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Top 20 Of 2016

Graphic by Salwinder Singh.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“It.” “Delete.” “Obsolete.” “The List.” “10.” “The Champ That Runs The Camp.” “Stupid Idiot.” “Glorious.” “Too Sweet.”

The list above describes a fiesta of phrases commonly found in pro wrestling jargon that made 2016 possibly its best year ever.

The one below describes select moments that help seal that argument and make us forget about things like The Titus Brand, The Cruiserweight Division, Raw’s Third Hour, WWE’s overloaded Pay-Per-View schedule, TNA’s X-Division and Matanza Cueto.

If you want to remember that bad stuff, check this out.

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Worst 10 Of 2016

Graphics by Salwinder Singh.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

2016 was possibly professional wrestling’s most newsworthy year.

Whether it was “Broken” Matt Hardy, Chris Jericho’s transformation into a walking meme, Goldberg’s unexpected return or the Cruiserweight Classic, everywhere you looked, there was something to talk about.

For all those moments however, came some head shakers.

With the unenviable task to cover every single 2016 episode of Raw, SmackDown (even before it was “Live”), NXT, Impact Wrestling and Pay-Per-View/Live Specials (all 29), we’ve seen things that cannot be forgotten.

We’re here to bring them to light.

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Notes In Observance – WWE 205 Live 12/20/16: Room For Only One King

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 12/20/16)

Room For Only One King

– As it should, the opening video recapped the Roadblock: End Of The Line WWE Cruiserweight Championship Triple-Threat where Champion Rich Swann survived Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins, but wasn’t ready for Neville’s anger storm. In seconds, he went from humbled fan favorite to sinister villain and we loved it. They spliced in last night’s Raw angle that set the night’s tag team main event, as Neville boasted himself “The King Of The Cruiserweights” and gained a convenient friend in Kendrick as they beat the babyfaces down again.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 12/19/16: … Or Else

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 12/19/16)

… Or Else

– The WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho/General Manager Mick Foley opening in-ring segment mostly succeeded in setting up the night’s main event and even the Royal Rumble Universal Title match with a worthy twist, albeit one recently seen at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. This was just the Jeri-KO duo back in good graces, then we got some Jericho “List” comedy as he put Santa Claus on the list. The “Hug Of Jericho” bit was also funny. Foley served as the “holiday comedy authority guy” as he donned a ridiculous Christmas sweater and informed the heels of his Rumble plans, where Owens would defend against WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns again and this time, to prevent interference, Jericho would be suspended in the air in a shark cage. The fanny pack bit was chucklesome, as they put Jericho in the cage and actually suspended him above, with the idea that Foley “left the keys behind.” Some tough moments on the mic as Foley did the cheap pop, but named the wrong town. Jeri-KO get props for rescuing him and received good heel heat at the same time. If it wasn’t for the fact that they already announced the tag team main event where Jeri-KO would face Reigns/Rollins, we would’ve been interested to see Jericho hang above the ring for the whole show.

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WWE Roadblock: End Of The Line Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

With Roadblock’s second 2016 installment, “End Of The Line” proved a fitting figurative and literal event name.

The amount of wrestling Pay-Per-Views in 2016 (mostly WWE) was borderline criminal and probably deserved a police chase anyway, so we were fine with sirens, caution tape and that annoying “Different Kind Of Dynamite” song.

Raw as a whole is an overexposed brand that leans on repetitive angles and drags them out to inhumane levels. We hoped headed in that Roadblock: EOTL would dissect some of the old and give us something new.

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WWE Tribute To The Troops 2016 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Genrally, WWE’s annual “Tribute To The Troops” is holiday filler with little storyline impact.

2016’s was somewhat different, as they took advantage of Raw’s Roadblock: End Of The Line Pay-Per-View four days away and shaped the main event around it, also in a way that allowed the “patriotic faithful” theme to stay relevant.

Did it need to be two hours though? Add to that Raw’s three hours, SmackDown Live’s two hours and 205 Live’s one hour just two days before, that was a lot to watch.

Either scenario, no going back now.

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Notes In Observance – WWE 205 Live 12/13/16: Still Feeling Lucky

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 12/13/16)

Still Feeling Lucky 

– The opening video recapped last week when WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann successfully defended against Brian Kendrick in their rematch. There was some accidental physicality between the “good friends” of TJ Perkins/Swann, as we ended with Swann laid out with a superkick meant for Kendrick. As we know, we’ll get a Triple-Threat for the Title at Roadblock: End Of The Line. One has to assume that we’ll get more build. The main event would be Swann-Perkins.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 12/12/16: Making History

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 12/12/16)

Making History 

– The opening WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Triple-Threat match between Champions Big E/Kofi Kingston, Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson and Cesaro/Sheamus was a welcome change, especially with the energetic Philadelphia crowd. They dug The New Day and there was a different feel since at midnight, they’d tie Demolition’s 478-day reign. An obstacle was made for them – the two biggest threats to their Titles. They cut a pre-match promo that got the crowd on their side, especially when Xavier Woods dedicated the night to his apparent late Grandma, which began a “Grandma” chant. That transitioned to the actual match. Gallows/Anderson were easy to root against and Cesaro/Sheamus had the unique dynamic with the “Boo/Yay” difference. We also saw a celebration room prepped backstage, complete with a Booty-O’s punch bowl, because why not? Plenty of heavy action that highlighted everyone and great near-falls as it developed. Gallows/Anderson almost won on a Boot Of Doom, but Cesaro literally dove onto the pin at the last second to stop it. Cesaro hit an offensive tear, got a pop for the Big Swing and had the sharpshooter applied. The finish was a well-done way to have ND “steal” the pin, but in a way that wasn’t cheap and spread disappointment on Cesaro/Sheamus at not getting the job done. Kingston hit Trouble In Paradise on Sheamus, while Cesaro was held down by Big E from stopping the pin. Good energy in that opener and we took a glance at the celebration room, which had Bob Backlund and Darren Young in there, along with extras.

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Notes In Observance – WWE 205 Live 12/6/16: Chaos In The Title Picture

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 12/6/16)

Chaos In The Title Picture 

– The opening video recapped WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann’s spectacular victory over Brian Kendrick to become Champ last week on the series premiere. The inspirational music was a big plus, yet the random crowd shots didn’t fit the moment per se. It was as if they were plucked out of context on another show. That said, Swann should make an excitable champion and bring the best out of Kendrick in chase mode as a heel.

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Notes In Observance – WWE 205 Live 11/29/16: A Life-Changing Kick

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 11/29/16)

A Life-Changing Kick 

– The Cruiserweight Division has been a blessing and a curse for WWE, dependent upon where you look. If you followed the Cruiserweight Classic, the style was presented as excitable aerials with innovative technical maneuvers. It went over with the people and the Tourney was a nice introduction. Then we get to Raw, where the same six men partook in spotfests. Generic storylines breed generic wrestling, which breeds generic interest. That said, the opening video was similar to the CWC with stock footage of the slow-motion fancy spots, because it’s 205 Live, don’t you know. Yup, we won’t blink. The opening theme reminded us of the opening verse of New Politics’ “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” but that’s a compliment if anything. We also had the commentary team of Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and Austin Aries. Whoever decided that, go and buy that person a drink. Stat.

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