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I broke down & subscribed to the WWE Network [May turn into a WIW]

King Snarf

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So, I told myself that I'd save my free one month trial for when things were really, REALLY good. Like, the bar I set in my head was "When they hire Christopher Daniels and have him, Styles and Samoa Joe main event 'Mania." BUT, WWE Evolution was last night, and I wanted to support women's wrestling on a historic night (because lord knows the WWE hasn't really supported it all that much since they announced it) so I signed up (and, in the process, figured out how to get stuff on my smart TV, which will be handy when the I get my KS reward for the new season of MST3K), and I'm glad I did, because that was a hell of a fun show. Not since the very first ECW One Night Stand have I enjoyed a WWE PPV so thoroughly from top to bottom.

But now, I need to watch more on the Network (my inner old man is saying "And that's how they get you!") before the month ends, and I have this coming weekend off, so I'm compiling a list of stuff to watch. So far, since it jumped in my mind, One Night Stand. I have it on DVD, but I'd have to find it, then hook up the DVD player and BAAAH! Also, Wrestlemania X-7 because it's the GREATEST mania, Royal Rumble '92, a few old school WCW events like Spring Stampede '94, and a few other things. Might check out the Cruiserweight Classic as well as last year's and this year's Mae Young Classic.

And, of course, since I had to go to bed early last night, at some point in the next day or two, I have to watch the House Hardy Halloween Special. I hear it was... WONDERFUL!!! YEAAAAS!
 

King Snarf

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So, I watched the House Hardy Halloween special, which was... WONDERFUL YEASSSSS! They need to do more of those, especially considering how they ended it on a cliffhanger.

Moving on to last year's Mae Young Classic. The first "episode" features commentary from Lita, who's grown quite a bit on color (I remember when she first started in the booth on Sunday Night Heat, and it was... Well.), and good ol' J.R., who's announcing is nice and comfortable like a warm blanket. Only got through the first match, Princesa Sugehit (which J.R. pronounces differently at least 3 times) and Scotland's Kay Lee Ray. The two had very complimentary styles, which really helped things. Also, they mentioned CMLL by name on air. It's refreshing to see WWE admit that other companies do, in fact, exist outside of them.

I do feel that Evolution was lacking a solid luchadora presence on the show. Hopefully that's rectified in the future
 

King Snarf

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Up next on the MYC 2017 is Serena Deeb, who's apparently been in the WWE before (though back in 2011-ish when I wasn't really watching), and Vanessa Borne, a newcomer trained by Rikishi and Gangrel.

While the first match didn't really have anyone who was a heel, Borne heels it up in this match with gusto. Good match.

Up next is Shayna Baszler, who I can say I'm legitimately afraid of after her match on Evolution, vs. Zeda, who looks like a little spitfire. Too bad I know how this one ends. Both have MMA experience, so this is going off very much like an MMA fight. I like how they've been varying up the kinds of matches so far.
 

King Snarf

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That one ended quick. Up next is Abbey Laith (Kimber Lee) vs. Germany's Jazzy Gabert, a big teutonic lady hoss. Lots of great action as Abbey uses her quickness against Jazzy's strength. And I've mentioned it before, but JR drops a Chikara reference. Chikara got mentioned on a WWE production, what a time to be alive. Anyway, Abbey/ Kimber wins with an alligator clutch pinning move, which is a move that Mae Young herself used, so that's a nice touch for the tournament. They teased a post-match beatdown from Jazzy, but she instead gave Abbey a hug. Aww. So, that wraps up Episode One of the 2017 Mae Young Classic. Good stuff. The WWE really needs to give the women their own weekly show, as I feel the women's division is currently ill-served on RAW and Smackdown.
 

King Snarf

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So, since there's nothing new to watch this weekend, NOTHING WHATSOEVER, moved on to episode 2 of the Mae Young Classic 2017. While I know the ultimate outcome, I think all the ladies involved in last year's and this year's all should get a great big hand!

...

I'll get me coat.

Anyway, first up is Mercedes Martinez (not to be confused with Shelley Martinez) facing newcomer (they bill this as her first match) Xia Li, one of the WWE's prospects from their China initiative. I like her, she's got a natural flair for showmanship which she showcases in her ring entrance. The match itself serves two purposes- 1) Give Mercedes someone to go over who's credibility won't be hurt and 2) put Xia with an experienced veteran to get a jump on what needs to be done. The match itself was good, with back and forth. Another credit of the tournament thus far is that even when you see someone and think "Yeah, she's gonna lose", they at least do a good job of making the loser look somewhat strong. There have been know out and out squash matches thus far, though this one, like the Baszler/ Zeda match, ends quick.

Next, Paul Ellering's daughter Rachel Evers versus Marti Belle. Marti heels it up with using every rules loophole she can to mitigate Evers' strength advantage, but Evers goes over.

We follow that with the woman who would go on to become the inaugural NXT UK Women's Champ, Rhea Ripley, vs. Miranda Salinas. You can tell right here that the WWE is high on Rhea and will eventually strap a rocket to her ass. She wins.

Finally, we have pre-Riott Squad (as far as I can tell) Sarah Logan vs. Mia Yim (formerly Jade of TNA). JR and Lita mentioned that they've wrestled each other before, and it shows, as they have pretty good chemistry, or at least a comfortable familiarity. Certainly, their styles mesh well, with Mia getting the duke at the end. Thus concludes Episode 2.
 

