Thursday, September 17, 2015

Best Coast Bias: Turn It Up And Give Me Some More

For those about to rock, set the clock
Photo Credit:
Ah, Full Sail University, where the men are men and the women reduce their male fans to rainbow-spewing spontaneously combusting Fourth of July fireworks shows.

Two moments were the brightest that this hour of NXT had on offer while further illustrating the gulf in presenting women's wrestling between little brother N and big brother W, and for long time fans of pro graps -- full stop pro graps irregardless of gender -- it must've felt like a bunch of fire emojis got on each other's shoulders to portray a human being instead of being portents to a first Stamford-endorsed television appearance and one of the biggest "no excreta they have to have a rematch" rematch announcements in the history of Wednesday night's signature programming.

Hopefully the boss doesn't mind me using the Drudge Siren, because it's about time to send it. Asuka comes to Full Sail next week. The word Asuka may not mean anything, unless you take note that it's the new name of the Most Dangerous K herself, Kana, replete in the brief teaser clip that aired with kimono and creepy Purge mask on in the middle of the ring with a smile a wicked as her kicks. Watching Dana Brooke and Emma talk smack about all the newcomers in the midst of what the former Japanese star is about to bring was some unintentional comedy on a Carl-Lewis-singing-the-National-Anthem level. Stick to patting Devin Taylor on the head, Dana...unless, of course, you'd like to make history as the first wrestler who's arm was literally ripped out of their sockets to gouge themselves blind. It's one thing for a heel to be full of themselves and make boasts they may or may not end up living up to, but the most important part of that sentence is living. Then again, maybe this is all part of a devious plan to slightly thin roster cuts while increasing Network subscriptions. Either way, Asuka comin'. Those who are not yet psyched are going to be imminently.

And hopefully The Boss doesn't mind the siren still running constantly as we parse the conclusion of the show which even while hinging on time was kind of timeless in its own fashion. While the last fifteen minutes of the program weren't perfect, they were damn sure a LayCool level of flawless. Everybody knew since it was the biggest through line advanced in the pre-show leadups and previews that it was Celebayte Good Times, C'mon as the focus point. Even with the wacky arm-flailing inflatable tube men dans la maison, and the crowd clapping and chanting her name continually, it sure for the world seemed like Something Was Different. Maybe it was the extra couple beats she took in at the apex of the ramp or the shiny new belt, but it was clear that in her TV returned we were going to get the same Bayley we've had, except more so. A little more time to hug the handicapped, run gleefully through the crowd and high-five anybody she could get the digits up to slap, and a truly heartwarming moment in an entirely frightfully cold business when she picked up superfan Izzy and brought her into the ring to do the signature double high five to every side of the arena, both with titles in their left hands being exalted by the audience who seemed to be smiling as one (even the bootleg Chrisley doing the announcing...sorry, Greg, but it is what it is) in the feel-best of feel-good moments, and that was even before they toasted titles gently so as not to break anything valuable in the middle of the ring with an Izzy chant in the air that was only tragic because it ended and didn't blow out anybody's eardrums. Fine, you didn't need to be Izzy yelling "That was awesome!' so loud the ringside camera picked it up afterwards, be moved to tears like her mother, or be one of the few hundred sounding off a hearty "You deserve it!" chant. You don't. But, if you didn't like this, all that can be said about you is don't. Just don't. Breed, watch wrestling, watch TV, take in air, anything. Don't.

But that wasn't all, since that was all the epic setup for Bayley to have a winning sprint against "Sarah" Dobson, who looked good and violent even in her fait accompli and really should be given a staff pass to Full Sail at some point in NXT's future especially if they and we are embarking on a second wave of the Women's Revolution; special attention must be paid to her cartwheel double kneedrop and rolling guillotine. Yet, she was deader in the water than Danny Kintner in the long run, a timeline long enough to her match-winning survival rate drop to zero after a signature Bayley-to-Belly. There wouldn't be a second celebration, though. Well, unless you count an appreciative crowd appreciating awesome when they see it.

