And onward we go...
I like shows that open on good segments, and this was done well. It was actually a pretty big surprise to me to see Castor in EPW. Didn't quite know how to react at first to his being announced in the World Title match at Wrestleverse V... just seems weird to throw in an impromptu challenger from outside of the fed into the main program. But after I thought about it, it seemed to make sense. Putting himself into the thick of things is something I think the world could expect out of Castor Strife. Besides that, it definitely rounds out the feud dynamic between the First and Impulse; Strife just seems like a natural third to put into that. It does raise another concern, which I'll address later on. As it stands, big announcement for Aggression 75, and a good idea of what to expect come the big PPV event.
Haughton vs. Jones
Took up this match. Wanted to show the best both sides: Jones, developing as an athlete and being the hometown underdog, with "Judgment" putting up a strong challenge as he makes a statement in his debut, and comes around to learn that Jones is one of the good guys. I hope it served its purpose. I'm still quietly rooting for Jones to get over the hump, so I felt his showing a bit of offense and getting a few close calls would do well to show he's getting closer to that point.
Cruise and First Segment
Always a joy, watching these two interact... they can always say so much to each other, and yet I never really get the sense that either of these guys is capable of listening; they're simply on completely opposite wavelengths. Cruise makes a good play here, putting his face back onto the champion's growing lists of concerns, and plugging himself for the battle royal at Aggression 75.
...hang on a sec, was I the only guy that didn't know there was a battle royal happening?
DDD vs. POV
I think it's a good thing that we can have tag team matches again that don't directly involve the Tag Team Championships or the people who carry them. Nicely written match here, putting over Dirk Dickwood Presents, reminding the world they won the King of the Cage tournament to establish themselves and cooling off Point of View, who were up until then the hot frontrunners to compete for the Tag Titles. Eager to see where the stuff with Freedman leads to; this match had a nice callback to their being pulled from a match against the champs, but considering he didn't do much other than come out and make his presence known, I'm still guessing as to what his business is about. More to come in time, I'm certain.
Now, if it were MY character trying to bring brownies into the building, he'd be spread out against the concrete with his hands behind his back in a heartbeat...
But anyway, good callback to the events at the end of the last show, keeping this belt heist story a'rollin.
Boogie Smallz vs. Wolves of the Sea
Seemed pretty quick and to the point. Implementing tag rules was a good way of protecting the Wolves here, but Boogie just looked like an unstoppable beast from bell to bell. Glad to finally see him get to action, and glad to see it pay off in a big way. He's really developed nicely as a monster champion... would actually make an interesting fourth in the WV5 main event.
Again, could lead-up with the belt heist segment. Now the Impulse arrival seg seems less random... good to have a continuation of the storyline throughout the show. Short here, but it gets the job done.
Nothing really to say here. I've learned over the years in this hobby, the worst angles are usually the ones that get no response. Not sure with what I was going with, and not sure where I'm going with this character in general. Been trying to play Rocko like Peyton Manning in today's NFL; all this East Coast drama getting the headlines, but he's just quietly going out there and getting the job done night after night. The lack of having any compelling storyline, however, just makes the character seems stale and formulaic... and because of that, it feels more like he's falling behind the pack rather than pulling ahead.
Flair vs. Daymon vs. Light
Damb, Flair got MAD over in this match. In a way, it make sense... after all these weeks of everybody being overly respectful to each other, it would seem natural that the one guy who finally comes to the conclusion of "Fuck it... I'm here to kick your ass, and that's what I'm going to do" would be the guy that goes the extra step. I guess I didn't expect it to happen in such dominant fashion, especially given the caliber of the opponents. It's a frustrating result, and perhaps not the ideal outcome in terms of what I'm trying to do, but there's enough there for me to work with. In any case, Flair looks good, and denying the hand-shake to Light when he seemed willing to do so with Aaron Jones gives me the idea that he's over being the nice guy. I think he'd be a good foil to Smallz, personally... two guys who just jump in and start kicking ass without delay.
Team VIAGRA Segment
I'm happy to see Team VIAGRA back in action... and even happier to see this flair of personality on the show. Seriously, I think I got a better idea of "High Flyer" Jack Harmen in this one segment than I've ever had. Good, powerful segment, and I'm actually eager to see Harmen make a presence at Aggression 75.
Rezin vs. MJ2
Ben Rusch is clearly the muthafugginest of handlers I've had the honor of working with in many a year, and I'm glad to have him as a part of this federation, with a character as non-compromising and badass as Malcolm Joseph-Jones. Really tried to give him some credit by showing MJ2 as the dominant and determined bulldozer of a human being he is. At the same time, tried to show some of Rezin's strengths, in his speed, striking, and sneakery. Wanted to leave this one open-ended, in an effort to extend a feud through Wrestleverse V... try something new with the Television Title, which for many years has hosted a revolving door of champions. Hope everybody liked the read.
I thought this was the perfect way to close out the show: both the prime players face to face in the ring, with Impulse standing heroically and the First taking the low road and hiring thugs to work into a scheme. The beauty of it is he didn't NEED to beat down Impulse, who was already in the process of handing the belt over, adamant that he wanted it off his hands; but the champ added insult to injury anyhow, just to assert his grip on the top of the company. Really good way to keep this feud interesting and rolling along, which should build up nicely to Wrestleverse V.
Only reluctant thought on this match actually has to do with said main event to WV5. I was expecting Impulse to stay involved, but originally, I was thinking it would be a rematch between the two, with an added stipulation: maybe a submissions match, with Muse and Rosie holding the towels. The wrestling match to end all wrestling matches, or something. Four corner matches are nice, but they can feel bloated sometimes if there isn't a whole lot of storyline involved. Or, two other people would distract from the story that matters: Impulse vs. the First.
Fortunately, I think Castor is a GREAT fit to that storyline; I don't think he distracts from that rivalry, but instead adds a new dimension to it. So that's awesome. My concern, though, is the fourth person, and where they fit in. Think about it... this person is expected to overcome the entire locker room in a battle royal, then overcome the follow-up match to earn his way into the main event of Wrestleverse V, and then overcome three other elite talents already embroiled in their own triangle dynamic. It just feels like whoever that may be, they'll end up being a fourth wheel on a tricycle. They'd almost be damned to being overshadowed, after putting forward so much effort to get there.
I don't think that will be the exact case -- as I said earlier, I think if Boogie Smallz, as the merciless IC champ, would walk right into that match like he walked into his match on this show, not give a damb about what the other guys were yammering about, only that he was there to crush and conquer, 'nuff said. Under the right circumstances, it could be made to work. I'm just hoping the interest doesn't get split up too much, with half of the show building this dynamic between Impulse/First/Strife, while the other half building around finding a new competitor.
...ah, who the fuck am I kidding? We all know Hornet's going to win in the end.