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Watched ER 2012 last night, gotta say, I really enjoyed the Cena/Lesnar match. Pretty much a squash match, and I didn't mind Cena going over, it was just a different feel than anything else I've seen since going back through 2011-2012. Bryan/Sheamus 2/3 Falls was really good too, the arm/shoulder work was well done and both looked strong. Good show overall.
 

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Watched ER 2012 last night, gotta say, I really enjoyed the Cena/Lesnar match. Pretty much a squash match, and I didn't mind Cena going over, it was just a different feel than anything else I've seen since going back through 2011-2012. Bryan/Sheamus 2/3 Falls was really good too, the arm/shoulder work was well done and both looked strong. Good show overall.
Lesnar vs. Cena was my MOTY for 2012 simply because it was different than anything we saw in a really, really long time up to that point.

I wish that Lesnar came back instead of Suplex City Lesnar. :(
 

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All due respect, I don't understand how anyone could dislike Zayn. He's the best pure white-meat babyface in who knows how long. His selling abilities are unparalleled, possessing some of the most realistic and sympathetic facial expressions and body language to the point where it is palpable, as you can feel his "discomfort".
When he was still in Ring of Honor and feuding with Owens I say in the 4th row for their big blow out match. If Generico lost he lost his mask and if Steen he had to leave ROH. I didn't want Steen to leave and decided I wanted him to win. I wore a Kevin Steen shirt to the event. You want to know what I was doing 5 minutes into the match? Cheering for El Generico despite the fact that I had already decided that because of the consequences of the match I wanted him to lose. He won the match and there are only a handful of moments that I was happier for.

Based on that 1 match I can only conclude that Zayn is the best babyface that I've seen in person and I've pretty much seen everyone active in wrestling today in person.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Sheamus vs Danielson from Extreme Rules is complete excellence.

The match we knew they could have that got jipped numerous times prior, finally got a chance to happen. And look how grand it was. :mark:
 

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NXT Takeover: The End was another show of the year candidate imo. Not as great as Dallas, but pretty damn good.

Tye Dillinger vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas - ***
NXT Tag Titles: American Alpha (c) vs. The Revival - ****
Austin Aries vs. Shinsuke Nakamura - ****
NXT Women's Title: Asuka (c) vs. Nia Jax - *** 1/4
NXT Championship Steel Cage Match: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Finn Balor - *** 1/2

Yeah, whole show was good. Loved the finish to the main event and I can't fuckin wait for the inevitable Joe vs. Nakamura. Hopefully in Brooklyn?
 

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Damn good show tonight.

NXT TakeOver: The End

Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Tye Dillinger - **3/4

The Revival vs. American Alpha - ****1/4

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries - ***3/4

Nia Jax vs. Asuka - ***1/2

Finn Bálor vs. Samoa Joe - ***

Main event was a bit disappointing, but still enjoyable. Pretty good TakeOver.
 

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Finn Bálor vs. Samoa Joe - ***

Main event was a bit disappointing, but still enjoyable.
I really liked the intensity in the first several minutes with all the hard chops and kicks and usage of the cage. That one that Joe took to the face while Balor was standing on the ropes was fucking NASTY. Didn't really care for them casually trading sequences in the last couple minutes though, but man that finish was awesome. Really didn't expect to see that.
 

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I really liked the intensity in the first several minutes with all the hard chops and kicks and usage of the cage. That one that Joe took to the face while Balor was standing on the ropes was fucking NASTY. Didn't really care for them casually trading sequences in the last couple minutes though, but man that finish was awesome. Really didn't expect to see that.
I enjoyed the stiffness and the strike exchanges during the initial stages of the match quite a bit, too; what bothered me was them going for the exit and trying to escape from so early on. One minute they were exchanging chops, kicks, elbows like they were trying to kill each other, the next someone's heading for the door or trying to climb the cage.

I know they both want to win the Title real bad, but this has been built up as such a pride-fueled feud from both sides that it seems weird for them to go from "IMMA KICK THE SHIT OUTTA YOU" to trying to escape the cage as quickly as possible in such a short span of time. Instead, if they'd managed to ramp up the aggressiveness even more I'd have marked the fuck out. Plus I wanted to see a bit of colour, but we all figured that wasn't gonna happen :p

Finish was awesome though, and Joe making anyone his bitch is always entertaining.
 

