I just finished watching NXT Takeover: Dallas and my review will be coming Monday or so. It was an all-round great card with some fantastic matches – the Tag Team Championship match between American Alpha and the Revival was amazing and the NXT Championship match between Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe was great, as to be expected – but there was one match that should not have been as bad as it was – Austin Aries and Baron Corbin.
For those of you who do not know, this is Baron Corbin:
His tummy looks like a face and his face looks like a douche. He is Baron Corbin.
Corbin is the latest in a long line of lads brought up to the roaster before their time. Corbin is billed as being 6 foot 8, 275 pounds and from Kansas city. He comes to the ring in motorcycle leathers, doesn’t smile much, has about six moves and squashed people for about six months when he first joined. For the longest time, the crowd counted how long it took Corbin to hit his End of Days and finish the match. They actually counted up. It rarely reached thirty and not because wrestling fans can’t count that high (we can, I can count super high) but because his squashes were embarrassingly short.
I have no problem with talent being pushed to the moon and back. I have no problem with that at all, in fact I love it. I love when new people join and I love seeing young wrestlers take the stage. What I don’t like is when someone tries to pull the wool over my eyes. Baron Corbin is probably a decent enough guy and his size isn’t an issue. What he lacks is charisma (which can be taught), a decent moveset (which can be taught) and a compelling storyline (which can be written for him). So, basically, he is a failure as a wrestler due to either his own incompetence or his trainers’, or both.
I’m going to go with both.
See, Corbin has been in NXT for about two years now and had matches with Rhyno, Samoa Joe, Finn Bálor, Apollo Crews, Adrian Neville, Austin Aries… pretty much the best the business has to offer and each time, he has made the match severely weaker because of his limited moveset and lack of understanding of ring psychology. It is like a scene between Al Pacino and an actor who has not had any amount of formal training… or bothered to learn his lines or ask the director for help with his character… or turned up to rehearsals… or spoken to Pacino at all before shooting the scene. Unless the actor has some natural skill, it is up to Pacino to carry it and it is going to look naff.
To be fair to Corbin, he has tried to change his character to accommodate this. He legitimately was a Golden Gloves regional champion and had a football career in the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals. He has the size. He has the drive and the ferocity that one must have to take part in a sport like football. The man can do it, he just isn’t. And he looks bored. He walks on stage every week with thousands of fans wearing his gear, booing or cheering him and he looks like he doesn’t give a shit. His character had that gimmick where he didn’t care for a while as well but he needs to be tough enough to back it up. When he loses, he loses hard and looks pathetic. When he wins, it’s because he happens to hit his one move after punching a lot. He needs to train, train, train.
Of course, this is coming from a guy who can’t lift himself off the couch, so it might be a little cheeky of me. I’m a rascal.