After an enjoyable first episode topped off by a great main event from Meiko Satomura and Killer Kelly, I went into the second week of the Mae Young Classic with elevated expectations. I am quietly confident that this is going to be a fun tournament, so let’s see if they can prove me right.
The Mae Young Classic returns for its second year with a line-up that looks likely to lap last year’s attempt. They’ve brought back the likes of Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez, then added genuine superstars like Meiko Satomura and Io Shirai to the conversation. Plus, JR isn’t on commentary! Praise the Gods. If WWE gives this tournament time to shine, it could be special. (Quick note, I’m not going to be dishing out star ratings in the first round, they don’t get much time while a lot of these wrestlers are still young in their career. I’m going to stick to thumbs up or thumbs down).
On Sunday the 19th of August Becky Lynch once again saw her chance to win the SmackDown Women’s Title slip through her fingers. This time, it was her best friend Charlotte Flair that stole it from her. Added to Becky’s match with Carmella after returning from injury, Charlotte went on to beat Carmella and take the title for herself. So, Becky Lynch did what she had to do. She punched Charlotte in the face, turning heel as the audience exploded. Not with boos or shouts of sympathy for Flair. No, they roared with joy. In their eyes, they were finally getting to see someone that they loved getting the push that they deserved. It was a genuine moment of emotion from an adoring public.
It doesn’t matter how the build has gone or who is on the card, NXT TakeOvers always deliver. So, how excited should we be when we go into one where the card looks damn good? The Undisputed Era vs Moustache Mountain? Yum. Baszler vs Sane? I want a bit of that. Adam Cole vs Ricochet? Yes, please. Ciampa vs Gargano? Well, to be honest, we’ve probably seen that enough, but it will still be good! TakeOver Brooklyn IV was all set-up to be a classic. I guess we should find out whether it was.
Night two of WWE’s stint at Royal Albert Hall could be classed as the first ever episode of NXT UK. Although something tells me that the cards won’t be quite this stacked every week. On paper, it had the potential to make you feel all fuzzy inside. Let’s see if they succeeded.
We’ve left Download Festival behind for the first night proper of 2018’s UK Championship Tournament. WWE has moved things to the slightly more sophisticated surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall where they aren’t only bashing through the quarters, but the semis and the final as well. Let’s hope time constraints don’t damage what has the potential to be a good show.
With ITV having finally taped some shows for their World Of Sport reboot, it’s no surprise to see WWE has decided to do something with their UK Title. After hinting at it for well over a year, they’ve announced NXT UK, with a second UK Championship Tournament working as the build-up. The First Round took place both at Full Sail and Download Festival, so let’s have a look at what went down.
The world of wrestling is one that the phrase over the top isn’t quite big enough for. It’s bright, shiny and packed with characters that would be mocked if you wrote them into any other universe. Take a second and try to imagine explaining Juice Robinson to someone who isn’t in the know? More than one person has compared it to drag, and while I can’t claim to be an expert, on the surface, the similarities are evident.
Money In The Bank has become one of WWE’s better shows. A lousy ladder match is still an improvement on most things and even in the confusing storylines of WWE the briefcases add an element of enjoyable chaos. Will it be the show to help them break their recent run of mediocrity? I bloody hope so.
I love a TakeOver. They’re never bad and are usually a hell of a lot better than good. NXT excels at delivering snappy shows that fly along on the back of fantastic wrestling. I wasn’t going to be the one to bet against their latest visit to Chicago doing the same.