Stunt Granny Audio #258

Malkin-meets-Putin-thumb

Vladimir Putin is not impressed by Evgeni Malkin. From penguins.nhl.com.

We’re back with an audio show about wrestling. How about that? Who is we though? Well, it’s Kevin and Shahid after a few technical difficulties. The list of topics was so simple that they kept on running into each other. They started off with the easiest topic, Daniel Bryan being stripped of the WWE Title. Who does the WWE give the title to? John Cena? Randy Orton? After those two, the WWE roster gets pretty thin at the top since CM Punk left and Daniel Bryan out due to injury. Would the WWE bring in Brock Lesnar to be champion? Why is Paul Heyman still touting him at every turn if he doesn’t come back for a shot he said he wanted before Wrestlemania? How awkward would it be if they decided to give the strap to Heyman’s other client, Cesaro? Would any of the young guys like Cesaro be considered? The WWE is giving us plenty of Rusev, so does he have a chance? Will Lana ever order him to “Crush” someone other than black gentlemen and Zack Ryder on the roster? Would the WWE give the title to Seth Rollins?  Speaking of Rollins, how good was his promo? How about Dean Ambrose? Last but not least, Roman Reigns? Or is he least? Would Ronda Rousey fit in with the Shield? Does the WWE give Ambrose & Reigns a third person or will they split up after this feud concludes? Because this is the first wrestling show in a while, Kevin & Shahid don’t conclude until they’ve answered all of these questions and more. Click on the link below to figure out those answers!

Main Event Review From Someone Who Actually Watches It

Night Sky by Mark Unrau by way of boombeats.com

Night Sky by Mark Unrau by way of boombeats.com

Triple H starts the show off with more star power than usual. He says that a lot of people are asking “Why?” lately. In particular, they’re asking why did the Authority strip Daniel Bryan of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Triple H explains that they did it for the fans because they deserve a fighting champion. He runs down the list of superstars who have already qualified. He then promises that there would be something magical, historical, and unforgettable at Money In The Bank; that being the guarantee of a new champion. He transitions to the other reason people are asking “Why?” and introduces Seth Rollins.

Seth Rollins comes down to the ring wearing a new gray suit/black shirt combo. I don’t really like it compared to his usual all black look. He says that when he laid out his now former partners he felt power like he never felt before. He calls it a power Reigns, Ambrose, and the fans would never feel because they are too afraid to create and seize opportunity. He praises Triple H as someone who knows how to get to the top and calls his former partners dead weight he needed to cut loose so he could “adapt and evolve”. Just as he says his new “Evolution of Seth Rollins” catchphrase he is interrupted by his opponent tonight Dolph Ziggler who calls Rollins a “self-centered scumbag traitor” who needs his “egotistical boss holding his hand”. Good opening promo.

Jimmy Uso vs. Luke Harper

As the match began the announcers wondered whether The Wyatts’ two victories ensured them a future shot at the Tag Team Championship. If that doesn’t then what does?  They go back and forth at the beginning until Harper throws Uso into the middle rope throat first. Harper then hits Uso with a suplex and goes for the Gator Roll into a side headlock. Uso fights out of the headlock and is finally able able to mount a major offensive move with a corkscrew somersault onto Harper. Uso is not in charge long as Harper nails him with a big boot. Uso backdrops Harper out of the ring on a running charge. Uso is cut off from hitting a suicide dive but a forearm. Harper re-enters the ring and goes for his spinning clothesline but Uso ducks, superkicks Harper, and pins his dazed opponent after a roll-up for the win. Decent short match.

Lana comes out to address American women who she calls slaves to commercialism. Lana calls them overweight and fat and says their men really want her but they can’t have her because Russian men are strong like Vladimir Putin.

Rusev vs. Kofi Kingston

Nothing much happens until Rusev clubs Kofi in the back of the head and stomps away viciously. Kofi gets only short hope spots as he is caught every time by Rusev. A fall away slam leads to Kofi being dumped to the outside where his is whipped from ring apron to retaining wall by Rusev. Back in the ring Kofi stuns Rusev with a dropkick but is caught again running the ropes by Rusev’s superkick. Rusev then finishes Kofi with The Accolade for the tap out. Rusev and Lana celebrate afterwards in front of the Russian flag.

