Covid Mass Testing in Liverpool

I have been somewhat skeptical of everything Covid during the last several months. I don’t know anyone who’s had it who’s had particularly bad symptoms let alone died and the numbers have definitely been dramatised and exacerbated more than necessary which has led to national panic and unnecessary restrictions/shutdowns or certain businesses. However I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I do think Covid is real. I’m not blaming 5G or Bill Gates and the other rich people of the World. I also don’t have a problem following the rules which is why I got tested as part of the mass testing Liverpool are trialing. It did take me a while to see the point of it but I figured if everyone gets tested, then the people who know for sure they’ve got it can stay at home and isolate and the people that know they haven’t can resume their life as best as a National lockdown will allow. However if it doesn’t work, Liverpool will end up being a scapegoat for the government for the possible continuation of lockdown through December.

The problem I have is with people who won’t get voluntarily tested just because they’re stubborn and don’t like the government. There’s absolutely no downside to getting tested. It doesn’t cost anything, they’ve made it as convenient as possible, yes it’s a little bit uncomfortable but what medical test isn’t? Even if you didn’t believe it was real, what downside could there be for getting tested? There’s half a million people in Liverpool and only 23,000 got tested in the first three days. The faster everyone gets tested the faster we get out of the mess we’re in.

AEW FULL GEAR 2020 *Contains Spoilers*

Another year of wrestling is coming to a close with the final PPV of AEW’s year. WWE are still squeezing out 2 more I think but this was the final one for AEW although it felt as long as about 3. That’s been my main criticism of AEW’s PPV’s since their inception last year. They stack the card too high and the show goes on forever.

For that reason I didn’t even watch the Buy In pre show so I’ve got no idea what the matches or results were. But on to the main card and the first match of the night.

Kenny Omega vs. ‘Hangman’ Adam Page: The Number One Contender to the World Championship Tournament was a short and predictable affair over the last few weeks on Dynamite culminating in the match everyone knew was coming. I understand why this was on the PPV but personally would have preferred it to be the main event on Dynamite the following week. Great match obviously because these two are PPV main event calibre wrestlers but the result was never in doubt. Winner: Kenny Omega

John Silver vs. Orange Cassidy: I don’t get how this match made it onto a PPV. Orange Cassidy is obviously popular at the moment and is mildly entertaining, John Silver is gaining momentum but there was barely any buildup to a match at a PPV. Not the worst match on the card but could have cut the duration of the PPV down 15 or so minutes if they kept it on Dynamite. Winner: Orange Cassidy

Cody Rhodes vs. Darby Allin (TNT Championship Match): Darby deserved this match and this win because he’s been a standout performer for AEW since its inception and this was about the only surprising match of the night. Cody losing the TNT Championship to Mr. Brodie Lee in a squash match to go do some filming just to come back and win in a rematch was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Brodie Lee came to AEW because he was being used horrendously in WWE and now AEW are seemingly making the same mistakes with him. But like I said it’s culminated in this match that I thought Darby deserved. I honestly don’t know if Cody is supposed to be a heel or a face anymore either. His current in ring style is that of a heel but it’s just not convincing. He’ll need to be more cheating or turn on Arn or something because it looks confused at the moment. Great match regardless and I’m happy the TNT Championship is on Darby. There was some afters with Team Taz afterwards so I’d expect Brian Cage to be the first challenger. Winner: Darby Allin

Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose (AEW Women’s Championship): Comfortably the worst match on the card. AEW’S women’s division had looked to be on the up with the addition of the NWA Women’s Championship and Serena Deeb putting on consistently good matches on Dynamite but this was dire. Nyla Rose is just appalling to watch. Nia Jax gets a lot of stick in WWE for being a similar size with a lack of maneuverability but Nyla Rose is so much worse and should be nowhere near the title picture. She actually made Shida look bad and she’s been pretty solid as champion. Vickie Guerrero needs to go too. She’s amusing and almost nostalgic at times but again shouldn’t be near a title match. On the plus side it can only get better from here. Winner: Hikaru Shida

