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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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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 9/28/16: The Glorious 10 Is Born

WWE NXTBy 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 9/28/16)

The Glorious 10 Is Born 

– It’s an incredible thing that the Dusty Rhodes Classic Tag Team Tournament was already back in its second edition. We began with a promo from NXT General Manager William Regal in an empty arena as he broke down the news that 16 teams would face off in single elimination rounds and it’d all start next week. Such a great way to enhance the TV episodes and is a smart move all around.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 9/21/16: Bringing The Fight

WWE NXTBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

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

 

 

 

 

(Aired 9/21/16)

Bringing The Fight 

– The opening video took us back to last week when Samoa Joe swerved everybody as he played the “nice guy” to get NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura to agree to a rematch for the belt before he brutalized him without remorse with help from the steel steps. With some ample time before NXT’s next TakeOver special, this was a smart way to prolong things in a way that kept the focus on Joe’s aggression.

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Notes In Observance – WWE CWC 9/14/16: The Finale

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 9/14/16)

The Finale 

– From its inception to the two-hour live finale, the Cruiserweight Classic was treated like the hand-crafted gift to the IWC it was meant to be. Where else on a WWE platform would you see the likes of Zack Sabre Jr., Cedric Alexander, Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann, Drew Gulak, Kota Ibushi and TJ Perkins among others do what they truly are known for? On top of it all was a credible commentary team of Mauro Ranallo and SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan. Through it all, we saw the rise of relatively unknown talent like Gran Metalik and Noam Dar to an American audience while indie mainstays like ZSJ, TJP and Alexander stepped their own games up to prove their worth. The opening video highlighted all the tourney’s happenings with a voiceover from Triple H as he talked about how far they’d come. From 32 men from 16 countries, it was now down to four men from four countries. We also heard separately from the final four, who were GM, ZSJ, TJP and Ibushi about how much the tourney meant to them.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 9/7/16: Chicken Cutler

WWE NXTBy 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 9/7/16)

Chicken Cutler

– NXT seems to be in a state of developing its own talent in a field with a few established diamonds. That has always been its niche and that seems more true than ever these days. With seemingly everybody notable up on the main roster now, we need new stars more than ever. Luckily, we had a good start with the TM61-Tony Nese/Ariya Daivari opener. The upstart Aussies appear to be second on the babyface tier of the NXT Tag Team Division behind Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa and this match helped propel them further into the scene with credibility. On the other side, we had Nese (who impressed in his Cruiserweight Classic performance) show off more reasons why he might be around to stay for a while, with his versatile style in offense. Daivari already made a good pest heel from what we saw in the CWC, but him and Nese gelled smoothly for a first-time team. We never got the sense that TM61 was the superior team, as it came off more evenly matched, but we could tell TM61 was going over at the end. Nese had some impressive spots and the babyfaces finished off the bout with their Thunder Valley finisher. We have a feeling TM61 will end up with Tag Title shots sooner than later.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 8/29/16: Welcome To The Kevin Owens Show

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 of the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 8/29/16)

Welcome To The Kevin Owens Show 

SummerSlam showcased the best of WWE’s future in Finn Balor and Sasha Banks as they each held the top Title in their respective divisions; the WWE Universal Championship and WWE Women’s Championship. Unfortunately, both Balor and Banks suffered injuries that put them on the shelf. For poor Balor, he’d be out until perhaps early Mar. 2017. Where one door closes, another opens. WWE was smart to take this approach into the next Raw episodes, as the opening video highlighted last week’s “series of matches” that determined the participants for a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match for this show. In the end, it was Big Cass, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

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Notes In Observance – WWE CWC 8/24/16: Rounding Out The Elite Eight

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 8/24/16)

Rounding Out The Elite Eight 

– The Cruiserweight Classic could in many ways be described as WWE’s hand-crafted gift to the internet wrestling community. Name recognition has never meant so much these days and the next stars are just waiting to be made here. The opening video followed in the way of NXT TakeOver highlight reels in that we saw the prettiest slow-motion sequences of the series’ biggest strikes, flips and submission holds. Also worked in was the sound bite from Triple H at TakeOver: Brooklyn II where the CWC winner would be crowned on Sep. 14 and receive a trophy designed by the guys at Orange County Choppers. We finished it out as we saw how Akira Tozawa, Noam Dar and Brian Kendrick all made it to the “Elite Eight.” Hyped for this episode were the last of the Second Round matches, which were Zack Sabre Jr.-Drew Gulak, Lince Dorado-Rich Swann and TJ Perkins-Johnny Gargano. That card alone sounds so good on a regular show.

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WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

While that cliche can apply to most things in life, it especially applies to NXT, particularly around SummerSlam weekend.

Again, despite efforts to divert attention to the six-hour spectacle that is SummerSlam itself, it only goes to that of its previous-day predecessor, NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.

Last year, 15,000 Brooklynites held witness to one of WWE’s matches between WWE Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and Bayley.

While this year’s bouts didn’t capture that match’s emotional whirlwind, just like every previous TakeOver special, we left each contest with a “talking point” of some sort.

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Notes In Observance – WWE NXT 8/10/16: Psychological Warfare

WWE NXTBy 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 8/10/16)

Psychological Warfare 

– We liked how the show opened out of the usual realm, as Bobby Roode walked out of General Manager William Regal’s office with a smile on his face now that he knew of “something great.” He left it at that and walked away. Yummy, some light drama and anticipation.

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Notes In Observance – WWE CWC 8/3/16: Sounds Of Violence

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 8/3/16)

Sounds Of Violence 

– The Cruiserweight Classic rolled on, as we saw in the opening video footage of how Zack Sabre Jr., Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and The Brian Kendrick all advanced to the Second Round last week. Previewed for this episode were appearances by the likes of Rich Swann and Jack Gallagher, with the “marquee” bout being the match between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, well-regarded as partners in NXT in line for a Tag Title shot, but opponents on this night.

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