WWE Raw: The SummerSlam Go-Home
August 18, 2015 6:13 AM - Season 23, Episode 51 - Subscribe

The granduncle of them all is here, with an expanded running time, a big name guest host, and huuuge matches (Donald Trump not included).

SummerSlam returns to the Big Apple for the first time since 2007 after spending six straight years in Los Angeles. Special Guest Host Jon Stewart takes his first post-Daily Show gig to introduce us to the new four-hour edition of what is putatively the second-biggest show of the year.

The Card:

Brrrock Lllesnar vs. the Undertaker: This is the Dead Man's first non-WrestleMania PPV match since Kane buried him alive at Bragging Rights in October 2010 (yes, that was during the Brand Extension days) and his first SummerSlam match since 2008. The Beast is looking to avenge the Undertaker's interference in his world title match at Battleground and re-establish himself as the invincible conqueror of the Streak.

Seth Rollins vs. John Cena: World Heavyweight and United States championships on the line, meaning that WWE is finally going back to one secondary title or we're going to have a shmozz ending that prolongs this feud through Survivor Series. Either way, look for these two to step up their games in the not-main-event slot.

Ryback vs. Big Show vs. Miz: Ryback was an interesting choice to hang the Intercontinental strap on after Daniel Bryan vacated it. And then he got a staph infection and we were treated to months of the Miz trying to get a three-way feud over more or less by himself. We can hope this is the blowoff match and someone under seven feet goes on to re-establish the Intercontinental title as the exciting secondary title it used to be.

Stephen "Arrow" Amell and Neville vs. Stardust and King Barrett: This year's celebrity appearance brings legit WWE fan Amell into the ring with plenty of help to put on a passable match. Look for Neville to play Ricky Morton and Amell to look just good enough.

The Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores vs. the Lucha Dragons vs. the New Day: Tag Team Championship spotfest match that will serve largely to show how depleted the tag team scene is nowadays and how big a flop the Ascension was that they can't even get into this thing.

Whoo. That's a pretty good PPV lineup, isn't it. Oh, wait. We're only halfway through.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus: Sheamus has been struck by the Money in the Bank curse, where he turns into a moron and loses constantly (with assistance from the dumbest ref in WWE history on a recent Raw, covering up an Orton botch). This is a classic Well, We Have To Put Them On The Card Somewhere match, with Sheamus marking time until his cash-in and Orton just generally marking time.

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper: Hey, remember when this would have been like a semi-main event match a year or two ago? It's not. The Roman Empire has fallen, the Eater of Worlds has become the Eater of the Midcard, and WWE once again has no idea what the hell to do with Dean Ambrose.

Team Bella vs. Team B.A.D. vs. The Submission Sorority Team PCB: The triple threat elimination trios match that's been pretty much locked in for the last six weeks finally arrives. We can only hope that this gets more than ten minutes, and that we get more than one storyline on the other side of this match.

Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro: The Smark Match of the Night. If this is the kickoff match, look for some fast-paced ultraviolence. If it's anywhere else, look for some fast-paced ultraviolence. Either way, one of these guys is getting buried afterward.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev: Word on the street is that the Lana push is dead, and somehow that's the most compelling thing I can think of about this match, which should be a pretty damn good Hoss vs. Seller clash of styles.
posted by Etrigan (27 comments total)
Even though I haven't been paying that much attention lately, I have some measure of hope that WWE will once again pull a good PPV out of their asses.
posted by misskaz at 8:21 AM on August 19, 2015

Etrigan, your card recaps are wonderful.

I really don't know what to hope for or what I even really want coming out of SummerSlam. I don't want Cena to simultaneously hold two belts, and I don't think a "Cena win #16 to tie Flair" followed immediately by a Sheamus successful cash in would be appropriate at all, so I guess my hope is DQ or Rollins win followed by Sheamus win. I guess.

