NXT Takeover Is What A Wrestling PPV Should Be

NXT Takeover Is What A Wrestling PPV Should Be

No need for filler segments or bathroom break matches, just pure wrestling and talent.
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Wrestling pay-per-views have always been the sites of rivalries culminating in an anticipated match that fans pay to see. Rather than seeing wrestling on TV, where matches and segments fill up more than two hours a night, PPVs focus more on settling rivalries, changing championships, even important heel/face turns for certain characters.

However, WWE's main roster has had some terrible PPVs in the last five years.

Except for their 'Big Four' PPVs like Summerslam and Wrestlemania, WWE has had some very bad PPVs in terms of low-quality matches and boring segments. Out of this Phoenix rose NXT's Takeover events, WWE's developmental brand putting on some quality PPVs exclusively on the WWE Network. Since 2014, these events have seen incredible matches, impressive debuts, and memorable moments.

NXT Takeover is what a PPV should be in terms of wrestling.

The Takeover events have spawned from their home at Full Sail University in Florida to Brooklyn, Chicago, and even across the pond in London. Takeover provides a great chance for NXT developmental stars to really show their skill to a wider audience as opposed to their hour-long TV show on Wednesdays. We've seen the likes of Neville, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, and Bayley grow and become popular stars on the main roster, all because of Takeover and its' setup.

Takeover: Philadelphia was the site of NXT's first five-star match this past January.

That is true, Johnny Gargano and then-NXT Champion Andrade 'Cien' Almas put on a classic for critics like Dave Meltzer to give a high rank of five stars.

WWE itself had not had a five-star match since 2011 when CM Punk and John Cena stole the show in Chicago. Takeover: Philadelphia opened eyes of many fans and critics in a way that made it a better event than WWE's Royal Rumble the night after. That is impressive enough to note in the history books, even if NXT has had two more five-star matches since January.

Women wrestlers have showcased more of their skills in the ring at events like Takeover.

Women wrestlers, such as UFC crossover and current NXT Women's Champion Shayna Bazler, paved a new way for wrestlers of the opposite sex to be big stars in pro wrestling. The original 'Four Horsewomen of NXT' that included Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Bayley stole numerous Takeover events, including Takeover: Brooklyn in 2015. Overall, women wrestlers have made Takeover, and NXT, much more diverse. Did I also mention one NXT women's wrestler went undefeated for two years?

Takeover events provide old-school vibes that captivate an audience.

I, like many watching Takeover: New Orleans last month, was shocked to see fan favorite Roderick Strong turn on his partner Pete Dunne and join the heel faction Undisputed Era. Many PPVs over the years have done similar things, yet Takeover does it in a way that takes you by surprise. Strong and Dunne were seen as the Cinderella team heading into their triple threat bout that night, but you never saw this coming in the first place.

Takeover gets major kudos for doing this, especially when they showcase five or six marquee matches rather than the clogged main roster PPVs.

Takeover and NXT would not be as popular if it wasn't for the direction of this man:

WWE COO Triple H founded NXT in 2012, and since then has made it one of the most important brands in pro wrestling. Signing indie favorites and showcasing their popularity, as well as developing stars like Velveteen Dream and Authors of Pain, HHH has been at the helm of NXT's success and has a great vision for it. Rather than putting as much talent and segments on one Takeover, HHH manages to flush out the clogged atmosphere the main roster has and shines the light on the top stars with five matches on Takeover cards.

NXT Takeover is exactly what it needs to be as a wrestling PPV and is the opposite of the poor state WWE's main roster is in.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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​A Division By Division Review Of April In The MLB

The 2019 MLB season is well underway, so it may be safer to make some predictions.

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(All statistics referenced are from https://www.mlb.com/.)

Now that most teams have played at least 30 games, we are about 1/5 of the way through the 162 games for each team, which still leaves a huge amount of baseball to be played. However, a lot of predictions and inferences can be made with this large sample size of April, and while they may not hold up, they do have solid evidence behind them. So with that, let's review the pennant races after April.

NL East

The NL East is shaping out to be a competitive division this year, not because all the teams are exceptionally good, but because the teams are well-matched (excluding the MLB-worst Marlins). The Phillies got off to a hot start but cooled off for a bit and picked up steam again, winning seven of their last 10 to lead the division by 1.5 games over the Braves, who are also heating up. The Mets and Nationals are under .500 and slowing down.

NL Central

This division has been wildly competitive as of late, and going to be in my opinion the most fun to watch over the next few weeks. The red-hot Cubs have won their last 7 games, taking the top spot from the Cardinals, who have lost their last four. The Brewers and Pirates are also very close, 1.5 and 3 games back respectively, and on 3 and 2-game win streaks respectively.

NL West

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have revived a strong rivalry and have kindled a strong battle already, playing good baseball, with both teams winning 7 out of their last 10. Both clubs already have 20 wins and are only aiming for more. The Padres are also starting to show signs of improvement, but it is likely that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will be the ones battling for their division.

AL East

Surprisingly, Tampa Bay continues their new success atop the AL East, two games over the Yankees. No one expected the Rays to jump out and lead the division, but they have started to maintain their success and seem to be here for real. Both the Yankees and the Red Sox are finally recovering after shockingly slow starts, 19-14 and 17-18 on the year respectively, good enough for 2nd and 3rd place in the division. If Tampa Bay can play well against the Red Sox and Yanks in their matchups, the Rays can distance themselves in the race.

AL Central

Another surprise, the Twins lead the AL Central by two games, over the Cleveland Indians, who many expected to lead the division this year. While the Indians are 18-14, their expected average factoring in Runs Scored and Runs Allowed should be 15-17, and every club in the AL Central has a negative run differential except the Indians, so it may be safe to say the Twins might be leading for a while.

AL West

In the AL West, the Astros have reclaimed the top spot and look to defend their title. The Mariners, whom no one expected to get to get off to the hot start that they enjoyed, have really fallen off and gotten themselves into a slump, dropping seven of their last 10 games to fall to a 19-17 record. The Astros will likely continue their success and stay atop the AL West

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