Monday, May 26, 2014

Best Coast Bias: Ennui The People

The signature match for Takeover - at least on paper
Photo Credit:
Behold, the good guy: a foreign-born cruiserweight who's lackluster on the mic but good in the ring, spending time in Full Sail to build up their resume and hopefully get some eyeballs on them in the form of establishing themselves as a main roster level talent when the time comes.

Now, behold his opponent -- and here we dive into a hall made out of funhouse mirrors, as if a cloning machine got to 86% and went "Screw it, good enough."

It's hard to tell where Adrian Neville begins and Tyson Kidd ends sometimes, and bringing them together for the second signature NXT show Takeover next week just highlights and exacerbates the problem of having them go in against each other for the Big X come the last Thursday of the month.  So it came to pass that after the main event showcase that had the Champion delivering the Red Arrow to Curt Hawkins, having kicked out of the Prince of Queens' finish suplex, that Tyson Kidd came out.  While his promo wasn't Shakespearian, it was the next worst thing: a lot of sound and fury signifying not much.

The Kidd resume is well-known by most of the NXT viewership, covering pretty much a decade with "Tag team specialist" at one end and the "guy married to Nattie" on the other.  Him leaning on things like having wrestled on RAW and at WrestleMania not only underscores the gaping maw in his CV but it's like calling Guy Fieri and Jiro industry peers.  Technically, it's true -- underscored emphatically by Kidd yelling FACT after each point in an attempt at a new catchphrase that exploded on the runway at worst and a very subtle attempt at heeling in Neville's stomping grounds at best.  But that's a slope so slippery you might as well have the finals of a shuffleboard attempt on it.  Neville did the babyface fighting Champion promo, and that was incrementally better, but then buttoned his speaking time by saying Nattie was going to be the one in the family walking out of Full Sail with gold. The crowd turned into Jerry Springer's and somewhere in San Diego the cringe almost made a dent in the Richter.  

It would be different if Neville was going to be working as a black hat, or if Tyson was married to Eva Marie or something, but all it served to do was be a cheap shot to somebody you ostensibly are doing the All Babyfaces Go To Heaven mutual respect build with the only segment that you have to get it over. The slight on Nattie, especially after she'd just tapped out Sasha Banks in the match before his and spent more time in the ring doing it was so much small beer it might as well have been sponsored by the Silver Bullet.  Both Tyson and Nattie getting shots at two of the three major belts in Full Sail underscores the fact that with the Network trying to get more fans inside the NXT tent they're using the successful ratings from their Exclamation Point offshoot to leverage it into giving two full-time members of the Full Sail roster in Neville and Charlotte wins over main members of the roster to give them a talking point in June.  You're reading this, you know the one: "they may be here in NXT, but they've gone in against former WWE Champions and won".  Something along those lines.  But again, this goes back to the industry peer thing.  JTG and John Cena are both members of the main roster but not even Stevie Wonder would confuse one for the other.

You may recognize the main roster also as the thing Bo Dallas is now a full member of, having been greeted by a Big Ending after accidentally going into the turnbuckle he exposed.  That's the thing about irony sometimes.  It's so damn ironic.  It didn't stop Continuity Bear from doing his dance as a result, though.  It was hilarious watching Dallas proclaim himself Mr. NXT as he verbally contoured the petard that he would similarly visit upon himself at the tail end of his final Full Sail match, and the Artist Formerly Known As Langston was clearly galvanized to be back in front of a crowd that needed five just as badly as he used to.  Rejoicing over Dallas' downfall gave the crowd Steam enough to metaphorically kiss him goodbye.  Yet lest you think they couldn't keep up to their usual standards, this was the same crowd chanting We Don't Like You during the longest reigning NXT Champion's pre-match inspoporn of a speech.  Moving from a fun Beyonceish to the left to the left of suggesting en masse that "Bo, leave!" and going full preschooler by responding to Bo's exhortations of "You leave!" and "Why are you still here?" by repeating them back at him after the man had kicked the stairs and hurt himself got them the Troll Game On Point badge, assuming that they didn't have it already.

It was probably the highlight of the show matchwise, since Camacho getting intentionally counted out against Adam Rose wasn't going to be and the limitations of the main have already been noted.  But in storyline development, the biggest stroke might've been Sami Zayn and Tyler Breeze exchanging words to set up their match at Takeover to go from assumed to assured.  More to the point, it's now a #1 contendership match with the winner not being a fait accompli between two of the best guys on the roster and both being able to give Neville the sort of match in execution for putting over his title reign that it's assumed the eventual win over Kidd would provide.  Fact.

Again, Takeover looks to have a wide repository of things to look forward to -- three title matches with the Ascension going in against Los Lucha in the bypassed lane this week setup wise, and Breeze and Zayn going against each other in what should be the best match of the show.  But after the blow-the-door-off-the-hinges success from Arrival Takeover's got a high, high bar to clear.  And the guy wrestling the good version of his evil twin for the X may just turn the good into the enemy of the near perfect in this case.