Real American Wrestleblog

This blog predates Jack Swagger's gimmick shift by a year. I named it after Hulk Hogan's entrance theme.

Posts Tagged ‘NXT

King Bad News and the Wasted Crown

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So, you thought Bad News Barrett winning King of the Ring this year was going to give him that one last big push and one last opportunity to make his character stick in the Main Event picture?  Well, I’m afraid I’ve got some rather BAD NEWS.

Because since winning King of the Ring, Wade Barrett has only made one main card Pay Per View appearance and he was the first one eliminated from the Intercontinental Championship Elimination Chamber match.  Not only that, but he was pinned by R-Truth, who is currently serving as the WWE’s comic relief.  That’s like getting pinned by Santino Marella three years ago or Damien Mizdow six months ago.  In addition to that one Pay Per View main card appearance, Barrett has been the loser in the preshow match at both Payback and Money in the Bank.  And the night after Money in the Bank, after R-Truth beat him, R-Truth shows up wearing a toilet paper crown and carrying a plunger.  Oh, how the might have fallen.

It’s hard to believe now, but back when the Nexus first arrived, Wade Barrett was every bit as over as Kevin Owens is today.  He was the face of a hot new faction that was laying the most devastating beat downs that this generation of wrestling fans have ever seen.  But he got passed over for an opportunity to get pushed to the Wrestlemania 27 Main Event and instead that opportunity was given to The Miz of all people.  Since then, WWE has dropped the ball on capitalizing on Barrett’s popularity with the die hard fans over and over again.  He has carried the Intercontinental Championship into Wrestlemania three separate times in the past five years and not once has he came out with a victory.  Yet, through it all his popularity has remained and reportedly the key decision makers in WWE remain impressed by him.  Hence, he won King of the Ring this year and everything looked like it was trending up for King Bad News.

Despite the corny cliched king gimmick, the character is still over.  People are eating it up.  Yet, Barrett can’t seem to find his way onto the main cards or in any kind of meaningful program.  His last Intercontinental Championship reign was cheated like a joke, with everybody else playing keep away with his belt.  Now, he’s still stuck working with R-Truth and getting made a mockery of.  And it is very entertaining.  But the longer it keeps up and the longer he’s left working preshows and throwaway matches on Raw and Smackdown, the more likely it’s going to be that people stop caring.  Just last summer, insider reports were that it was a three-way race to determine the next guy to get to carry the World Heavyweight Championship between Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns and Bad News Barrett.  If he takes that kind of fall again from this year to next, he might just be done for.  And rumor is that nagging injuries may force him to retire soon anyway.  So, from WWE’s perspective, I can see why they wouldn’t want to put too much of an investment in a guy that might be retired less than a year from now.  And obviously, it means more for somebody to beat the King of the Ring than it means for the King of the Ring to beat some mid-carder.  Same with the holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase.  Because at the end of the day, if they lose, they’ve still got the crown or they’ve still got the briefcase for a guaranteed shot at the big title.  But it’s one thing for the King of the Ring to put somebody over in a match that matters and another thing entirely to lose some throwaway match on the preshow.

Something needs to change or this guy is going to ride his career out on the lowest of notes and if that happens then what was the point of putting the crown on him in the first place?

Live Reactions, Elimination Chamber 2015 – John Cena vs. Kevin Owens

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John Cena vs. Kevin Owens is coming up next, kickstarting the second hour of the show.