As Bayley was about to launch into her mandatory new babyface can't believe I'm living the dream soliloquy, Sky's the Limit brought out Sasha Banks, CEO of BossCorp and up until recently the NXT Women's Champion. Did you know she faced Bayley in a match a bit ago? You may have read something about this.

Anyhow, the Boss didn't come to denigrate but to celebrate Bayley to the point where she leaned into the escalating crowd response by ticking off in ascending order show-stealing, Match of the Year, and the best women's match the company's ever seen. She couldn't keep the tears out of her voice for that one. And while all that was well and good, she's still Sasha Banks, and Bayley was great for one night and three seconds. It was a master class into not only evolving character (as she had written Bayley off as a threat and mocked her to her face the last time they'd been in the same ring at the same time without physicality breaking out), but in maintaining her black hat status in front of a columnist crowd that loved her and was looking for any excuse to do so without any reservations. NXT announcing being a crown jewel in its own right, they didn't need to say Sasha's title win was all about Banks while Bayley's was all about Izzy and those like her. They just showed it for months and years instead of yelling it loudly with a hashtag in the voice in a 21st century digitized Potemkin village.

Bayley was fine with a rematch since she wants to embark on her own legacy a la the other two Horsewomen who've held the belt and moved on up (?), and was secure enough in herself now to have offered up a 2 out of 3 falls match when Sasha proclaimed herself the best female wrestler in the company even though Banks could've gotten rid of two of those modifiers. But Banks didn't want to just beat Bayley twice, and say what you will about the crowd but they jumped to the end of the novel before the Blackpool Death March began to play and William Regal got done writing it into officialdom. Even better, the smile he sported while he did it was far too wide to be faked. The one blemish Brooklyn's Takeover had was that Bayley and Sasha weren't the main event despite delivering an emotional extinction level event; the next Takeover, Respect on October 7, won't have that problem. Good as their last tilt was, they get the closing half hour (and maybe more perhaps perhaps NO SERIOUSLY DO IT DO IT DO. IT.) in the first official main event for the ladies in WWE history. No wonder Bayley was so effusive and Regal was able to easily bat down an old softball machine's line of questions online afterwards. Usually, when a sequel is announced, the worry is that in the effort for bigger you must sacrifice better; the only problem with this supersized subsequent for the fanbase is that since it technically hasn't happened yet they can't watch riveted. Damn you, time! Get here faster!

The biggest moment that didn't revolve around the women featured the one second round match of the Dusty Classic that aired in its entirety between the units of Baron Corbin and Rhyno against Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. The enemies turned partners completely wrote off their independent-minded opponents, who vowed to prove to them in a separate pre-match segment that they belonged in the Classic and would advance on to get the first final four slot (both the semifinals and finals of which will be on that aforementioned 7th). While the bracket busters looked really good on offense over two segments, especially with Gargano mixing a daredevil's between ropes topes with some excellent kick strikes, he was the one who ate the End of Days and sent the animal collective to the semis off the Lone Wolf's pinfall. Do we call it Man-Beast Mode? Either way, in their two matches they've shown a power sweep that their smaller opponents haven't been able to counter, and assuming that the Vaudevillians can beat Alexa and the Blissettes in the title rematch next week they could be providing themselves as the foils with the bonus commendation of being the inaugural holders of the Dusty Classic first place whatever-it-is-that'll-be-provided-for-winning.

All their work was fine, the same as it was watching Tye Dillinger being rapturously received by the crowd who had both their hands up or watching Apollo Crews and Solomon Crowe have a tight match that was the sleeper of the evening and not only brought Crews' skill set against a higher profile opponent than he's been against in NXT but also may show the first cracks in the babyface edifice of Full Sail's Little Monster off of eating another loss, especially as he adhered to the Code of Honor at the outset and then didn't after getting confounded by the newcomer's hybrid style. And the Dempsey/Breeze rematch is set for next week's show, even if Adam Rose Still Remembers What Tyler Breeze Did To Him This Summer, new glasses-wearing Dougie Downer cosplay and all.

But again, even above-average is maybe a 7 on the Dillinger scale. And in NXT's Brave New World, it's the women who are going past the stratosphere to accolades and heights well-deserved but still unknown before now.