WReo’s Wrestling Wramblog is back again.
So, after nailing (NAILING!) both the A and B Block winners and the eventual champion of the G1 Climax 27 (Tetsuya Naito over Kenny Omega), I’m feeling pretty damn good.
It’s been about two months since my last Wramblog, so this is going to be just that. We’ll be WWE heavy this time around, but will look at some of the other stuff that has happened in the world of pro graps since the last post.
We’re going take a look back at NXT’s WrestleMania, TakeOver: Brooklyn III.
For the reviews, I’ll assign a simple five-point rating system, which is defined like this:
1-Don’t Watch: You don’t need to waste your time watching this.
2-Might Watch: If you’re watching other wrestling-related items, you could pop this on.
3-Could Watch: If you are want a decent match to have on in the background, this is it.
4-Should Watch: You probably should watch this by the end of the day.
5-Must Watch: Go watch it. Now, then come back and proceed.
NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III
While WWE has WrestleMania itself, NXT’s version of WrestleMania is TakeOver: Brooklyn.
Two years ago, Bayley and Sasha Banks tore down the house, essentially kick-starting the Women’s Revolution in the WWE.
Last year, The Revival and #DIY set the standard for tag-team wrestling.
This year, three outsiders overshadowed what could be the one of the best wrestling shows in years, but we’ll get to that. On to the reviews:
Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas w/Zelina Vega vs. Johnny Gargano
After the ‘Sicilian Psychopath’ Tommaso Ciampa tore out the hearts of the NXT Universe by turning his back, violently, on Gargano, the world wanted Johnny Wrestling to get back on the winning track against the ‘tranquilo’-hunting Almas. Since Vega has come on the scene, Almas has been rolling. A great back-and-forth, with Johnny taking a lot of damage, ended with some interesting (and next level) interference from Vega. Almas gets the win over Johnny Wrestling (4)
The Authors of Pain w/Paul Ellering vs. SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe and Eric Young) w/Nikki Cross and Killian Dain
Initially, it was advertised as Wolfe and Dain against the big boys Akam and Rezar, but Eric Young hopped in to lead his group. If anything, watch this match for the ending sequence including Cross and Dain. This was brutal, and a perfect match for the AoP. Sanity takes the tag-team gold from the hoss duo. (4)
Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami
Holy crap, this was violent. Go, go now. (5)
Asuka vs. Ember Moon
Ember Moon has spent weeks trying to get inside the head of the ‘Empress of Tomorrow’, Asuka. She almost made it happen, too. Asuka cut a few corners, but eventually kept the belt in a clean win. (4)
Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre
The NXT Championship match was battle of we (McIntyre) vs. me (Roode). After a long road back to WWE, the run McIntyre has been on is centered on redemption. The once-dubbed ‘Chosen One’, is chosen once again. He takes down the Glorious One, and gains NXT gold. (3)
I had intended to do this same thing for SummerSlam, but all you really need to watch there is The New Day vs. The Usos for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships, and the Fatal Four-way for the WWE Universal Championship between the champ Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, and Braun Strowman. It was epic.
Randomly touching on other things going on around the squared circle:
-The post-match beatdown laid on McIntyre by the former Ring of Honor trio of Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish has opened up a very interesting can of worms for NXT. It remains to be seen what the exact name of this stable is, and whether Cole and co. will be adding some of NXT’s other RoH Alums to the crew, notably Roderick Strong and the incoming Donovan Dijak. Nigel McGuinness is also a former RoH guy, but has been strictly on commentary since his retirement a couple of years ago. But with the trio wreaking havoc all over Full Sail, I’m intrigued at the possibilities for this group. Does reDRagon (Fish and O’Reilly) go after SAnitY’s Tag titles while Cole chases The Chosen One? We know they are now called The Undisputed Era, and we also know that Wednesday Night’s are heating back up.
-Sexy Star shooting on Rosemary in the AAA TriplaMania XXV was completely unprofessional in the ring, and utter douchebaggery behind the curtain. Sexy Star was brought back to AAA via stripping Taya Valkerie of the Reina de Reinas (Queen of Queens) Championship. Taya’s fiance, Johnny Mundo (WWE’s John Morrison) is a triple champion for AAA. So it was bizarre then. And now, Sexy Star locks in an armbar with intent to injure (so, basically, an MMA-style application, rather than a pro-wrestling ‘quasi-applied’ hold). Then she comes out and blames Rosemary (or, the ‘North American’ as she called her in a statement) and everyone else for the incident. She’s being locked out of promotions above the Rio Grande ever since, and for good reason.
-PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles was supposedly epic, as well. Since they don’t stream, and their DVDs aren’t out for a few more weeks, I had to follow along on Twitter. Keith Lee made a pretty good Indy resume that much better with a good week. Penta el Zero M had a couple of great matches. My pick to win, Matt Riddle, had a good semi final run, but ultimately came up short against Jeff Cobb. Cobb and Lee both came up short to now-two-time winner Ricochet. The King reigns. Trevor Banks had a good run, and hopefully tag-team partner TK Cooper gets healthy soon so we can see the canceled match of South Pacific Power Trip (Banks and Cooper are Kiwis) against The Young Bucks. The Kiwi Buzzsaw looked great according to reports.
-Coming up on October 9 is one of the best NJPW Shows every year, King of Pro-Wrestling. This year will have a lot of tags (as New Japan is wont to do on the undercard), but a couple of Bullet Club offerings will be fun nonetheless. Bad Luck Fale, newcomer Leo Tonga (Tama’s and Loa’s younger brother), and Yujiro Takahashi will face off against Los Ingobernables, featuring BUSHI, SANADA, and Hiromu Takahashi (no relation). Guerrillas of Destiny (BC’s Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) take on Killer Elite Squad and War Machine in a triple threat. Cody Rhodes, Marty Scurll, and Kenny Omega take on CHAOS. Championship matches include Tetsuya Naito putting his G1 Contract on the line against Tomohiro Ishii, IWGP Junior Heavyweight champ KUSHIDA takes on Will Ospreay (watch this one). And IWGP Heavyweight champ Kazuchika Okada faces off with EVIL. This will be a great card.
-WWE No Mercy is in the books. I was under-impressed with Brock Lesnar against Braun Strowman. John Cena against Roman Reigns was okay. The reunion of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose is going well, both in the ring and story-wise, and their win over Cesaro and Sheamus was gruesome and awesome at the same time. Enzo Amore won the Cruiserweight belt, yippee. The Women’s title 5-way was okay, and teased some fun things going into the future, but really didn’t advance much going forward.
-WWE Hell In a Cell is approaching as well, and so far it looks a little underwhelming, too. Shane McMahon against Kevin Owens in the cell is intriguing on paper, but it’s take four months to finally get there, and I’m tired of the KO Show at this point. WWE Champ Jinder Mahal (yes, that’s still a thing) takes on Shinsuke Nakamura, which has potential. I don’t care about Natalya against Charlotte (for the third time: NXT, Raw, and now Smackdown Live). The Usos against The New Day has the highest ceiling of any announced match so far, but their history of great (GREAT) matches works against them a little. AJ Styles hasn’t been announced for anything, but expect a US Title Match shortly.
-There is a crap-ton of wrestling content that airs every week (WWE Monday thru Wednesday, Global Force Impact Wrestling on Thursday, and New Japan and Ring of Honor on Friday). It adds up 11 hours of somewhat original content every week. That’s a lot to watch, even if you’re a hardcore. Then you add in the stuff put on YouTube by AAA and CMLL in Mexico, plus FloSlam, New Japan World, and all the British stuff out there (RevPro, WCPW, Progress, et al), you quickly run out of time if you have a job and friends. All that being said; I haven’t had a chance to take in the Mae Young Classic yet. But from I have read, the 32-woman tournament on the WWE Network has been top notch, and on the level of the CWC last year. I need to find time to watch it, but I’m not sure where that time is with baseball pennant races heating up, college and pro football underway, and basketball and hockey on the horizon. God Bless Broadband.
-On the topic of women’s wrestling, the influx of ladies into WWE and NXT has been so great to see. The Iconic Duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay is fun. Ruby Riot, Nikki Cross, and Ember Moon are stars in the waiting. And the newcomers like Abbey Laith, Bianca Belair, Dakota Kai, and Kairi Sane have made the show and the tours fun to watch.
That’s a little WWW update for you, we’ll get better and be more consistent in the future.