Freedom to Float

first_imgHelp secure your “Freedom to Float” on Virginia water!freedom-to-floatThis coming January, the Virginia State Senate will vote on a bill that hits close to home for any local paddler. The changes that this piece of legislation could bring are incredibly important for the outdoors community — it seeks to improve stream travel in the area and clarify the laws in place for boaters. This is a great opportunity to address some issues that have managed to slip by over over the past several years and to make paddling a more accessible sport.The bill, SB 629, reads:That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 29.1-745.1 as follows:Traveling upon certain waters.No person shall be liable for civil or criminal trespass for travel upon a nontidal river, stream, or creek with a drainage area of at least seven square miles within the Commonwealth if the travel consists solely of floating in or upon the water in a nonmotorized vessel for purposes of recreation. Nothing in this section shall be construed to change existing ownership rights in real property or to allow travel upon any waters where prohibited by law.The proposed changes speak to anyone with an interest in our streams. They will open up new travel options for kayakers and canoers, clear up legal confusion, and support outdoor industries. Also, there will be no affect on standing property rights for landowners–the bill would simply allow recreational and nonmotorized water vehicles to float on Virginia water.There are a number of things that you can do to get your foot in the door.First, pick up your phone. Give you state State Senator or Delegate a ring to tell them that you want their vote for SB 629, and to remind them how much you value our rivers.Next, get networking. Take the time to contact any outdoor adventure communities or organizations (like Blueridge Outdoors!) and work together to make a team effort.Lastly, hype it up. Tell your friends, family, and anyone who appreciates the water around us about your love for the outdoors lifestyle. The goal is to get people talking.Virginia is close to giving its devoted paddlers and river travelers the “Freedom to Float”. Join in on taking these last crucial steps and become part of the solution.freedom-to-float4last_img read more

Credit union lending: NCUA says delinquencies are rising

first_imgA new report from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) finds that loan delinquencies and charge-off rates are rising at the nation’s CUs.Much of this is due to a happy development: credit union lending has risen by a healthy amount recently.In fact, loans outstanding were up 10.7% in the year ending in the first quarter of 2016. Total loans reached $799.5 billion at the end of the first quarter, NCUA said.New auto loan originations rose 15.4%, accounting for the biggest part of the overall increase. Used auto loans were up by 13.2%.CUs are lending more to member businesses. These loans grew by 13%. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

