NXT is very likely the best professional wrestling we have in The United States. That's not saying it's amazing, but it's enough to make me watch the Takeover specials. Here are my thoughts on "War Games" from Houston on 11/18/2017
Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan:
This was a "decent" match that exposed just how "green" Lars is. I understand the idea was for someone as amazing as Hero to help "lift" Lars up to the next level, but Lars isn't ready for that yet. As great as Hero is, even he struggled to make Lars look great. The match had some cool "moments" which were both men kicking out of huge power moves. Lars has a rocket strapped to his back, where the hell is Ohno going?
Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream:
In what many (too many imo) are calling the "match of the night" these two men did a very good job in a match that finally happened after weeks of confrontation. The build was a lot of fun, and I have to give NXT that, they are very good at the build. Bayley was one of the best "builds" that I've ever seen in my life. They know what they are doing with that. The mechanics of the match were great, both guys know how to work. What didn't do it for me was what I feel was the over working of character building in expense of wrestling. This match as an excellent sports entertainment match, but I'd simply call it a good wrestling match. I am glad to see Patrick Clark get a character/gimmick that's working though. Black "saying Dreams name" after the match was a cool moment.
Fatal 4-Way Match for the Vacant NXT Women's Championship, Ember Moon, Kairi Sane, Peyton Royce and Nikki Cross:
I hate 3,4,5, etc way matches with a passion. When they are title matches I abhor them. Royce is another example of character work being pushed over actual wrestling, as she can't wrestle anywhere as good as Patrick Clark can, so I just find her annoying and out of place here. She's a distraction from everyone else in this match that are so much better than she is. Moon was a stellar performer on the indy's as "Athena" but she's lost something in WWE for me. No, her ridiculous finishing move doesn't help with me. It's going to hurt someone real soon. The indy's get a lot of flack for guys taking unnecessary risks but this move tops them all. It felt to me like Moon won just because it was her "turn" and she did so while the best wrestler of the group, Kairi Sane laid outside the ring because that is what multi man title matches are for, to keep the best wrestlers from winning without actually losing. This match accomplished that goal.
NXT Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas:
Now this ladies and gentlemen was a freaking WRESTLING mach. This had a solid baby-face (even though I prefer him as a heel personally) and a pretty good heel (wow, they've figured it out with Almas after not having a clue for months) clashing in a match that showed that they are two of the best workers in that company. No one carried anyone, no one was out of place, and there wasn't a botch to be found. This back and forth, athletic, hard hitting, wrestling is what I look for on a show. Those of you who think this style of work in every match would get "boring" annoy the piss out of me. If you want to see this kind of work all show long, you need to join me in watching Pro Wrestling Noah. This match would have fit right in there. I hate that McIntyre lost already, but Almas won me over in this match. I didn't like his little girl friend interfering, but I can get past it.
War Games (not really) Undisputed Era, vs Sanity, vs AoP and Strong:
I just couldn't get into this. This was not "War Games." The WWE owns that name now, so they can call it that, but the convoluted rules, and the cage having no roof, just took my desire to see this almost completely away. They all did a nice job for what it was, and yes Killian Dane got himself more over with his hard work, and bumping, and the right team won for me, but I just didn't enjoy it over all. Not because it was "bad," but because for me, these over the top gimmick matches do nothing for me anymore. I know many love them, especially in this Country, but I'm not one of them. It was put together decently and worked for what it was so I'm not crapping on it. Just not my style. I was also very disappointed that Roddy Strong didn't join his ROH comrades.
I'd gave the show 3.5/5 stars personally and 4/5 stars generally based on people that don't have the ridiculous tastes that I do. Black vs Dream and Almas vs McIntyre were the matches that made the show what it was. War Games was the cherry on top for car wreck wrestling fans.
The next biggest company in professional wrestling…”Two grown men, pretend fighting in their underwear!” I mean why not? I’ve seen some of the biggest names in all of wrestling today using this ridiculous statement to defend every ounce of stupidity in the business. From Joey Ryan’s dick flips, to Kenny Omega and Toro Yano’s G1 match with their ankles taped together, to no selling the most over the top moves ever performed. What gets me most of all though is that these so called “workers” don’t even understand that they are simply further insulting the business they claim to love. Maybe they do understand, and they just don’t care?
So many Times on Twitter if a fan so much as lightly critiques a workers performance, the worker replies with something like “Well, the next time I’m in my underwear pretending to fight another man in his underwear, I’ll keep that in mind.” This response has really exploded since Kenny Omega and Marty Scurll decided to kiss each other on the mouth during a match in New Japan Pro Wrestling. If a wrestling fan dared to say they didn’t care for that, wrestlers were quick to bring up how two oiled up men in their underwear wrestling around a mat was as “gay” as it gets, so why should them kissing be bothersome?
This is where we are today folks, men who used to closely guard the business now mock, and ridicule it. They scoff at it, and use the fact that it’s “fake” to allow them to do anything they want, say anything they want, and perform any way that they want, in what was once considered “the sacred” squared circle. Nothing is sacred anymore. Anything goes in professional wrestling today because as Zack Sabre Junior loves to say “Wrestling is for everyone!” This makes me miss men, real men, like Bruiser Brody, Dr. Death Steve Williams, and Terry Gordy. Do you really think they would have put up with this kind of nonsense? Wrestling has no real men defending it today. Wrestling has a bunch of tough guys in the ring, but it’s just a persona for the crowd.
