Stop the presses and back up the truck. Reports are coming out from #NXTLowell that Samoa Joe has won the NXT championship! Our friends, the New Age Insiders were live at the event and were among the first to report the news.
This is a fantastic development for the Samoan Submission Machine and, more broadly, all fans of WWE/NXT. My initial reaction is that the timing and venue for this title change is somewhat suspect, given that Samoa Joe only recently lost his title bid against Balor at #NXTTakeOverDallas on WrestleMania weekend. Although it seems odd that a new champion would be crowned on a house show, this turn of events only underscores the greater plans that WWE has in store for the now-former NXT champion, Balor.
After a whirlwind of a Wrestlemania weekend, it’s common for fans to turn their wrestle-weary eyes forward and gaze into the future, trying to establish what is likely next for their favorite superstars, which I can happily say now include both male and female talents.
Trouble is, after this particular weekend, that task is difficult. . .If not out and out impossible.
In a little over 24 hours, the stars of WWE NXT will converge upon the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in little ol’ Dallas, Texas. In the two short years the WWE developmental system has been airing “special events” (for goodness sake, they’re pay-per-views) on the WWE Network, this weekend’s Dallas production might just be the biggest show NXT has put on since their Brooklyn card. I promised DC I’d pump out a couple articles about WrestleMania weekend before the festivities really got started, so here goes on breaking down the NXT TakeOver Dallas card!
It occurs to me that since I do not talk about the matches themselves during my ROH columns, calling it a “recap” doesn’t seem fair. If people are looking for an actual review of the show, comment below, or head over to the DDTpod forums and make your own!
As I watched this week’s ROH TV, I couldn’t help but think about the things Ring of Honor has that WWE lacks. I know, I know, I shouldn’t bring up Titan Sports in an independent wrestling column, but I can’t help it. 95% of the wrestling I’ve watched since picking up my pen has been McMahon driven, so that’s where my head is at. Regardless, I’d like to highlight two specific things that World Wrestling Entertainment could benefit from “borrowing” from ROH.
My goodness, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these rankings. Matter of fact, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything at all. Every time I came up with an idea, I figured I’d save it for the podcast. However, in celebration of the launch of DDTpod.com, let’s get back on the horse, shall we?
If you’ve perused the archives, you know how this works, although I’m tweaking it a bit. Rather than judging based on potential or overall performance, this is now a completely biased and subjective list. This is MY top ten. I encourage you to stop by the forums or, perhaps, write an article yourself in which you give us your own personal rankings.
Today’s TakeOver came to us from Jolly Old England, as some people apparently say, so rather than an 8 PM date with WWE Network, I was able to come home after work, run a couple errands, make some nachos and then settle in with the talent of NXT.
Well, not Jordan and Gable. . . Or Tye Dillinger, despite the three of them perhaps being the most popular guys on the roster. . . Or Sami Zayn, set to make his highly anticipated return to NXT. . .Sigh. . .
Anyway, since I was starting the show right as it ended in real time, I decided to stay off of social media, and since many of you fine NAIborhood residents asked for a column instead of live tweeting, I pulled out my trusty looseleaf notebook and got to writing. The following is a running diary of my thoughts during the show.
Between all of the different promotions, all of the different shows and literally thousands of ideas every day on social media, it’s very hard to lose yourself in a match; to be taken back to those blissful moments when you were a kid on the floor in front of the television watching professional wrestling.
I just had one of those moments, and it was amazing.
The Eva Marie and Bayley angle from Wednesday’s NXT might be the single best bit of storytelling I’ve seen in 2015.
The worst match I’ve ever seen in my entire life took place on a RAW in 2002. I won’t look up the specific date. Trust me – You’ll be able to find it.
In one corner stood Jackie Gayda and Christopher Nowinski, famous for being married to Charlie Haas and for fighting against concussions, respectively. Not surprising that either of them would be in a match that was so heinous.
On the other side? A present and a future WWE Hall of Famer. The male opponent was Bradshaw, back before he cut his hair, jumped in a limo, and worked his way into our hearts.
The female opponent? Trish Stratus. You read that right. Trish Stratus, whom many, if not most would argue is one of the top 3-5 women wrestlers EVER, took part in the worst wrestling match I’d ever seen.
The worst part? She was the one who stunk the most.
I used to wonder why we rarely saw columns from the NAIpod gents on newageinsiders.com. Then I started a podcast and figured it out – When you’re doing 1-2 hours of aural content a week, it leaves very little to be discussed in a written form. Doc Manson and I just finished Episode 10 of the NAIborhood Podcast, which will be available this Sunday, and we covered a multitude of topics.
Though we didn’t get into this week’s NXT or ROH in too much detail.
Get ready, gang. It’s time for the Chief’s Briefs. I won’t cover everything, though you can pretty safely assume if I don’t mention it here, you’ll hear about it on the podcast.
Author’s Note: This column was written and intended to be posted Thursday, but with the passing of Dusty Rhodes, I decided to save it.
This week’s NXT, looking at it on paper, should have been right up this Chief of Staff’s alley. It featured some of my favorite Full Sail figures, yet I found myself grumbling more than usual as I watched last night and this morning. Really, NXT featured the Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly. In the efforts to #PromotePositivity, I’ll try to get the negatives out of the way, so we can end on a high note.