And we’re back for another Geekly Review as another week and weekend fly by. This one has a little more wrestling than normal though due to the epic Wrestlemania weekend…
NXT Takeover: Dallas
And what better way to start the weekend then with what many people would call the main event of the weekend. I didn’t watch this live on the Friday night as I went out with work colleagues and although I was back in time for the 3am start, I was not in a fit enough state to stay awake to watch it. So up bright an early to watch this over a friends house on the Saturday.
What a damn good show. The opening match for the NXT Tag Team Championship was brilliant thanks to the incredibly over American Alphas. The crowd were hot right of the bat chanting and supporting JJ and Gable. The match had some incredible hype and the champions going into the match the Revival were also on point as the heel team with some great heel tactics like hiding under the ring to jump out at the opportune time to disturb a hot tag and attempting to win with legs on the ropes with extra help with the use of a towel for leverage. Next up was the debut of Austin Aries on NXT and he was to face the lone wolf Baron Corbin. This was the weaker match on the card, but that’s not to say it wasn’t entertaining with Corban being the perfect heel and chatting shit to Aries and the crowd throughout the match. Aries got the win on his debut of course. Next up was the match of the show, weekend and probably year already. Another NXT debutant and one that has so much hype behind it. Shinsuke Nakamura vs Sami Zayn.
The hype video for it is incredible – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oANc0EsFTUc
And the hype for it was rightly justified as the 2 put on an absolute showcase of a match. The reactions were amazing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkyKWpb0N7o
To follow that up was the NXT Woman’s Championship. While this match was awesome in itself the crowd were still amazed by the scenes from the match before so it took them a while to finally get going. But They picked up the noise. The result itself was probably expected by a lot of people, but the way in which it happened left the fans and us watching slightly confused as Bayley passed out rather than submitting meaning Asuka is the new WWE NXT Woman’s Champion.
And onto the main event. The Demon Finn Balor defending his NXT Championship against Samoa Joe. This had a big fight feel, and that atmosphere intensified greatly when Joe was busted open within the first few minutes of the match. The hits were hard and the match looked brutal. Joe throwing Finn over the crowd rail where he takes out a member of the crowd security. The problem with the match was the stoppages the ref kept making for the WWE medical staff to patch Joe up. In typical heel fashion he tried to shrug this off more than once, but had to abide eventually and keep listening to the ref and getting cleaned up when the blood became to visual. The fans hating this with chants expressing their distaste for the PG rating of wrestling. The end of this came as a bit of a surprise too with Balor retaining with a seemingly out of nowhere spot from the top rope to pin to win. I’m still really happy with the match and the result. Happy with all the matches and results in fairness of the PPV, but the endings for the final 2 championship matches were a little odd. Still an incredible PPV to kick of Mania weekend.
Hall of Fame
Of course there was one more part to Mania weekend before the main show and that was the Hall of fame that too place on Saturday night. We watched this on the Sunday evening before the main show. We skipped Big Bossman and the freebirds speeches due to time restrictions. But was pretty impressed with the other. The sad part being Stings official retirement from wrestling. Shame that he got injured at Night of Champions at the back end of 2016 as I can only assume he was hoping to have another Mania appearance.
And onto the main event. We watched the entire show from preshow kickoff at 10pm to the moment the fireworks off for the end result. It was a long long night but I guess it was worth it. The IC ladder match to kick things off was actually pretty decent and had some great spots to it. Owens and Zayn’s rivalry to kick the match off was excellent and I hope that they get a feud on the main roster now that Zayn is up full time. Stardust came out with spots on his gear paying homage to his father who passed away Dusty Rhodes. It was a nice touch. The surprise of the show (although I called it earlier in the day) was that Zac Ryder who’s not featured on the main show in some time was the eventual winner of this. Not Zayn or Owens which many people expected but “Woo Woo Woo Zac Ryder… you know it”. It was odd but a good start.
Up next was a match I was expecting to be the show stealer. AJ Styles making his Wrestlemania debut against Chris Jericho. I genuinely would have put my mortgage on Styles winning this. It’s a good thing I didn’t as this was another swerve result with Jericho picking up the win after an entertaining bout with some good offensive wrestling on display from both. But the general feeling about this result was simply….Why?
The New Day were up next and they were hilarious as you would imagine for the entrance. Popping out of big box of boot-e-o’s. They were facing off against the League of Nations. The League picked up a surprise victory in this match too, but what was to follow after the loss was awesome. HBK Shawn Michaels music hits, then Mick Foley’s music hits followed by the big one. Stone Cold Steve Austin. They head down to the ring and put a beat down on the League all hitting their finishers to a very hyped crowd. New day come in to celebrate with the legends and begin dancing. Xavier woods tries to get Austin going which is hilarious and then boom, a stunner for his troubles.