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Class Is In Session: #NXT Review – Takeover

From artfire.com

From artfire.com

The show began with an excellent pre-show hype special hosted by Renee Young, Paul Heyman, and Christian. Christian was just kind of there but the chemistry between Renee and Paul was just off the page. These two have the potential to be the next Heenan/Okerlund if not the next Heenan/Monsoon (the highest level imaginable). Paul was definitely the star of the show as his analysis was spot on especially when establishing the stakes for Tyson Kidd in the main event. The pre-show in general was a hit and the pure sports feel was a welcome change to the clown show that is the Raw pre-show. If you a planning on watching Takeover on demand this week, do not skip over the pre-show as it is required viewing. (Kevin’s Edit: We might be known for publishing material late. This review is no different. We’ll be gunning for a more on time report, hopefully free of computer problems.)

As the pre-show was ending, viewers were treated to the arrival of Adam Rose and his entourage on the Experience bus. They danced their way into the building as the pre-show faded to black.

NXT Takeover began with an excellent historical video package and then went to Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and William Regal on commentary as Adam Rose and his entourage danced all the way into the arena for our opening match…

Adam Rose vs. Camacho

Rose was back at home at Full Sail University so he was mega over. Camacho has improved but considering how low he began, he still has a long way to go before even being slightly above average in the ring. The match was average at best but the crowd was totally into Rose as their returning cult hero so it was never boring. Rose won a short match with a cravat DDT he calls the Party Foul.

A video feature on Sami Zayn then aired where he spoke of his journey and the importance of his match. Good stuff again.

The Ascension vs. Kalisto (Samuray Del Sol) and El Local (Ricardo Rodriguez) (NXT Tag Team Championship)

This was a short match completely designed to show off the Ascension’s power moves and they were in there with the perfect opponents to do so. Kalisto and Local got very little so I do not know if they have a future together as a team after this. Local still has a bit of a gut on him so his moves were not as fluid as they should have been but the match was not about his team. The Ascension won with the Fall of Man high-low maneuver on Local.

Another very good video feature aired, this time on Tyler Breeze, who tried to get himself over as more than just a pretty face.

Sami Zayn vs. Tyler Breeze

Best match on the show to this point by far. Sami was his usual great self and Breeze kept right up with him to create an exciting back-and-forth match with a lot of moves. There was argument from some pundits (cough Jeremy Maes cough) over whether they did too much in fact. I don’t agree as I believe a lot of leeway should be given to a spotlight match that is designed to get over the next top contender to the Heavyweight Championship. The only spot that was borderline too much was a suplex into a powerbomb from Zayn that got only a 2 count. If they had traded big spots for another 5 minutes then it would have been too much but from there they went right to the finishing sequence which was Zayn attempting his running boot in the corner and Breeze putting his arm up in such a manor that he “accidentally” crotched Zayn. While Zayn was doubled over, Breeze hit him with The Beauty Shot which is a spin kick that I can see the argument for being weak finish to a high impact match. Great match.

Next, Lana and Alexander Rusev came to the ring carrying a Russian flag. After Lana got the obligatory Putin reference out of the way, they were then interrupted by a flag waving Mojo Rawley. He charged at Rusev and was immediately overwhelmed and destroyed him ending the beating with 2 Accolade camel clutches, one in the ring and one on the floor at Lana’s command.

A great piece then aired on the Women’s Championship match focusing on family pride.

Paige arrived to that the Full Sail crown and wish the best of luck to both competitors in the Women’s Championship final.