(Acknowledging that the belt isn't even on the line) I originally thought they were going to let Nikki hold the Diva's title till she broke AJ's record so they never had to mention AJ again, but now I think they're mentioning how long she's held it and how close she is to the record every 3 minutes when Nikki's on screen to try and give some weight to a title reign that everyone had basically forgotten about until 3 weeks ago or whenever this Revolution started. So all I can say is I'm surprised this is a giant cluster of a tag match rather than a Diva's championship match, but oh well.
posted by jermsplan at 1:03 PM on August 19, 2015

Can you believe all these young kids working back to back PPV nights?! Ridiculous.

NXT Takeover Card:

NXT Championship (Ladder Match)
-Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor

NXT Tag Team Title Match
-The Vaudevillians vs Blake and Murphy

NXT Women’s Title Match
-Bayley vs Sasha Banks
-Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs Tyler Breeze

-Samoa Joe vs Baron Corbin

-Bull Dempsey vs Elias Samson

-Apollo Crews vs Tye Dillinger
(Crews’ NXT Televised Debut)

-Eva Marie vs Carmella

-Enzo Amore, Big Cass & Hype Bros (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley) vs Jason Jordan, Chad Gable, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson

-Charlotte vs Becky Lynch vs Emma vs Dana Brooke
posted by jermsplan at 1:04 PM on August 19, 2015

And it's legitimately Finn Balor / Prince Devitt / Fergal Devitt's first ever ladder match, too. I'm actually a little afraid that he's going to overextend himself.
posted by Etrigan at 3:27 PM on August 19, 2015

When are they going to pull the trigger on Enzo and/or Big Cass's promotions? They've done everything they can in NXT, and lord knows the main-roster tag team division needs the help.
posted by Etrigan at 6:38 AM on August 20, 2015

I've been feeling like the Vaudevillians are going to win the NXT Tag Titles, maybe Blake/Murphy/Bliss are on their way up and they don't want to push too many teams up at once? The WWE tag scene could use a heel team since The Ascension didn't pan out. Enzo/Cass basically have to be faces.
posted by jermsplan at 8:16 AM on August 20, 2015

Stephen Amell in a WWE match? I'm not sure what to think of that one.
posted by Telpethoron at 3:01 PM on August 22, 2015

My Summerslam thoughts: [spoilers ahoy!]

Orton/Sheamus: zzzzzzzzzzzz

Tag Team Title 4-way: Los Matadores seemed to botch a lot, and I'm not the biggest fan of matches with too many people in them. That said, this was fun and the right team won. Also, New Day celebrating gives me life. I love New Day so much (and I regularly marvel at how they took a shit idea and turned it into gold).

Rusev/Ziggler: Ugggggghhhhh. When I first started watching wrestling like a year and a half ago, I thought Ziggler was great. His over the top selling made me laugh, and I dug his 80s/90s cheesy look. It kinda fit what I imagined wrestling to be. But I HATE him in this story. Hate. I own one of his t-shirts and don't even want to wear it anymore. And the sad part is the story is ruining Rusev and Lana too. Just kill this all with fire and start over with something else, please.

Barrett&Stardust/Neville&Amell: This was better than a celebrity match probably has any right to be. Amell handled himself well and I love Barrett and Stardust as a team and hope they stick together. Neville seemed super nervous and awkward in the pre-match interview with Cole, though, which makes me worry about him in WWE. He's got so much stacked against him with his size, and if he can't be cool and connect with the audience in interviews/promos he'll be in trouble.

IC Title: Don't care, didn't watch.

Reigns&Ambrose/Wyatts: I can't figure out what to say about this one. I was surprised and felt bad that Reigns was booed so hard, but then he didn't do much to convince me he shouldn't have been. I want to love Ambrose (and I live with an Ambrose superfan) but I don't connect with him like I used to. His in-ring moves rarely impress. The Wyatts are just the same old Wyatts, I guess? Weird to think back to how much I loved the Wyatt family not that long ago.

