Monday, April 14, 2014

Best Coast Bias: Unoccupied

♫ Hello darkness my old friend ♫ 
Photo Credit:
A popular insult throughout the years levied at both children and adults is something along the lines of "[x] is living in their own little world". It's probably the hyperactive imagination talking but even at this ripe age I fail to see what the crushing blow to the ego is.  My little world's great; sometimes it rains chocolate chips and everything.

But if you've been living under the level of delusion that Bo Dallas has been in the past year or so of his NXT residency, then you can see how the sudden wrecking ball of reality crashing down your walls may cause your mask of cheerful optimism and babyface status to slip.

In a show that featured yet another awesome women's match and Adrian Neville getting himself over as a threat to someone 160% his size without so much as landing a blow, it's Bo's pre-match in the main event that's going to be remembered for the Full Sail fan for some time to come and has to go on the short list of Segment of the Year candidates when a bow is put on 2014.  Having seen what B+ player Daniel Bryan was able to achieve on the mothership thanks to the support of his fans (let's conveniently ignore the whole losing the rematch thing why shan't we) Dallas figured with enough Bolievers in the squared circle he could get another crack at Neville.  That's when it happened--

--large segments of the crowd, seemingly entire rows pulled a 180 and literally turned their back on Dallas.  While this had happened occasionally in a person or three while Bo's chatted during his title reign, this was unprecedented.  To further put shit savings on his sundae of curdled cream, they then proceeded to further use his co-option of the Unified Champion against him, chanting NO! vociferously to boot.  It was then that Bo would hit the 2014 equivalent of the Big Show's "I'm a nice guy!  I have footage!" by angrily reminding them that he'd even gone so far as to provide snacks while Champion.  The indignation in his voice was a thing of beauty, and he even went to the floor to yell at the backs of the crowd who were serenading him with No More Bo and Bocohontas chants.  But things weren't yet over, as in the midst of his mid-ring crying and yelling (with the crowd possibly chanting BOTISTA, JBL remembered he had another job as NXT GM and brought up the sad fact that while the former Tag and NXT Champion was trying to occupy the ring he "didn't have enough people to occupy a see-saw".  Sure, the ensuing match against Justin Gabriel was going on, but Dallas' real fight was against the people who have now literally turned their backs on him.  It seemed them chanting "we want cookies" the moment he bailed to the floor under the former Nexian's assault was just poking the bear; hell, you could even agree with A-Ry about the crowd's hypocrisy assuming the chant was authentic and not their way of seeing if they could make him snap mid-match.  He managed to get enough in check to put away this fallen Angel with a Kobashi double-arm DDT, but if this is a preview of what's to come in his WWE tenure seeing it on a bigger stage should only service BD's career as the Positively Page to root against.  Seriously, just imagine a Dallas/Cena tag team in front of the night after WrestleMania crowd.  If that much gleeful hate is wrong, who wants to be right?

Actually, Sasha Banks.  Sasha would love to be right, but when it comes to Bayley, the cheerful Californian is a problem the Boss just can't seem to solve somehow.  For nearly 10 minutes, it was a stirring display of hold and counterhold for the most part.  Even more to the point, it seemed Sasha'd unlocked the door as she threw a barrage of counters.  She didn't care about the kawaiied out new Titantron, fans getting headbands, or air-fives to the crowd and handshakes for the ref and Eden; Sasha was done with this and was going to prove her place.  You could see her losing her temper in small spurts: the 100 Hand Slap consisting of mostly paintbrushing jobs, or running on the back of the face-down in the bottom turnbuckled Bayley for maximum choke and carnage.  The end was possibly the best sequencing in an NXT women's match to date, and that's saying a lot.  Somehow, while Sasha had a counter to the counter, Bayley had a really innovative counter to the counter to the counter and one belly-to-Bayley later HugLife had put another one on the board.

[For everybody's sake we're ignoring the fact she speaks Punjabi and helped translate our way towards a CJ Parker/Great Khali match next week.]

Leaving aside the fun ride on the Adam Rose Express or the Mojo squash of Monsieur Lefort, what was most compelling on a Lucifier's-in-the-margins level was the backstage interview with...referee Shawn Bennett. You see, he was the official of record during last week's Zayn/Graves main event, and so he was brought on to explain what happened that led to his decision.  He mentioned he'd refereed several previous Sami matches, and kept checking him for responsiveness.  When he didn't find the Syrian-Canadian responsive, he called for the bell.   Think about it: outside of Scott Armstrong, when's the last time the major shows talked to the referee about the decision and named him?  This can either be the building blocks of a new Danny Davis or a fine red herring that'll always be in play for the longform NXT viewer whenever he referees another Sami match, especially the next couple to come and any future title matches.  Sometimes PURE SPORTS BUILD is maligned, but this was an instance of it being applied masterfully.  Corey Graves coming on and comparing himself to Barry Bonds as if to will away the possible asterisk his win had just made some small thing all the more better.

It wasn't I GAVE YOU COOKIES good, but what could be, really?