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  • Some much better Raw lately, Smackdown is still doing awesome stuff, and I can't think of a more reliable and stable wrestling product than NXT. Nothing is perfect, but it's strange to feel that for at least 2 weeks, all the brands are doing good work.

    Looks like Finn might be done with NXT. I suspect Io Shirai might be another who will come back for a big rematch to put over Raquel and then move to the main roster after the next Takeover.

    Speaking of, I really enjoy the In Your House gimmick. It was a dumb idea in 1995, and that era led to a bunch of forgettable but cheaper PPVs, but for NXT it just works for me. Hopefully the recent trend of hard hitting main events continue. And Adam Cole stays away for longer. Let him go to AEW, Gargano too.


    • Cor, I'd almost forgotten Adam Cole existed.

      He's going to cost O'Reilly the triple threat next week now, isn't he?

      I like Franky Monet a lot. I always thought she was pretty dope in the ring, and I could see her very quickly getting a title shot if not a reign.


      • Wow, having Adam Cole stand toe to toe with Karrion Kross just highlights how tiny he is. Kross' arm looks about as thick as Cole's torso.

        Kross' theme tune really doesn't work with him just coming out to cut a promo and no dramatics.

        I really liked the first hour or so of last night's show, as it felt like stuff happened fluidly - like they did the Triple Threat and Cole showed up, but as Cole was being pulled out of the building Ember walked past to start her promo. The same thing happened when Cole went out to do his promo and walked past DiBiase talking. I really like that feel.


        • If you scroll through this thread (or others, can't really remember which), I have been saying for a while now that Adam Cole and other wrestlers his size are no where near believable against a guy like Kross. I know that Balor and O'Reilly are about the same height, but KO is about 15-20 bigger and more muscular, and Balor is shredded, so that gives him the optics of credibility.

          But Cole, looks like a guy who has no muscle mass and is playing wrestler in his house with his friends. I KNOW HE IS NOT, AND YES I KNOW HE IS TALENTED, regardless of my liking or not liking his wrestling style. But with his lack of height, weight, and muscle mass, he gives off bad optics against a guy like Kross, or mostly anyone on the main roster.

          Kross is listed at 6'4" and 265lbs and Cole is listed at 6' and 200lbs. I think the 200 is exaggerating a bit, and he looks smaller than that.

          Remember this? This shows how small Cole really is.



          • I don't see it as a problem, to be honest. It was just notable that he is smaller. And Kross' upper arm is HUGE.


            • Wrestling is all about believability, and the ability of suspending disbelief. Even as a little kid, I knew that there has to be some of that, but when you see a guy like Adam Cole facing off against a guy the size of Kross, it makes suspending the disbelief hard to do.

              MMA and Boxing have weight classes for that matter. No one will believe a heavyweight boxer/MMAer who is 6'4" and 250lbs facing off against a Cruiserweight who is 190lbs is believable. So why does wrestling think that is so. Yes speed, and agility and wrestling fortitude come into play, but usually the smaller guys have muscular bodies to make themselves look more believable.

              Take Kenny Omega, he is listed at 6' and 205lbs, the SAME SIZE as Adam Cole, but he is ripped, and much more believable than Cole, who looks like a Soccer Dad with a Soccer Mom haircut.

              I'm sorry, but wrestling is about optics. Cole does not being the optics. The guy is good in the ring, and can use the mic really well, but he fails the eye test miserably, which is why he is not believable.


              • Is that not the exact thing that people have long said Vince needs to move away from thinking?


                • While Powder is longwinded and often offtrack, he's right here. The size difference is major and leads to a lack of believe-ability. Barring a extreme difference in skill (like Royce Gracie at the first UFCs) there's no way to believe Cole can beat Kross.


                  • Some, however, even after the "steroid era" and into the New Generation era, Bret, HBK, Owen, and SCSA were all 'smaller guys' but they were all muscular and over 6' and around 225-235lbs. Yes they were smaller, but still optically bigger than Cole.

                    Even look to today Seth Rollins is 6'1" and 225lbs, but he looks so much bigger than a guy like Cole.

                    I am not saying everyone needs to be over 6'5", nor do they all need to be 250-350lbs, but they do need to have presence. Cole lacks presence. Not one of the other wrestlers I mentioned lacks.