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I enjoyed the stiffness and the strike exchanges during the initial stages of the match quite a bit, too; what bothered me was them going for the exit and trying to escape from so early on. One minute they were exchanging chops, kicks, elbows like they were trying to kill each other, the next someone's heading for the door or trying to climb the cage.

I know they both want to win the Title real bad, but this has been built up as such a pride-fueled feud from both sides that it seems weird for them to go from "IMMA KICK THE SHIT OUTTA YOU" to trying to escape the cage as quickly as possible in such a short span of time. Instead, if they'd managed to ramp up the aggressiveness even more I'd have marked the fuck out. Plus I wanted to see a bit of colour, but we all figured that wasn't gonna happen :p

Finish was awesome though, and Joe making anyone his bitch is always entertaining.
I wasn't bothered by the early attempts at escaping because I felt like they did away with it quickly. It really felt like both of them wanted to decisively beat the other guy.

I'm expecting (or hoping) that Balor either debuts at MITB to help Styles or he gets drafted somewhere next month. I feel like he's run his course in NXT and they don't really need him at the top anymore with Joe, Nakamura, Aries, the returning Itami, and the soon to debut Bobby Roode I'm sure.
 

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Almas vs. Dillinger - **1/2
American Alpha vs. The Revival - ****1/4
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries - ****1/2
Asuka vs. Nia Jax - **1/2
Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor - ***3/4

I think Balor will have one more match at Brooklyn before leaving NXT for good and his opponent will either be Itami, Roode or Aries.
 

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Lesnar vs. Cena was my MOTY for 2012 simply because it was different than anything we saw in a really, really long time up to that point.

I wish that Lesnar came back instead of Suplex City Lesnar. :(

I had to do co-MOTY for 2012, because Punk/Bryan OTL 12' and Lesnar/Cena ER 12' were both equally great, in completely different ways. Lesnar/Cena might have won outright if they hadn't done that absolutely SHIT finish that just killed the vibe from the entire match, for me at least. Cena was such a great baby face in that match, he was finally getting some legitimate sympathy, from Chicago fans of all people, and yet they flushed it all down the toilet by doing the standard "Super Cena" come back and finish. Bleh, whenever I rewatch that match I turn it off as soon as Cena decks Lesnar with the chain and splits his wig.


When he was still in Ring of Honor and feuding with Owens I say in the 4th row for their big blow out match. If Generico lost he lost his mask and if Steen he had to leave ROH. I didn't want Steen to leave and decided I wanted him to win. I wore a Kevin Steen shirt to the event. You want to know what I was doing 5 minutes into the match? Cheering for El Generico despite the fact that I had already decided that because of the consequences of the match I wanted him to lose. He won the match and there are only a handful of moments that I was happier for.

Based on that 1 match I can only conclude that Zayn is the best babyface that I've seen in person and I've pretty much seen everyone active in wrestling today in person.
Since I started watching wrestling again in 2009, the HARDEST I've ever pulled for a wrestler in a match is a tie, between desperately wanting Bryan to beat Orton/Batista at WM 30, and pulling for Sami to beat Neville for the NXT Championship in their singles bout. Those were the two instances where I threw all rational thought and reason out the window, scooted up to the edge of my seat, and acted like a little kid who doesn't realize it's fixed pulling for his guy to win.

The best pure baby faces I've ever see in the ring in my time watching wrestling are Ricky Steamboat, Rey Mysterio, Sami Zayn, and Daniel Bryan. Those guys achieved a level of greatness and likability that simply made it impossible for you to root against them. Sami, in a lot of ways, combines the best things Ricky Steamboat did (the passion, the fire, the intensity, and the picture perfect facial expressions that help get sympathy and tell the story) with the best things Rey did (the high flying, breath taking moves, being smaller so he's always at a size disadvantage), which makes him pretty much the perfect baby face.

