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  • Took me a moment to remember the stunt from last year, until it hit me that it was the air raid crash from the top of the catch through the tables.

    I'm kind of hoping that the US/FTB match will be a lot more grounded, without any top of the cell spots, this year as they don't really have anyone that can fly on either team. But then I recall that from last year and you wouldn't think they'd put a spot like that in there either.

    I'll tell you what - McAfee can really talk them into a building. Even something that's basically simple like his promo on NXT this week, he's got me wanting to watch him get absolutely pummelled and I would definitely pay to see it if I had to. I know talking is basically his day job and has been for 4/5 years, and a couple of years within WWE itself on pre-show panels and the like, but he can really really do it well.

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    • I see the other 2 members of UE turning on Adam Cole and Kyle O‚ÄôReilly to further cement the face turn of Cole and Reilly.

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      • At least they would, hopefully, get some ace tag matches out of that.

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        • But no....they went in a direction where it makes no sense to continue to feud. The UE beat the newly formed Kings in a Wargames match. The end match of a feud, not the beginning.

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          • Good TV show this week. I didn't love the opening promo bit, although I definitely popped for the idea of Dunne vs Balor for the title, especially after seeing a much better in ring Balor against, and leading up to him facing, O'Reilly than we had for a long time. I don't know, I think Priest turning up just killed the segment a little for me because I'm not that into him personally. I kind of just feel that there has been someone in NXT recently who has done everything that Priest can do but better. I guess my thing is that once you've seen Dijakovic vs Lee the stuff Priest does isn't quite as impressive.

            I really want to see more of Ever-Rise in good length matches. I think there's something about them.

            They're clearly setting up for Gonzalez vs Shirai for the title there, and I think there's something in that for sure. But with Storm eyeing the title too, there could be a lot of good stuff in the future.

            I actually think they've done really well this week to build a lot of interest around the 'who' of the next challenger. You've got Storm, Gonzalez, and even the chance of Ember and, if healthy, LeRae for the women's title, you've got Dunne, O'Reilly, Priest, and Kross all looking towards Balor. I think they're going to shift Priest away from the Ruff/Gargano stuff and actually let Ruff have a major singles match on New Year's Evil for the title, and there's probably something between GYV and Oney/Burch coming out of the tag match last night.

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            • What is left for Rhea Ripley? If the plan is to build to Io vs Raquel, Rhea eats another loss here. So why not keep her off TV, have her re-debut at the Rumble and join the RAW roster to keep her away from Bianca until Mania 2022.

              Also, during War Games, I said that based on the ending of the Ciampa/Thatcher match, and probably in either this or another thread (too lazy to look) that I think they are building towards a Ciampa/Thatcher tag team. It might take the Sheamus/Cesaro route in that they have another match first, and then they decide they have mutual respect for one another so they join forces.
              Last edited by Powder; 12-10-2020, 07:25 AM.

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              • Ripley and Ciampa are kind of in the same place - they don't have anything left to 'do' in NXT, exactly, but also they probably wouldn't have a good place to fit on the main roster.

                It's interesting to see Gargano still have good storylines and title shots while not being in the main event, while Ciampa seems slightly at sea currently. I wonder if they had planned to call Ciampa up to the main roster this summer but have put a hold on it until they can work out what they're doing with getting crowds back into the arena(s).

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                • Changing gears...

                  I am surprised that no one has yet to talk about the amazing job the WWE has been doing with Xia Li and Boa. The vignettes with them 'training' are amazing. Also last night with all of the gratuitous blood was a far cry from what the WWE normally allows. The reveal of the masked woman leader better be good, and Li and Boa hopefully will get a really nice push out of all of this.

                  Loving this story.

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                  • Originally posted by Oliver View Post
                    Ripley and Ciampa are kind of in the same place - they don't have anything left to 'do' in NXT, exactly, but also they probably wouldn't have a good place to fit on the main roster.

