How many times is too many times for WWE to be outperformed in every facet by NXT?
You would think one would be enough motivation, but apparently, that's not how things work around here.
NXT Takeover was once again an action-packed, fun show from start to finish that was topped off in grand fashion with the heavily anticipated main event of Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura.
You know what makes it even more special?
NXT's show was done in 2.5 hours and didn't make you feel like you got hit by a truck and then defecated on by said driver of that truck.
With all the hype surrounding WWE's No. 2 night of the year, the biggest takeaways of the night were the instant-classic between John Cena and AJ Styles -- which probably finished around noon Sunday -- a shitty, lazily slopped together championship and Brock Lesnar TKO'ing Randy Orton in a 10-minute snoozefest of a main event.
You know what makes all of this so much worse?
It took 5-6 hours for all of this to unfold.
Do you know how hard it is for wrestling fans to watch six hours of wrestling by themselves, let alone with people who would never knowingly choose to watch six hours of wrestling unless persuaded by friendship and/or love?
The final two events of the night were borderline useless. The Court of Nerds' youngest member, Isaac McCarthy, turned to the room near the end of the show and said these words:
Clean up your writing and lose some of the clutter, WWE. There is no reason to put on 6-hours of show if you can't even get the last 30-minutes right.
But, this is the same company that things three-person announce teams are a good idea. Three-person announce teams that talk over every single moment, that yell 24/7, don't know the difference between a Suplex and a slam, and did I mention that they talk over every single moment?
Not to play the Smarkiest card in the book, but listen to Jim "JR" Ross' podcast "The Ross Report" and you will hear the man widely regarded as one of the best wrestling announcers speak on this.
There are moments where the fan at home wants to take in a scene, a move or a fight. There are moments where we don't need Michael Cole or Mauro Ranallo screaming at us.
It not only ruins the moment, but it distracts us from what is taking place. It takes away from the efforts of the performers by focusing on someone's voice who we shouldn't give two shits about at the time and moment.
Last night's SummerSlam was a perfect, glaring example of some of the biggest problems facing WWE.
Are his matches boring or does WWE still have no idea what works and what doesn't with this guy, who is supposed to be the big-ticket item? Seriously, 15 years in the making and all we get is a sloppy 10-minutes and some change of German suplexes, hard UFC elbows and a bloody TKO ending?
I'm in the camp that believes Brock is still the company's best tool, but that doesn't mean you can just throw him in with anyone at the end of a show and it expect it to work.
We don't need to be sold on Brock being a monster, on being the most feared guy in the company or the most legitimized superstar out there. That's been done ... for quite some time now.
But, here we are, in 2016, and that's the only thing WWE accomplished with its "15 years in the making" match. That is literally it. Brock doesn't come off as a bigger threat than he did and Randy doesn't look any worse after taking the beatdown.
Big matches and big shows are meant to mean something. Not just for nostalgia, but for the direction of the company. We were left without nostalgia or a direction after this.
Brock's best performances have arguably come when paired with superstars like CM Punk, Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins, you get the picture. Randy Orton, while a legend in his own right, does not fit this mold.
Orton succeeds most when he is a heel and using fear to get inside the mind of his opponent.
As fans, we've been taught that nothing scares Brock Lesnar.
Moving forward, granted that Brock sticks around, I think the best option is to throw him into a rivalry with Finn Balor. Legitimizes the horrifying, ugly and boring new Raw championship and it puts him against someone I feel could tear the house down.
Corey Graves needing more air-time:
It's been time to kill the three-man announce table since it came into existence. The emergence of Corey Graves from NXT in-ring competitor to NXT announcer and RAW announcer has only made me crave it more.
This is the heel announcer they've been trying to recreate since they forced JR away from the booth and neutered Jerry Lawler. He knows his stuff, he can deliver his lines in a manner that makes him a natural heel and not a forced one, and I think he pairs well with Michael Cole.
It's a win-win situation for all involved. Three-person announce teams are taking away and distracting fans from the action. No one seems to know when they should speak or for how long, and it gives each broadcast a sloppy, amateur feel.
Shows running way too long:
Pretty obvious one, but this has been the biggest issue with the company's top shows since launching the WWE Network. Just because you can do a 6-hour show, doesn't mean you should.
Especially, when you can't even put together a coherent ending.
Look at NXT's shows, why are they so widely-regarded? Well, that's because they fit everything they said they were going to fit in -- all while adhering to a realistic time frame.
The excitement was gone from Finn and Seth, they basically replayed the same exact fight from Monday Night Raw with Roman delivering a massive down-the-ramp spear to Ruesv and the main event only lasted 10 minutes.
What the hell is that?
There are a number of other issues like Dean Ambrose's chunkiness, Sasha's injuries, where the WWE writing team is at, where Brock is and what the hell they're doing with KO and, Enzo and Cass.
Everything comes off as directionless coming out of SummerSlam at a time where fans need a little clarity more than ever after the brand extension.
Oh, and KFC got more in-ring time than Sami Zayn, who beat Kevin Owens in a marquee match at Battleground just a month ago and was a top draft pick.