Monday, October 27, 2014

Best Coast Bias: See Them Punked! See Them Punked!

Is this coming to a December 11 near you?
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A good friend will always stab you in the front. - Oscar Wilde

You know the old saying "it's always darkest before the dawn", yeah?

The truth of that statement has always been up for debate. Especially considering some people might counter-argue it's actually darker at the apex of the evening. And if the latter is the case, then this late October installment of NXT had the hands meeting at the 12 and getting their freak on.

Betrayal was on display in both physical and verbal tenses; hell, a couple of guys so secure in their black-hattery that Villains is in their name got a relatively easy victory. No matter where you turned, it felt like Dark Helmet was the pen behind the action. But let's start after the action in the main event.

There was a friendship between NXT Champion Adrian Neville and perpetual Full Sail hero Sami Zayn that it can be safely assumed is now pining for the fjords. It started off convivial enough, with him asking for a title shot and Neville agreeably confirming with a "wherever, whenever" and added that he was looking forward to it. Zayn may've upped the ante a bit by stating after he was going to hold the Englishman to his promise that Neville should hold on to the belt while he can since he was going to divest him of it, but Neville chuckling and rolling his eyes, feigning leaving and then coming back to say he wasn't too worried "because we all know you can't win the big one"? Damn, son. That's a bit like responding to a shove with a shotgun, isn't it?

Adrian actually had the cojones aceros to clap Zayn twice on the shoulder on his actual exit, leaving his so-called buddy on the ramp looking like a chump with a "this [matriarch fornicator] right here" face and the crowd ooohing loudly; well, everybody except the guy in the crowd who yelled out the closing "You got SERVED!" Sami's way. It's understandable given that Neville has been doing his best DJ Khaled impersonation all year long while Zayn's litany of highlight reel matches and moments in NXT have come during losing efforts (Cesaro, Breeze, the fatal 4 way, amongst others and to rattle off the previous live Network specials).

Hell, Neville slapped Titus O'Neil after getting his butt kicked for the better part of two segments and then won with the Red Arrow clean in the middle of the ring yet again about two moves later. But writing off Zayn like he's Phillip Gooljar or something? You don't do that to enemies, for crying out loud, let alone friends and allegedly tight ones at that. Short of curb stomping him through some cinderblocks, anything Sami does in response once the Championship match goes down seems pretty acceptable given the verbal Molotov cocktail The Man That Gravity Forgot threw into his house. Remember, it's keeping in WWE canon that the guy "who can't win the big one" going into his title match usually uses that opportunity to do so, by hook and by crook. And the prospect of ending the Champion's 2014-0 by finally getting over the hump and getting the Big X? Lesser people (read: most people) would bury that silverware between the L4 and the L5 quicker than you could spell Brutus.

Hell, after some words from the Boss and Oculus giving her the once-over last week, Becky Lynch did right before the Neville/Titus match bowed as the show finale. Again, there's bad, there's scum, and there's hug-Bayley-before-clotheslining-her-from-behind. Sure it makes sense from a logistic standpoint. Carmella's just been added to the ladies' ledger and Charlotte either being a tweener or a full-fledged it-ain't-cocky-if-you-do-it-and-you-back-it-up babyface meant Banks was going to need somebody else to help her carry the weight of getting disparaged and booed. Logically. Emotionally? HOW F'N DARE YOU HURT BAYLEY, a. B? Feigning friendship for the purpose of betrayal? There's going to be a big round house with your name on it underground once you get to the end of your road, and don't bother bringing a sweater. The coffee'll keep you cold for negative milliseconds if that's what you need. Thirdly HOW DARE YOU HURT BAYLEY.

This is merely reflective of the crowd's outrage as a whole *cough* and Lynch's alignment change shouldn't detract from the fact that every time Bayley and Banks get in the ring you have something worth watching that allows both the intellectual and reactionary parts of a serious fan's brain to be fully engaged. Bayley even engaged in some early match fisticuffs with the Boss after the Bostonian dodged her for the safety of the ropes a few times to set up a cheapshot. She wouldn't do that to Charlotte even when things were at their most acrimonious between them, but Sasha Banks isn't Charlotte, is she? Bayley's not one for the expletives, but the four-letter word even she might use to describe her feelings towards the ostensible #1 contender to the Women's Championship would be hate. Sasha slipping out the back door to deliver a Banks Statement two-shot combo clean mid-ring probably only added to that thirdly, if the post-match adding injury to injury didn't do it secondly, and dare you hurt Bayley. Dishonor on you, Rebecca Lynch. Dishonor on your cow.

And lest you think this show started off on a positive note and only started turning towards midnight once it got later and later in the hour, think again, mon frere. In keeping with the autumnal season the Ascension served up a big fat squash to Tye Dillinger and Jason Jordan, and when Hideo Itami came out to seek some revenge for Funaki getting Red Shirted last week Viktor and Konnor served up another Fall Of Man easier than blinking and laid him out just as Tye had gotten laid out moments previously. The Vaudevillains were so much better than Team Buddy Blake they didn't even bother wrapping them up and instead gave them the Gentlemen's Congress (the Gotch enzu European uppercut setting up an emphatic English swinging neckbreaker). Elsewhere, Mojo Rawley wandered out looking sad and holding his arm while Tyler Breeze beat CJ Parker for the umpteenth with the Beauty Shot.

Like Itami, Rawley's dignity, Bayley's heart, those two dudes across the Vaudevillains, and Zayn's heart, Parker went lights out once it connected. It must've been pretty dark once it did.