Divas: UGH. I know I pin way too much emotion on women's wrestling and so I probably judge it more harshly than I should. But this was booked terribly and there was no story to tell, so the match felt just like everyone hitting their spots (except Sasha, was she injured from the night before?) Too much time in the ring for the worst workers of the bunch. Becky was pretty great at getting destroyed for most of the match and was clearly trying to compensate for her opponents' lack of skill at times. I was glad they gave her the win after the Charlotte hot tag. But sorry, just can't be excited about this when I had just watched the NXT Takeover a few hours prior.

Cesaro/Owens: I think this match was much better than the crowd let on, and I mostly enjoyed it. But here's the thing, WWE: 4 hours (plus a pre-show) is too damn long for your live crowd to maintain their enthusiasm no matter how good the wrestling. It's just exhausting. And when the live crowd isn't into it, it's hard for me at home to feel like I should care. I did appreciate the clean Owens win, but I love both these guys so it's hard to see Cesaro lose at the same time. Owens probably needed the win more so I'm ok with the result.

Rollins/Cena: What to think about this? The match itself was fantastic, and just drives home yet again that they need to LET ROLLINS WRESTLE more because goddamn he is good at it. It really felt like he was the face and Cena was the heel throughout the match. The interference was... weird. At first I expected Stewart to take out Rollins and was groaning about it. The swerve was interesting and I definitely was surprised and prefer Rollins winning to LOLCENAWINS again, but I still feel kinda weird about the celebrity interference in such a big title match. idk.

Taker/Lesnar: I should start out by saying that as a new wrestling fan, I pretty much hate the nostalgia/old man wrestlers coming in. I get that they are legends and it's historic and blah blah but I just. don't. care. So I am pretty biased against these kinds of matches. Having said that, this match was actually pretty good, if a bit brutal to watch (I worry about the old dudes). Lesnar is amazing and terrifying and I love him and cringe while watching his matches. That finish, though. I don't like it and it was weird and confusing and such a strange way to end the night. I especially don't like it because I know it happened to set up yet another old man match.
posted by misskaz at 8:02 AM on August 24, 2015

Swerves, Schmozzes, Schmerves, and a Curtain Call: WWE’s ‘SummerSlam’ Marathon in Brooklyn.

Interesting article on Grantland. I appreciate the idea that the crowd was so shitty during the Divas match on Raw this week partly because they were set up for swerve after swerve all weekend. Can't say I buy it, but then I'm *really* pissed about that match and the crowd's reaction to it and the apparently intentional sabotage of the Divas "Revolution" by McMahon & co.
posted by misskaz at 5:20 PM on August 26, 2015

The weird thing about the fans turning on the Divas Revolution match on Raw was that they weren't booing women's wrestling. When they turned on the match, they didn't do it with awfulness like WE WANT PUPPIES or whatever. They rebelled by chanting WE WANT SASHA and WE WANT BLUE PANTS before moving on to BORING and doing the wave.

Since WWE is apparently doing a summer residency at the Barclay Center, there were probably a whole lot of people in that Raw crowd who were in the audience Saturday night at NXT, coming unglued during Bayley vs Banks and chanting THIS IS WRESTLING. (Supporting evidence: WE WANT BLUE PANTS.) And it wasn't just because Bayley and Banks were awesome wrestlers doing awesome moves. It was because the story they were telling was completely, utterly compelling. Hell, the video WWE put together for the match's deep, deep backstory was a gripping piece of work by itself!

What's the story on the main roster? A bunch of arbitrarily thrown-together teams compete for "dominance." The matches are longer, a lot more physical and don't end with quick rollups, so that's a major boon, but after a few weeks you start to realize there are absolutely no stakes here. Meanwhile, the champion gets to possibly break A. J. Lee's title-holding record via the riveting strategy of doing nothing because NO ONE IS CHALLENGING HER FOR IT.

Then, on Monday, MizTV happens. Our heroes in Team PCB are suddenly shown to be either petty, bitter and mean (Charlotte) or space cadets (Lynch). Team Bella shows up and and Nikki straight-up says the match we're about to see doesn't matter. It's a trainwreck. The crowd hates it, and the subsequent match is doomed.