FTR vs. The Young Bucks (AEW Tag Team Championship): Probably the most hyped and anticipated match of the night but with the very annoying caveat added that made the result obvious. I hate when stipulations like “can never wrestle for the title again” are added to big matches because they’re just not necessary. Since FTR left WWE this match is all anyone talked about. It had the hype before FTR were even officially a part of AEW. It was week after week on Dynamite building it up only for them to basically spoil the result. Thankfully it didn’t take away from the quality of the match itself. As much as wrestling is about story it’s also about the quality of the wrestlers in the ring and these are 4 of the best tag team wrestlers in the World. There hasn’t been a match with this much quality and intensity in my mind since New Day vs. The Usos. WWE have dropped the ball with their tag team division across all three brands as of late but AEW has certainly not. Predicted by most as the best match of the night and it definitely was. Winners: The Young Bucks

Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara (Elite Deletion Match): We’ve had these matches in both Impact! and WWE. The very first one is hailed as one of the greatest matches in Impact! history and funny as they are, Matt Hardy is just a bit past his best as an athlete to make them enjoyable and personal don’t think he should be beating young stars like Sammy Guevara. The match itself was a creative jungle of fun though. It’s not necessarily good but it is entertaining. Cameo’s from The Hurricane and Gangrel and involvement from The Inner Circle and Private Party as well as the ever present Hardy Family did make it a fun show. Some big spots from Sammy, the moonsault off the Monster Truck tyre at the start was especially impressive. Although I think it will be most remembered for the firework fight. Although I didn’t particularly enjoy it too much, it did break up the show when I was getting a bit bored so good placement and it did a job.

Chris Jericho vs. MJF: Seems to be an unpopular opinion but I just don’t get the hype surrounding MJF. He obviously has a certain charisma that a lot of wrestlers would want but in the ring and even on the mic to some extent I just don’t get it. Again unpopular opinion but he feels like a poor man’s Miz who thinks he’s more of a prime Chris Jericho. I also wish Jericho would stop doing matches just to put someone over. I know he had his long run as undefeated AEW Champion in the company’s opening months but losing twice to Cassidy and not to MJF, it’s a bit boring. WWE did it with Jericho vs. Fandango at Wrestlemania when he was supposed to be the next big charismatic star and I get that these guys are supposed to be the future but him losing to these guys just feels a bit wrong. Not because I’m a huge fan of holding on to the past or want Jericho to go forever, I just don’t think the likes of MJF or Orange Cassidy are good enough. Winner: MJF

Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston (AEW World Championship): I’ve never really been a big fan of watching the Indy’s so I didn’t really know anything about Kingston but AEW had built this match and this rivalry up really well over the last several weeks. With WWE putting on a personal, intense Hell in a Cell I Quit match the other week this had a lot to live up to. Thankfully it was a very different match so there wasn’t much comparison to be made. A much more violent and bloody match that brought this rivalry to its end. It’s hard to tell what Eddie Kingston brings to the table as an actual wrestler but this type of brawl he’s obviously very good at. He’s also one of the best on the mic I’ve seen in a long time but still not believable as a World Champion so it was never in doubt Moxley was going to win to set up for the Moxley Vs. Omega rematch. Moxley is a solid champion for AEW and has consistently produced solid matches every time he goes out there as you’d expect and for these matches he always goes the extra mile to give the people the violence they expect from him. Good way to end the final PPV of the year. Winner: Jon Moxley

Overall I thought it was a solid show but a little long, I’d have scrapped the Orange Cassidy, John Silver match. The biggest set back for AEW remains the women’s division and the biggest strength remains the tag team division. Honestly I haven’t seen much improvement in the year or so it’s been on. The commentary team is gelling better but it’s still so much better when Jericho or Taz are there, the general production is better but the booking and stories still aren’t blowing me away. NXT for me is still a far superior show but I’ll still with Dynamite too for now.