Not to mention, now that I've listened to all his interviews and realize he's George Costanza as far as his real personality and how he acts in real life, I just love him that much more. Him telling the story about going through a drive thru and grilling the poor lady at the window about whether she was going to throw out the extra burgers had me positively rolling :lmao
 

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Well, I guess I gotta double post here cause this thread, really this entire forum, is dead lately. I haven't been that active lately either, that's what happens when the two most popular wrestlers, who curry the most support and favor with the fans, were turned heel to accommodate a wrestler who has been almost universally rejected as a main event baby face yet WWE continues to force the narrative. Maybe others have stopped watching and/or posting for other reasons, but I can say with all honesty and sincerity that Rollins returning, only to have WWE waste all the good will and support by keeping him heel, and then turning AJ heel after he started getting the strongest baby face reactions on the main roster was the final straw for me. I already was only intermittently following the product, I stopped DVR'ing Raw around February, and was only watching PPV's cause I have the Network. Now I'm not even doing that, I've only seen 2 main roster matches since the Raw after WM 32, Styles/Reigns PB and Owens/Zayn PB, which I watched only because Austin raved and pimped them to the moon on his podcast. I didn't watch any of ER and don't plan on it.

All of this is to say, WWE has caused me to forget at times why I even bother to watch their crummy shows.

Fortunately, I found somewhat of a cure:

I watched Shinsuke Nakamura wrestle Austin Aries. Actually it wasn't even the match, which was definitely GREAT, probably in the **** area for me personally. No, it was just watching Nakamura's entrance. That's all it took. The music, speaking of which, raise your hand if you are like me and being forced to eat some serious crow because WWE some how actually managed to give Nakamura a theme that is comparable in quality to his NJPW theme? Outside of Kevin Steen's "Unsettling Differences" theme, which is my absolute favorite entrance song (though obviously not my favorite entrance, nothing will ever top Undertaker for that honor), Nakamura's NJPW theme was my favorite match of song and wrestler in the entire industry. The song itself was bad ass, the song serving as the entrance for Nakamura was about as perfect as it gets. So, the fact that WWE managed to come up with a theme that actually rivals THAT masterpiece, well, I'm amazed. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

ANYWAY, back to Nakamura. Just watching him make his entrance, coupled with that awesome song and the AWESOME crowd response to his entrance, immediately cleansed my tainted wrestling pallet and had me juiced up to watch some pro graps. This might sound like hyperbole, but it's not: Nakamura has as much natural and innate charisma as any wrestler I've ever seen. He's equaled Rock, Dusty, Hogan, Savage, Austin, Eddie, he's up there with all of them in the "I literally cannot take my eyes off of this guy when he's on my television screen, and everything he does is pleasing to me and seems like the most awesome thing ever." That's the level he's at for me, any new little quirk or mannerism he decides to do immediately becomes awesome.

I honestly believe if Nakamura debuted on the main roster after Summerslam 2016, by the time the Royal Rumble came he'd be far and away the most popular and genuinely OVER wresrler on the roster, that it would take less than 1 month from the day he debuted for him to totally capture every fan's imagination and become one of if not THE main reasons they buy tickets or watch the show, small boys and girls, teenage boys and girls, adults, nobody is immune to the unique charms of the King.

So, I meant for this post to be a review of the Aries/Nakamura match but obviously that's gone out the window. So here is a TL;DR: If you're feeling as down on the product as it seems just about everyone is, and if it's perceptibly diminishing your passion for watching all wrestling, jusy go watch Nakamura vs Aries, or if you haven't seen it his other NXT Takeover match against Zayn, which will in all likelihood be the MOTY for 2016.

I refuse to watch WWE programming while Reigns is the top baby face, while AJ Styles and to a lesser extent Doc/Gallows remain heels, and not only a heels but a flat out jobber heels whose only purpose is to enhance Reigns "aura" and carry him to watchable matches, and while Rollins stays a heel in order to give Roman yet ANOTHER superior opponent to carry him and bounce around from him and keep him from tripping over his own feet. I just cannot stomach it. WWE has always had horrible booking overall with brief periods of competence, but theyve done in 2016 is truly unprecedented: killing off two white hot baby faces who could EASILY be their top good guys for the next 3-4 years, guys that have everything Vince likes INCLUDING a good look, by turning them heel and jobbing them out to a baby face world champion who hasn't gotten anything better than a 60/40, negative/positive crowd reaction in his entire time as a singles baby face. This is about as bad as it gets, because the damage they did to Seth and AJ cannot be undone. They will never become as popular and successful as they could have been had WWE given a single shit about them besides what they can do for Roman. They will still become even more successful than they already are, but they won't reach where they could have. Don't believe me? Imagine if Steve Austin, after he injured his neck against Owen Hart, if he was taken off TV, and then returns at the Royal Rumble 98' as a heel screwing over Undertaker, costing him the title, and then aligned himself with Mr. McMahon as his manager. If WWE had done that, then say tried to reverse course after SS 98' and tried to turn Austin back baby face, he would still have been a huge star but he'd have never reached the levels he did and that's just the truth.
 

