Tag Archives: Io Sharai

NXT Review 10-7

One Man’s Wrestling Opinion

NXT Review 10-7

Tommaso Ciampa defeated Kushida via disqualification

This match was moved to open the show due to Ciampa and Kushida having an altercation before the show started. Kushida is really showing off the new aggressive side of him. These two were physical until the Velveteen Dream got involved and hit Ciampa instead of Kushida causing the DQ. Kushida attacked Dream afterward who was wearing tape on his arm after Kushida injured him at TakeOver.

So now these three all have heat with each other and it could ultimately lead to a triple threat match soon. New matchups for all three and it really shows how badly NXT needs to get some new blood to the main event level. It also shows that Triple H still has plans for the Dream despite his problems. Or maybe he is just going to job to both of them.

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Ember Moon Promo

It has been so long since I heard an Ember Moon promo I honestly forgot if she is even good at it. Well her promo was not very good. I hated the way NXT had her and Toni Storm announce they are back on the same show. But whatever. Io Shirai comes to the ring and gets ready to talk when Rhea Ripley shows up on the ramp and gets attacked by Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Ember races to the ramp to help Ripley and I have no idea why. This of course sets up a tag team match later in the night with the three contenders for Io’s belt. I hate how WWE just throws these matches together. 

When Ember went out to help Ripley, Io stayed in the ring. That was exactly what Io should have done. But I hated how this was all jammed together. Later on in the back Io says Ember is not her problem. Ripley is not her problem. This NXT Women’s title is her problem.

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Undisputed Era

Adam Cole starts talking about Ridge Holland attacking him. He says when you mess with the Undisputed Era there will be consequences. Cole is wearing sunglasses to hide a black eye. Kyle O’Reilly said he is sorry for not getting the job done against Finn Balor. The rest of the UE pumps him up and vow to go after Ridge Holland. Cole takes off his sunglasses and says he has broken ribs. These four are still so good together. Although I am not sure how good they will be on Raw or Smackdown with bigger wrestlers.

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Killian Dain and Drake Maverick defeat Ever-Rise

We see footage of Drake Maverick arriving at the arena saying he and Dain have a match tonight. Dain overhears this and gets mad. Drake said you haven’t responded to my calls. I got us a new ring entrance song and it’s going to be great. Dain is mad.

When I think of mismatch duos I think of tag teams like Rock and Sock and Daniel Bryan and Kane, and Head Cheese.  Head Cheese was my favorite. It was Al Snow and Steve Blackman. Killian throws Maverick into the ring to fight. After some close calls, Killian tags himself into the match and gets the upper hand. The match ends when  Killian powerbombs Maverick hard onto one member of Ever Rise to get the win. After the match, Drake is dancing when Killian knocks him out with a right hand. Killian carries Maverick to the back.

This is funny and entertaining. I see these two winning the tag titles eventually. Every show needs some comic relief and this is the comic relief.

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Toni Storm Vignette

We see a good Toni Storm Vignette. This was good because she was here before but very briefly and the audience could need a refresher on her story. Storm is beautiful and well put together and will make a great addition to the roster.

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Johnny Gargano/Candace LaRae Promo

Johnny and Candace are walking their dog when they come up to their house. They are talking about how Candace had the match won and how Johnny is embarrassed for losing at TakeOver. Candace says we deserve rematches. Johnny says things need to change and we need a plan. They get to their house and see a brand new TV waiting by the door. Indi Hartwell gave them a 65 inch TV. First Johnny says why are you talking about that goof? Then he says I knew I liked that girl and asks Candace to help bring the TV in the house. Candace says why did she send us a TV. Johnny says who cares. Free TV.

This is such a guy thing. We all love our big screen TV’s and Johnny is funny in these spots. Later on, we see Johnny watching the TV and he calls Candace over. Johnny says he is watching a USB that Indi gave them and he said do you know how many times she saved you in that battle royal? Candace said I was not paying attention. Johnny says there is something here and I always liked that girl. Candace says me too. 