Star Trek Fleet Command – Game Review

I’ve been playing Star Trek Fleet Command for around about 18 months now and I left it a pretty horrendous review on the Google Play store a few months ago due to recieving a ban simply for tactical reporting from an enemy alliance. However that was one incident over a long period of gaming so I can’t judge it on that alone.

I won’t go into details about the ins and outs of the gameplay and the ships I’ll just give a review on what I find to be the best and worst things about the game.

As with most other free online mobile games it’s very much focused on pay to win with numerous expensive in-game purchases to help speed up the levelling up process. However what I like about the pay to win aspect of this game is that all you’re really buying is time. You can get everything on this game if you grind and put in the hours. A lot of free mobile games have specific premium items you have to purchase and up to this point in my game (I’m level 31) this has only had the Jellyfish, which is useless after lvl 24 anyway. There is another Jellyfish at lvl 38+ but that’s not better than the best faction ship you can grind for at that level.

Another good thing about the game is how they are constantly trying to improve. I understand this benefits Scopely massively because with every new update and new ships and officers there’s a new set of in game purchases so the updates are purely good business, but it does keep the game fresh and interesting for the casual non-spenders like myself. Unfortunately with the good updates comes the bad bugs. It seems with every update, especially in the last few months, comes a new set of bugs and it does get tedious at times. Whether it’s failing repaired, failed connection errors, ships refusing to warp, dead nodes, there’s always something wrong with the game which you think could be so easily fixed if they cared a little more.

The bugs are somewhat easy to live with though. If you clock up enough hours in the day you just get used to them and they don’t bother you so much anymore. What’s less easy to live with is a dying server and no sign of a merge. When Scopely announced there would be server mergers I assumed we’d definitely be part of it. There are maybe 300 active accounts in the server I play in but so many players now have alt accounts to either try a different faction or farm for their main or plant a spy in enemy alliances. There’s a lot of reasons people use them but I feel like it’s preventing a server merge and the server definitely needs merging.

So as a solo game for progression you can still have a lot of fun playing this game, but the longer I play in this server with more and more players packing it in and nobody new coming in, the more boring it gets unfortunately. Still doesn’t stop me coming on every day though so they’re obviously doing something right.

Horse Girl (2020) – Review

“Sarah, a socially isolated woman with a fondness for arts and crafts, horses, and supernatural crime shows finds her increasingly lucid dreams trickling into her waking life.” – IMDb

I watched this the day before ‘Our House’ from my previous review as apparently ‘Independent’ films were just what I was feeling last week and as much as they’re in different genres these two films are worlds apart in quality and it’s all down to one person, Alison Brie.

What I mention in the previous review are films that feel low budget but are often dragged up to a high standard by good storytelling and acting and Alison Brie epitomises that in this film. The story itself is a bit non-eventful, but with a character that captivating it just draws you in and you’re enjoying it without really understanding what’s good about it. Not much actually happens, it doesn’t have a particularly definitive conclusion, but when it did end I thought to myself “that was a really good film”.

I don’t like posting spoilers in reviews so I won’t go into it any further and I can understand its low 5.9 rating on IMDb because it is a bit confusing and the ending isn’t great but it’s a must watch for me. If you’ve seen Alison Brie in anything else you know how good an actress she is and this is her best role yet in my opinion.

His House (2020) – Review

“A refugee couple makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town that has an evil lurking beneath the surface.” – IMDb

His House is to put it as nicely as I can, disappointing. I’m sure there is something I’m missing regarding the social difficulties refugees struggle through and I’m not sure how much this film was supposed to be about that, but as a Supernatural Horror film it falls desperately short. Really slow from start to finish, no jump scares, too many flashbacks/imaginings/hallucinations whatever they’re supposed to be there’s a lot of them and they don’t add anything useful to the film. One of far too many films on Netflix where the trailer is exciting and the film sadly is not.