The two guys stare each other down and take turns hoisting up their respective titles.  Cliche, but people are into it.  They lock up as the match starts.  Headlock from Owens on Cena.  Cena audibly calls for the move and says “I’ll give you one.”  He then shoves Owens off into the ropes and Leapfrogs him and does the low bridge and Owens jumps over him and Cena pops back up and flattens Owens with a Shoulder Block, but Owens is right back up.  They square off again and Owens beats Cena down in the corner.  Cena counters a whip into the corner and follows up with a Running Bulldog.  Owens hits a Big Boot and roughs up Cena over in the ropes and out on the ring apron.  Owens kicks Cena and whips him into the corner and Cena drops in a heap, doing his best to put Owens over and sell his moves.  Owens knocks Cena down again with a jab and kicks him some more.  Owens with the cover, easy kick out.  Owens with a Reverse Chinlock, but Cena fights back up of course.  Oh, but he’s gonna sell it some more and drops back down to one knee and then to his ass while they rest some more.  Cena fights back up again and forces the elbow up off his throat and separates his hands.  Cena goes for the AA, but Owens counters and connects with a DDT.  Owens covers Cena for a near fall.  Owens gets in a few more punches and now calls for Cena to get up and knocks him back down with a Big Boot.  Owens plays to the crowd.  Then he knocks Cena down with another big right hand.  Cena with a Schoolboy for a near fall, but Owens knocks him back on his ass with a Clothesline.  Owens pummels Cena and then bounces off the ropes with a Back Splash and gets another near fall.  Owens is dominating the offense in the match to this point.  That doesn’t happen very much with Cena against a guy that isn’t like the Big Show or Great Khali.  Cena now battles back with Shoulder Tackles and goes for a Flying Crossbody, but Owens catches him into a Spinning Crucifix Slam.  Owens with the Rollout Cannonball move in the corner and covers Cena for another near fall.  Owens tells Cena it’s time to give up and punches him in the mouth, but Cena fires back an they trade punches back and forth.  Owens goes for the Pop-up Powerbomb, but it’s blocked and Cena connects with the Flying Shoulder Block, then the Spinning German Suplex and the Five Knuckle Shuffle.  Cena goes for the AA, but Owens counters and shoves Cena into the ropes and hits the Pop-up Powerbomb and covers him, but Cena again kicks out for a near fall.  Owens goes to the top rope, but Cena crotches him.  They fight on the middle rope and Owens Headbutts Cena and knocks him down.  Owens goes fora  Moonsault, but Cena moves out of the way and Owens crashes.  Cena hits the AA, but Owens kicks out for a near fall.  I thought that was the end of this one, but it continues.  Great match so far.  Outstanding work.  Both guys are catching their breath.  Owens deserves a breather after that breathtaking Moonsault attempt.  He showcased phenomenal agility on that one.  Nobody else his size could do that.  Owens hits a Superkick, but doesn’t go for the cover.  Owens mocks Cena and goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Cena grabs him by the leg and trips him up and locks in the STF.  Owens drags himself to the ropes, but Cena drags him back to the middle.  Owens blocks Cena trying to put the STF back on.  Back up to his feet and Owens hits Cena with the AA and covers him for a near fall.  Owens is having easily the best match of his WWE career so far.  Cena counters Owens charging him in the corner and hits a Tornado DDT, diving off the middle rope.  Cena heads up top and hits the Guillotine Leg Drop to the back of the neck with Owens bent over and covers him, but Owens kicks out for a near fall.    Cena drags Owens back up and goes for the AA, but Owens blocks it. Owens with a Package PIledriver set up, but remembers Piledrivers are banned in WWE and changes course with it into a Side Slam variation.  Owens covers Cena for a near fall.  Owens says it’s over and clobbers Cena with another big right hand and yells at him to stay down.  Cena on one knee, pops up with a rapid right hand.  Trading big right hands.  Owens with a Knee to the gut, whips Cena into the ropes.  Cena ducks a Clothesline and springboards off the ropes into the Springboard Stunner and covers him for a near fall.  Cena puts Owens up on the top turnbuckle and climbs up after him.  Cena sets up for a Superplex, but Owens counters into another phenomenal unique Suplex counter, Angle Slam style with a spin.  Cover for a near fall.  Owens heads up to the top rope and hits a Senton Bomb and covers for another very close near fall.  Off the breather, Cena flattens Owens with a huge Clothesline and takes a rest.  Cena stumbles around and hugs the ropes before charging back at Owens again and Owens catches him with the Pop-up Powerbomb and covers him for the three count.

