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  • Yes, but not at the expense of someone else they are currently pushing. Unless Dijak is moving out of the NA title picture and into a fued with Priest, and Grimes is moving into the NA picture against Lee. Grimes could have beaten the kid Austin Theory that Ciampa wrestled. Theory is big, in shape and has a future, but he needs work. Grimes and Theory having a match where Grimes wins convincingly and makes Theory look good could have done the same.

    Ciampa could have faced almost anyone else if the plan was for Gargano to run in.

    I'm not a fan of Grimes', but if NXT is pushing him, then so be it.

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    • Grimes going over Dijakovic is fine. It's been due to interference from Priest. It gives Dijakovic two potential title matches immediately after beating Lee (we're it to happen) and at the very least two follow up bouts after losing to Lee where he can reassert himself or get another guy over to be the new challenger to Lee.

      I think my main issue with the show was that they did three back to back matches which in someway ended with a sneak attack/distraction from someone else. Felt a bit like a misstep backstage to do all those together.

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      • So - oh boy - are we getting Dream vs Cole at Takeover: Tampa?

        Do we now get to have Dream as the NXT Champion?

        I really, really enjoyed NXT this week. Green vs Blackheart was a little sloppy but at least had a purpose for happening, but otherwise everything delivered in the ring, they got to some new places which will lead to interesting matches, plus the two taped promos from Ripley and, especially, Gargano were excellent.

        I like that they found a couple of new(er) ways to end a cage match, too.

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        • That change of direction was the best thing NXT has done in months, and NXT has been very good. But such a natural transition for Dream to switch from Roddy to the NXT title and Cole was a masterpiece. I won't say I marked out, but when Dream shut the door to lock Cole in the cage with him, I definitely had a RenĂ©e Young "oh" as my slow brain connected what was about to happen.


          I've seen some complaints online about Dream's ring work and how he doesn't deserve the NXT title. It's moments like this that I hate being an online fan, because I hate being associated with people who refuse to just enjoy a show. Dream has been rough. Unlike most of the indy guys who end up in NXT, Dream doesn't have a decade of experience, so I feel his ring rust is acceptable. But we've seen him wrestle great matches, such as his work with Aleister Black (make a mental note to watch that again on my lunch break). He's not a typical indy wrestler with spots and finisher spamming kickouts. So either one of these reason or the combination somehow tells these entitled prick fans that unless he's giving a match like Bucks vs Page/Omega, he's not the right person to lead NXT.

          This isn't AEW. This is NXT that is still under the WWE Umbrella. The worst part (for me and some others) of NXT lately was how many main event matches were the same style. Dream represents a change, and a super fresh one. It's an 80s WWF style change, because it could become style over substance. Persona over performance. Dream can wrestle a 4 star match, though I'm guessing he needs the right opponent (he's not Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels). But he gets the presentation better than Adam Clown Cole ever fucking could.

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          • I loved the ending. Not a knock on Ciampa at all, but Dream is going to get more out of Adam Cole than Ciampa can as far as character. And that is sure to help the title scene. It’s also been such a natural buildup for Dream over the years. They’ve done a great job with him and he’s done a great job making that gimmick work at first and then making it his own.

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            • I had a lot of fun - again - watching NXT this morning. Lee vs Grimes was good for what it was, and it looks like we're going for at least a Lee vs Dijakovic vs Priest triple threat at Takeover in battle of big men doing big men things.

              The women's ladder match field is starting to grow, with Green, Yim, and Nox now entered. Personally I enjoyed Yim vs Kai a lot more than Nox vs Purazzo. I'm not sure there's a clear winner of that match yet established in the field, which makes it all the better.

              They seem to be trying to do something interesting with Raul Mendoza and the masked men that kidnapped him, which I suspect people's mileage will vary on. I appreciate them trying to reboot someone that's not had much opportunity to show their best on NXT, and just looking through his history it certainly seems like they feel he has the in ring ability to be something important going forward, having had a title match with Almas on a house show and a Cruiserweight title match with Rush on 205 Live.

              Broserweights vs TUE was as good as can be expected - which is, you know, very good. And Gargano/Ciampa has pretty much picked up where it left of.

              A minor criticism - I hate that Mauro is sat there saying 'why Johnny? Why?' all the time. Like, Mauro has seen everything that Ciampa did to Gargano in their feud. Dude was scum of the Earth during that. And I get that NXT might want you to feel like Gargano has no reason for what he's doing, but ultimately his motivations are those of revenge but they're twisted into a heel persona in terms of actions. All Gargano seems to want is an apology that Ciampa isn't willing to give - an apology for ruining his life, for losing him his job at NXT, for spitting on his wedding ring - all the shit he did to him. I can kind of appreciate that it's a bit nuanced to communicate 'this guy is in the right, but doing it the wrong way', and it's not really the way WWE generally goes about these kind of thing when trying to draw a black/white line for the performers, but if pretty much all of the fans can work out why this is happening, and we're only a week removed from Gargano telling us why it's happening, screaming 'BUT WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHY?' over the top of a show ending brawl isn't a particularly smart commentary message, for me.

