Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Heel Turns: Revival trying to buck a trend

Posted by Achilles Heel On August 4

Achilles HeelScott Dawson and Dash Wilder have a lot to overcome. The first obstacle was the broken jaw Wilder suffered at an NXT event in April, shortly after The Revival made their WWE debut. The Revival have returned, jumping into a feud with Matt and Jeff Hardy, but there remain obstacles on their road to WWE success.

NXT have evolved into its own entity, but it retains its original goal – training wrestlers for WWE – as one of its primary functions. But the record of top NXT tag teams once they move to WWE has been, at best, uneven.

The Ascension’s reign atop NXT was a long one, but the team has never caught on in WWE. At this time, The Ascension has been relegated to being supporting players in Breezango’s fashion police skits.

The VaudeVillains may have been doomed by their unique gimmick, which may not have been sustainable over the long run (the black-and-white effect worked on television, but not for the live audience).

American Alpha was tremendous in NXT. The success continued in WWE, with American Alpha winning the Smackdown Tag Team Championship earlier this year from Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. The momentum ended quickly, however, and Jason Jordan and Chad Gable have gone their separate ways, with Jordan moving to Raw as general manager Kurt Angle’s long-lost son.

Enzo and Big Cass enjoyed popularity after arriving in WWE. But Enzo and Cass never won a championship before breaking up earlier this summer.

The lesson s that tag team success in NXT doesn’t necessarily translate to success in WWE. The Revival, however, may be the exception to the rule.

Dawson and Wilder are capable of excellent matches with different types of opponents. Their NXT careers are filled with exceptional matches, including several with American Alpha. Of the tag teams that have made the transition from NXT, The Revival has the best in-ring skills and psychology.

Psychology is such an important part of professional wrestling. It doesn’t matter if you can do a somersault over the top rope if you don’t know the right time to do it. Dawson and Wilder understand ring psychology. They clearly have studied top tag teams from the past, which is why they have an “old school” style.

Another factor favoring a long run for Dawson and Wilder is that neither of them is an obvious breakout singles star. With Enzo and Big Cass, it seemed almost inevitable that Cass would receive an opportunity at being a top star as a singles wrestler. This doesn’t mean that Dawson and Wilder couldn’t be top singles wrestlers. It means it’s not so obvious that one half of the team is better than the other that WWE would split them up.

Will The Revival buck the odds and become the best tag from NXT to make the best transition to WWE? The Greek God of Wrestling likes their chances.


NAKAMURA GETS TITLE SHOT: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated John Cena on Smackdown to earn a shot at the WWE Championship held by Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam on Aug. 20 in Brooklyn. This is quite an opportunity for Nakamura, who was outstanding as NXT champion.

Other matches added to SummerSlam this past week including A.J. Styles defending the United States Championship against Kevin Owens, with Shane McMahon as the guest referee, Randy Orton vs. Rusev, and Akira Tozawa challenging Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

SummerSlam is headlined by Brock Lesnar defending the WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in a fatal four-way. Both women’s titles will be up for grabs, with Alex Bliss defending the Raw Women’s Championship against Bayley, and Natalya challenging Naomi for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. That still leaves a few opportunities for tag team title matches – perhaps Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins against Sheamus and Cesaro – and matches involving John Cena, Charlotte Flair and Matt and Jeff Hardy, just to mention a few of the big stars without SummerSlam matches.


CHANCE OF A LIFETIME: Legendary CZW champion Masada will challenge Shane Strickland for the Combat Zone Wrestling Heavyweight Championship at “Once in a Lifetime” on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees. Strickland captured the title in a four-way match with Lio Rush, Joe Gacy and defending champion Davey Richards at Evilution on July 8.

Atsushi Onita battles Father Matthew Tremont in what is certain to be a physical confrontation. Rush, who is headed to WWE, will battle Joey Janela in what is likely his final match in CZW. There will also be a meet-and-greet session with Onita from 4-6 p.m. The session costs $40 and is first-come, first-served.


CHIKARASAURUS REX: You can make it a wrestling doubleheader by attending CHIKARA’s Chikarasaurus Rex: Flesh and Stone (3 p.m.) at The Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia before heading to New Jersey for CZW’s “Chance of a Lieftime,”. Johnny Kidd Invitational winner Rory Gulak challenges CHIKARA grand champion Juan Francisco de Coronado in the main event. Other matches include Dasher Hatfield vs. Merlok, Razorhawk vs. Everett Connors, and Missile Assault Man vs. The Whisper.

This will be the final opportunity to see CHIKARA before its King of Trios tournament, which takes place at the start of September in England. The next chance to see CHIKARA in the United States will be Sept. 30 at The Wrestle Factory.


RUMBLE SOLD OUT: Tickets for next year’s Royal Rumble sold out almost immediately when they went on sale Saturday. Your only opportunities to go to the Rumble are to buy tickets on the secondary market.

You can still be part of Royal Rumble week in Philly by getting tickets for NXT, Raw and Smackdown – all of which will be at Wells Fargo Center – when they go on sale.


LATINO CONNECTION: With the feud between Alberto El Patron’s family and LAX as the top storyline, it appears that Global Force Wrestling is making a conscious effort to appeal to the Latino audience. For those who missed Impact Wrestling, Low Ki was revealed as the newest member of LAX.


BRINGING DOWN A MOOSE: Ethan Carter III captured Global Force Wrestling’s Grand Championship with a split decision win over Moose on this week’s Impact Wrestling.


NXT IN BROOKLYN: As has become the custom at the biggest WWE shows, NXT Takeover will take place the night before in the same venue. For NXT Takeover: Brooklyn on Aug. 19 at Barclays Center, Bobby Roode will defend the NXT Championship against Drew McIntyre. Other title matches include Asuka defending the NXT Women’s Championship against Ember Moon and The Authors of Pain defending the NXT Tag Team Championship against SAnitY. Both of those tag teams may eventually end up in WWE.

Added to this card after a confrontation this week on NXT (Wednesdays on WWE Network) is a match between Aleister Black and Hideo Itami. There will be one more match added to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, but Achilles Heel detests spoilers.


PEAK OF POLICE SKITS: The Greek God of Wrestling appreciated the “Twin Peaks” theme of this past week’s Fashion Police skit on Smackdown. Having said that, and while giving credit to Fandango and Tyler Breeze for giving it their best shot, these fashion police skits are generally terrible.

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