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20.9.18 1206
The W - Pro Wrestling - NXT #446 4/18/18
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Tenken347
Knackwurst








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.39
Well, with NXT's annual depletion now more or less wrapped up, it's time to see what we can do with the remaining pieces. The good news? One of those remaining pieces is Johnny Gargano! He's out to celebrate his triumphant return to NXT, alongside his lovely wife Candice. Johnny's got the mic - although he has to pause a moment to let the deafening chants of "Johnny Wrestling" and "Welcome Back" die down. He tells us that he's dreamed of this moment, and it's good to be home. He says he's been defined by two words for far too long, and those words are Tomasso Ciampa. Hey now, Johnny. We both know that neither of those are words. Just look at them. Anyhoo, he was haunted by that man, but after the most intense 37 minutes he's ever spent in a ring (I believe that one), Johnny Wrestling is back! He thanks the crowd, and tells his wife he loves her - it's very sweet, and it draws an "awwww" from the Full Sail crowd - but he says they've still got some unfinished business in the form of Zelina Vega, and to a lesser extent, Andrade Almas. Candice will be fighting Zelina later tonight, and Johnny will be at ringside to deal with Almas. And since some of those folks will now be regularly appearing on Smackdown Live!, I think we know how that's going to shake out.

Oh, they also want the belts, and I think Johnny's new catchphrase might be "We are NXT," which is a little pander-y, even by my standards.

For what it's worth, Candice absolutely had to play the role of Mrs. Johnny Wrestling for the duration of this angle, but now I think it's time for her to move away from that depiction. Hopefully after tonight, she can start establishing herself on her own two feet.

Damo fights Lars Sullivan in a no-dq match tonight, and man am I gonna miss that guy, especially in no-dq scenarios. Damo's got words for Lars, to the effect that he's going to take everything from him tonight.

Ricochet makes his Full Sail debut tonight against Fabian Aichner. I like Aichner, but we all know what's happening here. Actually, I think Aichner is a perfect choice to team up with some other rando who's not up to anything (Raul Mendoza?) to replenish the currently non-existent tag division. Anyhoo, this one starts off at a fast pace, obviously, as Ricochet comes out ahead with a dropkick. But Aichner chops back, and nails a really cool catch gutbuster to put Ricochet down. He put the boots to him, then hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. He wants a powerbomb to follow up, but Ricochet slips loose and pops him with an elbow, followed by a slick rolling dropkick and some forearms. He hits a 619, which according to Mauro has an actual name that no one's going to bother to remember at this point, then a springboard European uppercut. A standing shooting star press gets two, but when he goes up top to finish Aichner off, Aichner manages to crotch him on the top turnbuckle. Aichner wants a superplex, but Ricochet shoves him down, setting him up for the 630 senton and the pin.
Match Rating: Or Maybe They Could Team Aichner With Lio Rush?
Ricochet gets put on the spot on the ramp as he's leaving. He acquits himself well enough - the debut felt great, he knows who all the past greats of NXT were, and he'll show us that he's the one and only Ricochet. Nothing magic, but perfectly serviceable, which is better than a lot of the indy talent they sign.

We get a quick EC3 vignette, and it's pretty decent. We also get comments from Lars on the match tonight. He's apparently cool with being called a freak of nature. Good to know.

The sigh War Raiders are in action next. They're fighting...is that Deuce and Domino? I can't possibly be the first to make that joke, but seriously, look at these Jobbers. It's the only logical place to take this. Why would they even go for this look? They had to know. Had to. Oh, the match? War Raider beat the shit out of them, obviously.
Match Rating: Their Finisher Is Called The Atomic Fallout, And It's An Assisted Top-Rope Legdrop. There, That's A Move.

For what it's worth, I always liked War Machine's look and presentation, but thought they were unacceptably sloppy in the ring. They look better here, but Hanson(?) has got this knee strike that doesn't even land in the same zip code as his target, and he needs to stop trying to do it.

Shana Baszler crashed some training meeting backstage and got in everybody's faces, especially Dakota Kai. Nikki Cross is notably absent from the meeting, and sadly this does not end with Cross jumping Baszler in the hallway, which is, I think, the only logical outcome.

Kona Reeves has a vignette. They're calling him "The Finest," and yes, he still looks like somebody who tells girls in bars that the Rock is his cousin.

Pete Dunne's leaving for a couple weeks, but he'll be back. The implication is that he's going to get His Boys, and when they come back they are going to beat the shit out of the Undisputed Era. I think we're all here for that.

