Here’s your F4WOnline News Recap for the weekend, including our breakdown of the Wrestling Observer Radio NXT Takeover breakdown, weekend news and links to big stories and articles on the site.
** According to Dave Meltzer, we should expect that “a main event” at WrestleMania will be decided on Monday night and that, while he doesn’t know this for a fact, he does know something huge is planned for Monday because people were telling him he might want to be there for Monday’s show.
** Meltzer said he thinks he knows what it is based on a series of little things that he’s heard, but that it’s nothing he can talk about until it happens, or maybe he can talk about it after SummerSlam, but definitely did not want to give any further details about it during the Wrestling Observer Radio podcast with Bryan Alvarez Saturday night.
** That same Wrestling Observer Radio had Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer welcoming Patrick LaPrade who attended the show live to talk NXT Takeover
** Decent recap of the show, and LaPrade offered the nice perspective of being at the show, reactions and thoughts on the matches were kept very brief, however.
** Meltzer thought the show was great, and that the “super crowd” really made a difference, made the show easy to watch, and that nothing dragged on the show
** He said that while the first couple of matches were nothing special, it was the crowd that helped make them fun
** He characterized the women’s match as probably the best women’s match in WWE history, can called it tremendous.
** Meltzer was very pleased that the finish came at the perfect time as soon as they hit their peak after Bayley hit the top rope, reverse Frankensteiner
** He said the men’s match was a great match, but was very tough to follow the women’s match, and wasn’t as good, but still “a hell of a match.”
** LaPrade reported that Triple H’s idea for the open, in the dark, was supposed to be the entire building being very quite so it would appear he was alone in a dark room, and then it would be revealed that he was in a huge arena (by NXT standards)
** On the discussion of the announced attendance being over 15,000 or 13,569, Meltzer reported that based on WWE’s own attendance figures that they can’t fit 15,000 in the building.
** This didn’t stop Bryan Alvarez from vacillating between the 13k and 15k figure as he talked about how many fans were cheering, or being wrestled in front of throughout the podcast.
** Meltzer was surprised that Jushin Thunder Liger didn’t do more in his match with Tyler Breeze, given that he did way more in his match at ROH in Redwood City over WrestleMania weekend this past spring. Liger, who Meltzer characterized as one of the best wrestlers of all time, didn’t have to do much because the crowd was going to be behind him either way, but that this was such a big deal in that it was his first (and perhaps only) WWE match in his career, and was disappointed there wasn’t more to it.
** Other analysis of the show included calling out Rich Brennan as doing a really good job on commentary, despite the minor detail of talking about different weights on the wrestlers than what they were announced at during entrances, but that he was so much better than the commentators on the main roster.
** This was an interesting contrast to Meltzer’s famously nitpicky criticism of Michael Cole on the Beast in the East special on the WWE Network when most others were praising the performance as
being better than usual.
** The guys were full of praise over Apollo Crews, who Meltzer classified as ready for the main roster now, Alvarez joked that Vince McMahon will want him on Raw now.
** Meltzer put over what a solid worker Ty Dillinger is, and laments how it’s clear that, with him already in his mid-30s, that they have no larger plans for him outside of working NXT in matches like this with Crews.
** Meltzer put over the work of Samoa Joe in his match with Baron Corbin in that the two wrestled for longer than a typical Corbin match, and that Corbin is a guy who comes off as very green in a lot of his matches, but with Joe working with him last night, that never really came across and therefore it was an accomplishment
** In another “Out to Lunch” example with Bryan Alvarez, in recapping the women’s match, Alvarez notes that during the spot where Bayley missed the top rope hurricanrana on Banks that “someone told [him] the ref flashed the dreaded ‘X’ sign” which referees use to indicate a legit injury to a performer during a match. Alvarez asked LaPrade, who was in attendance if this happened. LaPrade’s response: No.
** In fact, LaPrade indicated that it was the opposite, and that the ref notified the time keeper area that Bayley was fine following the perceived mishap
** Who is this “someone” who keeps feeding Alvarez bullshit information, and why is he still on speed dial?
** Discussion turned to the commotion in the crowd during the men’s title match, which LaPrade recapped saying it was a few fans being ejected for attempting to throw streamers into the ring like in Japan, only to be allowed back into the arena, and cheered by the fans.
** Meltzer took great glee in the notion that WWE/NXT are finally pronouncing Finn Balor’s finish the way he and Alvarez had originally pronounced it, even though they were ridiculed for pronouncing it “wrong” at the time.
** LaPrade reported that WWN Live’s Gabe Sapolsky and Sal Hamaoui were at the NXT show last night
** Meltzer reported that WWE is very behind Eva Marie right now, and that they prepared to force feed the issue because the fans are very much not behind her, but the promotion is very determined to push her, and are very into the story of her redeeming herself to become a good wrestler.
** LaPrade reported that during the tapings, and the Eva Marie v. Carmella match, Eva Marie made the “I want the title” gesture, moving her hands across her waist, which Meltzer unrepentantly called a “bad idea” if the idea is to move so quickly to a Bayley/Eva Marie program in NXT.
** Emerson Witner’s live report of the show is here
** Reader feedback on the NXT show here
** Ryan Pike has the casual fan’s guide to two of the top matches at Sunday night’s SummerSlam, Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins vs John Cena
** Dave Meltzer has his report of SummerSlam teed up here
** ROH Field of Honor results from correspondent Gregory Vassiles is here
** Observer reporting that 70s & 80s era wrestler Duke Myers has died
** Brian Hoops’ always awesome “this day in pro wrestling history” is here