CJ Parker vs Baron Corbin
I’m a sucker for ridiculous wrestling hometowns, and “Moonchild commune” is pretty funny. Mix that with play-by-play man Tom Phillips’ line “he looks like the Predator got hit over the head with a Jackson Pollock painting” and I at least enjoyed a bit of Parker’s segment. But his wrestling was blah, and this gimmick of a photobombing hippie who takes the brown acid while squeezing out two more pushups a day than Kassius Ohno doesn’t work for me.
But his confrontation with Breeze was fantastic, at least at showing how much more fun Breeze can be. Bonus points for Breeze debuting his glorious pissy voice. How could we ever root for Parker in this scenario? He’s Bo Dallas with dreads, a “stealth” heel nobody’s going to get behind. Not buying it. Can’t wait until he eats “Blue Steel” from Breeze (that’s what I’m calling his finisher until told otherwise.)
Verdict: House-show for the match, Smackdown for the Breeze portion.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alexander Rusev
Dolph Ziggler wrestling dudes that outweigh him by 100 pounds will always be great. As will giant Bulgarian beasts who slap their thighs before running shoulder blasts in the corner. How great was Rusev in his debut? A 300 pounder will a spinning heel kick and a splash of the top rope, all while looking like Sagat crosses with E. Honda? Throw in random taunting in Bulgarian and I’m sold.
Props to Dolph, coming down to NXT and letting Rusev kick his ass a bit. He didn’t let him too much because he can’t get shown up that badly by an NXT newbie, despite getting worked over being Dolph’s schtick. Can’t wait to see him maul jobbers for two months then annihilate Mason Ryan back to jolly Wales.
NXT this week was totally great.
* AJ/Bailey was a fun little competent batch of storytelling. They’re really emphasizing “how to work as your character” to these guys — see Wyatt, Bray — and it’s creating compelling stuff in what otherwise would be sort of a waste of time. Also, AJ has developed to the point where she can carry someone who is really green to a decent affair. Her stuff looked real crisp and tight.
AJ’s this really weird super worker in a lot of ways.
* “YOU’RE RUINING MYYYY LIFFEEEEE” is my new favorite slogan. Tyler Breeze works better as an inherently sad figure with the self-esteem of a snail.
* CJ Parker sucks in the ring. He does the Phish fan thing well. I wish they’d make him a little more of the “Older hippie dude who hangs out with Occupy vegan anarchists” vibe.
* A Bulgarian who dresses like he’s in Gladiator LARP, wrestles barefoot, knows Muy Thai and breaks wooden boards over his knees? AND also grunts and speaks random Bulgarian trash talk? That explains more than anything my continued lifelong love affair with wrestling.
* I just skip the Ascension stuff.
* That main event — wow. That was a ton of beauty. It got a lot of “Match Of The Year” hype from those in attendance. It’s a shame this came out the same week as SummerSlam because it would get that hype from everyone else.
That was virtually a perfect wrestling match. It was simple, crisp storytelling with amazing execution.
The first fall was great — Sami knows he can surprise Antonio and does so right away. Second fall was awesome, too — they got a reverse chinlock over as a kill move. Third fall turned into the required “both guys throw bombs at each other to win” and Cesaro’s slight experience advantage gave him the win.
So many amazing little things in this match. Antonio being a total jerk by lifting Sami by his ear and wiping his shoes with him afterwards. Sami hoping that insane floor DDT gets him a countout win.
[…] Most weeks NXT is WWE’s second best show (and sometimes the best.) But its primary goal is to make future superstars who will one day grace our televisions on Raw. Each week we’ll scout the “minor league” talent in each segment and decide if they’re ready for the big leagues. This week we find out if the show’s gone SAWFFFFFFT after last week’s Match of the Year main event. […]