I'm kind of terrified that WWE's takeaway from the fan revolt will be that their audience just doesn't want women's wrestling, but they have to be aware that the same soldout crowds were going nuts for Bayley vs Banks, right?

Anyway, I just want the NXT Three to band together as a Shield-style unit out to destroy the Divas division in order to rebuild it in their own image. Why yes, I do have an entire storyline for this planned out in my head.

In other news, Xavier Woods with a trombone is pretty much the greatest thing ever.
posted by brianrobot at 11:59 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Quick addendum since that was my first post on MetaFilter (after years of lurking): After chopping, rearranging and rewriting it, I ended up with something that now reads to me like it's justifying the audience booing the match. I hated the crowd for booing the match. I just thought that, at the same time, it was kind of fascinating that instead of WE WANT PUPPIES, it was WE WANT SASHA.
posted by brianrobot at 12:44 AM on August 27, 2015

best reason I've ever heard to come out of lurking, brian.

I keep trying to figure out what to say about the three days of wrestling, Sat-Mon. There was just such a disparity between the quality of wrestling from night to night. But SummerSlam was a hell of a show that the group I watched it with really enjoyed. And then Monday was filled with so many crazy things, the new Wyatt, the Dudleys, Sting. It's honestly unfair to compare I guess. NXT isn't development for RAW, it's a different show with a different purpose. Many times I prefer it, but I realize not everyone does. My wife and my friend's wife only know as much wrestling as they hear us talking about. But they watched SummerSlam with us and enjoyed parts of it, and were on their phones through the entirety of Cesaro/Owens, saying it was boring. WWE knows their audience is full of all kinds, and I guess they're doing a good job bringing something for everyone.

The entirety of the Diva Disaster from RAW was cut from the HULU version, so I have no idea what it actually looked like. But from online and podcasts, sounds like it was horrifying. WWE badly needs to spin off Total Divas and quit the constant cross promotion. They need to take the Bellas out of the title picture for a while. I'm praying it happens the day after Nikki breaks AJ's record, because it doesn't sound like they'll do it before that.
posted by jermsplan at 10:39 AM on August 27, 2015

One step forward and two steps back. On RAW I was impressed to hear we'd get 3 separate womens' singles matches, that seemed like a nice way to further the Revolution. But then they will all be beat the clock, and the first one comes in around 3 minutes. So even though we get 3 matches, they only manage to squeeze 9 minutes of womens' wrestling into a 3 hour RAW. And then the second match races to conclusion in only 1:41. Then match number 3 is basically a squash of Sasha Banks that only goes 1:41 because her teammates interfere and cause nothing to happen for 20 seconds.

You're killing me, WWE!
posted by jermsplan at 7:27 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a ton of commentary out there (some of it from former WWE employees, including the criminally underemployed Lance Storm) that if they had just promoted Banks and Charlotte and Lynch and let them get over in the ring -- like they did in NXT -- we'd all be happier. Instead, we got the tell-don't-show OMIGOD DIVAS REVOLUTION LOOK IT'S A REVOLUTION NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME except that it is totally the same only with more people botching less in the three minutes we give them.

Oh, and geez that NXT fatal four-way. I have never seen a more obvious botch and shitty coverup. Which is a pity, because that crossbody into the corner should be booked from this point on as a devastating finisher. Even without knowing that it basically knocked Becky Lynch the fuck out, it's a hell of a move.
posted by Etrigan at 7:39 AM on September 2, 2015

Totally agree on the crossbody in the corner. That was such a confusing ending, but really, probably better for Emma than whatever they had planned. And that girl needs some help getting over. Getting over as a heel who doesn't give a shit and will knock you out is good for her current character.

