NXT TakeOver: Dallas – Predictions

ZAH Predictions - NXT TakeOver DallasMost hardcore wrestling fans (like myself and, more than likely, you if you’re reading an online wrestling blog) are probably looking forward to this weekend’s NXT TakeOver: Dallas event more than WWE’s WrestleMania card. With some absolutely outstanding match-ups taking place (not to mention two very highly anticipated WWE debuts), fans are chomping at the bit to see how this card and the in-ring performances set the tone for the entire weekend.

Hence, it only seems right that we review the card and make predictions. Let’s go!!

Austin Aries vs Baron CorbinAustin Aries vs Baron Corbin

Austin Aries 1I love this match-up simply because it accomplishes a lot of things. For one, having Baron Corbin (someone who is extremely stale and still needs to improve his in-ring abilities) wrestle someone as technically sound as Austin Aries is a fantastic learning experience for him. Second, having Aries debut against a larger opponent who won’t be hurt by a loss is a great thing. If the match works out well, Aries will look as impressive as Finn Balor or AJ Styles or Baron Corbin 2some of the other smaller guys working their asses off to become the “new” WWE superstar. Finally, the crowd will be super-hot for Aries and will legitimately make him appear like a star in his first match (very similar to how Styles debuted at the Royal Rumble). Is “The Greatest Man Alive” really that good? I don’t know if I ever seen him on the main roster or not, but I’ve been a massive fan of his in-ring work for over a decade now and am looking forward to seeing him shine in the spotlight.

WINNER: Austin Aries

The Revival (c) vs American Alpha for the NXT tag team championshipsThe Revival vs American Alpha

The Revival 1I’ve been a fan of Dash & Dawson since they had their initial run in last year’s Dusty Rhodes Memorial Tag Team Tournament. I love that they’re a throwback tag team that doesn’t rely on size or gimmicks or high-flying in order to be successful (hence their team name). As I’ve mentioned previously, they’re very remenicent of teams like the Brainbusters and the Midnight Express…and that’s VERY high praise from a long-time tag team fan. Having said that, American Alpha is American Alpha 1riding a tremendous wave of momentum right now. Jason Jordon is beginning to finally find his stride as a personality (he was already pretty solid as an in-ring performer) and Chad Gable is the future Kurt Angle of the WWE and a future major player in spite of his smaller size. I really think that it’s time to make the switch to a super-over babyface tag team (especially after months of teasing fans with Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady winning the straps). I would love a tag team feud between these two that lasts the next few months until the next TakeOver event, too. These two teams should give us a lot of fun matches in the weeks to come.

WINNERS: American Alpha

Bayley (c) vs Asuka for the NXT Women’s championshipBayley vs Asuka

Bayley 4Without a shadow of a doubt, Bayley is a legit superstar without ever having debuted on the main roster. I’ve never been a fan of hers but I respect the hell out of what she can do inside of the ring. I don’t understand the fan adulation, but I guess I can see why the kids love her. The problem, though, is that she’s needed on the main roster. With Brie Bella retiring, Nikki Bella probably retiring, Natalya reaching the end of her run, divas like Naomi and Alicia Fox not reaching their potential, and the inept fuck-stain that is Eva Marie returning to nauseate us all…that pretty much leaves five women on the main roster who are capable of carrying the division (Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Paige, and Emma).

Bayley 6Bayley can be the Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat of the Divas division: a life-long babyface that can potentially rival John Cena in terms of “Make A Wish Foundation” appearances for children. I think she’s done all she can do in NXT and has defeated everybody there. It’s time for the new blood to break out and for the Four Horsewomen to fulfill their destiny together on the main roster. In order to do that, Bayley must lose and Asuka must win.

Asuka 1In terms of Asuka, I’ve been a massive fan of hers since her debut last year. She’s amazing inside of the ring and brings color, charisma, and uniqueness to a division that doesn’t have a ton of it (plus there’s something about her that just oozes sex appeal). I really think this should end up a similar outcome that happened when Bayley won the title from Sasha Banks: Asuka wins the title clean in Dallas and they have one more “blow-off” match at the next TakeOver that Asuka wins while Bayley debuts on the main roster.