In a lot of these ‘Independent Movies’ it often feels low budget but the acting and storytelling shines through to drive a sub-par film to good or even great heights but sadly this just stays sub-par. Matt Smith is the only well known actor but his involvement is nothing more than a cameo really. The 2 main characters are the central focus for 90% of the film and whether it’s the characters or the acting I’m not sure but I couldn’t get invested in them or their story. It’s about as bad as IMDb’s inaccurate description of it, would 100% not recommend wasting time on it.

2nd National Lockdown – Saving lives or ruining them?

The first national lockdown came at the start of summer and it didn’t feel like the end of the world. People were out in the sun, getting exercise and trying to make the best of the time off work. As much as we were getting given reasonably high numbers of people getting Covid and dying from it, nobody (I know at least) knew anyone who had it. However financially it hit the country hard and in turn people’s mental health deteriorated with something damning always looming over them and nobody to see to talk to about it. The time of the year was better for it though. It was light out, we had weeks on end of sun and it felt like it would blow over in a few months and we’d by back to normal by the time the summer ended.

Things however just seemed to go from bad to worse. Independent businesses shutting, numbers increasing, celebrities dying (which bothers people more than their family members for some reason) and money running out, and the further through the year we got, the darker life became for everyone. A 2nd National lockdown is the culmination of this never ending darkness that surrounds this country at the moment, and I really don’t see the point of it. At the rate of spreading and the way people will continue to ignore most of the rules made by the Government, the suffering during and following this month of lockdown means there will be next to no benefits. Saving a handful of lives from the spread of Covid is not worth ruining the mental health of thousands and sending the country into an economic collapse that it can’t recover from.

Worst of all the people that now have to close their businesses for a second time are probably the most innocent and safe places there are to visit. Hairdressers, bars and restaurants, tattoo artists, gyms. Every single one I’ve seen has spent time and money making everything as safe as possible only to be blamed and told to shut again and that obviously has a knock on effect to all their employees who can’t afford to live off the 80% furlough.

If ‘human life’ is so important as the government keep repeating, how can they not see that what they’re doing is ruining more lives than it’s saving? Mental health will kill more people in this country on the back of the social and economic situation we’re in because of this lockdown than Covid would have done if the restrictions had stayed as they were.

Wednesday Night Wars – AEW vs WWE NXT

It’s a very exciting time for wrestling fans at the moment with the emergence of AEW. With IMPACT’s decline and Lucha Underground never really taking off, WWE had been cruising for well over a decade without any competition and as much as they have tried to mix it up over the years, certain parts of the product had become stale. Thankfully though, with Triple H in charge, NXT has not been one of those stale products. It first started as more of a stupid game show and has blossomed into the best wrestling show in the World and is currently better than it ever has been. As much as it is still a stepping stone for a lot of wrestlers before they make the jump up to RAW or Smackdown, it has its own roster, its own TV show, and has hiked up to 2 hours. AEW on the other hand is brand new. It’s had less than 10 shows to its name but with names like Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, PAC, Jon Moxley and others it’s made big waves in that time. It’s an exciting show with a mega potential but can it actually compete with WWE in the long term?

The early indications say yes. TNT and AEW are winning the ratings war early on against USA and NXT. NXT have beefed up their roster with the return of Finn Balor and the most popular superstars from NXT UK being brought over, as well as adding cruiserweight matches to the newly formed 2 hour show, but the AEW hype is staying strong and staying ahead.

With the first few weeks under their belt let’s have a look at where the strengths of the 2 shows lie. As much as both shows as a whole have their strengths and weaknesses in their divisions I think the biggest strength for either show is none other than Chris Jericho. One of the biggest names in professional wrestling not only because of his in ring talent but his charisma and his promo skills which is something that AEW does lack somewhat. A lot of the talent in AEW have had stints with WWE but simply didn’t have the promo skills to get the push they thought they deserved. He’s a massive draw every time he’s in the ring, a main event caliber wrestler still at his experienced age and a crowd pleaser. They’re building young talent up around him whether it’s as part of his new stable or against him in the ring and it’s really working. The other main strength that I think AEW has over not only NXT but the whole of WWE at the moment, is their tag team division. There’s a really good mix of young and experienced tag teams in a jam packed division and a massive focus on how important that division is going to be to AEW moving forward. Unfortunately the opposite could be said about their women’s division. That Women’s Championship match between Riho and Nyla Rose was quite evidently the worst match on the card. Nyla looked dangerous in the ring and the size difference between the two was just too much. Riho is obviously a very talented wrestler and as the commentary team love saying for someone so young she’s very experienced, but she can’t carry the whole division and there’s not a lot there to get excited about.