                    It's interesting to see Gargano still have good storylines and title shots while not being in the main event, while Ciampa seems slightly at sea currently. I wonder if they had planned to call Ciampa up to the main roster this summer but have put a hold on it until they can work out what they're doing with getting crowds back into the arena(s).
                    I hope Ciampa isn't brought up at all to be honest. Last year when they did the NXT/main roster crossover The fucking Miz of all people made Ciampa look like a tinsy tiny baby boy.

                    Ciampa is shredded, looks like a million bucks and seems legitimately dangerous. But when Seth Rollins has 20-lbs on you it's not a good sign for the push you're going to get.

                    The same thing could be said for Adam Cole. Dude needs to lift a few weights. I seem to recall that he made Daniel Bryan look like Hulk Hogan last year.
                    Originally posted by Powder View Post
                    Changing gears...

                    I am surprised that no one has yet to talk about the amazing job the WWE has been doing with Xia Li and Boa. The vignettes with them 'training' are amazing. Also last night with all of the gratuitous blood was a far cry from what the WWE normally allows. The reveal of the masked woman leader better be good, and Li and Boa hopefully will get a really nice push out of all of this.

                    Loving this story.
                    I could not disagree more. This whole story and set of vignettes seems dumb to me. It reminds me of some shit out of The Defenders or Daredevil, both of which I liked, but I don't need shadowy Asian cabals in my pro wrestling.

                    It also makes me ask: "who the fuck is making these videos?" Are Boa's crew making weird videos of them being tortured and sending them off? Is that a fetish? Has this mysterious figure requested a WWE camera crew? Is this supposed to be "secret" training and we're a fly on the wall? Why does this video exist then?

                    I know I'm overthinking it. It doesn't change how dumb I think it is.
                    https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
                    My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

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                    • Not reading all the recent replies yet as I am typing this as I watch NXT on a Friday morning. I'll go back and read what I missed later.

                      I'm also going to try something I want to incorporate into the podcast eventually, but instead of a review, I want to discuss the positives and negatives of each show.

                      Positives:
                      • Once again, NXT remains consistently strong. I might not have loved War Games due to the modern taste for excess, but the weekly shows do a great job keeping things in reasonable doses.
                      • The spotlight build of Raquel Gonzalez has been tremendous. Despite losing to Rhea on TV a few months ago, she's been kept really strong and is an imposing star of the future. And that spot of Raquel grabbing Ember off the structure and into the throw to the post was great, and the way Raquel pinned Ember down after that was innovative. Nice little detail that makes a difference. And another face-off with Ripley can be great if built up for a rematch. It's something AEW does better than anyone, and Raw/Smackdown could learn form this, but having feuds not be beaten into the ground week after week, and instead slowly developing like Rhea/Raquel looks to be doing will have better long term impact.
                      • Having multiple contenders for the NXT titles is always great. Finn has Dunne, Priest, O'Reilly and Kross all looking for his head and title. Io has Raquel and Toni obviously looking for a shot, while Candice likely will add her name into the mix, and Rhea can earn a title shot easily without any issue. The tag division has Drake Maverick and Killian Dain looking to be moving into a feud with the champs, while Imperium and the Grizzled Young Veterans ready to move into contention. Breezango likely can come looking for a rematch soon too.
                        • Shows like WrestleMania should be headlined by the single top feuds, with stand out contenders. But when building up towards the big events, adding several people into the title mix creates intrigue.
                      • LOVED the Chinese mysticism segment. Cinematic matches don't do it for me, but using cinematic filming for promos and segments like this never gets old. Much like Mr Perfect tossing a football and catching it himself at the end of the field, wrestling should use pretapes to build up characters and stories.
                      Negatives
                      • That said NXT needs some levity. Every angle is based on attacks from behind and vicious grudges. Obviously, wrestling needs that, but Dunne attacked Killian a few weeks ago. Then Dain got Dunne during a promo this week. Kross attacked Priest (I'm curious to find out why, because there's no real reason at this time). The triple threat tag match was based off random attacks the week prior. Rust attacked Ciampa mid-match, and there seems to be a blood feud building between Ciampa and Thatcher. The Chinese mysticism segment had Xia Li and Boa being brutalized. Lorcan/Dunne went after Dain, and Drake (of all people - not because he can't be serious, but because he's one of the rare examples of levity in NXT) made the chairshot save, Storm going after Ember post main event, only to be saved by Rhea...etc. I like a match for the sake of competition, which we got with the opener between Atlas and Scott, but that looks to have been the start of a feud. I know, it's a weird complaint, but it makes so much of NXT feel similar. There should be something to break up the angle monotony.
                      • Heel promos need to be shorter. The Way (Gargano family) had a good segment overall, and The Way is good at getting heat. They are annoying, and well displayed and solid on the mid. BUT it went on way too long and it's something that occurs way too often in wrestling. Last week's Impact's Omega/Callis promo, or Sami Callihan's. WWE does this constantly. Heel heat is a tough aspect to manage and being annoying is a great tactic, yet you risk losing the effectiveness if it goes on too long.
                      • Segments where people interrupt with their entrance music, only to talk just doesn't work for me. Much like the heel promo comment, the theme song interruption trope has lost its effect, and feels overly produced.