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Well, I haven't watched a wrestling match since, what, WM? That streak of no wrasslin' has come to an end... w/NXT Takeover: (ironically named) The End. And once again, NXT Takeover kicks ass. But... some of the praise for one of the matches is pretty overblown imo.

Almas/Dillinger: **1/2
AA/Revival: ****
Nakamura/Aries: ***3/4
Asuka/Nia: ***1/4
Joe/Bálor: ***1/4

Almas/Dillinger was a nice showcase... for Tye Dillinger. He looked GREAT out there, and certainly proved a point that he can hang w/the big names. Almas looked alright, but I don't think he clicked all that well w/Tye, he looked a little choppy there if you ask me, but still impressive in some areas. Decent start to the show, no Owens/Parker but okay nonetheless.

AA/Revival was FANTASTIC. MOTN by far, and easily the best Tag match I've ever seen on NXT. A lot of you liked Dallas better, and that's fine, but while Dallas had the advantage thanks to the atmosphere and the feelgood ending, as a wrestling match from point A to B goes, this was clearly better in my eyes. One of the most creative Tag matches I've seen in a long ass time (though it is one of the only ones I've seen in a long ass time :p). Both teams have perfect chemistry. Gable is impossibly likeable, Jordan is an ass-kicking machine, and the Revival are absolutely terrific as despicable, mean heels that you just love to hate. None of the teams wasted any motions, so much great Tag work, so many creative and wonderfully executed sequences, the character work was great... even the ending made sense, at it worked as a downer, sad outcome to setup for what would happen after the match (which, holy motherfucking shit). Stupendous.

Now... am I the only one that feels like Nakamura/Aries was a little disappointing? I gotta be honest. Maybe it was bad enough it had to follow AA/Revival, but I feel like there was a lot of heaps in logic here and there. The fact alone that Nak didn't even try to seek out Aries' taped ribs is questionable, regardless of wheater or not that was a legit injury. If it was, then don't go stiff, work softballs on it, but WORK IT ANYWAY! You have a clear ass target in front of you, dude! What did you do to it, a bunch of knees spread across a 15 minute match? C'mon, Nak, you're better than that. And Aries' leg work was also wasted potential - it was so on and off I didn't even care that Nak no sold it later as he had way too much time to recover, so I actually believe the pain wore off. And Aries doing that Suicide Dive at the end, despite the 9/10 chances that Nak was gonna get counted out from that Death Valley Driver spot, therefore making it an incredibly unnecessary and dumb risk... ugh. That spot annoyed me. Many of you probably liked it, and I'm pretty certain I gave passes to worse and dumber spots in the past - not giving one to this is probably related to my lack of care about current wrestling - but I just didn't like it. Not to mention, I don't feel like these two guys clicked very well. I felt the opposite of when I saw Zayn/Nak, which felt like they had wrestled a million times before - this truly felt like the 1st time these two were ever touching in the ring, and that's not in a particularly great way.

But don't get me wrong, I still really liked the match. It was a great exhibition-style fight between two badasses who rank among the best in the world. Like the type of back-and-forth fights that don't feel choreographed or prepositioned, but rather actual opening-seeking gladiator battles. Aries is such an asshole that it's great, he played his character, who wanted to prove a point against Nak, to a T. Nak is just Nak, what can you say. The stiffness and the brutality in some of the shots was quite noticeable, and the atmosphere was electric as well. I feel like, if Aries didn't have those taped ribs (which may have steemed from a legit injury or not, so who knows if they had just planned the match out that way before and were afraid to improvise) and they worked that exact same match again, I would've certainly liked it more. As it is, it's still really good, bordering great... but I definitely wasn't blown away, have to say that.

As for the last two matches, Asuka/Nia was pretty damn good. I've grown to like Bayley/Nia from London more than I originally did overtime, though I still feel like that match was essentially Bayley carrying a rather green Nia Jax. Nia has clearly evolved, though, and this was not an Asuka carryjob as much as Asuka did a good bulk of the work, sure, but Nia had a strong performance in her own. It was easily her best, and her best match so far. She needs to work on her selling, but she's on a good track. The raw skill vs. raw power dynamic was played off excellently, and in some parts, I thought Nia actually did have Asuka's number. Shame that the ending virtually came outta nowhere, 5 minutes longer and it would've been pretty terrific. Not exactly a classic, but another commendable women's effort on a Takeover.