AEW have certainly captured an audience that WWE had lost with the introduction of the PG era. It’s not only a quality of wrestling that WWE seemed to have given up on with their restricted 5 minute matches involving underused world class wrestlers, but it’s the added violence that gives AEW an edge of excitement. But the excitement in the ring can only go so far and it does need backing up with production and promotion. It might seem like an unimportant factor when the wrestling is as good as it is, but in a 2 hour show every week, the little things become very noticeable and in AEW it needs serious work. This week for example we could hear the commentary team talking when they thought it was on a commercial break about the matches they’re about to announce for next week. One of the little things they have spot on however is their group of referees. WWE tends to go for the invisible referee’s, they do their job but you’re not really supposed to notice them. The AEW referee’s are all very much part of the match and their personalities all shine through. The commentary team I’ve got to say I’m not a massive fan of. As much as the world of wrestling loves to hate on Michael Cole I’d have him commentate all day over Tony Schiavone. JR is obviously a legend and absolutely loves wrestling and you can tell he loves AEW. He’s probably the best wrestling commentator of all time and that hasn’t changed with age. Excalibur is just sort of okay. Works well with the others but certainly needs the help, they’d be in serious trouble without JR but even with him it’s not a strong commentary team. I would have thought with Lucha Underground folding we might have seen Matt Striker make an appearance but they seem happy with their selection for the time being.

The production that AEW loses out on is where WWE will always thrive. Between the commentary, the promos, the entrances, and the camerawork, NXT has AEW beaten comfortably. They have decades of experience in their production and it shows. The commentary team for me is the best team in WWE. Beth Phoenix is still learning but has grown into the role very well with the help of the experienced Mauro Ranello and Nigel McGuinness. Ranello has enthusiasm somewhat reminiscent of JR but turned up to 11 as he would say. I see some people commenting that it’s too much for them but I wouldn’t have him any other way, and with McGuinness’ calmer British demeanor I think the combination works perfectly. Phoenix was a welcome addition as I think the female vocal is necessary when the brand has such a strong women’s division.

The women’s division is where I will start on the positives for NXT. Right now for me it’s at a higher quality than it ever has been. Whilst the WWE main roster was living with the ‘Divas Division’ in the early 2010’s the likes of Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Paige, Becky Lynch, Natalya, and Bayley amongst others were showing the NXT crowd how good women’s wrestling can be and from there the entire landscape of women’s wrestling in WWE has changed. Shayna Baszler is not only one of the best female wrestlers in the world she’s also great on the microphone and one of the best heels in the entire company at the moment. It’s not just her though, she could have a different challenger every week at the moment and they’d all be great matches. With the extra hour, we’re getting at least 2 women’s division matches every week in NXT and they’re always an insanely high quality. However just like where AEW has its lows, NXT also does, and that’s the Tag Team division at the moment. As much as there are good tag teams, especially with the arrival of Imperium being brought back from NXT UK, there’s still not enough. The Undisputed Era are obviously a phenomenal tag team and stable but there’s no real challengers for them. Adam Cole and Roderick Strong have a horde of strong singles competitors waiting to challenge them at the moment especially with the returns of Balor and Ciampa but Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish don’t seem to have anyone to defend against. NXT also doesn’t have a stand out star like AEW has with Jericho but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The crowd reaction for Jericho in AEW is noticeably louder than any other superstar but the crowd reaction for the whole of NXT stays at that high level throughout the whole show.

