Friday, August 12, 2016

Best Coast Bias: And It's The King By A Nose!

Not pictured: Joe's nose
Photo Credit:
It may have lacked the fireworks show that its younger cousin put on the hour after it was over (Side Note: GOD I HATE YOU HOLZERMAN) (Ed. Note: Your father was a hamster, and your mother smelt of elderberries. I fart in your general direction. - TH), but the penultimate episode of NXTV before Brooklyn II: the Hipsterening next Saturday was highly efficient even without throwing out a MOTYC during its hour.

Some episodes of NXT television are appointment television due to the wattage of who's involved and/or what's on the line; we've seen this during the past few weeks with Finnsuke exploding and the great American Alpha/Revival best of 3 falls match for the NXT World Tag Team titles. This episode wasn't one of those; yet it firmly officially firmed up the undercard for what looks to be the greatest Takeover of all of the times (™ Marella Martial Arts) while providing two major moments with regards to its double main event where their singles championships are concerned.

Once upon a time not too long ago, Shinsuke Nakamura's finishing knee strike was known as the Boma Ye. Bomaye translated to "Boma Ye!", which meant "Kill him!", which was something many Zairian residents would chant at Muhammad Ali leading up to his Rumble in the Jungle title fight challenge, in which it was widely assumed George Foreman would punch Ali so hard so frequently that even people in Ali's camp actively worried something catastrophic would happen to him in the ring. Said fight would take place, kudos and other snack bars to everyone who guessed or knew this already, in Kinshasa.

(If you have more time to delve into this, feel free to (re)watch the epic documentary When We Were Kings.)

The fight occurred and entered the pop culture lexicon because Ali did what no boxer did, should do, let alone against a freight train with fists like Foreman was at the time; he stood against the ropes and took the punishment for rounds and rounds, letting Foreman exhaust himself in the heat of that Halloween Eve before punching back in his own right and finally felling the Texan to regain the Heavyweight Championship to the enthralled delight of the attendees. It became known in short order as the rope-a-dope due to his victorious post-match interview. But it wasn't as if confounding conventional wisdom was something new for Ali, especially when it came to his attempts to obtain the crown jewel of boxing;in the leadup to his first title fight against a similar slugger of some strength in Sonny Liston he'd decided the best way to get in Liston's head was to clown around and antagonize him, deny him the very respect he'd earned by garnering and then retaining the title in two fights that'd lasted a combined five minutes while Ali had struggled in some wins leading up to his shot. Ali furthered this by feigning a flipout at the weigh-in the day of the fight, and Liston's wife would confirm that day that her husband thought Ali was a loon. He, of course, was mentally warped like the renard, and proceeded to stun everybody by beating Liston like a rented goalie to the point where the accepted upon baddest man in the world quit on his stool and forfeited the championship along with that action. To use Ali's verbiage in that victorious post-match interview on that occasion, he shook up the world.

But back to the lecture at hand.

Nakamura shook up NXT's world, by playing the fool at the close of the show because time is a flat circle. Think of Samoa Joe's arc since he embraced black hatterdom, all the way from yelling in Finn's face "I did this to you!" to choking Sami Zayn out to close their best of 3 falls epic back in the winter to bleeding all over the place in Dallas. Think of him winning the belt in Lowell and being the first to end the undefeated streak of the Daemon in the cage with the avalanche Muscle Buster while choking out the Rhyno and Eric Youngs of the world for gits and shiggles on the side, and on this main event doing the same to Mojo Rawley despite the latter's successful effort in going down with quite a fight. He's Foreman. He's Liston. He's the unstoppable force as immovable object, leaving people in the fetal position not just defeated but demoralized, a horrifying land monster that leaves Godzillaesque destruction behind in his/its wake.

Shinsuke Nakamura thought it would be a fine idea with security separating them to walk up to the NXT World Heavyweight Champion and get his nose.

Reread that prior sentence.

He walked up to Samoa Joe as if the titleholder was his eighteen-month old nephew, then treated him as such. When has anything like that happened in pro graps, let alone on WWE TV? And yet it didn't seem unanlogous for him to do so. It's not as if he doesn't know their title match angers Joe, or that Joe's generally been throwing an almost yearlong temper tantrum at this point; he's just unaffected because he's Nakamura. He's as capable of kneeing your septum as pretending to snatch it. And because Joe's thrombosis continues unabated and with about a dozen black shirts keeping him from trying to press the King of Strong Style into a cube, he had the reaction to the phantom rhinoplasty that you might have expected. All the heaven, hell, earth and purgatory he's had to move to become the first man to hold the wildly unofficial Triple Crown of holding the ROH, TNA and NXT World Heavyweight Championships after all this time...and this Michael Jackson cosplayer has his nose. The disrespect. The gall. The sheer Rafterian cebollas of it all.

Hell, Shinsuke even rhymes with "Boma Ye!"

Time is a flat circle, and if we see Nak leaning against the ropes come next Saturday absorbing all manner of Joe's punishment in this, the year that Ali ascended, just remember who was on the history lesson for you, the viewer first.

(Postscript: During the course of writing this BCB, Joe already threatened to one hundred up Nakamura by taking his soul. As the kids say, it's gonna be lit, fam.)

What the viewer saw first on this episode once the lasers stopped firing through the theme music was unequivocally the best part of the show, the contract signing for the NXT World Women's Championship betwixt Bayley and Asuka. Having seen how much churlishness the women who yanked the title from her in Dallas was up close and personal last week it was clear that Bayley was not in the mood for anything even remotely resembling the carefree fun of Got Your Nose. She told Asuka that she'd hacked through her mystique mentally and was ready for history to repeat itself in Brooklyn. If that didn't underscore the point enough, she rebuffed a handshake, a handshake, virtual cousin to the hug, then slammed her shoulder into Asuka's belt-carrying one on the way out of the ring once their Hancocks had been jotted. But she didn't stop there, as she returned to the ring and got right back in the undefeated Empresses' face, solidifying Bayley 3.0. She's clearly leveled up...but this is still Asuka she's stepping between the ropes with come a week and a half from now, and the former Most Dangerous' spree of destruction is as widespread as it is apathetic to the alignment of others. Whereas Joe's motor clearly runs off of churlish fury, Asuka's seems to be centered in blase certitude. Nobody has yet, so how would anybody?, things of that nature.

And those are just the crown jewels shining brightest in the Takeover Back II Brooklyn headpiece. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano's bond doesn't seem to have severed as a result of their CWC first-round epic, and they're in line to take a shot at the Revival with the belts on the line (a showcase win burnished that, as well as a backstage interaction with Master Regal officially deigning them the title opportunity). Bobby Roode came out after Andrade Cien Almas' showcase win over Angelo Dawkins' MVC-cosplay to inform La former Sombra that he'd be the victim of a GLORIOUS! debut come Brooklyn, and his isn't the only one, as a female grappler in Ember Moon who's skillset and beauty have been whispered about for years in almost Athenaesque tones is also set to add her somewhat goofy name to the roster come next Saturday night.

Add Austin Aries and No Way Jose settling their differences along with those two NXT debuts and three really good to possibly instant classic title matches, and you have a Takeover that'll be more loaded than Charlie Sheen on a day ending in Y. It is the fervent wish of the Best Coast Bias that Joseph's nose be given back to him before said event occurs.

You don't want him out there scaring the children more than he already has, do you?