President Trump’s 2020 – The New York Times

first_imgThe year began with Mr. Trump embroiled in a monthslong impeachment proceeding, which scrutinized his pressure campaign on the president of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals at home. That was, in retrospect, the easy part of the year.From the Democratic primary race emerged perhaps the trickiest opponent for him — Joseph R. Biden Jr., a centrist with moderate appeal. A pandemic killed more than 230,000 people in the United States and devastated the economic gains that were to serve as his main argument for re-election.But Mr. Trump was already holding rage-filled campaign rallies in January, warning that Democrats’ efforts to remove him from office were designed to “nullify the ballots of tens of millions of patriotic Americans.” He returned to the campaign trail, often visiting states where Democrats were holding primary contests. In the closing days of the campaign, Mr. Trump barnstormed the country as if the virus that defined much of his year did not exist. His lagging position in the polls was evident in his grueling travel schedule, which had him seeking to shore up votes in states that he won in 2016, with up to five stops a day.Instead of focusing his closing argument on the economy, he accused doctors of fabricating coronavirus cases in order to make money, complained about the bitter cold in states like Michigan, and hinted he wanted to fire Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. His last stop before Election Day was Michigan, a repeat of his travel schedule four years ago. Mr. Trump hosted Judge Barrett, her family and Republican lawmakers at the White House for a formal announcement ceremony the next weekend. There was no social distancing and few wore masks. Mr. Trump downplayed the risks of the coronavirus as it began to take hold in February. In an Oval Office address in March, he struggled to acknowledge the deepening crisis while continuing to diminish its threat to the country’s future. He described it ominously as a “foreign virus,” blaming China and Europe. The Senate, divided almost entirely along party lines, acquitted Mr. Trump of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress to aid his own re-election. The president hailed it as a victory, calling the entire impeachment “corrupt.” After moving the location of the Republican National Convention twice, Mr. Trump eventually decided to deliver his renomination speech from the South Lawn of the White House in August. Updated Nov. 2, 2020, 11:37 p.m. ET His campaign maintained that holding the premier political event of the presidential race on government property was not a violation of the Hatch Act. But the event symbolized a final demolition of the boundary between governing and campaigning that the president had been eroding for years. Annie Karni After George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed in the custody of the Minneapolis police, protests against racial injustice spread throughout the country. A chemical spray and rubber bullets were used to clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, so that Mr. Trump could stage a photo op at a nearby church that had been vandalized days before. Nov. 2, 2020This was not the 2020 that President Trump had envisioned for himself.- Advertisement – In April, Mr. Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” — encouraging his supporters to protest coronavirus restrictions imposed by Democratic governors. His appeal to his base furthered partisan divisions on the pandemic response.center_img – Advertisement – Standing in front of Mount Rushmore just before the Fourth of July, Mr. Trump used an official presidential address to wage a culture war against a straw-man version of the left that he portrayed as inciting mayhem and moving the country toward totalitarianism.He tried to position himself as the candidate of law and order, claiming that “angry mobs” wanted to tear down statues of the nation’s founders and “unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.” The Trump campaign hyped a June rally in Tulsa, Okla., as the president’s triumphant return to the stump. Though the campaign claimed that nearly one million people had registered for tickets, Mr. Trump spoke in front of a mostly empty arena. It was a sign that even his own supporters were frightened of the coronavirus, despite his repeated attempts to dismiss it. Assured acquittal by the Republican-led Senate, Mr. Trump used his State of the Union address to make the case for a second term. The most memorable moment of the evening was delivered by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who ostentatiously ripped up her copy of the president’s speech at its conclusion. And Republican lawmakers’ cheers of “Four more years!” made it clear that both parties were interested in creating a partisan spectacle. Eight days before the election, Mr. Trump won confirmation of his third Supreme Court justice. He immediately hosted a nighttime ceremony on the White House lawn to swear in Ms. Barrett. The outdoor gathering was a mirror image of the potential superspreader event he held a month earlier to announce her nomination. – Advertisement – Less than 48 hours after the debate, Mr. Trump announced on Twitter that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for the coronavirus. He was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he remained for three days. The White House physician, Dr. Sean P. Conley, delivered confusion and obfuscation with his updates on the president’s condition.Upon his return to the White House, Mr. Trump was unrepentant about his efforts to play down the virus. “Don’t let it dominate your lives,” he urged Americans. Mr. Trump roared back to the campaign trail after his recovery. In the final weeks of the race, as the number of coronavirus cases skyrocketed nationwide, his leading message to supporters was to trust him that the worst of the pandemic was over. He railed against the news media for continuing to cover the health crisis. The day after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September, Mr. Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, were already in contact with Judge Amy Coney Barrett about filling the opening on the Supreme Court. Two days later, they offered her the nomination. The first coronavirus outbreak in the spring hit hard in Northeastern cities and spots on the West Coast, but a second surge in the summer spread across a wider portion of the country. Hospitals fought to contain the surge. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Military parade is only to praise Trump

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I think president Trump’s recent proposal for a military parade in Washington, D.C., is a bad idea. He seems to want to turn the streets of our capital into replicas of the streets of  Moscow or the streets of Pyongyang, North Korea.I concede grudgingly that the vast amount of money we spend on the military may be necessary for our defense, but I’m still somewhat appalled by the fact that we spend more on our military than all of our Western allies put together. However, although our military spending may unfortunately be necessary, I don’t think it’s something we should celebrate with a parade.Deep down however, my objection to a military parade is that it’s clearly a typical self-aggrandizing Trump maneuver. I wouldn’t be surprised if he would like our troops to salute him with a “Heil Trump” as they passed the reviewing stand.John VohrNorthvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Virtual harassment rampant during work-from-home, survey finds