And as for Joe/Bálor... it seems we still have yet to see a truly great Cage match from WWE in the last many years. While certainly not BAD, good for what it was, it was by far the worst PPV match they had together. London and Dallas blow it out of the water completely. The early escape attempts weren't even the problem to me. They wrestled just about the blandest match they could've possibly had in the given circumstances. And while Dallas proved that they weren't allowed to have a complete bloodbath, at least kick the violence up a notch! You're in a fucking Steel Cage! Sigh, whatever. Still a good match, at least.

Superb show, overall, w/only match being less than good, and still being decent for what it was. Brooklyn II should destroy it, though. Joe/Nakamura, Asuka/Bayley II, Revival/AA/Gargano & Ciampa combo, Roode debut... damn.
 
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Probably the most skippable Takeover but still a good one with nothing bad on it. They really need to stop doing Takeovers at Full Sail because they feel so insignificant at Full Sail after being in bigger venues so much in the past year. Tye/Almas was fun. Almas looked like a geek when he came out though. I know he unmasked in Mexico but I wish that they'd just done a Rey with him and had him be the next masked superstar. Easy merch sell and he looks so much better masked imo. NXT debut squashes are always odd in the sense that the new guy works a regular shine-heat-finish match where the other guy gets to showcase almost as much of his own offence but this was that problem turned up to the max. Granted Tye is really over and that was going to be an issue regardless but this felt like as much of if not more of a showcase for Tye than Almas. Thankfully Almas did enough on his end to make himself look good too despite the weird booking of the match. Finisher is really tame mind which is a problem for so many of these NXT guys. Like they can all do these great moves and then a double knees in the corner is the finish? Ok. If Tye is going to be the debut opponent for all these new guys then he NEEDS to just once beat one of them on their debuts. Would be an awesome moment and set up an instant hot program for the pair of them. Revival/Alpha was really good. Not Dallas because it didn't have the atmosphere or the same level of finishing run but still really great. Good way to debut Authors of Pain too. Oh and that's an awesome name for a monster tag team. Aries/Nakamura was borderline great. No hot finish run but I kinda like that Aries made a mistake and Nakamura punished him for it straight away, even if it comes at the expense of the quality of the match. Jax/Asuka was good for what it was but it felt way too short and like Jax went down way too easily/quickly. Thought Jax looked really good again here and totally outclassed Asuka who I thought brought next to nothing to this. No sympathetic babyface selling and barely anything in terms of offence period, let alone nasty looking offence. I get why she isn't laying the strikes in with girls like Alexa Bliss but this was the showcase for how violent Asuka can get and they totally missed the ball with it. Match was good though because Jax works a control segment really well as a nasty monster heel. No idea why people think she's not even good let alone bad. Joe/Balor was bleh. Given the build and the stip, this lacked a serious amount of heat. Felt more like a regular first time title match that just so happened to be in a cage because it was that time of the year booking. Joe looked good but not BITW great like he did in Dallas. Finn brought nothing yet again. Like he's not bad, he's just nothing. Like he goes in the ring, does his moves and that is literally it. He doesn't emote, he doesn't rally the crowd behind him, he doesn't sell. Honestly the moves he does aren't even all that impressive. But this has been the case since day 1 and at least everyone else seems to be over the "but cool face paint and entrance" thing now.

Joe/Nakamura should headline Brooklyn though and that could be FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.
 

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Damn, going back and watching what I missed, the April 25th edition of RAW may just be in best in-ring episode they've had this year.

Sheamus vs. AJ Styles - *** 1/2 (Finish is a bit abrupt, but this is one hell of a physical match)

The Usos vs. Gallows & Anderson - *** (The Club's in ring debut and the best match they had together imo)

Sami Zayn vs. Rusev - *** 1/4 (Holy shit what a sleeper. They had great chemistry together. Finish is hilarious too once Lana throws her shoes at Sami :lol)

Too bad Reigns/Del Rio was a snoozer.
 

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Discussion Starter #80
THE REVIVAL

:mark:

Excellent match, too. But that surprise result put me on a whole different level. I fear the eventual rematch vs the indie geeks that'll suck, but at least these guys got to be back on top again.
 
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