Tag Archives: Candace LaRae

NXT TakeOver 31 Review

One Man’s Wrestling Opinion

NXT Takeover 31 Review

As usual, this was a very good Pay Per View. What I love about TakeOvers is that there is only five matches so they have plenty of time to breathe and develop and you are not stuck watching a four-hour show.  I will keep saying it. NXT just needs to do what they always do and not play up to the ratings war.

Realistically they won’t win the ratings war week after week so why try. Just put on the type of shows you have always done. NXT needs to develop stars again and this TakeOver did just that. Also, the Capitol Wrestling Center looks amazing. I went 4-1 with my predictions which is something I hate when I look at any card.

Damian Priest(c) def. Johnny Gargano North American Title Match

Gargano really put over Priest in this match. He is really a great worker. I mentioned this before that I don’t know what Gargano has left to do at NXT. Seeing that he lost and his wife lost could they be going to the main roster? I mean it looks like WWE could be doing the power couple angles with so many of them possibly forming in the coming weeks.

I like Priest too. I want to see him have a good title run. And I like it when a PPV match ends a feud.

Thumbs up

Kushida def. The Velveteen Dream

So Kushida is a heel now and showed a more aggressive side to him. I feel that Kushida has been a disappointment since signing with NXT. I know he has had injuries but he is a good worker. As for the Dream can you say that he is getting punished for his legal troubles? But why is he getting a PPV match? Maybe because they are going to bury him and write him off of TV for a long while.

Kushida really worked that arm and attacked him twice after the match. It got to the point that the Dream was screaming in pain yelling to make him stop. Excellent selling by the Dream and a good overall match. But it’s sad that the Dream could not stay out of trouble and burying one of your best workers is never a good thing. Hopefully, Kushida gets a push out of this.

Thumbs down 1

Santos Escobar(c) def. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott Cruiserweight Title Match

Excellent match and these guys can really work. This was the one match where I predicted a title change and I got this wrong. Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde tried to interfere when Ashante “Thee” Adonis came to even up the odds. I can’t really say the in-ring action was bad I just hate the outside stuff. I did want to see a title change here but it looks like Triple H has other plans.

Thumbs up

Io Shirai(c) def. Candace LaRae NXT Women’s Title Match

There is a lot to unpack here. First of all, Io is tremendous in the ring. She should hang onto the title at least through the end of the year. LaRae has gotten better and she is much better as a heel. Secondly, I really didn’t need to have Johnny Gargano interfere in a woman’s match and put on the referee’s shirt. Like I mentioned before both Gargano and LaRae could be headed to Raw or Smackdown. But a good match.

Now lastly to have both Toni Storm come back and also Ember Moon be revealed as the mystery former champion just makes no sense to have both come back on the same show. Storm and Moon should have had that moment all to themselves. You could have had Storm cut that same promo on the weekly show when Io is in the ring talking about who could be her next opponent. I would have Moon and Io in the ring cutting promos and then have Storm appear on the Tron. Clearly, both of them will be in the hunt for the title.

Man NXT’s women division is so stacked. Even if LaRae goes to RAW or SD both Storm and Moon are better then her.

Thumbs down 1

Finn Balor(c) def. Kyle O’Reilly NXT Heavyweight Title Match

Great match. Very physical. Both guys got legit injured. The right guy won the match. After the match, Balor shook Kyle’s hand. Rumor has it that Balor ended the match early due to the injuries and also might have given Kyle a receipt for possibly breaking his jaw.

But the night was not over as Ridge Holland carried a beaten down Adam Cole to ringside and dumped him on the floor. The rest of the Undisputed Era came running to Cole’s aide. SO I am curious to see where they are going with this. And the pretty much confirms that the Undisputed Era is not going to Raw or Smackdown.

Thumbs up

NXT TakeOver Preview

NXT TakeOver Preview

One Man’s Wrestling Opinion

NXT TakeOver

In what feels like a rushed NXT TakeOver we have four title matches and one grudge match. I feel that NXT put this together as well as it could with the time constraints they had. NXT needs to get back to building new wrestlers like they did in the Pre AEW days. I have said it all along that if NXT just continued the course they would be fine. But as we have seen that didn’t happen and probably because the old man wanted it to change.

The appeal of an NXT TakeOver has always been that the card is not big with five matches that are full of action. TakeOvers have always been the best PPV’s of the year. Does Triple H drop a surprise tonight?

Finn Balor (c) vs Kyle O’Reilly NXT Championship Match

This is Balor’s first title defense so there is no way he is losing this match. With that, I like the decision to place O’Reilly in this match. Kyle has always been in my opinion the fourth wheel of the Undisputed Era so it will be great to see him get this moment.

This will probably be the best match of the night if it is given time and if UE does not interfere. I liked the way Triple H came about getting the number one contender for this match. Balor is not losing so why waste a marquee match on a night when we already know hi is winning.

Prediction: Finn Balor Retains

Io Shirai (c) vs Candace LaRae NXT Women’s Championship Match

If past matches between these two are any indication this match also will be very good. Io has had the title since June 7th and I expect her to retain the title. This is another match where I hope we don’t see outside interference. But this match will be really good. LaRae has been great with her new character with Johnny Gargano. LaRae will be champion one day. Just not now,

Prediction: Io Shirai retains

Damian Priest (c) vs Johnny Gargano NXT North American Championship Match

There has been a pretty good build for this match. Priest won the title on August 22nd so I expect him to retain tonight. Gargano will definitely raise Priest’s game and stature with a great match. I want to see Preist keep this title for a little while.