King Snarf

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Moving on to episode 3, we kick off with Toni Storm vs. Ayesha Raymond. Toni, like Rhea, is tall, pretty, blonde and Australian. Also like Rhea, hindsight tells us she also will get a rocket to the backside. Ayesha is even taller, a huge Amazon of a woman with a fantastic look. She spends the whole match heeling it up, which leads to her downfall.
 

King Snarf

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Up next, New Zealand's Dakota Kai versus India Khavita Devi. "Hard KD" was trained by The Great Khali, which I find hard to believe, because her match was actually enjoyable to watch! D'oh-ho-ho-hooo! *Ahem*

Anyway, this match, Devi pretty much dominates the majority of the contest through sheer power until Dakota Kai manages to quickly turn things around with a kick followed by a Coup De Grace for the win.

After that, we have Sage Beckett vs. Bianca Belair. Sage was trained by the Dudley Boyz, and it shows in a lot of her moveset. She's also a self-described shaman, who uses air and fire, whatever that means. Biance Belair has a long braid which she occasionally uses as a weapon, and that's money right there. This match I was going in unspoiled but assumed Sage would win, so it was a bit of a surprise to see Bianca take it.

Finally, Santana Garrett versus Scotland's Piper Niven, who, between her size and her quickness, very much reminds me of a female John Tenta, and that's a good thing, because John Tenta was one of the finest big men in the business. Anyway, the crowd was really into this match, with a lot of back and forth action, with both competitors scoring near-falls until Piper finally scored the duke.
 

King Snarf

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And now, we come to the last bit of Round 1 of the 2017 Mae Young Classic. First up, we have Candice LeRae, who's the wife of NXT star (and guy the internet won't shut up about) Johnny Gargano. She makes it clear that she doesn't want to be known as being here because of Gargano, which is undercut by the fact that the announce team mentions it a few more times and they show Johnny in the audience. She takes on Renee Michelle, who has very striking eyes and just a great look and a flair for showmanship. But you know how this is going to go. You don't name drop how someone's been working for 15 years and is married to a top NXT guy to job them out in the first round. But both put on a good performance.

Next, we have Lacey Evans vs. Taynara Conti. The former is the gimmicky-est performer we have seen thus far, with a 1940s pin-up style haircut, patriotic garb, and waving an American Flag, because 'MURICA. Taynara, on the other hand, is a Brazilian judo expert and has my second favorite array of facial expressions in the tournament, which are all "You can fuck right the hell off, Lacey". Some good action here, including Lacey doing a kip up into a handstand into an elbow drop, which is impressive. She gets the win, which is unfortunate, because I think she's a little bland character-wise.

Next we have "The Queen of The Suplexes" Nicole Savoy vs. Raina Gonzalez, daughter of wrestler Ricky Gonzalez. Despite being billed as "The Queen of the Suplexes", Nicole doesn't actually DO any in this match that I noticed. Probably to sell the size advantage of Raina. Instead, Nicole gets the win via submission.

We close out Round 1 with what's arguably the best match of the tournament, Kairi Sane versus Tessa Blanchard. Remember what I said about Lacey being gimmicky? Well, look out, because Kairi is a goddamned pirate! That's cool. Though I'm a bit salty towards her because I know how this match ends, and in the short time I've been aware of her I've become a huge Tessa mark. It's a damn shame they didn't sign her to a developmental contract, because she is goddamned money. And I've heard some claim she's got a bit of an attitude backstage. PLEASE. History has shown that being a huge assclown in the back is no impediment to having a long and storied career in the WWE.



Anyway, on to the actual match. It's fantastic. And to their credit, both the booking and the announcers put over Tessa even though she lost. Lots of good back and forth action with a really hot crowd. Though they favored Kairi, there was a pretty good reaction for Tessa, too.

As a side note, many wrestling companies put on various events to capitalize on the attention that Evolution brought to women's wrestling, which resulted in Tessa Blanchard going one-on-one with Mercedes Martinez for SEVENTY-FIVE MINUTES. Jesus. I can't even watch wrestling for 75 minutes straight without needing to get up and take a leak and have a cigarette.

Thus concludes the first 16 matches. Very good stuff all around.
 

King Snarf

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I tried watching this week's NXT; I'm not a fan, but I decided that perhaps I was too hasty in my judgment.

The opening contest between Nikki Cross and Mercedes Martinez was very good. Then, story happened. Or, I assume; people came out to talk without mics and not speaking loudly enough to be heard.

Then, The Mighty vs. Street Profits. You see, the former stole the plastic drinking cup and gold chain that belonged to the latter. No, that's really why they're having this match, which is part two of another contest where the Profits tried to get their cup back. That's practically Russo-esque.

Then, the debut of Matt Riddle, and MMA fighter who is now "The King Of Bros", who's coming to ring dressed in a way that's "kewl". They're trying so hard to make him seem "kewl", I'm surprised he's not carrying a skateboard and tag teaming with Shane Douglas. At that point, I encountered some technical difficulties. I don't think I'll watch the rest of it. The matches themselves are all technically very sound, but there's a lot to be desired, particularly the announce team. If we can't hear what the people in the ring are saying, you guys need to do a lot better with the exposition. Candace LeRae came out to confront Nikki Cross, and the only reason I knew she was out there was because of the preceding video package detailing all the stuff between Aleister Black, Nikki Cross, and Johnny Gargano and the fact that I had just watched the MYC. Otherwise, someone who's never watched NXT isn't going to know who that is or why she's out there.
 

Crinos

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If I ever got the WWE thing (Probably unlikely because I got so many streaming services atm I had to make a text document to keep them all in order so I know how much to have in my accounts and when), it would mainly to look up old WWE matches from back in the day (Like the famous Mankind vs. Rock I quit match).
 
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