Ahhh. . .  Nothing like a random stomach virus mixed with a head cold, resulting in a 13 hour sleep session Friday night to totally screw up your grand blogging plans for the weekend.  However, we here at Number Two Contenders are not long swayed.  Fresh off our “restful” few days away from long-form wrestling writing, let’s ease back in with a new segment, in which we take a look at some of the major stories from this world we love so much and break them down in short, poorly thought out paragraphs.

But before we start, a “quick” aside. . .  As previously mentioned, I’m not just called The Teacher; I play one in real life.  In my class last week I was doing an activity with the youngsters I have been charged with educating.  In said activity, I wrote a paragraph with no capital letters or end punctuation on the board and they had to tell me where to put said grammatical notations.

So I wrote, I displayed, I read it to them, and yet they were finding it difficult to do as I had asked.  As I pondered why, a thought overtook me.

“I write ridiculously long sentences.”

Seriously, go look at that first paragraph I just wrote.  Three sentences, but two of them are mighty lengthy.  In fact, one might easily find a home inside a Faulkner novel.  (Note: I have no idea what Faulkner is credited with penning, except that he wrote very long sentences.)

Anyway, the next day I retaught the lesson with shorter sentences and lo, the children had a much easier time with their task.

Why do I mention this, dear readers?  Well, I’m curious if you have the same troubles or frustrations that my 7 year olds do.  Dost my sentences of depth dismay ye?  Let me know.

Alright, on to the rapid reflections. . . Hey, that’s a good title. . . I might stick with that.

The NXT Week: Thoughts on Thursday’s episode

Since I was in no real condition to react on Friday morning (unless you wanted deep insight as to the living conditions of my bathroom), we’ll keep this to one topic only, and it is thus.

Tyson Kidd is the most improved WWE talent in 2014.

We all knew Mr. Neidhart could go in the ring, there is no doubt.  It was the persona and the promo skills that were always Tyson’s downfall. . . Well, that and the potential “Calgary Curse” . . . (Seriously, how much bad luck can one family get?) Cut to last week’s episode and there is Tyson, easily the biggest heel in NXT (until Neville finally turns and takes that spot for himself).

I had once thought that there was no way Tyson would get another shot in the big-time of WWE.   Having seen him over the last few months, though, I have to believe he’ll get there, and probably sooner than later.

He has much better mic skills. . . FACT!

His heelish persona would fit right in among the IC and US title contenders. . . FACT!

He has a tagline now. . .One that could sell a lot of T-shirts. . . FACT!

We’re nearing the end of the year, so it is soon to be predictions season.  Here’s an early one for you.  Tyson Kidd wears WWE gold in 2015. . . Hopefully FACT!

Oh, and because no NXT review of mine is complete without it, Charlotte is the best women’s wrestler on the planet. . . FACT!

Hell’s Cells

If I haven’t blogged about it, I’ve certainly Tweeted it to death – I see no reason why there needs to be multiple Cell matches this Sunday.  It makes little sense to me.  Look, I KNOW the PPV is called HIAC.  I get that.  Doesn’t mean we need to turn this into Lockdown 2.0.  Do we have 2 Rumbles every January?  We do not.   It’s not necessary.

There’s just not enough creative things to do in a PG world inside a Cell, and yes, the more I think about it, the more I am sure I DID blog about this at some point.  So I’ll rest my case.  Cena and Orton could do just as well in a regular match, or with some other stipulation.

Speaking of John and Randy…

The Hate for CenOrton

From what I’ve seen, nobody is excited for this match on Sunday, and even fewer people want it to be the main event.  While I totally agree with that premise (Ambrose and Rollins have been building for months, Cena and Orton are just the guys left over), I’m not sure why people hate them so mu. . .

Actually, I am absolutely sure why, and I said as such to our good friends @NewAgeInsiders just today on the Twitter.   Cena and Orton have a curious irony of hate.

Orton is generally considered to be one of the better in-ring performers of his generation.

