches I've ever watched live.  Tyson Kidd is not a wrestler I like.  Like, at all.  I actively despise him most of the time.  But this match was so perfect.  They told just the right story, the turned Kidd slowly into the heel he is, and the synergy they had was phenomenal.  I ... I'm in awe, truly.  This is right up there with Daniel Bryan v. HHH and Daniel Bryan v. Bray Wyatt for match of the year contender.

This was just an amazing event as a whole.  When your worst match is Sami Zayn v. Tyler Breeze, you did something right.  Yeah, there was a stupid squash in the middle there as a breather, but these 5 matches ... wow.  I'm going to leave you with a quote I found from PWInsider writer Mike Johnson.  Source.

If Tyson Kidd vs. Adrian Neville had been broadcast on the main roster a year ago, 
chances are it would have been on Main Event or Superstars and seen by a fairly 
minuscule amount of fans in comparison to the major WWE shows, because they are 
smaller than what ‘WWE Superstars’ are traditionally supposed to be. If Natalya vs. 
Charlotte took place a year ago, chances are it would have been three minutes including 
ring entrances because they are ‘Divas.’ In TNA, the matches would have been 
compounded by the women calling each other skanks as part of some badly acted 
lesbian zombie storyline or the guys would have been told to go do as many spots 
as they can in six minutes so Dixie Carter can have 35 minutes to talk…
because after all, they aren’t stars. Last night showed that not only are all 
the old arguments as to what a star is in pro wrestling completely antiquated, 
they were bullshit to begin with. In one night, Charlotte became a franchise for NXT. 
With one match, Tyson Kidd became an interesting character. If you tell the right story 
with the right talents, it doesn’t matter who they are or what their size or gender is. 
If your writers can’t come up with the right stories, it’s not the talent’s fault - it’s the 

/\// tOrtUrE-jEssEl-A-thOn \\/\

June 3rd through June 9th

From June 3rd to the 8th, I want to have TORTURE-JESSEL-A-THON!  I am going to put myself through the worst films and most hated films that all you guys can think of.  I'm going to collect them all over the next week, and debut the schedule on Monday, the 2nd.  Then for a whole week, you will get to see me go through pain for all your pleasure, ending with a very special, very controversial IHAO that was supposed to be filmed years ago but I never had the guts to actually shoot, featuring a movie that makes me fuming at the mouth angry, and might be my most hated film.

So, send comments, shares, etc. Thanks again!

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