Prediction: Daiman Priest retains

Santos Escobar (c) vs Isaiah “Swerve” Scott NXT Cruiserweight Championship Match

This could be the one title match where we see a title change. Escobar won the title on May 27th and has had a decent run. I think his run would be better with fans in the stands. I think Scott wins the title tonight in a good match.

Prediction: Isaiah Swerve Scott wins and becomes the new champion.

Kushida vs Velveteen Dream

This has been a fast-tracked match between two very good wrestlers. I am in the fence with this because of the cloud surrounding the Dream. I am not sure Triple H will push the Dream right now and Kushida does need a push. He could have a high profile match vs Finn Balor down the road. This will be another great match.

Prediction Kushida wins.

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NXT Review

NXT Review 9-23

One Man’s Wrestling Opinion

NXT Review 9-23

NXT is moving towards their next Take Over in October. It’s time to establish number one contenders for Women’s Champion Io Sharai, NXT Champion Finn Balor, and North American Champion Damien Priest. Here is the NXT Review for 9-23.

Women’s Battle Royale

I hate Battle Royales. Always have. But I like the Royal Rumble. So I didn’t like it when NXT added more women into this match. I would rather have the original 11 announced women in the match. But whatever. I liked the Candace LaRae spot before the match where she took out Tegan Nox. But nothing else did it for me. Rhea and Raquel might be continuing their feud. A cage match is supposed to end the feud. Not prolong it. I have no problem with Candace winning. Io vs Candace had a great match last year so I expect then to have another great match.

Thumbs down 1

Damien Priest Promo

We find out Johnny Gargano is facing Priest at Takeover. Also, Priest is facing Austin Theory tonight.

Tomaso CIampa vs Jake Atlas

This match went too long and Atlas got in way too much offense. But Ciampa has been a beast lately. I am curious to know where he goes from here. I don’t feel that Atlas got anything in this loss except that he did better this time.

Thumbs down 1

Ridge Holland Promo

It was ok. Nothing special. We should have seen this before he had his first match.

Mix Match Tag: Burch & Strong vs Aichner & Mendoza

Once again NXT has to be creative to determine the number one contenders for Breezango. So you have one member from four different tag-teams making up two teams. The team that wins will face each other in a tag team match the next week with the winner facing Breezango. Cool concept but once again the tag team divisions are all a mess in the WWE.

Roderick Strong and Danny Burch win.

A good match and next week will be even better.

Thumbs up

Austin Theory Promo

Austin Theory is getting interviewed when Johnny Gargano interrupts. Theory is so good playing a cocky prick but he always loses. Gargano says you remind him of himself and gives him some advice. He says if you happen to soften him up he would never forget it. Right away Iknow Gargano is getting involved in this match somehow.

Thumbs up

Damien Priest vs Austin Theory

Another match that went too long. Priest dominates Theory. Gargano attacks Priest after the match. All were predictable.

Thumbs down 1

Promo

We see a promo for a former champion returning to NXT. He is coming back on the next Takeover. So speculation is running wild on who it could be. Hopefully, it is one of the unused talents on the main roster.

Thumbs up

Ridge Holland vs Deluca

Squash match. Great way to build up Ridge.

Thumbs up

Io Shirai Promo

Io is cutting a promo on facing Candace LaRae when Gargano and LaRae crash it. Predictably Gargano gets in Io’s face when Priest appears. So we will get the mixed match tag team match next week Io and Priest vs Gargano and LaRae. Which was also predictable.

Thumbs down 1

Five Man Gauntlet Match

I loved this concept. Part Gauntlet and part Royal Rumble. NXT is very creative in making these types of matches. It was a very good wrestling match with five wrestlers who need a push. The Velveteen Dream attacking Kushida sets up future business between the two. Cameron Grimes, Branson Reed, and Timothy Thatcher have been getting pushed. But Kyle O’Reilly gets the win and the title shot. O’Reilly has kind of been the forgotten man in the Undisputed Era so it was good to see him get a push.

Thumbs up

Outlook

I have five ups and four downs. I will always put over squash matches because that is how you build a wrestler.  But you can’t do too many of those. I have said this before and I will say it again. Triple H should not try to counter-program AEW. He should just do what NXT has always done which is to build long-term stories. This is why we have a show with three gimmick matches to establish number one contenders. All because there is a Take Over in two weeks. Just develop the contenders naturally.

In the case of Finn Balor, this is different. Balor is not losing his first title defense so do you want to waste a match with Tomaso, Gargano, or Velveteen when we know Balor is winning? So this is why that Gauntlet match works for me. Sure NXT needs to develop contenders and they are doing that now. So I am on board with this.

NXT fast-tracked Keith Lee vs Kross because Vince wanted Lee on Raw where he is ruining him. You can never predict injuries and Kross getting injured hurt a lot. I also feel the injury or whatever is going on with Dexter Loomis hurts too. He was so over. But Triple H needs to go back to the development of characters. But I know the old man has his hands on everything now.

Switching to Tuesday nights would benefit both AEW and NXT. AEW would have the platform to try to grow its audience and so would NXT. And NXT can go back to doing what they did before AEW came along. Vince McMahon will never let AEW grow their audience.