What a weekend, Takeover Toronto was pleasantly surprising and turned out to be awesome. I do enjoy Takeovers, but prior to the weekend this one didn’t really seem to excite me, but that aside I watched it live and was happy I did as I loved it. I can even say I found the Dusty Rhodes final entertaining despite not really giving a shit about the match and teams in it at all prior to the PPV. Survivor series completely threw away our predictions, and RAW and Smackdown while entertaining are now into full swing building to their next respective PPV’s without really addressing the consequences of the Survivor Series results. And I guess WWE have forgotten about the winning brand getting draft picks or trades as no mention of it was made. Unless I’ve been watching RAW and Smackdown really really drunk and made that stipulation up, but I swear I’ve heard this possibility of the winning brand getting 3 stars from a trade or draft. With that mumble aside, welcome to Shoot Talk.
NXT Takeover Toronto
As mentioned above I wasn’t as excited for this Takeover as previous ones, and I don’t really know why? My interest in NXT has died a little bit since the golden era of Balor, Zayn and Owens as they have all hit the main roster and Itami unfortunate with injuries. While obviously the new class with Nakamura, Roode and such is still entertaining I’ve just lost my way with it a little bit as of late. I’ll get back into it. But I digress, this Takeover despite my full attention previously actually blew me away and turned out to be awesome.
The opening was a glorious perfect 10 with Tye Dillinger and Bobby Roode. Both guys incredibly over with Tye being the real winner of the week as his 10 chant took over and became a mainstay for the following days of wrestling. The #DIY & The Revival match genuinely being a match of the year contender had me excited and marking out watching with my hands over my head for so much of the final 3rd fall. So pleased to see #DIY winning the gold.
Asuka and Mickie James ended up being a much, much better match that I’d anticipated and Mickie is still looking great in the ring. The ending seemed a bit abrupt but proved to be a tough match for Asuka. Surely her time on NXT is drawing to a close, I love her on NXT, and love her unbeaten run, I only hope they keep her momentum and beast like character alive on the main roster when she goes there. Whoever does get that victory over her should see it as a major accolade so ensure it’s used on the right person on the right person.
As for the main event of Takeover, wow… just wow. I did not see that coming. Matt did (dammit), but yeah. Samoa Joe is the guy they’re building NXT around then by the look of it. Is Nakamura possibly being fast tracked to main roster (where he deservedly should be)?
The Tye match seemed like a goodbye of sorts at the end, the Revival dropping the titles as well as Nakamura? Does this give us a glimpse at our next class of NXT talent making the jump to main roster?
Survivor Series predication’s for me were a bit of disaster, in fact my predictions for the past 3 weeks have been pretty terrible so maybe I should stop. The PPV however was still very entertaining even if it didn’t quite go to how I’d expected. I wasn’t overly keen on the finishes to the 2 single matches for titles that took place however. Miz retaining the IC title and keeping in Smackdown is fine, I’m okay with this, but the ending with Maryse ringing the bell causing Zayn to be distracted for a rollup was annoying. On the plus side at least Zayn actually featured on the PPV card, and in fairness it was a standard heel move win I guess which gives Miz more heel heat, but it was still frustrating, I think more so because I’d expected Zayn to win and come to Smackdown with the title, such a shame.
As for the Kalisto vs Kendrick match, that was a good match but just incredibly frustrating with Baron interrupting the match. I get they’ve got a rivalry stretching back to the start of the brand split, but considering he was dropped from the team Smackdown team due to injury for him to appear and beat up Kalisto costing him the cruiser title and Smackdown the cruiser division, it’s just annoying.
So as mentioned I’d fully expected the 3 team matches counting for a series with the winner getting draft picks, it appears I might have misheard or simply made that up in my head as RAW stormed to a 2-0 lead winning the tag and the woman’s matches. The men’s match took close to an hour, and saw Smackdown Live win that bringing it to 2-1, but again I just don’t get it. There didn’t seem to be any importance to it all despite the buildup to it in the weeks. It felt a little anticlimactic as there were no repercussions for the winning or losing brand.
And the Goldberg vs Lesnar match was the biggest what the fuck in a long long time.
Smackdown After Survivor Series
So Dean Ambrose almost screwed Smackdown in the men’s team match at Survivor Series. It was pretty fucking cool seeing a Shield reunion and even cooler seeing it being against AJ Styles, it makes the want for a
BulletClub vs Shield feud all the more. But Undertaker warned the team that any tom foolery will be addressed by him. So at a guess (which I’ve been awful at), could this be the start of Undertaker vs Ambrose? Who knows, the latest rumblings have been that Undertaker will be facing AJ Styles at Royal Rumble for the WWE title? I’d be so okay with this. As mentioned in previous Shoot Talks AJ Styles would be able to protect The Undertaker should he need it, carry him should he need it and still make the match look like a match of the night contender. So by all means do this, and I wouldn’t even begrudge seeing Undertaker as the Champion again, why not, his final swansong with a loss at Wrestlemania to see the end of his career.
Raw After Survivor Series
Remember Goldberg? He’s back, in title run form!
Yes, Goldberg squashed Lesnar in under 2 minutes at Survivor Series and returned to RAW the next night to an absolutely sensational reception. His promo was teasing that his win over Lesnar might well be his last match, then out of nowhere swerves and confirms that he’s entering the Royal Rumble in January with the intention of wanting one more title run.
I’m not mad, sure why not. I’m actually really enjoying this era of WWE mixing in so much talent with legends of yesteryear. Undertaker and Goldberg both back in some form of full time capacity is pretty awesome.
Will he win the Royal Rumble, I guess right now he’s got to be considered a favourite, but as it is currently we’re at a pretty unpredictable Royal Rumble which is decent.
James Ellsworth is 3-0 Against the WWE Champion
James Ellsworth has been a pretty decent comedic relief act during the Ambrose vs Styles rivalry. The guy is living the dream getting to meet legends in WWE such as Undertaker, Mick Foley and such while appearing at PPV’s and on TV each week. And this week he got an ‘official’ contract for Smackdown to become a fully fledged roster member. Not bad for someone who was booked to job to Braun a few months back.
But when will we get bored of him? Surely the gag’s gone on too long now, and the fact that he holds a better win record in the WWE than Sting and holds a better record against AJ Styles than John Cena is truly weird. Ellsworth will feature on TV weekly and took the main event spot on Smackdown while Neville has gone missing on RAW and Apollo Crews is not being used on Smackdown. I don’t get it. It’s not surprising on RAW that Neville, Zayn and Cesaro are all under utilized but there’s something amiss when Crews doesn’t get a spot on SD but Ellsworth has had a title match against AJ and has been main event on a Smackdown.
As said fair play to the guy, he’s living the dream right now, but I just wonder how long till this gets a little stale and when will we see other deserving guys on the roster get a bit more time on TV and in substantial feuds.
Book It Vince
And as tradition, here’s how we predicted the 2 PPV’s and how our scores went.
And the scores after an impressive weekend for Mike and a disappointing weekend for Matt and myself:
I’ve still got this, I’m going to walk away from Wrestlemania 2017 as the inaugural Shoot Talk Champion.