G5: Night of Champions, Hideo Itami, title belts, more

Was Night of Champions one of WWE’s best events of the year, or a lacklustre show with a flat finish?

And what about Hideo Itami’s in-ring debut on last week’s NXT? Did the man formerly known as KENTA live up to the hype?

Plus, we discuss the nicest looking championship belts in pro-wrestling today, and much more, in this week’s Gimme Five.

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1) Night of Champions has been and gone. One of WWE’s best events of the year, or a lacklustre pay-per-view with a flat finish?

Luke:
I felt the pay-per-view was lacklustre and that it was the quality Raw should be these days. The main event was okay at most. WWE had a lot of momentum rolling out of SummerSlam and another opportunity to spice up the John Cena character, even if it was small changes to make him look more serious, but I felt it was another missed opportunity.

Blake:
I was actually really pleasantly surprised by the event. I had flatly said beforehand that NXT TakeOver would be better than this event, but that was not the case. This event had been built up, the matches were mostly fantastic, and I was interested the majority of the time. This wasn’t a top tier, A-plus level pay-per-view, but it wasn’t meant to be. This is a pay-per-view that is meant to build towards Survivor Series, and I think it did that.

David:
I agree the ending was somewhat flat, but the undercard for Night of Champions was amazing. Has there been a better first hour of in-ring action in recent memory? I don’t think so. Throw in some title changes too, and this becomes something more than just a “filler” pay-per-view.

Stevie:
I was expecting a really poor show but thought everybody really brought it in their matches. Cesaro and Sheamus kicked the hell out of each other. So, low expectations led to enjoyment. But WWE is coasting along right now and I think those low expectations are going to continue.

 

2) Total Divas is onto its third season in the United States, with the second currently airing in New Zealand. Has the show still got your attention as it continues on? Or, alternatively, did it ever?

Luke:
The first season had my attention, though I lost interest in the second season. I most likely will be skipping Total Divas season three in favour of better WWE programming such as the Monday Night War series on the WWE Network.

Blake:
I watched one episode, and that is 45 minutes I’ll never get back.

David:
The more you watch, the more similarities you start to see between each episode, but Total Divas is still one of the best things WWE has done. As long as the events of episodes clearly shot several months ago don’t get passed off as current events on Raw, long may it continue!

Stevie:
It’s got my attention as much as it ever did. The show is terrible and makes the stars look worse. But I still sometimes watch, like with any good car wreck. The addition of Rosa may be the nail in the coffin for me though.

 

3) Hideo Itami made his official WWE debut on last week’s episode of NXT. Did he live up to the hype?

Luke:
I felt that he did. I’m a big fan of KENTA (I’ll get used to the name change… eventually!) and it’s just great to see him in a WWE ring. These are early days and he has a great opportunity to wow the fans and build his persona in the States. It’s an exciting time to be watching him and NXT as a whole.

Blake:
His wrestling ability was never called into question, and the fans managed to connect with his new name. Furthermore, his feud with The Ascension was built upon. The only thing that I didn’t like was his new finisher, the diving double foot stomp. I understand that he might not be able to use the GTS or the Busaiku Knee Kick due to certain other athletes, but the stomp did not work for me.

David:
That obviously wasn’t KENTA at his finest, but he did enough to get people to tune in the following week. I’m interested to see where things go with The Ascension, but I’m confident the only way is up.

Stevie:
It’s a good start. Hype is big for the former KENTA and everybody wants him to succeed. Here’s hoping for big things.

 

4) WrestleMania 31 travel packages go on sale this coming week. Will you be heading to San Jose to take in the Showcase of the Immortals?

Nope. I have no interest in heading to the San Jose area for WrestleMania 31. I have attended two WrestleManias now—28 and 30—and with the landscape of the talent right now I don’t see any drawcards that would entice me to attend. At WrestleMania 32 hopefully we will see guys like Rollins, Wyatt, Ambrose, and Cesaro all at that main event level, which is money. Right now, I just feel that 31 is a lot of money for a transitional WrestleMania. And the rumours of Sting, well, they don’t entice me either.

Blake:
Not on my pay cheque.

David:
I’ll be there. WrestleMania 29 and 30 were both amazing experiences, and I imagine 31 won’t be any different. The travel packages make everything wonderfully easy to take care of for international travellers – just book in your flights and you’re good to go.

Stevie:
Definitely intending to. I was gutted that I missed out an WrestleMania 30 – a card that, when the travel packages came out, I thought was going to be a terrible event. WM30 ended up being amazing on the screen, so I don’t want to miss out on what could happen next year.

 

5) Which is the best looking championship belt in pro-wrestling today?

Luke:
Any of the NJPW championships! The belts there are what real, prestigious belts are supposed to look like. I am also a huge fan of Jay Briscoe’s ROH Championship belt. It’s bad ass!

Blake:
I don’t know why, but I really like the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. There’s just something about it that looks really… I don’t know if “professional” is the word I’m looking for, but let’s say it is. Also, when you add on the history behind it, something is just added, that level of prestige that needs to go with the look of a championship.

David:
The IWGP Heavyweight Championship is very impressive. As is the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. And the ROH World Championship. I don’t know if any of the WWE belts would make it at the top end of my list, actually, which just goes to show there’s more to a championship than just it aesthetic.

Stevie:
I’ve gotta echo Luke and Blake and say the NJPW belts are pretty cool. They look like something you’d want to claw and scratch for. I like the SHIMMER belts too. They look like championships and not like toys, as some belts do these days.