Over the past few years the WWE has taken over Brooklyn each and every summer. Luckily for myself, I’m born and raised, Brooklyn New York, TO THE CORE, BAAAABBAAYYYY and I’ve been able to take advantage of this 3 Day Mark Fest each and every time around.
This year I decided to go to only one event, and my choice was NXT TakeOver. Now, usually I sit here and write about how flips and shit are the terrible and ruining the business, however, I will say that this past weekend’s TakeOver far exceeded any expectation I had. It was FUCKIN’ AWESOME! If you’re curious, I sat 5th row, dead center on the hard cam. ON TV … ALLLLL NIGHT LONG.
For NXT, the biggest takeaway for me was that it’s a unique experience and completely separate from the main roster. NXT is once a week, for only an hour, so when these guys comes around to put on a show, it’s a HUGE DEAL. It’s kind of like what WWE was back in the WWF days, when if you wanted to see Hulk Hogan, you had to wait until the PPV. So if you’re one of those people that compare the main roster to NXT, well, you’re kind of a fuckin’ idiot. One roster is in your face like 5+ hours a week and a Sunday for PPVs, and the other is once every few months for a PPV and an hour per week.
The same goes for NXT. I was excited to see Ricochet LIVE in NXT for the first time. I was excited to take in the Velveteen Dream Experience and above all, I was excited to boo that wolf in sheep’s clothing, Johnny Gargano, out of the building. #UnblockMe #StopSearchingYourNameOnTwitter
Here are my key takeaways:
The most over act is NOT Johnny Gargano, it’s the Undisputed Era. I have NEVER seen so many people wearing U.E. shirts in my life in one space. I get it, it’s cool, the guys are cool and they’re damn good in the ring. Everything a mark could want!
Tag Team wrestling is as good as it gets in NXT. Here’s the deal, NXT’s best aspect MIGHT just be the tag team division. You have the perfect crowd and the amount of time in between big shows that people do not get tired of seeing the same dudes wrestling over and over again (i.e. The Bar vs. Insert Tag Team here)
EC3 doesn’t fit in NXT. The dude is main roster ready and that’s where he needs to be. Personally, I think his character is a little off. He’s kind of got that Bobby Roode vibe in the sense is that no one knows what to do with him …. but ya know, he’s FUCKING JACKED so he’ll probably be World Champion within the next 16 months.
Velveteen Dream is the biggest star NXT has ever had. It truly is an “Experience”. He’s a character. He’s dedicated to it and above all, he believes it, which in turn, makes me believe it. I’m pretty confident that if I saw him at the Shake Shack around the corner that he’d be the D.R.E.A.M. Patrick Clark would be no where to be found.
Ricochet is the complete opposite of what I enjoy about pro wrestling. With that said, this fuckin’ guy is a legit super hero. He looks the part, acts the part with his mannerisms and the dude hits every big move with perfection. Now, the only problem I think this guy has is that he can’t talk worth a lick. If he fixes that, he’s good to go.
Adam Cole is probably the true fan favorite, even moreso than Johnny “I block people with different opinions than me” Gargano. Dude has a cool persona that 99% of the marks would love to have, (my friend and I are probably within the remaining 1%). Now, I still don’t know what his character is and I think when he hits the main roster that he’ll have issues with that, UNLESS the Undisputed Era stays in tact. Do I think he’ll headline Mania? No, that’s the Velveteen Dream, but this dude has Intercontinental Champion written all over him.
Shayna Bazler and Kaire Sane couldn’t be better counterparts. A true heel and a true babyface. … great emotions. Great mannerisms. Great babyface. If it wasn’t for the genius finish of Gargano/Ciampa, this title change would have taken the cake.
Johnny Gargano wouldn’t look me in the eye when I held up my phone to him. Coward.
Tommaso Ciampa is one last remaining heels in the business. Someone who you genuinely don’t think cares to have all the spotlight. He just wants to do his job, which is to make everyone fucking hate him. Well, he succeeded excluding me. If you wanted to invoke a reaction, Ciampa would do it. He didn’t need big moves either. He’d simply do something small or a small move and the crowd would pop. He’s very in tune with his character and I have no doubt that he’ll be able to bring this to the main roster.