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Austin Theory defeats Leon Ruff then loses to Dexter Lumis

Austin Theory was rushed to Raw. He was just not ready. I like him so much better in NXT developing his character. He beats Leon Ruff and says it was just a warmup and says he will take on anyone in the back. So here comes Dexter Lumis.

I love the Dexter Lumis character. But he should not have this long of a match against Theory. I don’t get these promotions and the booking of their big men. Lumis needs to be a monster. So I didn’t l like this whole segment until Cameron Grimes attacks Lumis after he beat Theory. You could have had Lumis in a squash match to get this business across.

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Ridge Holland defeated Danny Burch

Ridge gets to the arena and is asked why he attacked Adam Cole. He says last week I didn’t have a Mercedes. This week I do. Thank Adam Cole for that.

Ridge squashes Burch in a quick win. Then he attacks him after the match. Oney Lorcan comes out to save his partner and he starts to get into it with Ridge. But Ridge hurts his knee because NXT for some reason wanted to prolong this. The business was done but they had to go for one more spot with Lorcan jumping from the ring to the floor and RIdge’s knee gave out when he caught him. 

This is such a shame for Ridge. He had surgery four days later and will be out for a long time. He was just starting a major angle with Adam Cole. Although this was a freakish injury NXT needs to scale back these spots which are just not necessary.

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Timothy Thatcher

Another vignette with Thatcher teaching a class. 

I get it. He is a badass who can really wrestle. But he has lost all the big matches he has already had in NXT. He lost in the Gauntlet Eliminator for a shot at Finn Balor. Thatcher lost in his title match with Damian Priest for the North American Championship. He lost against Finn Balor at TakeOver XXX. He lost the three-way match to get into the North American Title Ladder match. The only big match he was was against Matt Riddle who was moving to Smackdown.

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Shotzi Blackheart defeated Xia Li

Shotzi dominates this match as her huge push continues. After the match, we see Boa hand Xia an envelope and after she reads it she leaves the ring immediately. This is intriguing. I hope Shotzi stops taking so many risks in the ring.

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Ember Moon and Rhea Ripley defeated Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez

Well, I am going to avoid the obvious in this match. Ember and Rhea teaming up when they both want the Women’s title. Ember has not changed her style since we last saw her wrestle. So that is good to see that she just might be all the way back from her serious leg injury.

I will forget everything in this match and put it over just because Ember Moon came all the way back from a very serious injury. Otherwise, it was a predictable finish.

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Outlook

I will say it each and every week. NXT just needs to stay the course and not try to out do anything AEW does. I don’t think the ratings will ever change. AEW will always get the bigger rating unless NXT goes out of character and fast tracks matches or brings in RAW or Smackdown stars. After all NXT is WWE’s developmental brand.

The one thing I need NXT to do is work on their tag team division. They are just as bad as the Raw and Smackdown tag team divisions. Maybe all three brands should merge the title and have it defended on every brand. We need to see more of that with the Women’s tag team division. It has been proven that NXT’s ratings spike when Raw and Smackdown stars appear on Wednesday night. Imagine the New Day or Street Profits having matches on NXT.

Next is the lack of title contenders for both Balor and Priest. Balor has the more prestigious title but Priest is the bigger man.

NXT 10-14 Preview

Not much has been released on tonight’s show. But what we do know is Dexter Lumis will be facing Damien Priest in a North American Championship match. I love the Lumis character but I would ne shocked if they gave him the title. Look for more interference from Cameron Grimes which could lead to another person interfering.

Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong are facing Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan for a tag team title shot. So NXT is going forward with a Kyle O’Reilly singles push. I can definitely see NXT giving Undisputed Era some gold but they don’t need it to be over. But I can’s see Burch and Lorcan holding the belts either. But this is a match for a title shot.

We also know that Ember Moon and Toni Storm will be on the show tonight. Hopefully we don’t see any match get fast tracked.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Damien Priest vs Austin Theory

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

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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.

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Ridge Holland vs Deluca

Squash match. Great way to build up Ridge.

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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.

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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.

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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.