first_imgAmong the forms of harassment identified in the survey were being the subject of sex jokes, receiving unwanted photos, videos and audio recordings, as well as being seduced by coworkers.Read also: Ignorance, misguided policies allow rape culture to thriveThey were made through various digital communication platforms, such as messaging apps, video conference apps and email.The survey also revealed that 94 percent of victims chose to remain silent and not report the incidents to their human resources department. A majority believed their report would not be taken seriously or addressed, while some were afraid that reporting such cases would only put their jobs at risk.“Our survey also found that 85 percent of companies don’t have antiharassment policy, allowing sexual abuse and harassment to persist,” Never Okay Project initiator Alvin Nicola said on Friday. The project’s goal is to combat sexual harassment at workplaces.Never Okay Project and SAFEnet urged companies to formulate strategies to crack down on sexual harassment in their work environment. They also encouraged workers to reject the “normalization of harassment” and instead push their workplaces to build antiharassment initiatives.Topics : Workers are still facing harassment from superiors and colleagues through communication platforms while working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to an online survey.A joint survey by the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) and Never Okay Project found 86 of 315 respondents claimed they were sexually harassed while working from home and 68 said they witnessed sexual advances being made on their colleagues. Thirty respondents claimed they both experienced and witnessed such unwanted advances.The survey was conducted from April 6 to 19 involving women, men and transgender workers who are permanent employees, contract workers and freelancers across the country.last_img read more

Badgers winless yet again vs. Wayne State

first_imgWisconsin goaltender Becca Ruegsegger allowed the only goal during the unofficial shootout.[/media-credit]Although the Wisconsin women’s hockey team skated to a tie Thursday night against Wayne State, the 2-2 draw certainly felt like a loss. Against a team that was only 3-5-2 heading into the series, the Badgers’ offense struggled to finish chances and failed to find the net in overtime or the shootout.Despite facing a goalie that had had only won one game all season, the Wisconsin attack was denied on all three opportunities in the shootout and only got two shots on net. Kyla Sanders, who scored one of Wisconsin’s goals earlier in the game, lost control of the puck despite not having any defenders in front of her. According to Sanders, the offensive woes have been a problem all season.“It’s been a little frustrating,” Sanders said. “We’re still very confident. We just have to play like we’re confident.”Wayne State’s Julie Herbert scored the shootout’s lone goal, deking right before flipping the puck past freshman goaltender Becca Ruegsegger. The score did not hurt Wisconsin in the standings, however, as shootouts outside of WCHA play do not count toward the final score. Nevertheless, interim head coach Tracey DeKeyser was unhappy with the outcome.“It’s difficult, because we’re trying to end a problem of not coming out strong and not being able to finish the first night,” DeKeyser said.Most of the first-night disappointments have been due to a lack of offense in the initial periods, but the Badgers continued to struggle despite a quick strike against Wayne State.Junior Geena Prough found herself wide open following a pass from linemate Brooke Ammerman along the boards. With no defense in sight, the forward slipped the puck through the five hole of Wayne State’s Lindsay Park.“We were breaking out of our zone,” Prough said. “I just figured I’d clean the boards and drive it to the middle.”Wisconsin’s success was short-lived, however, as Wayne State scored midway through the first period. With a man advantage and a crowd in front of Ruegsegger, Wayne State defenseman Chelsea Burnett was able to knock in the equalizer.“With a minute left, I was pretty confident we were in the right direction,” Sanders said. “It hurts, but we have to bounce back from that.”The Wisconsin offense failed to score for a 50-minute stretch following its first goal, but with 6:31 remaining in the third period, Sanders put a rebound shot in the net. UW’s Jasmine Giles’ pass to Stefanie McKeough along the blue line set up a clear shot, which Sanders finished.“It was open net,” Sanders said. “I was right there and put it away.”During a period Wisconsin has dominated this season, Wayne State scored the game-tying goal with just 1:01 left in the game. The Warriors had an extra attacker on the ice after pulling their goaltender, but according to Ruegsegger, the late goal was unacceptable.“I just think that I need to make sure I make the big saves,” she said. “I’m not happy with two goals, and we need to rebound tomorrow.”With no real scoring threats in the overtime period, Wisconsin was forced to settle for a draw with a team that has struggled all season. Like Bemidji State and Robert Morris, Wayne State made up for its lack of size and skill by playing up to five people in front of the net. Although the Badgers have seen the neutralizing style several times this season, they have failed to counter it all season.“I wasn’t surprised by this game,” DeKeyser said. “That’s what we saw again, and that’s what we continue to see, because that’s how teams keep playing us.”Despite knowing how the other teams will defend their offense, Wisconsin has continued to play the same style each game.Only half of UW’s shots have actually reached the net, and not all of the scoring chances have been effective. In addition, the Badgers struggled on the power play, where they have only scored two goals all season. Like most of their other contests, the Badgers outshot their opponent but failed to come out on top.“I think the scoring opportunities are there; the problem is teams are doing a great job of blocking shots,” DeKeyser said. “Similar pucks have gone in in the past, and they just aren’t going in this year.”last_img read more