Part of me wishes they had just let the divas division on RAW sit forgotten, getting 1 match a week, maybe, while the Bellas mostly did commentary or backstage bits heavily related to Total Divas until Nikki broke AJ's record. Then have all the NXT women show up, say something about needing a revolution, and kick Team Bella to the curb.
posted by jermsplan at 2:00 PM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a ton of commentary out there (some of it from former WWE employees, including the criminally underemployed Lance Storm)

Link for those who haven't read it. It's great!

Speaking of links, it turns out that Uproxx, of all places, has some surprisingly strong wrestling writing. Here's Brandon Stroud on his theory that "Jon Stewart is WWE’s critique of smart wrestling fans" (which correctly predicts his rationale for turning on Cena) and the bewildering turn the main event storyline took this week, David D. on The New Day, Sasha Banks and WWE's Black Revolution, and Danielle Matheson on Bayley's NXT Women's title win and being in the Brooklyn audience:
On the one hand, we had people losing their minds for Bayley and Sasha and Charlotte and Becky (goddamn they love them some Becky), but anytime you’d be in a crowd of people (or on a bus full of writers, yikes) talking about women, it was always the same: they need to fire the Bellas. I like [this lady wrestler] because she’s not f*cking someone to get her spot. Eva Marie is a whore with no talent. Any kind of criticism had these weird sexual qualifiers.
That was such a confusing ending, but really, probably better for Emma than whatever they had planned.

NXT already started capitalizing on it with Emma's promo this week, which is definitely the right call. The way that whole match just fell apart was genuinely fascinating to watch. All the little miscues throughout the early going. The "wait, what?" look on Emma's face when she won. The sound of the confused crowd. CHARLOTTE FILLED WITH HATE AND FURY, saying "Fuck this, we'll do the planned finish anyway!" and faux-pinning Dana Brooke. It was weird and awkward and hilarious.

Speaking of hilarious, I'm not sure which made me laugh harder this week: The New Day on Raw, worrying that the Dudleys could pose a threat to MATERIAL EXISTENCE ITSELF by putting someone through the periodic table, or Rich Brennan on NXT, finally losing his cool at Corey Graves during Eva Marie's entrance. That long pause following his "Well then shut up!" was just glorious. ("All Red Everything" is a perfectly memorable nickname for Eva Marie, but part of me keeps wishing they'd use "Total Eva.")

And while Cesaro didn't get to bust out his new catchphrase on Raw this week, it occurred to me that it's basically the verbal equivalent of the Big Swing. "You go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on..."
posted by brianrobot at 11:08 PM on September 2, 2015

David D. on The New Day, Sasha Banks and WWE's Black Revolution

That was one of the best columns on wrestling I've read in a damn while. Even better than Dion Beary's piece in the Atlantic on wrestling's race issues last year. (And, as always, avoid the comments like they are a verbal bubonic plague, because they are.)
My only complaint is that Chad Gable took the pin, because (1) his fresh dopeness is something they should be protecting, and (2) he was the only over guy on the heel team.
I watched the latest NXT this morning, and holy shit am I loving Chad Gable. And Jason Jordan is just the right amount of exasperated at how douchey his partner is.
posted by Etrigan at 6:00 AM on September 3, 2015

Oh gods I love Kevin Owens.
posted by Etrigan at 6:55 PM on September 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Some thoughts on Raw 9/7:

* Paige vs Banks may not have been up to the level of Sasha's NXT work (or, hell, Paige's NXT work), but it was better than a lot of what we've seen out of the Divas Revolution lately, and the crowd rewarded it with what I think was the only THIS IS AWESOME chant of the night.

* Charlotte apparently assumed the Raw audience watched Smackdown, since she forgot to mention what her petition was actually for. Crowd was amusingly confused for a bit before they glommed onto the fact that she was challenging Nikki for her title on Raw next week to beat the Bellatron rather than waiting for the PPV.

* The Bellatron is Nikki's hubris Titantronified, and she needs to be brought down. Criswell predicts a victory for Charlotte next week, with the Bellatron ticking down to its final seconds as she gets the win. I predict a furious Nikki will invoke her rematch clause for Night Of Champions!