Charlotte w/ Ric Flair vs. Natalya w/ Bret Hart ( NXT Women’s Championship)

Best match on the show and maybe one of the five greatest North American womens matches of all time. They did a perfect job building the drama of this match both in the ring and outside. This match was a labor of love for those involved and that is always a pleasure to see and that does absolutely translate to the audience in the arena and at home. The match finish came when the ladies were exchanging submission finishers. They did possibly the longest figure-4 reversal spot in history as they rolled from one end of the ring to the other rolling outside with with Charlotte still holding on as the referee counted to 5 for a break. Once back in the Charlotte put Nattie in the Sharpshooter right in Bret’s face. Nattie was able to use her last bit of strength to escape but that was all she had left as she fell prey to Charlotte’s Bow Down To The Queen for the win. After the match everyone exchanged hugs in an emotional scene as both Ric and Charlotte were in tears. The whole thing was phenomenal and worth $9.99 on its own.

Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd (NXT Championship)

Good match but it was not able to come close to the match that preceded it or reach the Zayn/Breeze match either. Following such exciting matches and the loser stigma attached to Kidd probably led to a less excited crown to close the show. To their credit, they used the stigma attached to Kidd as the story of the match and it built well. They got the crowd going again with a hot finishing sequence that saw Neville get the win with the Red Arrow corkscrew splash. After the match, a frustrated Kidd refused to shake Neville’s hand and stormed off.

Grades

Camacho – Improving steadily but still ways to go. Having a gimmick thats a copy of a copy, of copy, of a copy, etc. doesn’t help matters either. Grade: C

Adam Rose – He was in all his glory back at Full Sail but unfortunately they do not film Raw at Full Sail every week. The jury is still out as to whether his niche cult following can translate to big arenas across the world. That is also an issue with other cult NXT acts (see Emma). His in-ring was nothing special either which might be concerning for someone who spent so long in developmental. Grade: C+

The Ascension – Still a couple of green muscleheads without a lot of upside in my opinion. They were at their best tossing about smaller wrestlers here but they won’t always be in situations so specifically designed for them. Grade: C

Kalisto and Local – They didn’t get the opportunity to show much here and Local showed that he still hasn’t gotten the message about his physique. If this is the lowest weight he can naturally cut down to then all involved really need to think about his in-ring future. Grade: D-

Sami Zayn – What more can be said? He is a tremendously gifted performer who I’ve never seen in a bad match. Tonight his job was to get another man over while still keeping himself just as over as he came in and he did that in spades. Grade: A

Tyler Breeze – Breeze had a lot to prove here and I believe he succeeded in surpassing even the most optimistic expectations. He proved that he can go with the best and he is ready to challenge for the NXT Championship. Grade: A

Rusev/Lana – Basic stuff from them but I noticed an intensity from Rusev that has been missing on Raw and I am interested in seeing more that from him. Grade: B-

Mojo Rawley – I don’t get the Hype Man. He does nothing for me and him doing a low rent Jim Duggan impersonation was especially horrible. Grade: F

Natalya – I’m going to preface this by saying that I am not a Nattie fan at all. There is something about the way she carries herself, both in the ring and on Total Divas, that just makes her unlikeable to me. I won’t say much more than that because I’m not looking to take over the mantle as Stunt Granny’s resident “angry white man” (cough Jeremy Maes cough). That all out of the way; what a brilliant performance by Natalya here. She was the glue that held this match together and I don’t know if there is any other WWE Diva who could have lead Charlotte to that amazing of a match so early in her career. Grade: A+

Charlotte – She will be the most athletic diva of all time and in 5 years she will be the one leading the next great female athlete through her first great match. This show was much about her as anyone and she delivered a great performance beyond her years pro. Grade: A

Adrian Neville – He had a lot to follow so this was not a showcase night for him. He still put on a very good performance and was able to get an exhausted crowd back up one more time with his big moves in the homestretch. That is an accomplishment in its own right. Grade: B+

Tyson Kidd – This was a big night for him and, while I can’t say he blew me away, he performed well. The Tyson Kidd persona, as it stands, is damaged goods. But the guy is a talented performer and there may be potential for him as a heel if he can channel his legitimate professional frustrations into a new persona. A run as a Paul Heyman Guy could work for him (watch the post-show for more on this featuring a masterful performance from Heyman stirring things up between husband and wife). Grade: B

Overall Show – A fantastic show on all fronts. A show with 2 great matches, one very good match, great production, good announcing, and nothing offensive  gets a very high recommendation. Watch this show! Overall Grade: A – Chris

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