Phenomenal Match and Kevin Owens is getting pushed to the stratosphere with a debut win over John Cena and he beat him clean in maybe the match of the year!  Outstanding work.  This is shaping up like the best Pay Per View of the year potentially.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not – 05/26/15 Edition

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This is a pretty self-explanatory post and will possibly become a regular feature here at the Real American Wrestleblog.  Let’s dive right in and see how it goes.

Who’s Hot

#1 – Kevin Owens – Owens won the NXT Championship just two months after his arrival at NXT R-Evolution.  Despite his two championship matches with Sami Zayn (at NXT Rival and NXT Unstoppable) being aborted by referee interference, Owens has not lost any steam.  In the first match with Zayn, the result was what amounted to a TKO, which wasn’t ideal, but it was palatable because it set up for what we thought would be an epic rematch.  However, the second match was unable to finish due to multiple referees, the NXT commissioner and finally the debuting Samoa Joe getting in between Owens and Zayn and not allowing Owens to finish Zayn off.  Despite all of that, Kevin Owens is as over with the crowd as ever, just like every WWE signing to come out of ROH has been.  And now, this Sunday, Owens gets to make his WWE main roster PPV debut with a one-on-one match against John Cena.  When was the last time somebody making their PPV debut was given a match with John Cena?  My best guess would be maybe Carlito’s lackey Jesus back during their United States Championship rivalry back in 2004.  It says a lot about WWE’s opinion of Owens, especially since he’s not the most in-shape of athletes, to put him in the ring with the face of the company on his first major WWE event.

#2 – Dean Ambrose – In what week would this list be complete without Dean Ambrose?  But he has to be here this week, especially since he’s getting a one-on-one opportunity for the WWE Championship this Sunday at the Elimination Chamber.  Ambrose’s antics usually make him the highlight of the night every single week on both Raw and Smackdown.  It’s not just the Lunatic Fringe crazy antics, but it’s the over the top theatrics and top notch ring psychology that have made him an unwavering fan favorite since The Shield turned face approximately 15 months ago.  Win or lose, no matter what the outcome of any given match, Ambrose seems to come out of it better than he went in.

#3 – John Cena – Cena’s United States Championship Open Challenge, since it began, has provided the best match of the night on every episode of Monday Night Raw where the match wasn’t interrupted by interference.  Cena has really stepped up his game in the ring, adding that new Springboard Stunner maneuver to his arsenal.  Plus, defending the title every week against an unknown challenger adds a lot of drama and entertainment value to the show, even if we know that no matter who it is that answers the challenge, Cena is still leaving with the belt.  At this moment in time, Cena might just be the best entertainer that he’s ever been.

Who’s Not

#1 – Stardust – Other than using the bag of spiders to steal a win over R-Truth on Raw a few weeks ago, when was the last time that Stardust won a match?  He lost to Truth on the Payback preshow.  He lost to Neville last night.  He lost to his big brother back at Fastlane.  He lost in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match at Wrestlemania.  And he lost back in either the second or third United States Championship open challenge that Cena offered.  Any other wins that he’s picked up in 2015 have not been very memorable.  As much as I enjoyed the Goldust / Stardust tag team for a while, it’s gotta be about time for Cody to take off the facepaint and get back to what worked for him before.

#2 – The Bella Twins – Nikki and Brie got steam-rolled by Naomi and Tamina at Payback.  When Nikki came out to rescue Paige on Raw last week, she tripped on the apron leaving the ring and fell flat on her face trying to chase Naomi and Tamina up the rampway.  And heel or face, the Bellas just aren’t getting much of a reaction from the crowd, it seems to me.  It’s well past time to give some different divas a chance.  I predict we see a new Divas Champion this Sunday at Elimination Chamber.

