Thursday, October 1, 2015

Best Coast Bias: Videocracy

Look at this x-ing nerdlord
Photo Credit:


You'd be astounded, absolutely floored at how easy this job is when people who're better than you at it do it for you. Do you have a few minutes to talk about Our Lord and Saviour, Sasha Banks?  Would you like to find the joy and spirit your life's been missing through the power of Our NXT Women's Champion, Bayley? Then shut up and watch this:

That's how the show ended, much in the same way the talented young ladies of the actual Diva Revolution will close out with their Iron Woman main event in next week's Takeover. Bearing more than a slight resemblance to the Brock/Rock montage video that set up Summerslam '02's main event with a championship on the line, all this served to do was make fans disappointed that we weren't at Respect yet and maybe brought back the itch to see their instant classic in Brooklyn for the second fifth eleventh whatever time. Sometimes, simplicity is best: you don't need to see a mole on the Mona Lisa, you don't need to cut straight Jameson with pickle juice, and all you need to do for the latest (last?) chapter of the Bayley/Banks contretemps is let them go at it and put together something to snatch up the eyeballs of the newcomers into the tent. Believers already know.

It would be easy to dismiss the rest of the final hour Team Black and Yellow put on for September as a trifle in the shadow of that almost unfathomably impossible bright light, and while nothing else was as good as that, it flew by crisply and was continually compelling.

What wasn't known going into the go-home show was the full lineup of semifinalists in the Dusty Classic. In a snippet, the Hype Brothers went down to the artists formerly known as Shoot Nation, thus putting Jason Jordan and Chad Gable into the final four to go against Baron Corbin and Rhyno. With their upset victory over the Tag Team Champion Vaudevillians last week, Dash No Last Name and No First Name Dawson punched their ticket to face the winners of the Bridge and Tunnel boys going up against NXT Champion Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe--which surprisingly opened the program up. About the only complaint to register with the match was that it seemed to be entirely too short, mostly due to a commercial break occurring right after both the Champion and Enzo Amore had landed crazy-ass dives on the other teammates.

Engaging as the Big Apple boyz' pre-match patter is, especially given the fact that they put over the importance of the match and the tournament beforehand while staying true to their roots, it was a little disappointing that even with two segments it felt like the stickwork got more time to shine than having a unique match with a couple of compelling underlying hooks going in (B and T oddly coming up short in the past few months in the biggest chances, and the continuing wait on Joe and Bálor to implode over the lure of the Big X). It wasn't quite true, but in bang-bang fashion the Muscle Buster and Coup de Gráce combination felled Amore and sent the virtual Dream Team into the semis. Baron Corbin and Rhyno may say the only thing that can stop them is each other, per their being the other borderline ¡parejas incredibles! dyad in the tourney, but when you see Bálor and Joe operating as a team it feels especially true, easy-to-set-up title match in the future or not.

In addition to all those teams, we may have seen the alpha of one and the omega of another, as Dana Brooke and Emma got set for Respect by taking on and defeating Billie Kay and Peyton Royce with only a modicum of chicanery. Pre-match, however, last week's interrupters turned into this week's icicles as William Regal informed Dana Brooke that the price of her incursion would be her life, or a match against Asuka at Respect, which is essentially seeing six of one and a half-dozen of another. Of interest, after seeing a video of the former joshi kicking a punching bag's life away and following it up with her quickly-becoming-signature sinister smile, Emma's response was a "good luck with that" and leaving the scene, so look to see next week through the blood if Emma doesn't wisely decide that self-preservation isn't the better part of valor and attempts to live to see Halloween. Despite a scary botch from Peyton that not even editing could massage away, for 98.5% of the match Team Aussie looked fluid as a unit, as you might expect. It'll be interesting to see if they become part of the second wave of the Revolution over the next 18 months, but they'd probably rather lose a match on this level than have the scary Japanese woman attempt to kick them so hard their proctologists have to book joint appointments with their dentists. Have fun, Dana! We hardly knew ye!

The other matches on the show saw the semi-surprising returns to Full Sail of both Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, even though they both lost in one-on-one losing efforts. For the former, he got to face off against Apollo Crews (he himself tuning up for Respect), and the man known as Johnny Wrestling more than held his own in a fun sprint against his friend and fellow newcomer to Full Sail. Gargano showed off innovative submissions, ridiculous leaping ability and a nice slingshot spear, but it's going to be some time before the Crews train even comes close to derailing; once Apollo took over, it was over, as he used his power to set himself up to run through his signature close-out series. As for Ciampa, he got Crews' Respect opponent Tyler Breeze, who was kind enough to make Continuity Bear do his dance by noting that it was Team Indie that'd turfed #MMMBULL from the Classic, and since at least one of them was friends with AC that it stood to reason they had to be his enemies. In the contretemps that followed, it was definitely more hard-hitting than the usual tucked-away fare, but it never devolved from the quality of the match on hand despite some pesky Flerbminberesque rumors of Prince Pretty and the Sicilian Psychopath having actual beef and not just the enjoyable soy they put on display here as a result of the level of offense dished out. Ciampa's knee strikes from a multitude of angles looked good and sounded even better, and while Crews' win was never in doubt given Breeze's history there were moments late in the match after some high impact Ciampa moves (most notably a vicious-looking rope-hung Flatliner) where it seemed eminently possible that Breeze would find himself with another L added to his CV. But fear not, super fans of the super model. Breeze managed to pull a new trick out of his fuzzy boots to gain the W, and in a sublime bit of character work that only begged the question "Why hasn't this been happening sooner?" he put away Ciampa with the Unprettier.

Vainglorious as the King of Cuteville may be, even he would have to admit neither this week nor the next is all about him. What it is about is two little girls who grew up to become two kick-ass young women living out their respective childhood dreams in the brightest spotlight anybody of their ilk's been afforded in North America.

You can't help but respect that.