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              • Originally posted by Oliver View Post
                A minor criticism - I hate that Mauro is sat there saying 'why Johnny? Why?' all the time. Like, Mauro has seen everything that Ciampa did to Gargano in their feud. Dude was scum of the Earth during that. And I get that NXT might want you to feel like Gargano has no reason for what he's doing, but ultimately his motivations are those of revenge but they're twisted into a heel persona in terms of actions. All Gargano seems to want is an apology that Ciampa isn't willing to give - an apology for ruining his life, for losing him his job at NXT, for spitting on his wedding ring - all the shit he did to him. I can kind of appreciate that it's a bit nuanced to communicate 'this guy is in the right, but doing it the wrong way', and it's not really the way WWE generally goes about these kind of thing when trying to draw a black/white line for the performers, but if pretty much all of the fans can work out why this is happening, and we're only a week removed from Gargano telling us why it's happening, screaming 'BUT WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHY?' over the top of a show ending brawl isn't a particularly smart commentary message, for me.
                I'm not sure I agree with this statement.

                This was Kurt Angle's entire personality for the first few years of his career before he turned face. The three "I's". He came out and told us how what he was preaching is the way to live. The fact that he was so over the top, but technically correct, made him a heel in the process. the 'I am better than you' mantra.

                Also CM Punk's first push was exactly the same. His entire Straightedge persona (not actual lifestyle) was that 'Being straightedge, makes me better than you.' The entire aspect of being straightedge is that you do not drink, or do drugs, etc, and that is a bad thing? No way, but he was so over the top that he was a heel. Just look at the Punk vs Jericho feud. Punk was 100% correct, but was the heel in the feud.

                Then we also must look to last year with Daniel Bryan as the Planet's Champion. Every promo that Bryan said was basically correct. That we as a whole, were not taking care of the planet, and that he felt it was his job to educate us on it. He spoke down to the audience and made them feel like crap, and so over the top that he became a heel, but everything he said was correct.

                So Gargano trying to remind the NXT/WWE universe of how bad Ciampa was prior to him getting injured, but going at it, in an over the top way, has been used before with major players. I know it is only 3 examples, but I am sure that others will find more, but this type of gimmick, where you are morally correct, but going at it in the wrong way has been used many times in the WWE.

                I just hope that 'Gargano puts together' a video package showing exactly what Ciampa has done to remind the universe. That would drive home his point further.
                Last edited by Powder; 03-12-2020, 07:39 AM.

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                • I don't think those are the same thing (or at least the first two aren't - the Bryan example is a lot closer and fits quite well).

                  For me, it's closer to something like the Terry Funk turn on Ric Flair. Maybe Terry Funk should be considered a contender. Maybe Terry Funk has a point. But you damn sure don't attack the champion after the match and nearly cripple him just because you feel slighted.

                  I'm trying to remember the last time I think this was done well in WWE. Owen wanting to get out of Bret's shadow, but going about it in completely the wrong way springs to mind. If you want to go back still further you've got things like 'well, y'know, Andre never did get his title match....' but that's a little different because you've got Iago Heenan in the equation there. Actually, maybe there's an element of this in Bret's 1997 run, too.

                  There probably are more recent examples but it seems as if it was a thing they did better at some points in the past.

                  "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                  • It's very different when the message is 'I'm better than you, the fans' as it was for Angle, Punk, and Bryan, than when it's 'you, the person these fans cheer, are a bad person and here are all the reasons why you're a bad person'. Especially when it's the case that all of those reasons are perfectly...well, reasonable.

                    So I think it's not something that's easy to convey and to get the kind of reaction they want - you probably end up with both guys getting a bit more of a tweener reaction. Which would be a pretty unique situation, admittedly.

                    I thought the Gargano sit down with Mauro from the week before was perfect, by the way.

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                    • I got to say I love that NXT is having a tournament to crown an interim Cruiserweight champion. Keeps the belt active and we are guaranteed a unification at some point.

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                      • A lot of people complain about UFC using too many interim titles, but this is the perfect way to use it. It takes nothing away from Jordan Devlin, while elevating a new contender.

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                        • I'm not sure I needed a full hour of Gargano vs Ciampa.

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                          • Is it acceptable to say I hated it? It made Edge vs Orton look positively enjoyable. I was incredibly bored and perhaps that's because I've been spoilt with wrestling recently and didn't "get" it. But I found it a total grind and almost painful, despite really looking forward to the match.

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                            • I hated that they did the same 'on top of the truck' spot. Also the match was way too over edited. Too many jump cuts, too much production. I thought it told a good story, but was way too long.

                              And the story clearly is not over. HHH repeatedly said that this was it...it is over after this match. Then Candace comes down, and Ciampa sees that maybe he went too far, only to be turned on bu Candace. This will now go without retribution?


                              Side note: I get that the item that Candace gave to Johnny when she dropped him off was the cup, that he took out at the end of the match, but that implies that no other wrestler wears a cup. We all know that they don't, but why wouldn't they?
                              Last edited by Powder; 04-09-2020, 08:24 AM.

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                              • I don't think there's anything wrong with hating it. It was overly long and didn't need to be. I have the same complaint with Orton/Edge, but that was 10 minutes shorter yet felt like it was a sprint in comparison. It wasn't just long, it was slow as well.

                                It wasn't all bad, there were the normal sort of storytelling devices in there that Gargano/Ciampa have previously excelled at. But it went on, and dragged.

                                It could have been great, but suffered from what NXT regularly suffers from now in that it was bloated and clearly trying to be 'epic'.

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