#3 – Adam Rose – Instead of wrestling every week, Rose appears relegated to making out with Rosa Mendes backstage.  And when it happens, Kane is usually walking by or forced to otherwise bear witness to this unsavory sight.  It definitely feels like another run-in with the Big Red Machine is looming in Rose’s future and it won’t have a happy ending.  Next time time, since the Rosebuds have been dismissed,there won’t be The Bunny or any other of the other residents of the Exotic Express to shield Rose from Kane’s destruction.

Real American Live Reactions – NXT Takeover: Unstoppable NXT Championship Match – Huge NXT Debut

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Now it’s time for the Main Event – Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn part two.  Kevin Owens promises that he will injury Sami Zayn again and this time there will be no coming back for Zayn.  Sami comes out and they got the InZayn backward on the video board on the walkway.  Upside down.  Made it look like Nyazni.  here comes Kevin Owens wearing a John Cena US Title Champ is Here t-shirt.  After what happened on Monday and the announcement that Kevin Owens will go one-on-one with John Cena at Elimination Chamber in a week and a half, I’m half expecting Cena to make a run-in on this match.

The match starts out on the floor, with Sami taking the upper hand.  Back in the ring, Owens gets in a shot as Sami comes through the ropes and gets in a few more shots in the corner.  Sami whips Owens into the ropes, but Owens catches the ropes and blocks it so Zayn Clotheslines him out to the floor.  Owens kicks him in the gut and goes for a Powerbomb into the side of the ring, but Sami counters into a Back Body Drop.  Sami tackles Owens back against the steps and stands on him while pummeling him with a flurry of punches.  Sami  tosses Owens around outside the ring and slams him head first into the steps and whips him into the barricade.  Owens stays down.  Sami drags him back up by the hair and Owens punches him in the gut.  Owens retreats into the ring, but Zayn dives on his legs and drags him back out and throws him over the barricade into the crowd.  Sami over the barricade after him and gets in a few more big right hands.  Owens tries for a Powerbomb into the side of the bleachers and gets Sami up, but Sami catches the railing to stop himself and punches Owens until he’s able to get away.  Sami takes Owens back to the ring and hits the Blue Thunderbomb, but Owens kicks out for a near fall.  They fight each other off some more and Sami hits a Half and Half Suplex (Half Nelson on one side, Underhook on the other side) for another near fall.  Zayn goes for a Tornado DDT, but Owens drops to his knees and counters into a Gutbuster over his shoulder.  Zayn fires back and hits an Exploder Suplex into the corner and goes for the Helluva Kick in the corner, but Owens drops out to the floor.  Zayn out after him with a Suplex on the floor.  Sami charges and dives at Owens, but Owens catches him with a Pop Up Powerbomb into the side of the ring.  Sami is down and out, selling the move hard as he should and Owens slinks back into the ring while two officials check on Sami.  Owens catches his breath and then goes out to the floor and mounts Zayn and pummels him with some punches.  The referees pull him off, but he goes right back and does it again.  They pull him off again.  The trainer starts to pull Sami up, but Owens charges over and kicks Sami in the face three or four times.  This goes on for quite some time until they prop Sami up against the steps and Owens finally pulls him back up and puts him in the ring.  The referees are begging Owens to stop and here comes William Regal.  Just let them finish the match already.  This referee stoppage garbage and referee interference in the progression of a match has got to stop.  Regal fishooks Owens, but Owens turns around and Headbutts him, knocking him out of the ring.  Owens goes out and gets a chair and decks Zayn over the arm with it.

And holy crap, Samoa Joe’s music hits.  here comes Samoa Joe!  The match is apparently over, but now it’s Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe nose to nose and this is gonna be EPIC!  Major mark out moment for everybody.  These two guys are gonna be phenomenal in the ring together in the future.  Owens back down and leaves the ring.  Joe stares a hole through him.  Joe poses for the crowd and it looks like the show is over.  Great match comes to another crappy finish, but Samoa Joe makes his NXT debut and Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Owens looms in the future.  Oh crap, here comes Owens back right now, but he’s surely not gonna get in the ring after already backing down once.  And he’s not.  Such a tease.