MLS Cup title a fitting end for Gerardo Martino’s Atlanta United journey

first_img Kevin C. Cox Gerardo “Tata” Martino has a history of success, just not in finals. The manager mentioned it in the lead-up to Saturday’s MLS Cup final, saying he had lost more than he won. It’s a fair criticism, but Martino got it right Saturday.   Atlanta United delivered a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers to claim the MLS Cup crown and send off the departing manager with a trophy. “Well, we won one, that’s good,” he said with a laugh after the match. “It’s been a long time. In 2013 with Newell’s and one title with Barca. Now this. After several disappointments, above all two in the Copa America. It’s a beautiful title and you celebrate after, obviously.” Martino lost the 2011 Copa America final with Paraguay and the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario finals when he was in charge of Argentina. On the club level, he guided Newell’s Old Boys to the 2013 Torneo Final title, though the team lost the subsequent Superfinal. But with Barcelona, he once again fell short, dropping the 2012-13 Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid. Perhaps that’s why, while Martino enjoyed the triumph, he took it a bit more in stride than might be expected for a coach who has often watched other teams lift trophies while he’s left to figure out where he’s going to put another runners-up medal. “For me, to talk about the final and the championship, it’s good, it’s beautiful. I’m happy, but what has happened over the length of these two years is what will stay with me. The work we did,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s necessary to win a title to think a job was well done.” Getting across the finish line might be the goal for most, but Martino says he took joy in the journey. The team finished by winning MLS cup, but the manager doesn’t think it would have happened without last year’s disappointment against Columbus or the frustration against Toronto FC at the end of the regular season that meant the New York Red Bulls won the Supporters’ Shield.   “In the Toronto game, we saw that we weren’t as great in the build-up and we conceded a lot of goals. There were games before that which were a warning, but we didn’t lose. We changed, we got more solid,” Martino said. Those changes implemented in the postseason saw Atlanta roll to the title, scoring nine goals and conceding twice. That progression brought Martino joy, as did his time in Atlanta. Now he’s moving into another role where he hopes he can continue improving his record in finals.  After the celebration. Obviously. For Martino, it also was about the work he was able to put in and the relationships he built. The 56-year-old’s last two jobs were at Barcelona and Argentina, places where the boss is asked to be much more of an executive than a teacher, more of a manager than a coach. The Atlanta job allowed the him to get back to his roots, helping individual players and laying out a vision for a club. This is a man who coached in Paraguay for years, far removed from the spotlight of the world’s media coverage that now follows him. “I said what happened to me here is I started to feel like a coach again from the perspective of putting a team together, signing players, giving the team an identity, see how the players are growing in the last two years,” he said. “A lot of times when you work at the top level, you feel like your part really isn’t as important, you don’t feel as involved in the growth.  “Here the same thing happened as happened at Newell’s. I felt like I participated, I felt happy, I felt I had an influence on the growth of the team and the growth of the players, and I’ll try to conserve this and try to think about this above all when I have the possibility to choose another job.” That’s widely expected to be next week, with Martino set to take over the Mexico national team. His players were thrilled to send him off with a title. “He’s left his legacy here in Atlanta, and moves on to a new project, I’m guessing that’s Mexico,” defender Greg Garza told Goal. “The main thing for me was the humbleness and the honesty of the person that he is off the field. He’s a great coach on the field, but I think the person he is off the field is really what leaves his legacy for all of us.” One of the keys this season on the field was a willingness to adapt and flex away from the way he wanted to play to the way he needed to play. Atlanta went into the playoffs and dominated opponents, but even in Saturday’s second half the team wasn’t trying to play beautiful football. That had been accomplished in the first half and was rewarded with the halftime lead on Josef Martinez’s relatively simple goal after a Timbers botch job at the back. A second goal from a set piece meant the Five Stripes could hang back and defend their lead, then enjoy the celebrations that followed. last_img read more