For me, NXT has the better show, it’s going from strength to strength, not only surpassing AEW but it’s a much better watch every week than RAW and Smackdown as well. The most recent episode of AEW (October 23rd as of writing this) was the worst episode yet, production getting sloppier, storylines making no sense, a DDP appearance for no reason, MJF not knowing whether he’s a face or a heel, Shawn Spears already forgotten about, even PAC Vs Moxley couldn’t save the show because as shown in WWE, Moxley is good but just not great. At the same time that night was the triple threat for the North American Championship in NXT, one of the best matches (albeit with a telegraphed ending) you’ll ever see. The ratings might not show it yet, but at the moment it’s looking like the AEW hype will die down and the NXT quality will shine through. However there is still plenty of improvement to be made from both shows and only time will tell who will come out on top of the Wednesday night wars.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

“Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.”

The 3rd but potentially not the final chapter in the John Wick series and the best yet in my opinion. Not only did they up the violence and the kill count, they added another character in Sofia (Halle Berry) and another element to the story. They also added the stupidity of how much punishment John Wick can take but we’ll let that slide because anything is believable when it’s Keanu Reeves. Even better we not only got more dogs, we also got a horse for John Wick to cause carnage on. One of the other highlights for me was getting to see more of Charon (Lance Reddick) in action protecting The Continental. He’s been a standout character in the John Wick series despite not actually doing much until this film due to his casual demeanor in the face of bizarre and violent situations. He’s just a cool character and I was glad to see more of him in this film.

There’s not a lot to say about the story, I’d assume if you were reading a review of this film you’d have seen the previous 2 and it does just follow straight on from where the 2nd one finished. This time John Wick is traveling the world trying to escape assassins after him for the $14million bounty that comes with his assassination, and he’s running away in the direction of the ‘Director’ of the organisation known as ‘The High Table’ who is the only person who can have this bounty removed and let John Wick live his life. I think the more interesting storylines are the subplots with The High Table’s adjudicator and The Continental Hotel and The Bowery, who have both been adjudged to have broken High Table rules. It brings in the previous characters of Winston and the Bowery King who are in charge of their respective organisations but ultimately work for The High Table. Having been charged with breaking High Table rules, the adjudicator offers up a punishment to both Winston and the Bowery King. The Bowery King takes his punishment and is seemingly out of the picture until the end of the film but Winston refuses to let go of The Continental and with the help of John, Charon, and the workers on The Continental they hold off the assassins for as long as they can until the adjudicator intervenes once again.

The end of the film was a bit confusing for me because I thought I’d read somewhere that this was the final part of a trilogy but it would seem not. I haven’t actually checked to see if there are official plans for a 4th installment but the end to this film would certainly suggest so. John Wick is once again left for dead and arrives at the feet of another character looking worse for wear in The Bowery King. But has John really been betrayed by Winston or is this just another ploy for them to work against the High Table together? Either way, it seems as though John and The Bowery King have common enemies and will be teaming up together in another installment of John Wick that hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for.

WWE NXT Takeover: New York – Spoilers Ahead!

Another month, another amazing Takeover event, this time at Wrestlemania weekend and it lived up to all the hype.

It all kicked off with another classic tag team championship match on what is likely to be Ricochet and Aleister Black’s final appearance on NXT. I feel like the tag team division in NXT has taken a bit of a hit since The Revival and AoP got called up to the main roster. I don’t massively rate The Street Profits or The Forgotten Sons and there’s only so many times The War Raiders can defend against The Undisputed Era. There’s a few others floating between NXT and NXT UK that don’t pose any real threat so creating the team of Black and Ricochet made sense. They have great chemistry in the ring together and have come a long way competing on all three brands every week to become a real asset to all the tag team divisions. They also clearly have great chemistry with The War Raiders because this match was phenomenal. The absolute perfect way to start the weekend. Both teams pulled out everything from their respective bags of tricks and put on what is inevitably going to be talked about as match of the year. What makes NXT so good is how they can make so many insanely good matches with no stipulations, they just let the quality in the ring show everything they have to offer and that’s what these 4 did.