The next match was Brock Lesnar vs Dean Ambrose. This should have been a good match, and It had moments, but it was all over pretty quickly in the end with Brock winning after suplexing Ambrose into a pile of chairs then F5ing onto a pile of chairs. The match had kendo sticks and they were used to good effect as evident on Lesnar’s back. But for all the build and hype and a match which features the Beast, it just seemed a little quiet. Brock did annihilate Ambrose with 13 suplexes though.
Quite possibly the actual show stealer now the Woman’s Championship triple threat. And this would now be for the newly revealed Woman’s championship belt with the “Divas” title being retired. This match was awesome. The 3 ladies involved all share a great chemistry and work together brilliantly which has always been the case since their days on NXT. There was botch from Sasha Banks earlier on but the crowd didn’t give them a hard time for this. The rest of the match was a classic with some great high risk spots from all ladies involved with an awesome spot for Charlotte from the top of the turnbuckle to the outside of the ring. Eventually though Charlotte locked the figure 8 on Becky (shame she was the one to take the loss) and Ric Flair held Sasha Banks back from interrupting. So Charlotte wins to become the first recipient of the new woman’s championship. A result I didn’t want, but a brilliant match nonetheless.
Undertaker vs Shane McMahon was next up in an important hell in a cell. Should Shane win he’ll be in control of Monday night raw. Also this would be Undertakers last mania if Shane should win. A match that probably shouldn’t have taken place with a 48 year old vs a 51 year old in one of the more dangerous WWE matches. The match was filled with good spots the highlight being Shane O Mac jumping from the top of the cell through a table. This was the beginning of the end as Taker brought Shane back to the ring, hit a tombstone and good night. It was an enjoyable match, but there’s not much more you can say or write about it. It was pretty slow based on how much these guys were suffering. The good news being that Taker could walk away from this mania without a concussion and can feature in Mania again. He’s at 23-1 now, so next year would be his 25th, and potentially last?
The gimmick Andre The Giant Battle Royal was up now and the fact that this was so high up on the card when only a few days ago it was scheduled for preshow had people guessing something big was happening. The Rock coming in?? John Cena entering? Well no, but it was pretty big as Shaquille O’Neil entered in the event. It was your standard jobber affair. Eventually Baron Corban would eliminate Kane to become the 3rd winner of this trophy.
The next segment The Rock came out onto the stage with a flamethrower. He was here to announce that the attendance record for mania had been broken this night. He was then interrupted by the Wyatt family. He challenged them and Bray sent Rowan to battle the Rock. It was over in 6 seconds meaning Rock set a new record for fasted win at a mania. The Wyatts then circled the ring to make an attack on The Rock…. Oh boy I sure wish someone would come and help the Rock. Next thing John Cena’s music hits and he comes to the aid of The Rock to a rather smarky crowd. So John Cena is superman confirmed coming back from torn rotator injury in record time.
And finally the main event that no one wanted. Unfortunately HHH’s entrance was as big as previous years either, it was still good though. Followed by Reigns to a chorus of boo’s in which the broadcast turned down the mic volume on the crowd to try drown the boos out a bit. I must be honest, by this point it’s gone 4am and I’m not overly paying attention as it’s now so clear what will happen based on the fact that all the surprise entrants to the show had come back and made their appearance. It was another brutal back and forth match. Reigns hitting Steph McMahon got some cheers. He then hit 2 superman punches and a speer to pick up the 1-2-3. To be fair there were some cheers, but for the most part it was boo’s. And that’s how mania ended. With Reigns a now 3 time WWE champion getting his moment. The whole show wasn’t the complete cluster fuck I had been expecting it to be. But it’ll be tough to increase Reign’s popularity as it always has been. On to Raw tonight.
Last week I had a little time off and a short break to Barcelona. It was lovely – thanks for asking, I also got engaged, which is pretty darn exciting.
Whilst I was away I didn’t really keep up to with what was going on in the gaming world and I seemingly missed the release of two games that I’ve been keeping a very close eye on for some time. One of them being Adr1ft and the other being Hyper Light Drifter.
Over the weekend I picked up the latter. Hyper Light Drifter is a 2D Action RPG with a beautiful 8-bit art style. Some people are calling it a 2D Dark Souls and whilst I can understand the comparison a little bit I don’t think it’s quite as punishing as the Dark Souls series – well not so far anyway.
I’ve only played for around an hour so I still have a long way to go and I haven’t even faced the first boss yet, so there is a good chance that it could become as rage inducing as Souls, but I hope not. I don’t mind a challenge but I don’t like it when it just gets too frustrating.
My first hour has been a good one, I love the visuals, the gameplay seems good, the controls seem fairly tight and responsive so far – something that is needed in game where you can die pretty quickly, you don’t want sloppy controls being the cause of your death! I’m looking forward to delving a little deeper in to the game ASAP.