Real American Live Reactions – NXT Takeover: Unstoppable Women’s Championship Match

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Becky Lynch has an entirely new look as she makes her entrance.  Very steampunk inspired entrance garb.  Sasha comes out next and nice back and forth early on.  Becky gets the advantage and goes for an Armbar, but Sasha ties up in the ropes and looks shocked.  Becky knocks Sasha out to the ring apron and flips over the ropes to the apron and poses for effect.  Becky tries to kick Sasha off the apron, but Sasha blocks her feet and does an innovative Armdrag move that slams Becky face first down onto the ring apron.  Sasha rolls her in and covers her for a near fall.  Sasha now ties Becky up in the ropes and pushes her foot into her back while pulling her arms way back behind her back.  Sasha with an Arm-twist Flashback into a cover for another near fall.  Sasha pulls Becky’s arms back in an X over her own throat like a straight jacket in a move that’s supposed to look like a Modified Choke, but really does nothing to cut off Becky’s air supply though it looks very impressive.  Sasha ragdolls Becky around in that hold for a while and it looks very impressive as she does a Back Cracker in that move and keeps it locked in and sticks her foot in her back and pushes her away while holding onto her arms like a Submission.  Becky finally manages to fight back up to her feet and break free, but Sasha knocks her down again and gets another near fall.  Sasha works over Becky’s arm and bends it way back to the side and stands on it and then stomps on it.  Becky is very flexible apparently, so that’s not really doing any damage though it again looks impressive, so well done on these ladies’ parts.  Modified Armbar submission, but instead of putting the legs over the chest and actually yanking back on the arm, Sasha plants her boots in Becky’s ribs and neck.  When that isn’t working, she shifts into a leg lock around the arm.  Becky refuses to quit and powers out, hoisting Sasha up into a seated position on one shoulder and connects with an Electric Chair type slam.  Both ladies back up and Becky hits a big Forearm.  Becky ducks a Clothesline and hits a European Upper Cut and then knocks Sasha down a couple of times with Clotheslines.  Becky goes up top and hits a MIssile Dropkick, but Sasha kicks out for a near fall.  Becky to a Wristlock, but Sasha runs up the corner and flips through it into an Armdrag.  Sasha knocks Becky into the corner and hits a Running Double Knee Strike to the face in the corner and covers her for another near fall.  Awesome contest so far.  Both ladies putting on a show.  They now trade punches.  Both go for a Backslide, but the other spins out.  Sasha goes for a Head Scissors Takedown, but Becky counters.  They go out to the floor and nothing really happens, they hit each other a bit and go back into the ring.  Becky with a big Suplex, Leg Drop across the arm, trying for a Leg Scissors Armbar that doesn’t look very impressive to me.  Becky puts Sasha down with what looked like a part German and part T-Bone Suplex for a near fall and Suplex City chants break out from the crowd.  Becky with a Snap Suplex, roll through into a spinning Armbar and twists it into a Submission, sitting back on the Armbar, but Sasha is able to get to the ropes to break the hold.  Becky gives a clean break, then goes back at Sasha, but Sasha dumps her out to the floor.  Sasha with a Suicide Dive out to the floor, but Becky catches her and slams her into the ring steps.  Becky overselling an arm injury as she goes up to the top rope and takes too long as Sasha charges up the corner and takes her down to the mat, driving her knees into Becky’s arm as they land.  Sasha locks in the Bank Statement and Becky is forced to tap out.

Phenomenal match.  Not the best match ever, but definitely one of the better matches of the year.  Right up there with the Fatal 4-Way from the last Takeover special.