Jon Gruden slaps Raiders stickers on helmets of Senior Bowl stars

first_imgWith Gruden holding three first-round picks in the upcoming NFL draft, might one or more of these players end up with the Raiders? One of the fun things about college football is the “reward decals” players display on their helmets. Some of the nation’s top programs, including Clemson and Ohio State, still follow the tradition.But how often do you get to see a coach congratulate a player by slapping a decal on his helmet? Raiders coach Jon Gruden did just that throughout the Senior Bowl Saturday. Gruden and his staff coached the North to a 34-24 victory over the South, and in the process they were quite generous in rewarding their players with helmet stickers.Everyone is getting a @Raiders sticker 👀☠️📺: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 26, 2019Score a TD, get a @Raiders sticker ☠️📺: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 26, 2019Among players receiving stickers were Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, wide receivers Terry McLaurin (Ohio State) Andy Isabella (UMass) and Keelan Doss (UC Davis), North Carolina State quarterback Ryan Finley and Wisconsin fullback Alec Ingold. On the defensive side, USC cornerback Iman Marshall, Delaware safety Nasir Adderley, Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders and Texas edge rusher Charles Omenihu received the honor. McLaurin and Adderley earned three stickers. Related Newscenter_img Patrick Mahomes reveals what Tom Brady told him after AFC championship gamelast_img read more

MLB trade rumors: Indians ace Corey Kluber not likely to be dealt

first_imgCorey Kluber trade talks are quieting.According to, which cited multiple sources, “there is almost no chance” the Indians ace will be dealt before the start of spring training. Cleveland’s pitchers and catchers are scheduled to begin workouts Thursday, leaving little time for the team to negotiate a deal that would send Kluber elsewhere. Kluber, who turns 33 in April, reportedly drew interest from the Dodgers, Padres, Phillies and Brewers when the trade market for him was still active.The Cy Young winner has three years and $38 million remaining on the contract extension he signed in 2015. Kluber’s name has swirled in trade talks since it was first reported in November that the Indians were open to discussing any of their veteran players in an effort to reduce payroll.   Related News Athletics still unsure if Kyler Murray will report to spring training, report sayslast_img read more

