NXT Date: October 9, 2019 Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida Commentators: Beth Phoenix, Nigel McGuinness, Mauro Ranallo
We’re into the second week of head to head and that could mean some interesting developments. Above all else, it should be interesting to see how the show adjusts after getting flattened in the ratings last week. Maybe it was a one off surprise due to the debut, but it could be the start of a trend and that could mean some changes. Let’s get to it.
Takeover: Cardiff Date: August 31, 2019 Location: Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, Cardiff, Wales Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph
It’s been a long time since we’ve had one of these things and that might be best. NXT UK is getting the hang of things but they’re still a long way away from being ready to do regular big time specials. This time around we have a big main event in the form of Tyler Bate challenging Walter for the United Kingdom Title. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: August 21, 2019 Location: Plymouth Pavilions, Devon, England Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
We’ve got less than two weeks to go before Takeover: Cardiff and that means things are going to be hitting the high gear around here. This week that will a showdown between Walter and Tyler Bate, which has the potential to be one of the best matches we’ve ever seen around here. Other than that….oh who cares as Walter and Bate are in the same ring. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: July 31, 2019 Location: Plymouth Pavilions, Devon, England Commentators: Vic Joseph, Aiden English
We’re a month away from Takeover: Cardiff and that means a lot of the card is already set. This has been one of the better shows around as of late and I’m hoping we get even more of what they’ve been doing. Takeover: Cardiff is actually looking a bit more interesting than Takeover: Toronto at the moment and as strange as that is, it’s nice to have something different for a change. Tonight is the start of a fresh taping cycle as well so let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: July 24, 2019 Location: Download Festival, Leicestershire, England Commentators: Vic Joseph, Aiden English
The build towards Takeover: Cardiff continues as we now have some challengers coming up for Walter. First up is Trent Seven, who is fighting for the injured Tyler Bate, taken out at Walter’s hands. Odds are Bate gets the shot at Cardiff, but that doesn’t mean this is a nothing match. Seven has been awesome as of late and this could be quite good. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: June 26, 2019 Location: Download Festival, Leicestershire, England Commentators: Vic Joseph, Aiden English
We’re still at the Download Festival and that means we’re still in for a cool venue. The big story coming out of last week saw Kay Lee Ray becoming the new #1 contender to the Women’s Title, though you might not be seeing the title match for a little while. What we get tonight though is Walter defending the United Kingdom Title against Travis Banks, which could be rather interesting. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: May 22, 2019 Location: Braehead Arena, Glasgow, Scotland Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
It’s time for a big one as we have Pete Dunne vs. Walter II for the United Kingdom Title. The first match was the biggest match in the history of NXT UK and now Dunne wants his chance to get the title back. That’s all but a guarantee for some shenanigans but the question is what kind. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: May 1, 2019 Location: Pier 12, New York City, New York Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
We’re still in New York and that means it’s hard to say what we’re getting this week. There is however one very big match set up with United Kingdom Champion Walter facing Jordan Devlin in a non-title match. I’ve seen them have a heck of a match elsewhere so I have some high hopes for this one. Let’s get to it.
Takeover: New York Date: April 5, 2019 Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
We’re finally in the big city for what might be the best show of the weekend (I’m looking at you ROH/G1. Impress me.) with a new NXT Champion guaranteed in the main event. Other than that we have all title matches up and down the card with the United Kingdom Title on the line as well. I guess I can deal with this if I have to. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: March 27, 2019 Location: Coventry Skydome Arena, Coventry, England Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
We’re down to two shows before Wrestlemania weekend, meaning we’re in for the build towards Pete Dunne defending the United Kingdom Title against Walter in what should be an incredible showdown. I’m not sure what else we’ll be seeing, but at least we should be in for some entertaining stuff, which has become the norm around here. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: March 13, 2019 Location: Coventry Skydome Arena, Coventry, England Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
With less than a month to go before Wrestlemania, it’s time to get things ready for what should be the most obvious title match in years. Tonight Pete Dunne and Walter team up to face the Coffey Brothers in what should be an interesting match. Other than that it’s time to keep setting things up for what is probably coming up after New York. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: February 27, 2019 Location: Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph
We’re still in Phoenix and this time around we have a heck of a card, including a Tag Team Title match as the Grizzled Young Veterans defend the titles for the first time. The arguably bigger draw though is Walter, who will be facing Kassius Ohno for his biggest challenge to date. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: February 6, 2019 Location: Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, England Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
Last week saw the rise of Walter, who is clearly going to be a major star around here in short order. The man is a monster who is going to run over everyone in his path, possibly including UK Champion Pete Dunne. Tonight he’s in action again against Mark Coffey, which makes it clear that they know they have something here. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: January 30, 2019 Location: Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, England Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph
We’re still in Blackpool and that means we could be in for some fun stuff. The fallout from Takeover is still in effect and we’re probably on the verge of seeing Walter make his in-ring debut. He’s a heck of a monster and if he does things well, he can be the top star around here in a hurry. Let’s get to it.