Next up was Velveteen Dream Vs Matt Riddle for the North American Championship. I’m glad NXT added another singles title because the talent is so extensive on the black and gold brand that they needed something else to fight for. Talented as Matt Riddle is in the ring I’m just not a massive fan. It’s hard to tell whether the whole ‘original bro’ thing is a gimmick or just him but it’s not for me. Velveteen is just pure entertainment. He’s not the best wrestler but he’s very talented and still very young but more importantly he has endless charisma and just shines on NXT. As expected these two threw everything into this match. Riddle dug into his arsenal more than we’ve seen him have to do in his short NXT career so far and Velveteen supplied all his signature moves and more. I thought Riddle had it won more than once but Velveteen kicked out of everything and kept getting out of the ‘bromission’ and eventually managed to get a clean victory with a clever reversal into a pinfall.

The UK invaded NXT next in a somewhat bittersweet NXT United Kingdom Championship match. I don’t think anybody wanted Pete Dunne to lose but at the same time he is wasted on NXT UK and needs to be on RAW or Smackdown as soon as possible, I’m assuming at the RAW after Wrestlemania. I don’t know much about Walter other than that he’s quite a big name for NXT UK and an absolutely massive human being. I watched his debut match on NXT UK and the welts he left on the chest of his opponent was frightening. He doesn’t hold back in the ring and neither does Dunne and that’s why these two made the trip over to New York to fight on the biggest weekend of the year. It might not have had the entertainment that the first two matches had but it was a completely different style and a really great wrestling match to watch, one that I imagine NXT general manager William Regal was very proud of. Let’s hope that the reign of Walter does NXT UK good and we get to see the best of Pete Dunne on the main roster very soon.

Unlike Wrestlemania on Sunday night the women were not main eventing Takeover but they were the penultimate match of the night in what was lined up to be an exciting Fatal Four Way match for Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship. Baszler has been a dominant force and a great champion and I personally think she deserves to be on the main roster. Bianca Belair is still honing her craft but she’s certainly a talented athlete who has a bright future and on a side note I love how she uses her hair as a weapon. I don’t know if it’s all her own or extensions but it’s a brilliant, unique addition to her already extensive move set. Kairi Sane has obviously been around a while now and I think could also be on the way to the main roster soon, possibly with the final member of this Fatal Four Way, the ‘genius of the sky’ Io Shirai. As much as there’s a Fatal Four Way match for the new Women’s Tag Team Championships at Wrestlemania, there’s still a very limited amount of real female tag teams and the ‘Sky Pirates’ could do very well. Shirai seems to have popped up out of nowhere and has quickly become a fan favourite and you can see why. She was the most entertaining in this match and her high flying ability is second to none. However Bianca Belair did steal the show with the double K.O.D on the Sky Pirates, sadly before losing the match, tapping out to Baszler. Obviously WWE does not share my opinion that Baszler is ready for the main roster. Either that or the women’s division in NXT still needs her, possibly while the final two of the ‘four horsewomen’ get a bit more experience in the ring. This was a good match anyway but not quite as showstealing as some other NXT Women’s Title matches at Takeover.

The final match of the night was a highly anticipated affair for any wrestling fan. Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole are great wrestlers, perfectly matched, have great chemistry in the ring, and have the stamina for a world class 2 out of 3 falls match. I mentioned in my previous post that it’s somewhat of a bittersweet match because of the injury to Tommaso Ciampa but the show must go on and Adam Cole is made to take the spotlight. The rivalry hadn’t had a massive time to take off but it didn’t matter, the crowd was massively up for it and the wrestling was always going to speak for itself. This match had everything you could have wanted and more. Some of the best textbook wrestling you could ever hope to see with flashes of brutality and endless amounts of passion and heart. Both men gave everything to this match, brought out moves nobody has ever seen from them, stole moves from each other, threw in a ‘fairytale ending’ for Ciampa. I can’t even tell you how many finishing moves were used but I thought the match was over time and time again. Perfect way to end the night with Gargano eventually winning the NXT Championship and I have no doubt that will be the match of the weekend if not the whole year. As Mauro Ranello put it, Mamma f’ing Mia.