                      Powder, Rhea can still work with lots of women in NXT. She doesn't have to be the champion to have value. In fact, a "gatekeeper" role in NXT before her main roster debut is something HHH and the NXT creative team needs more than anything. She can help get Raquel ready, work with Toni, Candice, Dakota, Xia (when she returns). Or, turn heel and work with Ember, Shotzi...etc. Lots of options. And she's young, no need to rush her to the main roster before the main roster knows what to do with her. I think her future is golden no matter when she moves up, but it'll be even better if there's a plan in place.
                      Thankfully, I think there is a plan. I still feel that Wrestlemania 37 will have Charlotte vs Rhea, where Ripley gets her win back. But until then, NXT is a great spot for her.

                      COACH, you are overthinking it, but you do make valid points. That said, it can be applied to any pretapes and wrestling "logic". Who's playing the theme music as I discussed above?

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                      • Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post
                        COACH, you are overthinking it, but you do make valid points. That said, it can be applied to any pretapes and wrestling "logic". Who's playing the theme music as I discussed above?
                        See, I understand it when it comes to the Mr. Perfect vignettes or the Bianca ones, because of course you'd want to send a camera crew to highlight your hot new talent. I just find myself asking "why" when I see secret, hidden things broadcast on TV.

                        I agree completely with the theme music thing. It would be one of the first things I'd stop. I'm not completely against it during a promo segment, because I could see the second guy walking up pissed off through Gorilla and saying "hit my music, I'm going to give this motherfucker a piece of my mind". When they do it during run-ins or attacks and that kind of stuff though? It's super over produced, loses any sense of spontaneity, and just feels fake and scripted.

                        God forbid I go save my friend from being beaten down without my musical cue.
                        https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
                        My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

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                        • It also loses that great moment when you hear the roar pick up, growing to a crescendo, as more and more people realise a babyface is running in to help. I used to love that.

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

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                          • Ooh, I'll second that. The steadily increasing roar as the crowd realises what's going on. There were a couple of good ones for Shamrock and Big Show (I think) in the Black Wedding segment before the glass shattered for Austin.

                            COACH, would it work with the Xia/Boa segments if (say) the announcers stated they'd been sent a mysterious video from someone and then they cut into the hostage/torture/training (whatever you term them as) thing, so they establish these things are being sent in, they don't know where from, and they're shot by a mystery person.

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                            • I'm so happy O'Reilly and Balor found each other. I honestly didn't expect I would ever say this about Finn, but I could watch him wrestle all day against O'Reilly. I hope they can find a way to get a third match against each other in NXT.

                              Did anybody see where Finn got busted open? Seemed to happen during a submission, or at least that was the first mention of it on commentary.

                              Really enjoyed New Year's Evil - didn't like the mixed tag very much, I guess that was just a filler for the lost Ciampa/Thatcher match.

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                              • What happened to the Fight Pit? I assumed it was nixed because the show was too long. Four matches that were all going to be given time doesn't leave much for a fifth on a 90 minute show.
                                https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
                                My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

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