* Seth Rollins winning the U.S. Title is one of the worst things to happen in recent weeks. Oh, it seemed cool at the time, with the goofy-fun Jon Stewart turn, but we were just starting to build a really cool US title picture with Cena, Cesaro, Owens and Rusev, and now that's all gone. Cena's back to LOL CENA WINS in main event matches, Owens is gingerly kickstarting an IC feud with Ryback, Cesaro's taking Ryback's place against Big Show and Miz, and Rusev's stuck in that awful soap opera with Lana dressing like her boyfriend and getting in catfights while Summer Rae lies about being sexually harassed -- seriously, that storyline is the Anti-Divas Revolution. Does anyone want to see ANY of these people in these positions?

* Man, the X-Pac heat on Summer Rae's promo. No cads even whooped or hollered for her photo spread! That tepid crowd response following the announcers' massive hyping of how it's the storyline EVERYONE IS BUZZING ABOUT was pretty great. PLEASE let Night Of Champions end this plot.

* Cesaro in a cowboy hat. Fuck yes. Cole responded to that by saying "Who says this guy doesn't have charisma?" in a low voice that sounded absolutely directed at the person in his headset rather than the viewing audience.

* It was nice to see a bunch of matches that felt fresh instead of like retreads, even if it did mean killing what momentum The Ascension had just started to build on Smackdown by teaming up with Stardust (who didn't even accompany them to ringside!).

* New Day in the main event. HALLELUJAH. The crowd was actually laughing during Woods' trombone hijinks. Actual sounds-like-a-comedy-show laughter, of the kind you almost never hear at a wrestling show, even during the funny bits.

* Darren Young gutcheck on Xavier Woods from the apron to the floor. OWWWW

* Christ, Orton vs Sheamus seemed like an eternity even on fast forward.

* Trombone vs Kazoo: Match of the year?
posted by brianrobot at 3:20 AM on September 8, 2015

Christ, Orton vs Sheamus seemed like an eternity even on fast forward.

That's because we have seen literally every possible permutation of this match. They have faced each other on TV/PPV fifteen times in 2015, and that is only since June, because one or the other of them was out for half of the year, and it never means anything. No title, no contendership, no briefcase, nothing. Just "Oh, look, these two guys have no program, so let's put them out there."
posted by Etrigan at 6:20 AM on September 8, 2015

They have faced each other on TV/PPV fifteen times in 2015, and that is only since June

Good lord, I've fast-forwarded that match fifteen times recently? I guess Sheamus is vying for Cena's spot in this.
posted by brianrobot at 9:24 PM on September 8, 2015

Thanks for those articles you guys linked last week, had a lot of time in the car over this past weekend and those were all really interesting reads.

The New Day is so good, I can barely handle it. The tag division in general is really great, actually. I'm even pretty happy with the place The Ascension have come to occupy. A couple of guys who take themselves entirely too seriously, but are extremely capable jobbers to all the big faces in the company. At some point I'd even appreciate a throwaway interview where we learn the two of them really are kind of crazy and genuinely believe they are some sort of road-warriors from the wasteland.

Holy Hell, did you think that Emma pinning Becky would be the biggest pinning blooper on NXT this month? Well All Red Everything has news for you: she can kick out at 3.5 and be just fine. Gotta feel for the ref there.

The WWE needs to drop the entire Ziggler/Summer/Lana thing yesterday. When you're pushing a TV PG product and have to have your sobbing woman describe how the irresistible muscled man in the shower KISSED her and she feels so guilty...how does someone in pre-production not point out how terrible it is? And that's the least offensive reason that angle sucks.

Speaking of Angle, do Jordan/Gable remind anyone else of Team Angle? Only this time Charlie Haas has the charisma of Kurt. I loved Team Angle, and am prepared to markout for Jordan/Gable hardcore. I always wanted one of the Team Angle velour tracksuits, if they bring those back I swear to God I'll buy one this time around.
posted by jermsplan at 1:10 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

The tag division in general is really great, actually.