Wrestlemania Weekend Upcoming

Wrestlemania is once again upon us and it’s looking like one of the worst cards we’ve ever had. I think this every year and most of the time I’m right I mean the Cruiserweight match on the pre-show has been the match of the night for the last two years and with the Women main eventing I feel like this show is destined for disaster. I appreciate that the women’s division is better than ever and maybe they deserve it ahead of another Brock Lesnar main event but just not with Ronda Rousey. She’s still so inexperienced and is dangerous in the ring in all the wrong ways. Even Becky still has her moments of botches too and Charlotte shouldn’t have to be carrying the main event of the biggest show of the year.

I think the best match on the night will actually be Randy Orton Vs AJ Styles if they’re given a long enough time slot. The best match of the weekend however will more than likely go to one of many options on NXT: Takeover New York. All 4 of the title matches lined up at this event are going to be epic and I’m so much more excited for it than I am for Wrestlemania.

A few notes and predictions for NXT anyway. The best thing about these 4 title matches is that I have no idea who’s going to win. The Tag Titles seem the most obvious. Aleister Black and Ricochet are obviously going to either RAW or Smackdown Live so you would think War Raiders would retain but you can never be sure in NXT. Black and Ricochet could win and go into Wrestlemania against The Usos as the NXT Tag Team Champions. Either way with the clash of styles and athletic ability of these 4 it’s going to be one hell of a match.

Velveteen Dream hasn’t had the North American Championship for all that long and I wouldn’t expect him to drop it so early, but Johnny Gargano did and Matt Riddle is undefeated so he probably goes into this match as the favourite. Velveteen has come so far so quickly but I’m afraid if he drops the title and moves onto the main roster, the gimmick will die very quickly.

The fatal four way for the NXT Women’s Championship has 3 possible winners for me. I think the Pirate Princess has had her time for now and as much as she’ll be a Champion again soon I don’t think it will be Friday night. I didn’t think Io Shirai had a chance either but she has all the momentum and seems to be very popular at the moment so it’s possible. Bianca Bel Air has a special kind of charisma and is extremely talented in the ring and for me should be winning this match. However Shayna Baszler is just a badass. Cut from the same cloth as Ronda Rousey but already so much more accomplished in a WWE ring. She’s the one who deserves a push to the main roster more than any man or woman on NXT so that’s why I think she’ll drop the title.

The main event is going to be a bit bittersweet. Tommaso Ciampa was the best NXT Champion for a long time and the best heel in the entire WWE and losing him is a big blow especially this close to Wrestlemania weekend. However Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole are two of the best wrestlers in the world and they’re going to put on a classic. I don’t mind who wins to be honest. I think The Undisputed Era could work to bulk up the tag division of the main roster ahead of the next switch up but I think all of them as well as Gargano are better left on NXT for now.

I’m not even sure I can do predictions for Wrestlemania because I just don’t care about it. Rollins is more than likely going to win because Lesnar seems to be off again but I’m not sure anybody knows about his contract status really. I’m somewhat excited for McIntyre Vs Reigns but I hope they don’t bury McIntyre to aid a Reigns return. I’ve already been over the main event but it seems as though they’re building it up for Becky to win.

Something that I am excited for is Kofi to finally get his chance at the big one. I don’t think Bryan will drop the title but I think these two will have a great match and I’m excited for the pop that Kofi will get from the crowd.

I couldn’t care less about Triple H Vs Batista or Shane McMahon and I don’t really know what’s going to happen with Angle. A lot of people think it’s going to be a squash match with Corbin only for him to go on to face Cena but I just don’t really see the point. Generally I’m very much lacking in excitement for Wrestlemania but can’t wait for tomorrow night for NXT.