Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Best Coast Bias: The Second Domino Falls

...see, wh-wha--wha--well, this is the thing--wha had happened was..
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Before the first post Fatal 4 Way episode of NXT launched, you could've made the argument about all the "somebody's about to turn heel the center cannot hold things fall apart" line of paranoid thinking that underscored the ending of the title match between Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville.

An hour later, an old chestnut came to mind. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're wrong.

Considering they're NXT's brightest lights, there's no way they should've lost to Tyson Kidd and Special Guest Star Titus O'Neil. In 2014 the U of F grad has been to the win-loss column what Roger Goodell has been to transparency. Tyson Kidd's seen the Red Arrow more times than a production tech. And yet, makeshift as they were, they came out on top in the main event, leaving the fans and Zayn wondering (even if it was said to the Champion without the aid of a microphone) "What happened?" The end - which saw Zayn being escorted from the ring while O'Neil shoved Neville off the top into Kidd's knees and subsequently cradled - is blameless. TnT both took advantage of small windows of opportunities and made them pay off to the maximum. Zayn was late on the save because who loses to a cradle in 2014? All perfectly understandable and completely vegan; you can't find any beef there.

Now the Teddy Long Special that kicked off the program...whelp, that's something different entirely. O'Neil came out to be horribly smug about being a main roster superstar, conveniently ignoring the We Want Darren chants in the progress. Zayn came out to call him a giant buffoon who couldn't win a match to save his life -- it's the accurate slams that leave the big emotional wounds -- and noted per the last RAW while he was being a Monty Python member and getting thwarted by a bunny, he and Neville (and by dint Kidd and Breeze) were stealing the show. Neville came out and immediately addressed...Zayn, and said if anybody showed up disrespecting NXT he'd put them in check to defend it. Zayn basically called him a self-elected white knight and said he was the only one who could defend Full Sail because he had the Big X, was that it? Seeing such an opportunity for pot-stirring it's a wonder Tyson Kidd didn't come out with a big wooden spoon and a big white hat on his head. Kidd's saying he was a little disappointed in how Neville retained the belt but he would've done the same had he been Champion allowed Zayn to note while he wasn't mad and Adrian did what he had to do maybe from a moral standpoint, he wouldn't've done that. Literally the next thing out of Neville's mouth in response was to say that's why he'll never be NXT Champion. Three things.
  1. DAMN SON. How many missile launchers does it take for you to get rid of ants, Champ?
  2. If somebody purported to be my best friend, no matter how good they were, and they came at me like that with that kind of a blindside shot I'd be liable to be a half second away from catching a case.
  3. When the inevitable video package happens no matter who goes Full Gollum, this will properly be highlighted as the fulcrum where it became less about friendship and more about the belt.
Regal came out to make the obvious official, and then even their good start was marred by yards of side-eyes, blind tags, and in general an intrateam game of "Can You Top This?" culminating in going to break with Zayn cutting off a possible Neville dive to the outside with his own Arabian press suicida mirroring Adrian cutting him off the prior week with a sky-high Asai in the fatal fourway. Then they came back from the break, and Titus powered them around while Kidd got in the cheap shots where he could. Especially given the opening and the fact Tyson Kidd was in the ring, it was a possibility that when Zayn extended his arm it was going to be to the breeze left by a departing tag partner. But no, The Man That Gravity Forgot came in and did his usual shredding of Kidd, and then all the axels blew out at once and everybody was looking at each other in a manner that calls to mind the scientific term "...wait, what?" After some discussion as we faded to black, Sami gave Neville a couple of claps on the shoulder. But don't Tyson yourself: the war for the belt is coming, and it might be the man who's willing to be the bigger jerkface that'll end up walking away with it.

That'd put whoever it is at a par just above the Ascension, who made sure the debuting Hideo Itami won the battle but lost the war by laying him out after he bested Justin Gabriel, culminating in the Fall Of Man. This being NXT and everything, they waited for him to win the match (spoiler alert: he kicks. A LOT. And it's awesome) by putting the bow on it with a Perro Aguayoesque double stomp off the top, but they still did it; maybe it was to get them in shape before taking on the Lucha Dragons next week for the belts in their contractually obligated rematch. But still, screw those guys. You are the reverse of Baron Corbin, who again express laned CJ Parker moveswise before putting him down with his End of Days elevated reverse STO.

But interestingly, in a spectrum well-defined, Charlotte seems to be thwarting it in her long march up the ladder as the Women's Champion. Seeing Emma back down Florida way had to warm the cockles of even the grumpiest out there, in addition to wishful thinking that she stay around possibly forever rather than go to the bumbling incompetence of main event plotting, but she looked slightly off in places during the match while Charlotte through ability and attitude looked every single bit the role she was born to play of conquering Champion before eventually putting another win on the board with a vicious and downright Rude neckbreaker setting up the Natural Selection. To be entirely truthful, Emma sort of brought it on herself by slapping the belt out of Charlotte's hand, even if Ms. Flair had been holding up the belt in her face beforehand.

See, that's the thing about NXT irregardless of gender and why all the longtime fans flock to it like diabetics to inhalers; the belts matter here, and are treated like such.

No matter what morals you may have to distort, if not outright abort, to get them.