Friday, May 29, 2015

Best Coast Bias: KOTV

...well, the chant isn't "Joe's gonna kill you RIGHT NOW"
Photo Credit:
Kevin Owens has so much on his back right now he's gonna end up with humps in it by the Fourth of July (not that he'd celebrate such a jejune "holiday").

The GM's out for him just because he caught a headbutt to the face and only didn't fire him because he laid hands on him first. The #1 contender is someone he's already beaten and won't even deign to speak his name while he dusts off his boots on some enhancement talent in the semi before his main. He's accused of being the perpetrator of the attack behind one of NXT's most popular stars a week ago just because he was in the vicinity when it came to light. Young punks on the come up interrupt his celebratory address and virtually get begged to be apron powerbombed, old enemies pop up out of nowhere yet again when you start to line everything up to do so...can't a man be a conquering champion and enjoy his reign while providing for his fam?

What's juicy about KO's posture during his half year in Full Sail that he's dominated like no one before him is the fact that you can generally see where he's coming from and then disagree with it when he goes too far with it; assuming, of course, one is so inclined to do so and not give out the daps for someone who is mastering how to stay a proper villain in front of a crowd that so desperately wants him to become an anti-hero instead of a anti-everything-you-people-love. It screams out in big ways, like going for an apron powerbomb on Solomon Crowe after he'd already beaten him with his usual pop-up one in the main event only to be thwarted by certain Samoans and deciding per his usual that discretion was the better part of valor, or starting off the show with Worlds Apart only to reveal his scepter, cape and crown as the Troll King of Full Sail, replete with Cena shirt on his frame before he ripped into both Sami and Cena for their failures (in his past opponent's case, the fact he somehow didn't believe Kevin was a man of his word; in his imminent opponent's, the fact that the open challenges came from a place of insecurity and that his merch was ridiculous).

But it also whispers out in small ways, and those are the ones that stick even if they may not make any epic highlight package any time soon. Owens escalates himself into much-watch territory when he does things like take the crowd's applause over his (at least semi-facetious) wanting people to earn their title shots and then cram it up their collective posterior a couple of a sentences later, which is what makes him the heel sun around which the NXT Universe revolves as he takes the familiar anti-Prototype singalong and notes they never sing Sami Zayn Sucks, and he's just as guilty of the offense as the United States champion. To say the audience was rankled by the fact that Zayn and Cena were synonyms in KO's dictionary would be akin to suggesting that Gordon Ramsey would be disgruntled by undercooked rice in a paella. And by then, he's already on to the next point of his altruism of leaving the ring when Joe showed up so the audience could leave on a high after he'd once again turned his former bestie from a solid into a vapor yet again--you know, that thing he promised the world he'd do if Sami was fool enough to show up.

It was nice to see Solomon Crowe show up in the midst of chastisement from champion to boss, and stick up as an ersatz Sami offended by KO's swagger, but it quickly turned the program into a mystery: was a publicly-funded nine-figure company about to air a live murder? Crowe stepping to Owens reeked of an alternate universe where the Kings walked into Oracle after the Warriors won the Western Conference and saying "We got this". Kevin hasn't made threats, just promises in the guise of spoiler alerts - the only thing giving him any culpability in his not being Itami's attacker since he's so gleefully and proudly engineered the others. The match hung with the aura in the air, especially considering the fact Crowe's odd failure to get the same level of spotlight the Leaders of the New School have gotten despite a similar background made him a fine candidate for a name person for the champ to take out as to add another pelt to his wall and maybe reboot the hacker. While that turned out to be a red herring, what wasn't was this: Crowe was in trouble almost immediately when he fell into Owens' opening bailout feint, and never really caught up despite some fine punches. Of course, it went unstated that for somebody to lay out Cena twice in a week, someone who rarely won and was swimming out in waters beyond his depth for whatever noble reasons was apt to drown, and KO only needed two moves before the pop-up powerbomb in the chain to metaphorically murder the Crowe. To be honest, he may have put in more work in his backpedal and smacktalking Joe than he did in finishing off SC.

Most notable besides that in a show that churned through a variety of recaps modified with slight updates was the continuation of two feuds, both featuring the ladies but neither of the ones who put on the MOTYC at Unstoppable (though Lynch got a video package rerun with bonus live footage and her getting fully welcomed to the fold post-match). Dark Emma finished her metamorphosis by almost wholly killing the music that brought her to the...erm, dance before actually beating Bayley clean in the middle of the ring with the EmmaLock despite having Dana Brooke as backup at ringside. Bayley brought her new-found aggression to bear in the moments when she got the upper hand but the Aussie mixed in some new offense with her signature submission to get the duke. When Charlotte ran out for the save (way to be late, queen. Flairs make shoddy friends) she got quickly slapped down only to be picked up by Dana Brooke and deposited with the fireman's carry Michinoku Driver. Charlotte's been beaten a few times, but never physically dominated before like that, and to the rancor of the Full Sailors it may be their ex-favorite and the Flexbot 5000 that do it to Genetically Huggable (or whatever name will be cooked up for the white hats).

Elsewhere, a couple of guys got their butts kicked by the Tag Team Champions. Team BAM (tafka Dubstep Cowboys) welcomed Alexa Bliss into the fold officially for the first time but they didn't need her as they went through the enhancement talent and a couple of chinlocks that allowed one to focus on the important questions in life. Why would Mama Bliss not do something about this?, for example. Is the chinlocking part of showing the underlying insecurity storyline that commentary is trying to push, or is getting and turning Bliss part of the finishing school No Longer Blake and No Longer Wesley trying to graduate right now? Can Mama Bliss cook? And why would Alexa do this (this being activate lizard brains everywhere by turning EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVVILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL~! while trading in aquamarine for red and black, not Sparkle Splash some chump after the match with her boys holding him down). At least we got an answer to the last one: winners gravitate towards each other, while Carmella grew up around trash, still hangs out with it, and after Alexa beat her next week she'd have no choice but to go back to it.

For Bliss, the black hat is new and she's still fitting her head inside of it. For the man who's been carrying NXT like he's holding their title? He's the Heisenberg, and it was always going to fight fit to his specifications in the long run.

He looks damn good with it on, you have to admit.