Lars v. Damo, no disqualifications, no holds barred! Sadly, we all know the only possible outcome for this match. The bell rings, and Damo immediately nails Lars with a headbutt that stuns him. From there...well, what do you want me to say? They punch each other a whole lot. Okay, okay. Eventually Damo goes for a tope, but Lars blocks him and then suplexes Damo on the outside. He gets him back in the ring and nails a deadlift German suplex that sends Damo right back out to the floor. Lars then goes to the top rope and flies out with a big clothesline that appears to break Damo's nose. He bleeds everywhere for the remainder of this match. Lars finally goes for some chairs, but Damo gets his wind back and counters with a dropkick, then the Belfast Blitz and a Vader Bomb. Lars manages to get to the chairs and nails a few shots, but when he goes back up top and tries to hit a flying headbutt, he gets a faceful of steel chair as Damo avoids him. Damo wants the Great Divide, but just as we've seen in the past, Lars catches him, and transitions it into a powerslam. Damo comes right back, though, and hits a pump kick. I've been kind of skipping over some of the odds and ends in this match, but it's worth pointing out that at one point, Damo grabbed a table (to sate the crowd's unquenchable table-thirst. What is it with these guys?) and set it up in the corner. I bring this up, because with Lars stunned, Damo is finally able to hit the Great Divide on him, which puts him clean through said table. Damo goes up top to try...something, but Lars counters with a chair shot, which stuns Damo long enough hit a Freak Accident on another chair. That's three.
Match Rating: I Never Once Called Him Killian Dain. Not Once!

NXT shouldn't even bother doing garbage matches anymore without Damo. He was the very best at them.

We catch up with the Era, who are busy being jerks on the set of a photo shoot. Adam Cole is going to defend his title against Oney Lorcan next week. It's a match between a guy who dishes out an amazing amount of punishment, and a guy who can take an amazing amount of punishment, so it should be a winner.

Finally, we've Candice LeRae vs. Zelina Vega. They exchange shoves, and Candice puts Vega on her ass. Candice then pulls off what I can only refer to as a chest-buster, dropping Vega across her knee. It's actually a pretty slick move. Candace goes up top, and it's looking grim for Vega, which is why Almas gets involved to distract Candice and the ref. Vega pulls Candice down onto her head and lays in a modified rear choke, wearing Candice down enough that Vega is able to set up and hit Almas' running double knee strike. Vega wants the hammerlock DDT as well, but Candice is able to counter and gets a roll-up for two. Candice fires off some strikes, then a missile dropkick for two more. Vega's reeling, and Candice locks in the GargaNo Escape! Almas climbs into the ring to save her, but here's Johnny! And he locks in a GargaNo Escape! It's a Double Escape! Vega and Almas both tap out (although why Almas bothered is a mystery - he's not even in a match!) That'll send Almas and Vega packing to SDL.
Match Rating: As Is Sometimes The Case, It Was Really More Angle Than Match.

Well, with that out of the way, Gargano points out that there was one more thing on his list, and calls out Aleister Black. And he gets him! Black tells Johnny that if he wants a title match, he'll get it next week. I'm sure that match will have a totally clean and satisfying finish! Why wouldn't it?!
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used2bcool
Merguez








Since: 5.11.08
From: Ashland, MA

Since last post: 84 days
Last activity: 55 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.12
    Originally posted by Tenken347
    Oh, they also want the belts, and I think Johnny's new catchphrase might be "We are NXT," which is a little pander-y, even by my standards.

    For what it's worth, Candice absolutely had to play the role of Mrs. Johnny Wrestling for the duration of this angle, but now I think it's time for her to move away from that depiction. Hopefully after tonight, she can start establishing herself on her own two feet.


This is absolutely the right decision to put Johnny Gargano at the top of the totem pole, since he's probably the most marketable commodity NXT has at the moment. He's just not my cup of tea - I get that his appeal is that he's a normal guy and therefore relatable, but he seems too normal to me. I think the natural comparison is Daniel Bryan, and he has an edge that Gargano seems to be lacking. As for Candice, her non-verbal reactions are just so distracting. She needs to work on her presence, and I'm 100% with you that she will be better served if she's not attached at the hip to Gargano.

    Originally posted by Tenken
    Ricochet gets put on the spot on the ramp as he's leaving. He acquits himself well enough - the debut felt great, he knows who all the past greats of NXT were, and he'll show us that he's the one and only Ricochet. Nothing magic, but perfectly serviceable, which is better than a lot of the indy talent they sign.

Okay, so I've heard a lot about our man Ricochet without being overly familiar with his indie work. His style isn't my favorite, but I've heard a lot about a certain swagger that seemed to be missing from both this match and the post-match interview. Maybe that's a heel persona? I feel like he could do...more, though I'm not entirely sure what, on the stick to stand out.


