Thursday, April 23, 2015

Best Coast Bias: We Fight On Wednesday Nights

The (far distant) second best dive of Wednesday night
Photo Credit:
We were so close.

We were heartbeats away from an NXT Universe without Alex Riley, a magical land where gas cost a dollar a gallon and President Anna Kendrick and the First Lady Brittany Snow were putting checks in every account and puppies in every basket.

Unfortunately for Kevin Owens and everybody else who hates the self-perceived endangered species known as the white male douche fratbro, for the first time Sami Zayn and he would end up on the same show at the same time. Nobody saved him from an apron powerbomb, after all, and that meant he wasn't around to save Adrian Neville from one, but somehow since it shines on the just and the unjust alike he was there to keep a small pulse on A-Ry's career; more importantly in every single way, shape and form it meant he got to throw hands against his ex-best friend and the man who pilfered the Big X from him back in February. Referees came out to stop the Canadian-on-Canadian violence and eventually failed. Some of the lesser lights came out for backup to try and stop the enmity from flowing. Sami even hit what on normal Wednesday nights would be the dive of the night by hitting a picture-perfect tope con hilo to Owens and et al outside the ring (unfortunately for Mr. Zayn certain counter-programming had South Africans falling out of the Cthulhu damned sky, so...) and would end up in the ring waiting on another round that wouldn't be coming since it wouldn't be on KO's terms. Zayn seethed, the crowd oles, and NXT went off the air with their prestige program once again aligned and set to pay off at the main event for a two-hour live special presumably coming to a Network near you.

While that title picture has been translucent for a while and destined for the brightest lights Full Sail has on offer, when it comes to the women's division things have been more opaque. Fortunately, a triple threat cleared the cobwebs even if the ending came with a wisp of confusion. Charlotte may've been doing the dirty work by Figure Eight-ing Bayley (the figure four with her back bridge), a worn-out and beat up Becky Lynch was managing to drape an arm over everybody's favorite hugger and capture the top contendership spot in the process. With the main event never in doubt for a second it was left to the ladies to get the bulk of the time on the show and blow away everything else in the hour with the quality of wrestling; since this is NXT, they did to the point where you knew you saw an above-average match and still wanted more when it ended.

Expanding on their roles in the four-way back in December, Bayley got all the love, Lynch took a boatload of punishment, and Charlotte was able to slide deftly betwixt being more popular than Lynch but less so than Bay. When the faces teamed up and laid out the heel, it gave us the opportunity for Charlotte and Bayley to renew hostilities with the latter finally having a toughened skin to go in against the former and be fueled by their past without it turning her into a dark hat, and she held her own until Charlotte rolled her around with her hybrid figure four headlock atomic drops. Lynch got reinvolved at this point to lay the former champion out with an Exploder and go to work on the weakened Bayley. She was the one to injure Bayley, after all, so she went to work there. She even applied the Lucky XIII to make a pretty girl see a Graves, but that gave an opening for Charlotte to lay her out with Natural Selection and then the wacky stack of signatures and Towers of Doom led to the brilliant endgame.

Later on, she'd even exchange verbal pyrotechnics with the champion and let her know that Team BAE aside that Sasha Banks didn't make her, she made herself. (You can guess how well the Boss took that.) It'll be interesting to see if they slide Lynch harder into the babyface slot for the match against Banks, if her alignment remains unchanged but she gets a ton of support (she did in this match as well), or if the Boss' recent groundswell of Full Sailor affection will lead to a change in that manner; no matter how it shakes out both women have danced on both sides of the line and shown their superlative talents, so we should get another high-level match irregardless.

The rest of the show was pretty threadbare besides the advancing of plots and some short showcases: Hideo Itami got to beat the somehow-not-departed-yet-on-television CJ Parker, Rhyno annihilated some poor bastard in three moves, Dana Brooke got to be patronizing to Devin while cutting a finely self-aggrandizing promo, and most importantly, Tyler Breeze used Finn Bálor's demolishing of Tye Dillinger to get in the business of man from across the pond and set Prince Pretty up in opposition. Unspoken but known by every NXTaholic is that Tyler just posted a 2-1 victory over Bálor's boy, and with him being the most recent #1 contender not into skanking that a King of Cuteville win over the latest in a series of transplanted fan favorites could put him right back in line to finally accenting the latest, most fashionable Breezus outfit with a bit of gold around the waist.

But there is that teensy matter of the decade-long blood fued to get through first; for the first time since February, all the (future super?)stars seemed to be aligned to let the crimson flow metaphorically, if nothing else.