WINNER: Asuka

Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke NakamuraSami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura 2At first, I really thought that Shinsuke Nakamura would debut similar to how KENTA, Prince Devitt, and Kevin Steen debuted: showing up on NXT television and having their name changed to something that could be used in WWE.

Shinsuke Nakamura 1But then came Samoa Joe. And then AJ Styles. And then Austin Aries. And then the promotion of Shinsuke Nakamura under his own name. Now I’m thinking that it’s quite possible that we’ll see Nakamura using his own name both in NXT or on the WWE main roster (which he’ll be visiting VERY soon). It’s quite possible that he changes his name in NXT after WrestleMania weekend is over…but I just think the international appeal for the company would be to use his name, especially at this stage of his career.

Sami ZaynSami Zayn is going to have a great feud with Kevin Owens on the main roster over the coming months. Hell…he might even have an Intercontinental championship reign in his future, as well. There really isn’t any need for him to win this match-up against the debuting Nakamura.

Zayn vs NakamuraI think I’m looking forward to this match more than any other the entire weekend. I know what both men are capable of and I think they’re going to fire on all cylinders in an attempt to have the best match of the weekend (and potentially of the year). If they wrestle an NJPW-style match, the NXT fans (and any casual WWE fans who happen to be watching) will blow up Dallas and chant “Match of the Year” before it’s done.

Of course, they could just be given 10-15 minutes to hit some high spots. Anything’s possible at this point.

WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura

Finn Bálor (c) vs Samoa Joe for the NXT heavyweight championshipFinn Balor vs Samoa Joe

Finn Balor 1What’s most interesting about this match is that WWE, apparently, has main roster plans for both men. While Finn Bálor on the main roster was always a given, the fact that Joe has impressed higher-ups enough to be considered for a main roster role is fantastic to hear if you’re a long-time Joe fan (as I am). So when do they get called up? Does one get called up before the other? Does it happen right after WrestleMania or in a few months before SummerSlam?

Balor Club 2The other really interesting thing about this match is the potential debut of the Bálor Club (i.e. Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson and Doc Gallows). It’s been teased for months now and with word going around that both former Bullet Club members are being penciled-in for the main roster sooner rather than later, you’ve got to wonder if they’ll debut to give support to Bálor during this match.

Here’s my take on all of this…

Balor ClubThe Bálor Club won’t debut at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. Both Anderson and Gallows will be debuting with Finn Bálor on the main roster the RAW following WrestleMania. That’s my prediction, anyway. I think it will give the world a glimpse of what WWE will look like for the remainder of 2016 (with or without Shane McMahon in charge of RAW) and it will be a massive debut with a massive pop for all three members of the Bálor Club. The only real question, then, is whether or not Finn Bálor makes his RAW debut as the NXT champion.

Samoa Joe 5My guess is “no”. I think Samoa Joe pulls out the victory here, opening up a world of new opponents for him over the next few months (Apollo Crews, Austin Aries, or even Shinsuke Nakamura) and giving him a bit of a spotlight before being called up. Hell…he could even end the match with a “respect” handshake with Bálor that turns him babyface, thus leading to title defenses against Baron Corbin, Elias Samson, or even someone like Tommaso Ciampa. Either way, having Joe in the top spot provides NXT a little shot in the arm with someone that hardcore fans love and casual fans respect.

Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe 2I think this match will be fantastic regardless of the outcome. Seriously…I’m happy with either man exiting the building with the championship belt over their shoulder, but I just think it makes more storyline sense for Joe to win to free-up Bálor on the main roster.

WINNER: Samoa Joe

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This is just what I’m thinking, but what are YOUR thoughts? Sound off in a comment below or hit me up on social media and let me know!

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RAW Thoughts

We’re about to discuss the go-home show for WrestleMania and I gotta say…I’m not really that interested in the big event, if I’m being honest. I’m much more excited about NXT TakeOver: Dallas at this point. Will RAW change that point of view for me? Let’s find out!!

