Here’s your PWTorch News Recap for the weekend, including our breakdown of their audio show topics discussed, and links to big stories and articles on the site.
** Tons of reactions to Saturday night’s NXT Takeover event from Brooklyn.
** Wade Keller on his VIP Hotline last night was gushing about the show, deservedly, even going so far as to posit whether the fans in attendance were so rabid about the show as a protest vote against the main WWE product.
** Keller, and Torch columnists Bruce Mitchell and Todd Martin did an audio roundtable of the show.
** Martin was impressed that such a large crowd knew so much about the product, which he didn’t necessarily expect.
** Mitchell attributed the reaction to the brand and the main event acts being so over, which made it easier for the mid-card acts to get over.
** He said there aren’t as many frustrations with NXT as WWE has right now, no John Cena and no long stretches of boredom despite some of the mid-card acts being “dumber” than acts on the main WWE card (Vaudevillains). “If TNA did this, or Vince Russo came up with this, he would be rightfully ridiculed” and called it “hipster irony.”
** Keller brought up that one of the things NXT has going for it is that it’s not overexposed like the main product, but put them on five hours per week with monthly pay per views and it’s a different story.
** Todd Martin said “Five hours a week for NXT would be a disaster!”
** Mitchell said the two main events “delivered in spades,” and the team kicked off the show talking about the women’s match talking about the story of the match.
** They talked about Bayley and how that character has the potential to either flop or bring in newer fans to the NXT brand
** Martin, while not being down on the match, was sandbagging the match heavily, calling it “quite sloppy” and only “quite good.” Very reserved in his review of the match.
** Keller had mixed feelings of the post-match scene with the women in the ring being emotional, and called it self indulgent to have Sasha Banks as part of congratulatory scene at the end
** Mitchell didn’t like it, either, preferring that Sasha not be involved, and do it backstage because it ruins some of the details of the storyline leading into the match. While saying it wasn’t all that bad, it appealed to women, and just would have been better storyline wise is Sasha had not been involved.
** Keller then set up something of a straw man argument, saying this was sort of condescending to women, because we wouldn’t see this on the men’s side with Seth Rollins doing the same thing with John Cena, for example.
** Martin compared it more to if the same thing had happened with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, because of the legitimate backstage relationship among these women making it something different than anything involving Rollins and Cena, who don’t have a well-known backstage friendship, and therefore far more poignant
** Keller profoundly disagrees because whether it’s based in reality or fiction, the impetus should always be on preserving the fictional, storyline element and not do anything to jar the audience out of the story on-screen, particularly when it conflicts with what’s on TV most weeks
** This is an ongoing theme with Keller, so it’s understandable where he’s coming from having listened to him over the past several months.
** Consensus on the Balor v. Owens match was that it was a really good match, but “scary” and “dangerous” with Martin lamenting the Owens fall onto the sideways ladder where he hit the back of his head, and Mitchell looking down his nose at Balor’s coup de grace off the top of the ladder onto Owens.
** James Caldwell’s report of the NXT Takeover show is here. He kicked off his report with predictions, and went 5-1.
** Pat McNeill has a live blog look at Saturday night’s NXT Takeover event here.
** The Torch also has a look at the odds leading up to the show, and the ones that came in just prior to it going on the air here.
** PW Torch’s Bruce Mitchell kicked off his VIP Audio show with Wade Keller on Friday night with one of the most ridiculous examples of over analysis in wrestling in recent memory speaking about the religion-subverting subtext of the Jewish Paul Heyman bowing down, genuflecting to Brock Lesnar, akin to the Nietzschean Übermensch, while singing the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” with its roots in Christianity, in a feud with the Christ-like figure of the Undertaker (Yes. These were actual words he spoke).
** Oddly enough he seemed to miss completely the idea that the initials of the event on Sunday are S.S.
** He did, however, link it to being the “second biggest wrestling holiday” like Easter is the second-biggest Christian holiday, which he again linked back to the Undertaker being a Christ-like figure because he’s arisen from the dead. Like Christ.
** Your can listen to Hugh Little and me discuss this at length in our most recent edition of our Talking Sheet podcast.
** Mitchell seemed to be pushing the Jim Ross idea that Lesnar should win this match, and that Undertaker should not even the score in order to set up a “rubber match” at WrestleMania, but rather should lose the match and go into a final match / final chance scenario 0-2 at WrestleMania to try one last time to get revenge for his losses.
** Wade Keller will appear next week on the Steve Austin Show podcast, most likely recapping Sunday’s WWE SummerSlam event.