By Big Red Machine
From November 18, 2017
KASSIUS OHNO vs. LARS SULLIVAN - 5.75/10
This was a fun slugfest, but I think we all knew that it was really just going to be a showcase for Sullivan. It was perfectly fine for what it was.
Hey assholes in the crowd: if you wanted to chant "SWEET!" after every two count, why didn't you buy yourselves a bus ticket to Dallas and got to the ROH show instead? You know... the show the Young Bucks are actually ON!?
ALEISTER BLACK vs. THE VELVETEEN DREAM - 8.75/10
Oh my freakin' G-d this match was AWESOME! The action, the selling, the use of guys getting tied in the ropes playing into the build-up for this feud, and OH MY G-D THE INTENSITY! Even The Velveteen Dream's special tights. Black won, but afterwards grabbed a mic and said "enjoy living in infamy, Velveteen Dream," which I saw as a sign of respect on Black's part, as he finally did what Dream has been wanting and said his name.
FATAL FOUR-WAY MATCH FOR THE VACANT NXT WOMEN'S TITLE:
Peyton Royce vs. Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ember Moon - 8/10
I'm pretty sure Raymond Rowe lives in Texas, and I'm pretty sure Ember Moon broke into his house and stole his entrance gear. This was an awesome four-way in which they did a great job of never letting you forget it was a four-way. This was a match where you could tell a lot of it was choreographed rather than called on the fly, but as a fan I really don't care either way. What I do care about is that if you do choreograph things, you take the approach that these women took here by going for complicated and exciting sequences that still seem natural rather than stuff like mirror image spots or "everyone takes a turn missing a moonsault" or "stand in a circle and everyone takes a turn punching the wrestler to their right."
Ember Moon won the match, finally winning the title here in her home state. This came off like exactly the type of huge moment it should have, and Asuka being there to present the belt to her added an extra dimension to this as well.
NXT TITLE MATCH:
Drew McIntyre(c) vs. Andrade "Cien" Almas (w/Zelena Vega) - 8.5/10
A great babyface vs. heel match full of big moves with an excellent pace, they built and built until an absolutely CRAZY finish. Almas picked up the win here in quite the big upset, but I think it was definitely the right move. Drew doesn't really even need to be in NXT, and Almas was at a point where a win would have solidified him as a main eventer but a loss would have felt like him being shoved back down to the midcard again, which was something he really couldn't afford after the major false start that was his first year in NXT.
WAR GAMES MATCH:
The Undisputed Era vs. SAnitY vs. Roderick Strong & the Authors of Pain (w/Paul Ellering) - 9.25/10
Yup. This was definitely a "war." They really made me believe the hype that this is a match that changes lives and shortens careers, and that's not an easy expectation to live up to when you push things as hard as WWE does. Just about the only flaw in the match is that the finish didn't really feel like a peak when compared to the stuff that had come soon before it. That and the part where Killian Dain swallowed the key to the cage. That was stupid.
This was yet another OUTSTANDING Takeover show from NXT, and in a normal year would probably be a strong contender for Show of the Year. Unfortunately 2017 has not been a normal year. But that doesn't take anything away from this show. Drop what you're doing and watch this show now.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES
1. Mauro Ranallo- "Lars Sullivan just treated Kassius Ohno like Apple software treated the letter "i."
What does that even mean, exactly?
2. Mauro Ranalla also claimed that being in a War Games match "changes people's DNA."
Did I miss the part where they coated the canvass with the ooze from Ninja Turtles?