UnderTaker vs Shane McMahon

UndertakerWell…the opening segment was absolutely awesome. Undertaker‘s opening promo was excellent and really drove home that he didn’t want to lose on Sunday. The interruption by Shane McMahon was perfectly timed and the back-n-forth between each man was great. The confrontation by Shane-o-Mac looked realistic. The end result of the segment gave people hope to believe that Shane could actually defeat Undertaker at WrestleMania. I honestly don’t think that you could have asked for a hotter opening than this.

Zack RyderI thought that using a complete loser like Zack Ryder to put over the Chris Jericho vs AJ Styles feud was a good idea. I mean, what better way to completely embarrass Jericho than to have him lose to Ryder? Makes perfect sense. I think Jericho’s done a great job at trying to put Styles over in this feud and, even though I was originally against it, I’m looking forward to this match-up as it has the potential to steal the show. And Ryder? I mean, just look at this fuck-tard. Look at his ridiculous beard. It’s like he purchased Hollywood Hogan‘s beard dye kit from his nWo days.

Charlotte vs Sasha Banks vs Becky LynchCharlotteI love the in-chemistry between Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks. There’s just something about them that clicks when they get inside of the ring together. The match between Charlotte and Lynch was really good. At least it was good for as short as it was. The blatant interference of Ric Flair gave Lynch the “out” that she needed in order to stay strong. That’s been the way Lynch has been booked from the beginning: constantly screwed out of her title matches without legitimately losing. It’s smart to lose like that because the babyface retains their heat. And at this point, WWE is keeping Charlotte and Banks apart…and that’s really smart, in my opinion. The big money match is between Charlotte and Banks, so I think keeping them apart from wrestling one-on-one is a really good idea. The anticipation continues to build for this triple threat title match because it legitimately could steal the whole show on Sunday.

Andre the Giant 3rd Annual Memorial Battle RoyalThe segment lasted about three or four minutes, but at least WWE attempted to give people a sense of what the Andre Memorial Battle Royal will be like on Sunday during the pre-show. I saw Goldust, Damien Sandow (!!!), Fandango, the Ascension, and even that gay member of the Prime Time Players. Man…the stars will be coming out to play for this one!!

sarcasmAt least things were about to pick up again…

Triple H vs Roman ReignsRoman Reigns vs Triple HOnce again, Triple H attempted to put over Roman Reigns as a babyface while trying to get the world to boo him. The only thing he did, though, was get the crowd to chant “WHAT?” a couple of times and boo anything that had anything to do with Roman Reigns. And really, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard Triple H put over an opponent as much as he tried to put over Reigns. Unfortunately, the segment ended with a “Roman sucks” chant…so we have our first REAL taste of what to expect at WrestleMania

New Day vs League of NationsAlberto Del Rio vs Kofi KingstonI really enjoyed the entire segment with the New Day and the League of Nations. First off, the New Day is SUPER over and it never fails to surprise me to see the crowds get into their gimmick. I mean, it’s almost like the Attitude Era with them. The crowds LOVE them. I thought that having Kofi Kingston taking on Alberto Del Rio was smart because Del Rio was really able to put across a sense of energy and anger and realism to the match. I was surprised to see Del Rio lose because that, by definition, means the League will pull out the victory on Sunday night. Whether or not that actually happens it debatable, but the entire segment (yes…including Coach‘s appearance) was pretty fun.

Seth RollinsI love that WWE is doing whatever they can in order to put Roman Reigns over as a babyface, but it’s too late now. The fans aren’t prepared to cheer for him no matter WHAT you do. The backstage segment may have worked a year ago, but it’s way too late for that now. I wish WWE would simply bite the bullet and accept that they fucked up, realize Seth Rollins is their “babyface face of the company” once he returns, and turn Reigns (officially) at Mania. I don’t see any other way out of this.

Kalisto vs RybackKalistoAgain, the booking was smart here as Kalisto (i.e. the REALLY small underdog) was taking on Konner (i.e. the REALLY big opponent). It was just a way to show the world that he stood a chance against Ryback…though he really doesn’t. Their in-ring confrontation, though, did little to entice me. This is one of the least desirable matches on the entire Mania card. I’m already yawning at the mere thought of watching it.