Real American Live Reactions – NXT Takeover: Unstoppable Tag Team Championship Match

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Here come Enzo, Big Cass and Carmella for the Tag Team Championship match and if you read my “Payback, Unstoppable and Elimination Chamber Oh My!” post from this weekend, then you know that I’ve been waiting for a while now for Carmella to turn on Enzo & Cass.  It just feels to me like the right thing for her to do is go out on her own and her character is kind of a bitch, so it makes sense that when they get their biggest opportunity, she finally sticks the knife in their back if it’s gonna happen tonight.  Here come the tag champions and Wesley Blake is wearing freaking pigtails in his hair.  What in the blue hell was he thinking?

Enzo and Blake start things off, running the ropes and Enzo hits a Crossbody for a near fall.  Enzo with a very nice Dropkick for another near fall.  Didn’t know Enzo had that in him.  Enzo with a headlock.  Blake forces him into the corner and there is a tag to Big Cass.  Blake backs down and makes the tag to Murphy.  Murphy with a big chop and Cass no sells it.  Cass is a great entertainer.  Every time I watch him, his ring psychology and personality just remind me so much of Edge.  Murphy & Blake lure him out to the floor and take the advantage with a cheap shot.  It’s now Murphy and Enzo as the legal men and Murphy wears Enzo down and throws him around the ring a bit.  This goes on for a while, Enzo with a Schoolboy for a near fall.  Blind tag to Blake, knocks Cass off the apron with a cheap shot.  Double team Power Bomb on Enzo for a near fall.  Murphy beats up Enzo some more, Enzo fires back and hits a Flying DDT.  It wasn’t quite a Tornado DDT as there was almost no rotation.  Just dive on the guy, straight down into a DDT.  Tag to Big Cass and Cass has a big boot for each of the tag team champions.  Empire Elbow into a pin, broken up.  Cass takes care of both champs again and hits Blake with a Sidewalk Slam.  Tag to Enzo.  Cass drags him limply to the corner and drags Enzo up to the top rope and gets ready for a Rocket Launcher, but now Alexa Bliss comes out to attack Carmella and cause a distraction.  Superkick on Cass, Enzo tries to get back up on the turnbuckle and Alexa knocks him down and crotches him on the top turnbuckle.  He falls into the ring and Blake covers him for three as the champions retain.

An entertaining match that I thought was surprisingly well executed.  Enzo really impressed me in the ring tonight, snapping off a few nice crisp moves.  He’s known more for his mic work than his wrestling.

Real American Live Reactions – NXT Takeover: Unstoppable Juggernauts Battle

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Next up is Rhyno taking on Baron Corbin and half the crowd has decided that Baron Corbin sucks, the same way they did in 2005 with John Cena and with Roman Reigns earlier this year.  Basic slugfest back and forth goes out to the floor where Corbin rams Rhyno’s back into the side of the ring, which is covered by a video board like the one that gave Triple H that epic bruise on his backside and leg at Wrestlemania 31.  Corbin continues to beat down Rhyno and puts on a Half Nelson to wear Rhyno down and this may be the longest match Corbin has ever had in NXT.  Whips Rhyno into the corner, but Rhyno bounces back and the two men Headbutt each other and drop for a breather.  More back and forth, Rhyno gets a Spinebuster for a near fall.  Is that the first time anybody has tried to cover Corbin?    Take their time getting back up, Rhyno ducks a big right hand and hits a Belly-to-Belly Suplex.  Rhyno calls for the Gore and the end is near.  Corbin coutners into a big Clothesline.  End of Days for the win.

Corbin remains undefeated, but as we’ve seen in recent weeks, the crowd has turned against him.  Used to be, they’d be counting down the seconds it took for him to beat somebody because they knew he was gonna win in less than 30 seconds and they were super into it.  Now, it’s clear that they’ve gotten somewhat tired of him.  A heel turn seems imminent.

Written by Arron Hustead

May 21, 2015 at 12:56 am