Does anyone know why wrestlers officially perform in shorts, or tights, and what should also be the norm, shirtless? Is it for sex appeal? Is it homo-erotica? Television ratings? To show off the physique’s they work so hard to maintain? No, it’s none of those reasons. The reasons professional wrestlers perform in a small amount of clothing is that it’s supposed to lend to the realism of professional wrestling. Now that so few desire for wrestling to look real, then there’s no reason a wrestler can’t perform in jeans, sweatpants, dress shirts, overalls, or any type of clothing he or she wishes. The idea of wrestling in little clothing is based on the fact that clothing provides your opponent with a distinct advantage. Clothing can be grabbed, pulled, twisted, and used against you in various forms. Another problem with wearing clothing in the ring is that with sweat, it gets heavy, and burdensome on a body that’s trying to move fast, and as agile as possible. Clothing also restricts movement, and gives the wrestler wearing it a modest form of protection against chops, strikes, kicks, etc. It makes no sense to allow shirts, and other forms of loose fitting clothing to be worn in the ring. If and when a wrestler chooses to dress as such, his opponent should always attempt to use it for chokes, restraints, and any other form or maneuver that he or she finds possible in the midst of the match. But you see…that would require the mind of a worker that wants to make wrestling look as real as possible. A mind that sees wrestling as “gay looking” is too small to understand the concepts in this article. Instead those types of “wrestlers” will just do any stupid thing they want, and smack down anyone that questions it with that brilliant old defense of the mighty T.G.M.P.F.I.T.U. federation! This is what “wrestling is for everyone” has gotten us, and I fear it’s only going to get worse. If you want to find, follow, and watch the best wrestling in the world, keep your bookmark right here at Wrestling Done Right! Oh, and if someone puts T.G.M.P.F.I.T.U. on a t-shirt, I better get some damn royalties.
I was a huge Kenny Omega fan. Especially once he came to Bullet Club as “The Cleaner.” He was cool, he was bad ass, he was cocky, he was arrogant, and my god can he wrestle! He and The Young Bucks started calling themselves “The Elite” and I was on board with that too. At times they were a little silly, a little goofy, but to me it was just their arrogance. They were so good that they could act like idiots and still win championships with relative ease. I just decided to forget about Kenny wrestling a blowup doll, and a little girl. This was New Japan that was some other stupid company…so what? Then little by little I started to learn that I shouldn’t have dismissed that stuff. From his comedy matches with Yano (one during the G1 tournament no less!) to dressing up like a Disney Princess and kissing his tag partner Marty Scurll (yeah, yeah, I know it was Halloween) Kenny started showing me that silliness and over the top comedy was something he is still very willing, and perhaps even exited, to do. I once discussed this with him on Twitter and Omega told me flat out that he has never, and shall never “forsake” any style of wrestling, confirming to me that goofiness and silliness is still something that’s a big part of what he does. There is no doubt that he’s one of the best bell to bell “wrestlers” in the world, but for this journalist/wrestling snob, his desire and passion to clown way too much keeps me from keeping him at the top of my favorite wrestlers list. I don’t hate Kenny Omega, but he disappoints, and sometimes frustrates me.
Enter Jay White…his look and style instantly reminded me of Omega but that’s not to say he’s a Kenny Omega rip off. Not at all. Jay White simply has phenomenal wrestling skills, and a look that reminds you of Omega’s. I do not believe that Jay was even inspired by Omega (I could be wrong, I’ve never asked him) I just think he is who he is, and the comparisons to Omega are just that. What I like about White more is that he doesn’t have the goofy past, and so far has shown no signs of wanting to be a comedy/silly worker in or out of the ring at all. The Omega comparisons have increased since New Japan revealed that he was the wrestler behind the “Switchblade” gimmick, likely because White’s hair was wet down, and he wore a leather jacket.
White is only 25 years old and went through the NJPW Young Lion Dojo program which many agree is the best and most difficult training in all of professional wrestling. White came to the Young Lion program after teaming with Prince Devitt in a match. Devitt told White to keep in touch, and shortly after White was contacted by Bad Luck Fale due to Devitt’s recommendation, and was invited to join the Young Lion Program. White was a standout in his class, and after completing the program went on “excursion”(NJPW send their Young Lions to other countries after graduation to gain even more experience) to Ring of Honor where he went undefeated for quite some time. White also worked for the U.K. standout promotion “Revolution Pro Wrestling” where he was also a top star, as well as Pro Wrestling Gruella where he got experience working a heel that will likely help him in his “Switchblade” gimmick in New Japan.
What this writer hopes to see from “Switchblade” Jay White is what I’ve always wanted to see from Kenny Omega. That is a serious, hard hitting, no nonsense, wrestler that is out to get to the top of the business. When New Japan brought White back from excursion with the Switchblade gimmick that they teased for weeks before the reveal, and then had him challenge, and attack, the “Ace” of their company Hiroshi Tanahashi, the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, I got very excited. For a returning Young Lion to come back to the company and receive a title match on Wrestle Kingdom (New Japan’s biggest show of the year) is a sign that the company sees White as a very big deal. It’s a good sign that everyone needs to pay attention to this kid, Switchblade Jay White. Oh, and remember who told you to get on his bandwagon when he was just a “Young Lion”….Wrestling Done Right!