Dean Ambrose vs Brock LesnarDean Ambrose & Brock LesnarI don’t think that anybody can listen to a Paul Heyman promo and NOT get excited about whatever match he’s involved with. Even with Dean Ambrose getting his ass handed to him at every single corner of the WWE Universe, I’m still interested to see this match because Paul Hayman has made me interested. He’s absolutely right, too…Brock Lesnar is not just a “once in a lifetime” performer, but a “once ever” performer. Any time you see him, you’re seeing something you’ll never see again. For that reason alone, this match is worth watching.

The Ambrose part of this segment, though…was dumb.

Kevin Owens vs Zack Ryder vs Stardust vs Dolph Ziggler vs Sami Zayn vs Sin Cara vs The MizKevin OwensI’m sorry, but this whole thing just sucks. This should be a match between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. I understand wanting to re-build their feud for the main roster and all, but to include cast-offs like Sin Cara 2.0 and Zack Ryder is a goddamn joke. Not only that, but it makes the Intercontinental championship look like a joke, too. I mean, Owens wanted to wrestle either Ryder, Cara, or Stardust because he thought he could beat any of them. So why are they part of this match? If they win, haven’t you already said that an undeserving wrestler is your champion? And even if Owens retains, does it mean as much if the match includes those three lower midcard performers? I’m sure the match itself will be fine, but Owens (and the IC title) deserves more.

Roman ReignsThe final segment of the night brought a cheer from the crowd for Reigns, but it didn’t last long before a “You still suck” chant broke out. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I feel bad for the guy. He’s not doing anything wrong. His detractors can bitch and moan about his promo (in)ability or lack of in-ring skills, but he’s got everything it takes to be the WWE champion. Anybody who claims otherwise doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Sufferin' succotashBut despite the hard work and the numerous efforts by WWE Creative to get people to boo Triple H and cheer Roman Reigns, it’s a matter of too little, too late. They blew their chance with Reigns the second he said “Sufferin’ Succotash” and then proceeded to kill the entire roster at the Royal Rumble. It’s been OVER A YEAR since all of that took place and the crowd is STILL booing him. Why continue to push him as your #1 babyface? Roman Reigns vs everybody

John ReignsIs this a situation similar to John Cena? Sure…but Cena has been around as the top guy for a decade. Reigns has been (arguably) the top guy for less than a year. It’s unfair to compare the two situations because Cena is still seen as a massive cross-appeal superstar. Reigns isn’t that well-known in the lexicon of the general public…and he will only be seen as a massive joke by the casual audience because any time you show him off, the crowds will be booing. How will casual audiences think of this guy as anything other than a joke if the #1 good guy in the company gets more boos than cheers on a regular basis?

WrestleMania 32 - bWrestleMania‘s final moments may just go down in history as some of the most awkward and depressing we’ve ever seen. Goddamn…I really hope WWE is ready to push the reset button and do something incredibly drastic in Dallas this Sunday. Give people a reason to watch on Monday that doesn’t include booing the good guy.

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This is just what I’m thinking, but what are YOUR thoughts? Sound off in a comment below or hit me up on social media and let me know!

Audio

ZAH Thoughts From A Car: Who Can Be The Future Face Of WWE?

Hey gang! The newest podcast is up…and this week it’s over at Canadian Bulldog’s World! As I endlessly drive around, I decide to take some time to discuss Vince McMahon‘s recent thoughts on how NXT isn’t creating future WWE stars. Is he right? Can anybody be the new Steve Austin or John Cena?

Want 30+ years of wrestling experience giving you a realistic take on the wrestling industry? Then this is the podcast for you!

Check it out!!

Gallery

#WomanCrushWednesday – Abigail Mac

Today’s Woman Crush Wednesday is…

ABIGAIL MAC!!Abigail Mac

OMG…how can you possibly NOT want to “back the Mac”?? Abigail Mac is one of the hottest adult entertainers on the entire planet. If you can find a single flaw on this woman, you’re looking WAAAY too hard. Born in Baltimore, this ambitious 26-year-old runs her own website, is all over social media, and hits the gym multiple times per week.

Want more Mac? You can check her out at the following social media links:

Official Website

Twitter

Instagram

Click on the pic below for full resolution!

