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(NXT) The Full Sail crowd's pure, noble love for Tye Dillinger. They started by chanting ROYAL RUMBLE! NUMBER TEN! at him, then was on board with the emotional ride of his entire segment, where Eric Young demands he join Sanity, he refuses, and gets destroyed by Sanity's newest member who has a new name they didn't call him by this week. We get Dillinger-Young at Takeover, which, if the crowd's chant is accurate, tells me Dillinger should get a much-needed win.
(205) Jack Gallagher won his I Forfeit match with Ariya Daivari via umbrella-assisted crossface chicken wing. More importantly, the excellent match did something rarely possible on 205 Live, actually woke up and engaged the usually small, usually burned out crowd. I especially enjoyed the various umbrellas stashed all over the ring. He gets an almost Hacksaw Jim Duggan pop when he hoists one.
(NXT) Thecontract signing between Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura. I don't have huge hopes for the match being a classic, but in one segment they gave me all the reasons I needed from a story standpoint to get excited. Man, I want Nakamura to learn more english, faster, because his promos are pretty good right now, with his limitations, so they can only get better. SHIBA INU!
(SD) AJ Styles' heel mic work in the opening promo segment. And you know I mean it because AJ Styles' mic work has almost never been better than just barely good enough.
Still two weeks before the Rumble, which means I may complete my plan to watch all the Rumble matches before the Rumble. I'm on 2005 now.
(NXT) Normally, I wouldn't give props to a squash match, but first, Nikki Cross has had like two singles outings total, and two, nobody embodies her character the way Cross does. Man or woman, Smackdown or Raw, every second Nikki Cross is on screen she's in character. She's so in character it's odd to see her staying still long enough to pin her opponent.
Raw's usual hypocritical salute to MLK Jr. Day. While WWE has been better to African-American talent in the past year than probably the entire history of the company to date, that's counterbalanced by Linda McMahon, member of the Trump administration and the trial balloons to see if they can get Hogan back. Don't piss on my bed and tell me it's raining, WWE.
(SD) That tedious King's COurt segment i which a rusty Lawler in full ring gear tries to interview a near-mute Dolph Ziggler.
(Raw) Charlotte completely failing to get any heel heat from mocking Bayley. Bayley almost saved it, and then someone's awful poem idea derailed everything.
(205) Tajiri's horribly-timed knee injury.
(Raw) Dean Ambrose defeated Randy Orton by rollup in an overlong, boring match leading to the inevitable and oddly pointless Harperference. After the match there was an equally overlong and inconclusive breakup scene. This ends one o three ways. Luke Harper as a singles wrestler, which is a goddamned nightmare, Randy Orton goes back to being Randy Orton, or it just keeps going like this.
(Raw) Roman Reigns saying "Nobody in the world can beat me one on one right now", which is WHY PEOPLE BOO YOU.
(Raw) Sami Zayn, Wacky Obsessed Nutjob?
(Raw) A super weird finish to an OK tag title match that involved The Clerb winning the belts but having a ref overturn it to a DQ win - Sheamus accidentally hit one ref, setting up the pin by Anderson and Gallows. Not sure what place this has in the tag title story.
THE WEIRD, AMBIVALENT, AND BORING:
RAW: Rusev and Jinder lost to Enzo and Cass in an ordinary match. nEVILle attacks Rich Swann, saving us from another meaningless Tony Nese job. Big E defeated Titus O'Neil in what will hopefully end the Titus-New Day bullshit once and for all. Cedric Alexander defeats Brian Kendrick so that the Alicia Fox bullshit can continue. Strowman, Jericho, and Owens defeated Reigns, Zayn, and Rollins in a match that really showed how weird the main event scene on Raw is right now but also ended with Owens putting Reigns through the announce table so it evens out.
SMACKDOWN: AJ Styles and The Miz go to a no contest so that AJ can fuck with Cena and Cena can AA both guys. Nikki and Natalya fight over who has more merch, which is an improvement in their feud, which tells you somethig. Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch in a cage match designed to prevent the interference of La Luchadora after La Luchadora interfered. The quality of the match up to that point is what saved it. La Luchadora was revealed to be Mickie James, yay.
NXT: Roderick Strong, with nothing better to do, beats future NXT midcarder Steve Cutler. The Revival defeat TM61 in a match that both causes and explains a Shane Thorn knee injury that'll take them out of commission for a few months.
205: Cruiserweight jobbers Tony Nese and Drew Gulak pick up wins on the same show, against Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander, respectively. The latter, of course, had more Noam Dar and Alicia Fox bullshit wrapped around it.
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