Monday, November 21, 2016

NXT Takeover: Toronto

Bobby Roode's career is just a series of increasingly insane robes.
Once again, NXT puts on a show before a big WWE PPV, and once again, an incredible amount of effort by the performers and a super-hot crowd lets NXT steal the show from the big boys.

Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger: This is a very tricky prediction, because of two things. First is, is this the end of ther feud? If it's the end of their feud, Dillinger should win. If not, Roode will. But also, Toronto is Tye Dillinger's hometown, and WWE loooooooves making hometown wrestlers lose. So I'm gonna go with a Roode win here.

Man, I hope they handle Tye Dillinger right. The guy has a natural charisma that lets him take what is a fairly standard WWE Performance Center moveset and make it come alive. He and Roode worked really well together despite both their in-ring limitations. Roode also got the big entrance of the night, with a full choir and a new, even more ridiculous robe. But the hometown curse strikes again, as Roode hits his mediocre, unnamed lifting DDT finisher for the pin. I wouldn't mind another go-round of this feud. On the upside, the crowd loves chanting "10" so much that for the rest of the show, and all through Survivor Series, anytime the crowd counts along with ANYTHING, the only number they'll chant is "TEN", which is super awesome. (1/1 on predictions)

Dusty Classic Finals: Authors Of Pain vs. TM61, Ellering Suspended In A Shark Cage The shark cage thing is apparently a reference/callback to Ellering's career, which I know jack shit about. The removal of the Authors' edge seems to indicate a TM61 win, and TM61 could use the trophy more than the Authors, but at the same time, are they the team to beat the monsters? I'm gonna say yes, but I'm not comfortable with it.

And I was right to be uncomfortable. This match ended up being an ad for a toy, as the set was a re-creation of the WWE Crash Cage playset. It came into play twice - first, when Shane Thorn dove from about 3/4 of the way up the crane scaffolding to dive to the outside, and once, when Paul Ellering dropped a chain into the ring which then didn't get used and didn't play into the finish, which saw the Authors win clean. Good match, but nowhere near the best match in the tournament. I assume the Authors go after the belts now. (1/2 on predictions)

Tag Team Title Match: The Revival vs. DIY (2/3 falls): DIY wins here, and when they do, Toronto's going to FUCKING EXPLODE. This rivalry has been hot as fuuuuuuck and the Brooklyn match had DIY coming SO CLOSE and it's gonna happen here and it's going to be insane.

Correct on both counts. This match was great - easily the match of the whole weekend, with a strong finish where the Revival double-tapped-out to a crossface and an armbar, which they should probably not call the Murder-Suicide. I'm hoping that losing two falls AND getting a double tapout satisfies the WWE "gotta win twice to cement your place" rule and The Revival get called up. Though they'll probably end up on Smackdown since they'd be redundant with Gallows and Anderson on Raw. (2/3 on predictions)

Women's Title Match: Mickie James vs. Asuka: There is absolutely no reason, no reason whatsoever, for Mickie James to be beating Asuka here. None. At all. Not even sure if the match is gonna be any good. But Asuka had better retain.

The Toronto crowd is very generous to Mickie James, with the "You Still Got It" chants, but there's no doubt Asuka was doing 70% of the work here. James is at about the level of the Aussie Mean Girls in terms of ability to hang in the ring. Not bad, but not really in a place to be going toe to toe with Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow retains via an awkward sequence ending in the Asuka Lock. (3/4 predictions)

Men's Title Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Samoa Joe: We need to move on from this feud, and the only way to do it is for Nakamura to win and for Joe to be called up. There's nothing for Joe to do in the NXT midcard. We don't want to see Joe vs. Bobby Roode. Really we don't. Let Joe lose Intercontinental and US title matches for a bit while Nakamura takes on a few more challengers. Nakamura retains, and I hope the intensity in the buildup actually makes it into the match this time, unlike their last meeting.

Well. No idea why that went down the way it did unless we're meant to see Joe-Nakamura III. The good news is, they maintained the intensity as much as they could, but Joe couldn't keep the pace of the match up for the whole thing. Still way better than their Brooklyn match, although once again, Nakamura got his legs and knees worked over and once again, he forgot that every time he needed to use his knees for offense. Joe wins after a low blow, an STO on the steps, and a Muscle Buster, and I'm not sure I can take another two to three months of Joe and Nakamura. (3/5 predictions)

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