Abigail Mac

 

RAW Thoughts

We’re two weeks away from WrestleMania and the card is NOT living up to expectations. With a main event that has the potential to be a complete disaster in terms of crowd reaction, how will WWE try (again) to build-up Roman Reigns as the “babyface of the company”?? Roman Reigns 16

Roman Reigns vs Stephanie McMahonI liked how Roman Reigns handled himself on the mic in last night’s opening segment. The problem, though, is that it was way too little too late. He should’ve been playing the “bad ass of few words” for months now. Short’n’sweet promos so his fists do the talking for him. Sigh…I just can’t help but feel bad for the guy. The segment wasn’t bad at all and was enhanced by just how incredibly hot Stephanie was looking last night. Damn!!

Kevin Owens vs AJ StylesThe Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles match was absolutely a PPV-quality battle. I mean…damn. This was exactly the type of match that fans of both men were hoping for because it showcased both men in a very positive way (although in all fairness, Owens has been spectacular ever since arriving at NXT). This was a 3-segment war and a 20+ minute battle that ended in the perfect way: Chris Jericho causing a distraction which allowed Owens to roll Styles up for the cheap pinfall. Storylines advanced and this was perfect booking for all three men.

Kevin OwensI never dislike situations when multiple wrestlers all want a title at the same time. Regardless of who it is or what title it is, it elevates the championship because it’s something that people want. Everybody could tell that they were slowly building-up Kevin Owens to defend his title in a Fatal Fourway against Sami Zayn, The Miz, and Neville. That match now has a slightly different twist to it with Dolph Ziggler being plugged into the Neville spot (I thought Ziggler was off of the Mania card after losing to Triple H last week?). The match should still be great, though the only people that deserve to win are either Owens or Zayn.

Dean Ambrose & Terry FunkIt was awesome to see Terry Funk in a skit last night with Dean Ambrose. He looked good and sounded good. I understand where they are going with these hardcore legends “passing the torch” to Ambrose…I just don’t know if it’ll simply be for WrestleMania or if it’ll continue to be his gimmick down the road.

New DayThe segment between the League of Nations and the New Day went on way too long. I mean, New Day was doing their best to be the most pandering PG-rated babyfaces in the entire company. In other words, they began to sound like John Cena and, thus, stopped being cool in just about any way. What was worse was that the League of Nations were outside the ring laughing it all off instead of getting mad…so the “verbal assault” (per Michael Cole) really had no damn effect at all. Just silliness. I have zero desire to watch their match at WrestleMania.

I couldn’t be happier to hear that WWE is inducting a true legend, Stan “The Lariat” Hansen to the Hall of Fame. I just really hope that they do him justice with video packages that showcase just how incredibly awesome he was. Their initial video fell a little flat to me.

Stan Hansen - HOF

I liked the long Shane McMahon vs Undertaker video package from last night. There were a number of big-time stars (Steve Austin, HBK, Edge, Pat Patterson, Booker T, Ric Flair) giving their thoughts on the match and, quite frankly, did more to push the match than the in-ring segment did last week.

Zack Ryder 1Kevin Owens was extremely entertaining during his #KOMania match introduction last night. WWE is giving him more and more opportunity and he’s continuing to rise to the occasion. While I think the end result of a 7-person ladder match for the IC title is a great idea, it’s absolutely laughable that Sin Cara and ZACK RYDER are involved. You know that you’re scraping the bottom of a very shallow bucket when Ryder is in an important match at WrestleMania. Wow…

Triple H vs Roman ReignsThe segment with Triple H and Roman Reigns backstage should have resulted in a monster pop from the crowd (it was very reminiscent of segments from the 90’s including the Rock and Steve Austin), but it didn’t. I thought it was a great spot, but they faded to black with the live crowd booing Reigns. I mean, it doesn’t matter WHAT Vince & Company do to book Reigns at this point…the people simply don’t seem to like him. And to make things even worse is that the live television crowds are beginning to influence the casual fans, so it’s only building and building. Ugh.

Usos vs DudleyzWhat was interesting about the tag team storyline between the Dudley Boyz, the Usos, and the “Golden Truth” was that the crowd was booing the Usos. I realize that it’s a Philadelphia crowd so they like to boo the babyfaces, but I think this was more a case of the crowd telling the world that they think the Usos are stale (they are) and that they didn’t really care about the storyline. Again, I feel bad for them because they deserve a Mania match…but I also can’t ignore the fact that they need to turn heel soon in order to regain some momentum in the tag team division.

