Thursday, November 5, 2015

Best Coast Bias: Sudden But Inevitable

The other shoe dropping directly onto the Champ's back
Photo Credit:

Not to get overly Baylessian, know what?  Forget that.  LET'S.

Let's just have the hottest of all possible hot takes as a result of NXT's first November offering and get it all out in the open for consideration:

The Dusty Classic Cup is cursed.  CURSED!

It didn't even take a month for the tournament to be over for Samoa Joe to lay out his presumed friend Finn Bálor!  How is this supposed to be a--okay, okay, all right.  We all knew it was coming, one of those "not if but when" things that sometimes come as a result of logical storytelling and not trying to be eighteen fire emojis in a trenchcoat pretending to be a human being every single show.   At least Joe had the kindness to look conflicted about it while he was doing it, yelling "I did this to you!" aside right before culminating in a Muscle Buster and a laid out Big X on top of a laid out Champion.

After all, this was the night of Apollo Crews getting his shot at the Real Rock N Rolla for the NXT Championship.  They could give the erstwhile challenger some new foggy pyro, they could kill the lights at Full Sail sans one spotlight over mid-ring while Greg Chrisley did the pre-match intros, and you could have two of the best in the world and not just on the roster set to throw hands in a three-segger going over 15 minutes, but it had to end with some shenanigans.  At least on the way there we got the excellent pro graps that we were expecting, not exactly a game of "Who Can Top This?" but more of a cousin in that family, "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Just As Well Thank You Very Much)" from chain wrestling to Okada-level dropkicks to crazy kicks that laid both men out and set up the end game--Baron Corbin, NXT's own disrespectful Urethra Franklin, out to beat up Apollo for taking the shot he was so close to. 

Joe came out, at least initially for the save, but the moment you saw him thinking about it you had the feeling it was going to be done (feelings generally being the messy detritus that come out of thoughts), and so it was.  There's always been a beast inside Joe: it's why his music has that Godzilla lead-in, how he helped make his name on the indies and "the indies" (Orlando variant) over the 21st century and why Full Sail generally loved him until he laid out their Champion on this Wednesday night.  This also helped to serve the duel purpose of possibly setting up Crews/Corbin as well as Joe/Bálor for the Big X for next month's UK edition of Takeover, but those are merely suppositions in search of confirmations.

Speaking of suppositions, Cameron might think she needs one after Asuka got done kicking her ass in the opener.  Apparently Emma -- even as unafraid as she claims to be -- is the only diva on the post- Revolution roster to learn something akin to not jerking on Kal-El's wrap or expectorating into a non-Tyler Breeze: don't disrespect Asuka.  Don't ever disrespect Asuka.  To paraphrase a former brilliant World Champion, if she charges for air, you keep your bill paid. Cameron tried a cheapshot kick off a referee distraction, got caught and begged off.  Remarkably, Asuka let her foot down easily.  Cameron then tried to slap her, bringing a line from UHF to mind, but Asuka had countered the slap with a rolling cross arm-breaker and despite a few brief flashes of daylight from the Total Diva when it came time for Asuka to get her pound of flesh she took it out in urakens and kicks before procuring her now signature crossface chickenwing.  Again, NXT Women: have you tried shaking her hand?  Has it occurred to you that losing is optional but dying isn't mandatory if you just adhere to the Code of Honor?  Hell, maybe you should try hitting her really hard; she almost seems to get off on that sort of thing.

The rest of the show was little blips and blurbs making tentative steps for a future: the aforementioned Emma interview proclaiming she ain't afraid of no joshis with the DanaBot backing her up, Bayley enlisting the Hype Bros. to go against BAMF next week, as well as both Not The Mechanics and the Vaudevillians trading barbs before their title match next week while JJABLE invited the Ascension back down Florida way so they could prove they are The World's Greatest Tag Team That Can't Be Called That Due To Legal Copyright (name pending).  It's a nice subtle touch to focus on tags in a couple different variants the week after nothing but singles matches, including the latest Eva Marie victory with cringeworthy offense and the implosion of Angelo Dawkins and Sawyer Fulton after the former lost to the White Kamala Bull Dempsey.

But Dempsey wasn't the big man that this show was about, obviously.  It was about the last two men standing in terms of the show, former rivals on the last two Takeovers to boot who've decided to do just that for themselves: a Lone Wolf out to continue his perceived standing as the immovable force in front of all the indie emigre fan favorites, and an angry Samoan hoping to be a force so irresistible that 10 pounds of gold will attract to his waist before 2015's out, former best friend or not.