Monday, February 4, 2019

The Old Nerd Enjoyed Takeover Phoenix More THan He Expected

I’m still a Bel-ieve-air.
Desptie having a tough time with the predictions, I ended up doing way better than I thought I did. And the show was better than I was expecting, although once again a Takeover main event got outshone by the rest of the card.

Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno: Riddle will obviously win here. 

Well, OK. Not the ENTIRE rest of the card. Riddle won, this was fine, everyone did what they were supposed to. (1/1)

Undisputed Era Vs. War Raiders (NxT Tag Team Championships): I’m going to say the Raiders get the belts.

And they did, in a match that once again keeps me from hating the War Raiders despite my almost instinctual inclination to hate the War Raiders. This was super intense and everyone worked their asses off, but it makes me very curious to see where the tag division goes from here. I’m sort of kidding because it’s going to more matches between UE and WR. (2/2)

Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano (North American Championship): I’m gonna say Johnny Gets A Belt Finally 

Johnny got a belt, finally! Which is fitting. This match wasn’t about Ricochet. Ricochet was a prop in the Johnny Gargano’s War For Johnny Gargano’s Soul story, which, much like the War Raiders, every time I’ve decided I’m not into it, it surprises me and gets me into it again. Johnny’s now like 90% evil but unwilling to admit it to himself, which is a fun place in his personal face/heel dynamic. (3/3)

Bianca Belair vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT Women’s Championship): I’m gonna go with a heart pick and not a head pick and be stupid and wrong. 

Yep! If I’d been smart I’d have gone five for five, but I’m dumb and wanted to believe, and then this match completely justified my desire to believe. It made Belair look like a goddamned star, rallied the entirety of Full Sail behind her as a face, and cemented her as the likely Next NXT Women’s Champion, either in New York or New Orleans. But she still lost. (3/4)

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Aleister Black (NXT Championship): Ciampa retains.

Thank goodness. I’m hoping Aleister Black showing upin the Rumble means he’s going to the main roster, despite his Halftime Heat appearance, because with Velveteen Dream lined up to knock Ciampa off his throne in the next few months, there’s not much for Black to do in NXT. The match was fine, and in spots very good, but it suffered from being Every Aleister Black NXT Title Match Ever. (4/5)

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