Vince McMahonVince McMahon did more to hurt the Shane/Undertaker match than help it. He actually had the balls to say that Shane McMahon was probably going to be Undertaker‘s toughest opponent at WrestleMania…which was meant with laughter, boos, and massive indifference. He then went on to say that if Undertaker lost, not only would Stephanie, Triple H, and Vince “probably” all leave the company but Undertaker would be fired (it was insinuated, anyway). So does this practically guarantee that Undertaker wins? It seems that way.

Braun Strowman vs Dean Ambrose 1The main event match was a joke. Any thoughts that Braun Strowman can be a superstar are on the back-burner right now. Because even with (arguably) the biggest babyface on the roster, Dean Ambrose, in the ring in the main event of RAW, the crowd STILL chanted “This is boring” and were quiet the entire segment. Even Ambrose taking a chair to Strowman seemed out of left field with no real build to it. The show ended and I was left thinking…that’s it?? I can’t wait to see what the ratings are for that final hour.

If this was WWE’s way of proving how dangerous Ambrose could be with a weapon, I guess it succeeded a bit. I still don’t think he’s got a chance of beating Brock Lesnar and this segment did nothing to change my mind on that. Just bad booking all around. Braun Strowman vs Dean Ambrose 2

Overall, the show was really good…but their final hour left a lot to be desired.

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This is just what I’m thinking, but what are YOUR thoughts? Sound off in a comment below or hit me up on social media and let me know!

The World According to ZAH

The World According to ZAH 2It’s been a wild and crazy week in the world…

– The new trailer for Captain America: Civil War came out last week and the internet is STILL buzzing over the debut of Marvel’s version of Spider-Man. I’m intrigued by the new Spider-Man, so I’m not on the “hate it” side at all. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it’s played out.

Jim Ross Josh Barnett AXS TV– After watching the initial episode of Jim Ross doing commentary for NJPW on AXSTV, I gotta say I’m sold. I mean, I was a big fan of the show to begin with because the program has been providing fans with some of the best wrestling that New Japan has to offer anyway (I just finished watching an amazing Hirooki Goto vs Shinsuke Nakamura match), but to hear Good Ol’ JR do the commentary makes it all the more fun to watch. I find that even Josh Barnett’s commentary has picked up a little bit, too. If you want a legit alternative to WWE with some great wrestling, I can’t recommend New Japan any more than I already do. Just solid, fantastic stuff.

Lucha Underground– Speaking of alternatives, Lucha Underground has continued to provide me with the type of entertainment that I’ve never received from any other form of wrestling before. It really comes off like a movie with wrestling as the centerpoint. The direction of the segments are fantastic, the storylines are intricate but still believable, and the little bit of “supernatural” thrown in makes the whole show a lot of fun to watch. While I’m still not a massive fan of the lucha style of wrestling, it’s certainly not the worst product available out there by a long shot. Gotta thank Big Red NY for turning me on to Lucha Underground…I really don’t think I’ll stop watching it any time soon.

Steven Spielberg & Harrison FordIt was announced this week that Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg will join-up one more time to deliver a fifth Indiana Jones movie. I was a kid when Raiders of the Lost Ark was released and, combined with his role as Han Solo, this made Ford my favourite actor of all time. The last movie (Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) actually came out eleven years ago (!!!), and even then he was looking to be too old for the role. I Possible Indiana Jones replacementslove Ford, but I really hope that this is a “passing the torch” to another Indiana Jones character…perhaps Bradley Cooper or the rumoured Chris Pratt). Obviously, nobody wants Shia Lebouf to return so let’s hope and pray THAT isn’t in the works. And thankfully, George Lucas is NOT involved this time around, so maybe we’ll actually get back to what Indiana Jones is truly about…searching for real, historical articfacts instead of chasing after the supernatural glowing skulls of alien beings. Ugh…

There were three things that really caught my eye during this past week’s NXT show.