I'm amazed at how quickly things came together. I hated the whole tag division passionately just a month or so ago, but New Day and the Dudleys have kicked it up a notch.

Well All Red Everything has news for you: she can kick out at 3.5 and be just fine.

Every rumor mill out there is saying that Eva Marie is the next NXT Women's Champion, based on her narrative of working super-hard to get better in the ring. You'd think they would actually let her get better in the ring first, but nope.

The WWE needs to drop the entire Ziggler/Summer/Lana thing yesterday.

If you'd told me six months ago that I would hate a Ziggler-Rusev program, I probably would have immediately asked "Is it all about Lana and some other woman who was never the NXT Women's Champion?" and then agreed that I would hate that.

Speaking of Angle, do Jordan/Gable remind anyone else of Team Angle?

posted by Etrigan at 1:30 PM on September 9, 2015

Here's another good read, hot off the press: Grantland's The Masked Man on Why Wrestling Matters.

I'd even appreciate a throwaway interview where we learn the two of them really are kind of crazy and genuinely believe they are some sort of road-warriors from the wasteland.

Given that the Ascension have allied themselves with Stardust, I'm guessing we'll see that promo sooner rather than later!

do Jordan/Gable remind anyone else of Team Angle?

I've been thinking of them as The World's Next Greatest Tag Team for a few weeks now :)

Some NXT thoughts:

* We got ALL the crowds tonight, from the NONE MORE INDIE gymnasiums of the first round tag recaps to the standard NXT crowd at Full Sail to a full-sized WWE audience for the main event.

* Carmella's definitely angling for a Most Improved Wrestler Of The Year Award from whoever would issue such things.

* It's Loopy Pronunciations Of Finn Balor Night on NXT. Samoa Joe goes with "Baylor" while Callisto opts for "buh-LORE."

* Didn't take long for a full rethink of Bull Dempsey's Bullfit gimmick. And it's a good thing, too, as the new Comedy Version Of The Last Of A Dying Breed works much better than the goofy fitness guru thing they tried at Brooklyn. I'm kinda sad they already broke up the instantly over Dempsey/Breeze team since there was so much more mileage they could have gotten out of it.

* The Providence crowd loves NXT so much they gave a THIS IS AWESOME chant to a wristlock.

* Given that Balor and Joe were against the Lucha Dragons, I was really hoping we'd finally get to see Joe bust out my favorite move of his -- the Casual Walk Away From The Opponent Coming Off The Top Rope -- but alas, it was not to be. Luckily, the match was so fun I can overlook this glaring omission FOR NOW.

* "It's a feeling that's very, very hard to describe... I can't even put it into words!" -Apollo Crews

* "The moonwalk, of course, made famous by Michael P. S. Hayes." -Corey Graves
posted by brianrobot at 10:38 PM on September 9, 2015

*sigh* Make that Kalisto. Curse you expired edit window
posted by brianrobot at 10:45 PM on September 9, 2015

couldn't agree with you more about Carmella. I was really unexcited when she went from Enzio's hairstylist to in the ring so rapidly, and didn't seem like she had a lot of experience. But damn, she is improving at lightspeed.

Corey Graves is a heel commentator like WWE hasn't had in a long time. I'm loving it on NXT, but I'm starting to think he can never be promoted to RAW in his current iteration because he can't keep it up while pushing stories or products like the guys on the big shows are required to do. Maybe someday, who knows. And for my next pipe dream, I'd like to hear 5 called moves that aren't signature moves in a single match...
posted by jermsplan at 11:10 AM on September 10, 2015

I'd like to hear 5 called moves that aren't signature moves in a single match...

1. Wicked clothesline!
2. What a dropkick!
3. Spinebuster!
4. Samoan drop!
5. Alabama slamma!

And now there's a part of me that's kind of wishing I'd have thought of wicked clothesline as a username.
posted by brianrobot at 9:27 PM on September 11, 2015

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