                    • It's also about ring skill/style. Daniel Bryan and Kyle OReilly are great examples of guys who wrestle a style and have the presence to overcome a lack of size. Balor did a good job vs Kross as well. Cole looks like he could be outworked by Dominik Mysterio.


                      • I don't think the point is wrong, I should say - Cole does look a bit like Kross could snap him in half with one hand. I can't think of wrestler who I've looked at and thought they don't even work out, but that's genuinely the vibe I get from Cole on sight.

                        My thing is more that if he were to work a style like O'Reilly or Balor I could consider that he could take someone like that on. That's not to do with look or size, that's just style.


                        • Another good week, in my opinion, of NXT - they only have one or two segments that do it, but the way they blend storylines and things together to sew seeds of what's coming in the future is really good for the overall feel of the show. They keep referring to it as 'chaos' on commentary, but doing something like the Hit Row group coming out to stare at first LdF and then MSK/Reed puts them in the clear position of what they are next lining up after Takeover.

                          You've also got Theory vs Lorcan tying to Gargano vs Dunne (and by extension the title five way) really well - both of those duos can be considered as potential tag teams, but they've used their connection to have a singles match that allows some heat to grow in a subsection of the main event. They could also tie in Fish and O'Reilly to that through the Lorcan/Fish stuff which, again, links to that main event feud.

                          And the women's stuff as well - they had Io return and make an impact against one of the women's tag champions and Poppy, so they could potentially pull the trigger on an Io/Poppy vs The Way match, or have Io get a different partner, but they also bounced to Io coming eye to eye with Raquel who took the women's title from her, and that bled into Ember vs Dakota which is obviously over the forthcoming title match with Raquel but also an extension of the first women's tag titles reign and change which didn't happen too long ago.

                          It's not a lot of segments all bleeding together and tying to bigger stories, but it's pitched at about the right level to make the whole show feel like it's coherent and one shared universe, as opposed to being individual parts that never really crossover. I love that. It's how I want my shows to feel.


                          • Agreed. The big problem with NXT is that there's no starpower. I know there is potential for one, but without the aura of Raw or Smackdown, without a stand out masterful feud or story, or a star that is a true draw, it's going to continue being the 3rd brand in WWE. Despite all the things they do right for patient story telling (with exceptions like the rushed Kyle vs Cole unsanctioned match), and the amount of pretty good matches, it's still not must see. AEW gets that rep because they mix a lot of the positives NXT has, with a bigger budget, a bigger atmosphere, and they pull out more surprises. NXT is definitely not on the same level in certain aspects, but better in others in my opinion.

                            But in terms of week to week consistency, NXT is the best.


                            • Is this the perfect role for Joe? Think he had a really good first night, and I really hope they stick with this dynamic for a while. I don't know if Joe was actually ruled out of in ring stuff in the future which is why he had to commentate for a bit or whether that was just due to injury recover, but if they can sparsely use him in the ring once or twice but otherwise keep him as, essentially, Regal's equaliser, I think they're really onto something.

                              There wasn't anything breathtaking in the ring on the show this week - it was steady but largely unspectacular except for the Tornado Tag - but as a show that just sets some things in motion for Great American Bash I think it did pretty well. Other than Cole/O'Reilly II (in NXT), nothing is immediately set for GAB in 3 weeks, but as that's a TV show and nothing more it doesn't need loads of build in my opinion.

                              Am I the only person that thinks LA Knight has definitely watched a lot of Rock promos? His cadence seems to really echo those late 90s promos he delivered, for me.


                              • I wish WWE used Tornado Tags more often. AEW is technically the Tornado Tag promotion (since TK lets their referees look stupid by refusing to end in DQ or count out), and it's a big reason why their tag division stands out. I think all matches being nuts is bad overall, but they do have more exciting tag matches on a regular basis. It's a great gimmick match for a tag feud, and can main event a weekly show. If 3 weeks from now, Raw advertised a Tornado match between New Day and RKBro, it would fit seamlessly into the stories and feel fresh for that brand.

                                NXT, again, is the best example of consistency in wrestling delivery. I loved last night's show, other than the terrible CW open challenge. I know that style of wrestling has its place, but the spot where Kushida kept messing up when he was supposed to go over the top rope was awful, and workers aren't able to think on the fly anymore because it's so planned out. It's painful to watch.