  1. Chad Gable 1Chad Gable is a future superstar, without question. Not only does he have a ton of charisma and personality, his in-ring skills have developed at such a quick pace that you can’t help but compare him to Kurt Angle. I truly believe he’s the total package and that will help him overcome his relatively smaller size. In the meantime, he’s helped bring out the best in Jason Jordan and I think it’s safe to say that they’re going to be future NXT tag team champions.
  2. The Vaudvillains 1The Vaudvillains will never be an “over” act on the main roster in their current incarnation. No offense to either Aiden English or Simon Gotch as both men are extremely talented, but they simply don’t have the “it factor” that resonates with the general public. And yes, their gimmick is silly fun…but it’s highly unlikely to pop a RAW crowd for more than a second or two (similar to Ryback’s babyface pops). If they were to be called up, they’d fade away faster than The Ascension.
  3. Austin Aries 1I was really impressed with Austin Aries. First, I was blown away by how awesome Aries was during his beatdown by Baron Corbin. When shown the replay, it looked absolutely devastating and I was surprised that Aries wasn’t dead (lol). During his promo, “The Greatest Man in the World” was eloquent and delivered a great catchphrase: “It’s gonna be a great day to be great; a bad day to be you.” I’ve followed the career of Aries since he was a member of Generation Next in ROH with Roderick Strong, Alex Shelley, and Jack Evans. He’s gone from a person who couldn’t deliver a complete sentence to being a charismatic champion who looks like he could defeat Corbin in spite of his smaller size. I’m really looking forward to seeing him on display at NXT TakeOver: Dallas.

– Ummm…Season 6 of Game of Thrones, anyone?? I mean, if you weren’t that excited for the show to return (as was the case with me), then this trailer should shake you back into reality so you can remember just how incredibly awesome this show truly is!

UFC 2– I’m not the biggest gamer in the world, but having seen in-game action from the new UFC 2 game has blown me away. I don’t think I’ve seen graphics this good in a fighting game EVER. Watching YouTubers like Big Red NY do a career mode with “Big Train” Martinez or Denk Ops doing a career mode with CM Punk has made me a fan in a MAJOR way. I realize that the relatively few players BigRedNY & Denk Opsand costumes in the game allows for more work on the graphics themselves, but holy shit…the bruising and the blood and the hair and every little detail seems to be above and beyond anything 2K can do with WWE games. Maybe I’m wrong (and I hope I am), but I don’t see WWE games ever coming as close to what UFC has got with their game any time soon. I mean, just check this online play of Holly Holms vs Miesha Tate out for yourselves!

Drew Galloway– Congrats to Drew Galloway on becoming the new TNA champion this past week. Ever since his release from WWE, Galloway has gone out of his way to reinvent himself and become one of the best wrestlers in the world. He has won championships all over the world from Evolve, Insane Championship Wrestling, Dansk Pro Wrestling, OCW, Scottish Wrestling Alliance, and the Union of European Wrestling Alliances. He has main-evented cards for other promotions all over the globe and now has the biggest singles title of his post-WWE career. His idea of becoming the “first traveling world champion since Ric Flair” is one that will not only benefit him, but will greatly benefit TNA, as well.

XMen Apocalypse– With the plethora of superhero movies being released in 2016, this one just screams out “MEH” to me. I mean, the entire X-Men franchise doesn’t seem that awesome and the last two movies weren’t really that great. This one doesn’t look much better and I think, at the end of the year, it’ll be lost in the shuffle and end up near the bottom of the super hero box office.

Neville injured– It’s a damn shame that Neville will be missing this year’s WrestleMania due to injury. This guy was about to make his Mania debut at the biggest WrestleMania in history, but a fluke slide has resulted in a broken ankle and a broken shinbone and robbed him of that opportunity. Let it be known that WWE hasn’t pushed Neville nearly as hard as they should have since his debut, so his presence won’t really be missed on the card overall (unfortunately). Watching the video when he realizes that the ankle is probably broken and he’s out of Mania is heartbreaking to see, but I can only hope that he comes back better than ever in a few months’ time.

– Song of the Week comes from Disturbed, a band who (along with the Foo Fighters) refuses to let rock’n’roll music die or change. This song is one of those “arena rock anthems” that I can crank up in the car and not have a damn care in the entire world.