As I sit here and type this week’s article up while Saved by the Bell plays in the background, I can only think about NXT Takeover: Rival, which will most likely rock my world in mere hours. If it seems I have high expectations; the roster’s past work has certainly built up a deserved expectation. It seems each week now I look forward to NXT and Lucha Underground the most, and I feel the fact that they are each simple hour long programs speaks volumes.
Let us begin with the recent events of Lucha Underground. Angélico is one of my new favorites and he worked a great match against Son of Havoc that had high flying action, some fierce knees, and used Ivelisse properly. Drago is another wrestler I enjoy watching, and he had a solid match Aero Star. Matt Striker did let the air out of the show a little bit with that Tony Atlas foot fetish joke, but thankfully the main event was up next. Last week I asked my wonderful readers their thoughts on the machine known as Cage, but only two people responded. Thank you to those two, but I took matters into my own hands and willingly spent some more time on YouTube, looking up some of his past matches. I think I like him now, and I certainly respect the facial hair a bit more. I discussed with a friend how we liked that he wore the broken title down to the ring around his neck—that is instant heat for some. The move that Johnny Mundo did to the outside was incredible, Cage was dominant, and both men looked resilient as hell. Not sure if I liked King Cuerno’s interference at the end, but this may lead into something cool, and I did enjoy Dario Cueto restarting the match.
Holy crap! Is Alberto El Patrón here already!? Quiet, I liked Del Rio.
TNA’s Lockdown is a show that usually delivers, something I look forward to. An entire event where each match takes place in a steel cage; it does not scream perfection, but we are getting there. The Hardy Boyz versus The Revolution was a fun opening match with good pacing that ended with that insane bump from Jeff everyone talked about for so long. It looked a bit less painful from that angle, but only a little. Awesome Kong and Havok met in the ring finally, and I hope it will not be for the last time, because there is a lot more potential there. Bobby Roode finally got his hands on Eric Young in a brutal outing that ended with a pretty fierce slam on the steel chair. These two are great wrestlers, but something bothered me about it, something that is reoccurring problem with cage matches. Too much attention has been given to camera holes in the cage. They are constantly used to cheat; twice alone in this event. This obviously takes a small bit of the mystique away, and casts a greater eye on how production is done, but worse it sets a precedent for future matches. Next time a wrestler cannot seem to get into the cage or find a way to help their teammate with a weapon, just remember that someone pulled Matt Hardy out of one of these holes.
Spud lived up to the title Rockstar with that flip off the cage. I have been saying he was awesome for months, and it looks like Mandrews (what the hell is with that name?) will be good as well. The Lethal Lockdown match was alright I guess, but the good parts did not make it any less predictable—which is a common flaw with this match type. This was made worse by the fact that Lashley was not much of a tease. I think the worst part was how dominant Angle’s team was at the end, with each member of the BDC being pinned in unison, making the entire faction seem a good bit weaker. I was complaining about how the feuds did not seem solid last week, and now it looks like the booking just is not coming together, which does not make for a good combination. Maybe the next episode will improve on these things.
Smackdown had a lot of little touches I liked. Creative is taking the proper time to break up the Dust Brothers—which I guess I will not be able to call them much longer—and this could lead to a good program. I loved Ambrose backstage before his match, walking through and taking the guy’s walkie talkie, seeming just a little off. The fact that it looks like the only reason he wants Barrett’s belt is to get his picture up in WWE headquarters is pretty hilarious too. Wait, is Fandango face now? That would be odd. Byron Saxton showed a few moments of growth in his commentary, and Adam Rose rounded this match out by attacking all of his male Rosebuds. Some of those women are wrestlers. He could have attacked them as well. Finally, I like that the Miz looked dangerous in the opening portion of his match, which will be good for the eventual feud against Mizdow.
I know I just praised Byron Saxton, but one of the things he said was something I did not like about Smackdown. The fledgling announcer actually said that if John Cena were to beat Rusev, that it would take his career to new heights. No, that is not even believable. I know this line was fed to him by someone, and I understand the need to build the most current thing, but this is just a ridiculous statement. Firstly, I hope Rusev wins, as unlikely as that may be. I loved seeing Rusev actually beat the shit out of Cena on Raw, but still, besting a currently unpinned US champion, no matter how strong he is made to look, is not bigger than half of the items on Cena’s list of accomplishments. If WWE is going to use these hype lines, they need to make them sound reasonable.
You know Raw was lackluster when my biggest note is about a Katie Vick reference. There were a few fun things, like Paige yelling at the referee and the segment with Miz and Mizdow. I also enjoy the direction Tyson Kidd and Cesaro are going, and that dinner segment could have been a lot worse. The highlight of the night for me was Dolph Ziggler versus Bray Wyatt. It was a rough and fun match that made me want to see more. It was just too bad the show had a sluggish first hour and the rest never seemed to pick up in full. I actually am not sure what they were attempting with that last match, building up Bryan and having Reigns spend most of the match on the outside? Even the segment revolving around Sting did not really get my attention, and that worries me a little. Raw’s audience dropped this week, which does not seem like a surprise in retrospect. Right now Fast Lane is looking like a dud, but I hope that changes.
Am I missing something, is anyone interested in Fast Lane?
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