    We get a quick EC3 vignette, and it's pretty decent.
Did you catch the quick explanation of the name? Apparently it's his "formula for success." Someone tell him that formulas have two sides, EC3 should equal something. The engineer in me is offended.

    Originally posted by Tenken
    The sigh War Raiders are in action next.
They do nothing for me. I guess it's super early days, though. They just feel like watered down AoP.

    Originally posted by Tenken
    Shana Baszler crashed some training meeting backstage and got in everybody's faces, especially Dakota Kai.
I heart Shayna.

    Originally posted by Tenken
    Kona Reeves has a vignette. They're calling him "The Finest," and yes, he still looks like somebody who tells girls in bars that the Rock is his cousin.
I got a very "poor man's Velveteen Dream" vibe.

    Originally posted by Tenken
    NXT shouldn't even bother doing garbage matches anymore without Damo. He was the very best at them.
The sloppiness and the blood of this match actually worked in its favor and gave it a real hossfight feel, so that was pretty good. I'm not sure Sullivan is ready to carry his half of a featured singles feud, though.

    Originally posted by Tenken
    We catch up with the Era, who are busy being jerks on the set of a photo shoot.
But they were such magnificent jerkholes!

    Originally posted by Tenken
    Finally, we've Candice LeRae vs. Zelina Vega.
Cageside expanded on the idea that they managed to blow off a hot men's feud through a women's main event, though like you said, this was more angle than match. Gargano never actually got his win back on Andrade (he's 0-4, according to Mauro), and this was kind of a refreshing change of pace.



In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws
And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours!
J. Kyle
Banger








Since: 21.2.02
From: The Land of Aloha

Since last post: 67 days
Last activity: 50 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.62
Nous ne nous pouvons pas sortir.
    Originally posted by used2bcool
      Originally posted by Tenken
      Kona Reeves has a vignette. They're calling him "The Finest," and yes, he still looks like somebody who tells girls in bars that the Rock is his cousin.
    I got a very "poor man's Velveteen Dream" vibe.
I was thinking "Sam's Club John Morrison".




This is a picture of Dean Ambrose in a Cobra Kai Gi.
InVerse
Boudin blanc








Since: 26.8.02

Since last post: 30 days
Last activity: 17 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
    Originally posted by used2bcool


      We get a quick EC3 vignette, and it's pretty decent.
    Did you catch the quick explanation of the name? Apparently it's his "formula for success." Someone tell him that formulas have two sides, EC3 should equal something. The engineer in me is offended.


Isn't the other side of the equation succes? As in EC3 = Success?
dMp
Knackwurst








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 17 days
Last activity: 2 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.75
    Originally posted by J. Kyle
      Originally posted by used2bcool
        Originally posted by Tenken
        Kona Reeves has a vignette. They're calling him "The Finest," and yes, he still looks like somebody who tells girls in bars that the Rock is his cousin.
      I got a very "poor man's Velveteen Dream" vibe.
    I was thinking "Sam's Club John Morrison".


Whatever it is, we'll see if it works.
Right now it looked cheap. But Velveteen wasn't great from the start either (is he gay? is he prince? is he crazy?)

At least it gives a guy a chance to work on a character.
He looked good in his earlier matches. Same for Aichner btw. I'd like them to develop him more.

This Baszler promo worked for me. Her bullying the locker room was fun. With Ember gone there's a void to be filled for someone to step up. Dakota Kai maybe?

War Raiders looked good. Obviously this s a squash match so not much to show but their presence can/will help them.
And for the record I always grin when I see that the BIG guy is the high flier.

The blowoff to the Almas/Vega & Garganocouple was good solid fun. It was never about the end it was always about hte journey so nice to at least give it a bookend.
Doc_whiskey
Frankfurter








Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.55
I love Shayna using the playing card as her locker label. If it weren't so cheesy, I would love her to drop one on someone after she chokes them out.

(edited by Doc_whiskey on 22.4.18 1637)


Lisa: Poor predicatble Bart, always picks rock
Bart: Good ole rock, nothing beats that
used2bcool
Merguez








Since: 5.11.08
From: Ashland, MA

Since last post: 84 days
Last activity: 55 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.12
    Originally posted by InVerse
      Originally posted by used2bcool


        We get a quick EC3 vignette, and it's pretty decent.
      Did you catch the quick explanation of the name? Apparently it's his "formula for success." Someone tell him that formulas have two sides, EC3 should equal something. The engineer in me is offended.

    Isn't the other side of the equation succes? As in EC3 = Success?

Yeah, that works. I dun goofed.

Re: Kona Reeves -- I don't think the gimmick is the issue, even if it does come off as poorly-produced. I think the issue is that it's still Kona Reeves working the gimmick.

(edited by used2bcool on 23.4.18 0819)


In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws
And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours!
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