Back for another edition of the Pro Wrestling recap. Lots has been happening so let’s dive in, shall we (& always have to plug #3FNW: https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ht9w3-b241e3 for some more wrestling coverage:
*NXT had it’s “Takeover” card this past Saturday. There was a HUGE AEW shadow hanging on WWE’s head since their PPV last week. It is easy to say with confidence that NXT showed everyone why their the top brand in wrestling today.
Matt Riddle def. Roderick Strong (4.25 score of 5). Great opener between these two. They had some time to develop & Riddle showed off some new moves. Crowd was ready to go & both guys fed off that energy.
Street Profits won the vacant Tag Team Titles over Fish/O’Reilly, Forgotten Sons & Lorcan/Burch (5 out of 5). You wanted ladders? You got it! Every team looked great in this one. Quite a few crazy moments in this one ranging from Wesley Blake suicide dive INTO A LADDER! to Kyle O’Reilly taking some vicious bumps & the crazy athleticism of one Montez Ford. Once the Profits got the belts, the roof came off the place with a sea of red cups. All 9 competitors went all out in this one (Not a typo…. Jaxson Ryker FKA Gunner had a strong run of spots in the middle of this one. I don’t doubt a solo push in some form soon).
Velveteen Dream def. Tyler Breeze to retain the North American title (4 out of 5). In case anyone forgot why Tyler Breeze was a big deal when he was called up, they were reminded in this one. He was able to wrestle and losing to Dream didn’t hurt him for getting another NXT run. As for the Dream, he proved it’s a matter of when, not if he takes off to be a big name in the company.
Shayna Baszler def. Io Shirai & held onto the NXT Womens title (4 out of 5). Baszler’s run in NXT has been exceptional & very underrated IMO. Shirai is very good as well, so it was no doubt this match was great. Lots of back & forth action plus the outside interference didn’t steal anything away from the match. Crazy chair moonsault & kendo stick attack by Shirai after the match & I’m expecting a potential 3-way match with these 2 & Candice LeRae at the next Takeover.
Adam Cole (BAY BAY) defeats Johnny Gargano to capture the NXT World Title (5 out of 5). Gargano is “Johnny Takeover” for a reason. Win or lose, he always delivers a Match of the Night on the card. Cole was the big addition to NXT last year & he hasn’t let anyone down. Cole has been the top guy in every organization he’s ever been in and Saturday was his ascension to the top of NXT. Great back & forth moments with both guys hitting huge spots. Not sure if Gargano was hurt prior to match, but a gritty performance in the loss not matter what. Cole reigned victorious at the end of some great near-falls & the future match-up with Ciampa is looming soon….
*WWE needed this win. After AEW took the first shot with “Double or Nothing” which had some great matches, some direct shots at WWE, & the debut which drew the biggest buzz of the week: Jon Moxley FKA Dean Ambrose, WWE came back with a very lackluster RAW & Smackdown. Not exactly the best way to swing the popular opinion in their favor.
*AEW also scored with the “Talk Is Jericho” podcast with Moxley. On that episode, Mox didn’t hold too many punches back & the general feeling was WWE took an L with no bounce back (Available where you find all great podcasts).
However, as long as NXT is NXT as it’s current format, There is very little to worry about. Triple H has created a monster down in Florida that has shown time & time again, it’s arguably the best brand in wrestling. No matter on who’s been called up, they have someone else step up. Their “Takeover” series is setting very high bars. After the show last night, Rich from 3FNW had a great point: “If Vince wants to have a war with AEW, imagine if they move NXT to network TV on Tuesday night to go head to head?”
It’s a great question to raise. There is a conflicting image from AEW: do they want to be different or do they want to be WCW 2.0? During the DoN PPV, there were some direct shots at WWE. They haven’t fallen unnoticed. AEW announced “All Out” on August 31st, which was answered by Triple H with NXT UK Takeover the very same day! It’s a subtle jab, but a jab back never the less. How AEW plays off this is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for certain: we all will be watching.