NXT UK Date: January 23, 2019 Location: Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, England Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
It’s time to get back to the regular shows as we have the first real show after Takeover. The big story coming out of Takeover is the debut of Walter, who is instantly as big of a star as we have around here, putting him on the Pete Dunne level. The question now is when does he get to take the title from Dunne, in what should be an instant classic. Let’s get to it.
Shotgun is the weekly show on wXw Now, featuring an hour of the best matches from their never-ending tours of Germany with promos and skits to advance the plots and feuds. It’s comparable to ECW’s Hardcore TV because even the un-important matches are high-level indie quality.
I’ve missed all of them this year so figured I’d type up as I catch up as wXw can be rewarding if you’re paying attention. This is pretty abridged but I’ll go back to normal David Hume-levels of word count when I’m watching one show a week like a normal person.
The CZW 2005 reviews took forever to do so if I’m going to type essay-length reviews to entertain myself they may as well be about something relevant, so let’s look at the efficient German indie Westside Xtreme Wrestling instead.
Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a short story about a man with an
oppressive wife, who constantly has flights of fancy in order to escape
her meandering omnipresence. Due to its popularity and name recognition,
a movie about the short story kicked around Hollywood for awhile,
getting attached to names like Jim Carey before eventually finding its way
into the hands of Ben Stiller, who stars and directs the very loose
a great choice, as he’s an actor who built almost his entire resume on
willingly embarrassing himself in front of Robert DeNiro, Owen Wilson,
Vince Vaughn, and most recently Eddie Murphy. In Meet The Parents he was
brilliant at generating palpable uncomfortable silences that made the
audience erupt with laughter. In Tropic Thunder he directed Robert
Downey Jr to an Oscar Nomination for a comedy. Heck, the only
reason Zoolander succeeded is because he played the titular character
with such a serious earnestness you legitimately felt bad for the guy.
are wonderful clubs to have in the bag if you’re making a light hearted
drama about a guy who thinks too much. And boy oh boy, does he come out
The story finds zone-out prone Walter Mitty (Ben
Stiller) as a weak-willed, shy, introverted photo processor for Life
Magazine. Naturally he’s attracted to a girl at the office, and in a
nice touch is so socially paralyzed he doesn’t anguish about asking her
out, no, he anguishes about sending her a ‘wink’ on Match.com.
has fantasies ranging from saving the girl at work from a fire, to
living with her in a weird Benjamin Button (another loose adaptation of a
short story) kind of thing, and even little things like the right thing
to say at the right time. The less outlandish ones sometimes go on for
awhile before we snap back and see the scene was all in Walter’s head.
These scenes are irksome and annoying, not without purpose – ultimately
giving us a window in Walter’s world as both he and the audience feel
the jerked around by his emotions.
Walter finds himself butting heads with a new boss, slowly befriending
the girl at work, Cherly (Kristen Wiig) and is ultimately charged with
the task of locating a missing photo that’s going on the cover of final
print issue of Life Magazine.
little motivating factor takes him from the dour grays and pale blues
of the Life Magazine office to the welcoming lush green pastures of
Iceland and the bone chilling cold of the arctic – ultimately exploring
himself along the way.
seen this kind of thing before – a person goes on a journey of
unintended self discovery, often in exotic lands, and arrives at some
form of personal enlightenment. See About Schmidt, The Best Exotic
Marigold Hotel, Forest Gump, The Station Agent, and
we can toss in that Julia Roberts flick where she goes to India.
point is these flicks come in numerous permutations from buddy comedies
to feminist rallying calls to even classic stoner comedies.
comedy? Yep. The movie has a lot in common with John Cho’s arc from
and Kumar Go to White Castle if you replace weed with geeky
photography talk. There are moments of broad comedy, unexpected
enlightenment, uplifting resolution, and a drunk guy (not Neil Patrick
Harris) flies a helicopter!
Walter and Harold’s change in outlook
doesn’t happen right away, and they aren’t so inept at the start of the
movie that their change is impossible, either. But most importantly
they’re uplifting in a way that doesn’t feel contrived or overtly
in Walter Mitty, where there are no grandstanding proclamations of love
or tell offs to the boss, and instead the confidence comes via posture
and eye contact. Ben Stiller looks almost like a completely different
person by the end of movie, and the change is so subtle you don’t notice
until you do, ya know?