Cena is generally considered to be Mr. Five Moves of Doom.

Cena is generally considered to be a great person outside the ring – total humanitarian.

Orton is generally considered to be a great big prick outside the ring – total jackass.

So we dislike Orton the person and Cena the wrestler, while we enjoy Orton the competitor and Cena the man.

And everyone agrees that both characters are in need of some tweaking.  No denying that.

So I do understand why people are just tossing their hands up in frustrations at this match on Sunday.   Just remember a couple quick points.

  1. It’s not like these two are setting records for singles matches.  Each of the top feuds in history had similar timelines.  This is, if memory and Pro Fight DB serves, Cena and Orton’s 9th singles match at a PPV.  That puts them right in line with Undertaker vs. Kane or  Sting vs.  Flair, perhaps slightly ahead of Rock / Austin or Foley / HHH.  And remember, with the Attitude Era, you had a lot more depth.
  2. Like it or not, this is THE feud of the generation of wrestling we are currently watching.  Cena vs. Orton will, in time, be spoken in the same breath as some of the feuds I mentioned earlier.  These are THE guys of their time, even if it pains you to hear it.
  3. One reason why they are THE guys?  All the other guys are gone.  I don’t want to play another round of “Punk and Bryan screwed everything up”, although it is a favorite game of mine, but let’s not be blaming John and Randy for something out of their control.  When you’re given the ball, you run with it and you don’t ask questions.

A Bloody Shame

My apologies to UK fans who must hate every time someone Tweets or blogs about how awesome the Network is – you’ve been given an absolute horror show of treatment from WWE and it is my sincere hope that when the Network is available to you, they offer multiple ways of making up their shoddy excuse for customer service to you.  6 months of Free Network, Vince McMahon on your voicemail, a back massage from the Diva of your choice. . . Something!

A Punch to the Heart

I was sad to learn of the passing of Ox Baker, a guy who, if you’ve ever seen a picture of him in his heyday, was exactly what kids should imagine when picturing a wrestling villain.

To be honest, I’ve never seen a match of Ox’s, so why am I said about his death?  Well, outside the cliche answer of finding every life to be precious, 2 main reasons stick out.

  1. I’ve met Ox.  Well, at least, I’ve seen him a few times.  He lived in the same region of Connecticut that I did as a kid and so, at random events or around the town my aunt and Baker shared, I’d see him here or there.  This was the first wrestler I had ever laid eyes on in real life, and he sure lived up to the billing, even if he had pretty much retired by that point.  Huge guy, still had the outlandish facial hair, and on the rare times that he knew he was being recognized by a little kid with glasses, still could scare the bejesus out of you with a heel-ish scowl.
  2. Ox was, as the title of this section implies, a user of The Heart Punch as his finisher, which is a move I’ve always enjoyed.  You bend your opponent’s right arm behind his head, punch him once in the chest – seemingly temporarily stopping his heart, then pin him as he’s struggling to. . . you know. . . live.

As trendy as Baron Corbin’s finisher might be, how is The Heart Punch not a part of his repertoire?   Or, if Reigns comes back as a heel, which he should, why doesn’t that become his new “evil” version of the Superman punch?  He can even cock his wrist and everything!

Rest well, Ox Baker.  The epic PPV in the sky just booked another villain.

Ways to Join the Conversation 

  • Are my sentences too long and incomprehensible?
  • Rapid Reflections?  Good name or is it missing something?  How about Rapid Ringside Reflections?
  • Will Tyson Kidd be a WWE titleholder in 2015?  Will he even be a WWE regular?
  • Why do we need 2 HIAC matches on Sunday?
  • What should WWE offer UK fans for making a massacre out of the Network?
  • Heart Punch – who should use it as a finisher?
  • Here’s a somewhat morbid question for you – If Heaven exists and was putting on a “PPV” event, what would the main event be? What about the undercard?
From the N2C Archive – October 20, 2014 – Rapid Reflections (a working title) – Thoughts on the week in wrestling.
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