WWE NXT TakeOver: Toronto analysis and match grades

first_imgHere are match grades, courtesy of SN’s Steven Muehlhausen and Andreas Hale.MORE: Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearWWE NXT Takeover Toronto gradesStreet Profits def. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly to retain NXT tag titlesMuehlhausen: The action started extremely slow, which took the air out of the crowd, who were chanting for both teams when it started slow. The last ten minutes were really good with Montez Ford standing out among the four participants. He’s got the potential down the line to be a star on his own. The air he got on the five-star frog splash to pin Kyle O’Reilly for the pinfall demonstrated how amazing of an athlete he is.Surprised the Street Profits retained the titles. The Undisputed Era is the hottest faction in NXT, and them winning the belts looked to be the logical step.Grade: BHale: We were all aware of the talent that Ford, Fish and O’Reilly possess. But Angelo Dawkins has become a revelation since teaming up with Ford after spending years toiling in relative obscurity in NXT. Dawkins had some excellent spots and showcased exceptional mat skills throughout. The match itself was well done with some creative spots and near falls. It’s hard to say the right team won, but the Street Profits have really just arrived and are deserving of a solid run with the titles. That and the fact that Montez Ford is an undeniable star. Grade: BIo Shirai def. Candice LeRae Muehlhausen: This match exceeded expectations as the women put on a spectacular showcase. Shirai exemplified why she’s perhaps the best in the world and LeRae showed she’s underrated talent inside the squared circle.Shirai’s heel turn fits her to a tee. Having the cocky mannerisms when she performs a move only adds to the character and in turn, you want to see someone get the best of her. Don’t discount what LeRae did as well. Her selling of the neck from the brainbuster suplex was exceptional because selling is a lost art in this day of wrestling.The finish was well done as it fits Shirai’s new persona and keeps LeRae strong even in defeat because she had to be put unconscious and never gave up.Grade: A-Hale: For the uninitiated, Candice LeRae is one of the more remarkable talents that has yet to truly shine in NXT. Her run on the indie scene — especially her PWG tag team championship tenure with Joey Ryan, where she wrestled men — saw the wife of Johnny Gargano showcase an uncanny ability to take bumps and seamlessly put together offense. As for Shirai, the heel turn has been nothing short of spectacular. She wrestles with a new attitude and her moveset has been altered to reflect her demeanor. The result was one of the finest women’s matches in quite some time. Considering that there hasn’t been a non-title women’s match on an NXT TakeOver in years, the fact they had this spot meant that they absolutely needed to show up. And they did…in spades. This feud is far from over and it’ll be interesting to see how high these two can go. Grade: A-Velveteen Dream def. Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne to retain the NXT North American title Muehlhausen: Expectations were high, considering the talent of all three individuals. This was hampered by the fact the women’s bout was fantastic. Dream, Strong, and Dunne didn’t do anything wrong. The story was decent for it to be good, but they couldn’t get out of neutral and into another gear.A surprising finish in Dunne taking the pin. He’s the better talent of three and a guy you can build a company around. If Dream is going to retain, Strong should’ve taken the loss.Grade: BHale: For a match that was thrown together in less than two weeks, this was all about the wrestling with a side story of Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne revisiting their feud when Roddy turned on Dunne and joined The Undisputed Era. Dream is what NXT is all about as he continues to develop his in-ring ability to match his out of this world charisma. Strong and Dunne beat the hell out of each other and Dream managed to do more than enough to avoid being an afterthought. The finish was creative and the fans were engaged throughout. What more can you ask for with a match that had little momentum heading into it aside from the superstars involved?Grade: B+Shayna Baszler def. Mia Yim to retain the NXT Women’s title Muehlhausen: You could have had the greatest reason for Yim to want the title match and the match still wouldn’t have been any good. Baszler and Yim were slow in a lot of spots, especially the running knees. More importantly, the crowd was dead because they knew Yim had no shot at becoming the champion. And when you don’t have the belief of the fans, then you have nothing.Grade: DHale: Honestly, this is getting old. It’s not that Baszler is a bad wrestler, it’s more about the predictability of her matches. They follow the same beats and never hit another gear. I’m all for methodical catch/submission wrestling but we’ve seen this same match from Baszler for nearly two years. Mia Yim simply wasn’t the one to force her to kick it up a notch. And if Io Shirai and Kairi Sane couldn’t do it, I’m not sure who can. Maybe Candice LeRae? It also didn’t help that this match came after a trio of high energy showdowns. It is what it is. Grade: DAdam Cole def. Johnny Gargano to retain the NXT titleMuehlhausen: An instant classic between arguably the two best wrestlers on the WWE roster. You saw believable falls, fantastic wrestling a great story, which is what you the talent to do. Summerslam weekend for WWE began with what appeared to be a slightly above average NXT Takeover show until Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano delivered the best WWE match of the year with Cole retaining the NXT heavyweight title in a two-out-three-falls match from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.Altogether, NXT Takeover was perfectly timed out, coming in slightly under three hours. The only bout that lagged was the women’s title affair between Shayna Baszler and Mia Yim and every match ended right when it should have. The first fall had great action, and after about 20 plus minutes, a disqualification happens just to get to the second fall, which was a street fight. Too cute of a finish. Could have been more creative and still had Cole win the fall.Why Gargano didn’t immediately win the second fall is a head-scratcher. Gargano hits Cole with a couple of chair shots, and one to the face and yet, a match occurs like the beating Cole took meant nothing. Just like the first fall, the second fall was unnecessary when Gargano lawn darted Cole headfirst into a chair.What a final fall inside a steel cage. Both guys used every imaginable weapon hanging on top or on the side of the cage that was surrounded by barbed wire all around the top of the cage. They executed Canadian Destroyer’s and every move under the sun to show how bad they wanted to be the NXT champion, highlighted by the end when both guys were on a table on top of the cage with the barbed wire in tow when Cole slammed Gargano threw two tables to win hold onto the belt.By far the best match in WWE in 2019. The one that’s hurt WWE this year has been telling believable stories that fans can sink their teeth into. Cole and Gargano did just that for over 60 minutes to cap off their historic program.Grade: A+++Hale: This has been a spectacular rivalry between Cole and Gargano that culminated in a brutal slobberknocker that ended with a dangerous high spot after engaging fans with ridiculous spots and an excellent hour worth of storytelling between two guys familiar with how the other operates. I do have a qualm, however. The two out of three falls stipulation sucked the drama out of the first two falls because you absolutely knew that it would end up in the cage. Because of that, I was stuck waiting for the third fall because that’s when things would really heat up. Also, we already did this two out of three falls thing, right? Maybe an Ironman match would have been a better stipulation, but these two are so good together that it really didn’t matter all that much because their chemistry is absolutely stellar. .center_img This match fell short of their second match when Cole won the title and didn’t quite have sprint that the first match had. And that’s fine because the finish here was all about Gargano’s hubris getting the better of him once again, as it did in his feud with Ciampa. Gargano wanted to exact punishment on his rival and ended up paying the price by being unable to regain the title. Where Gargano goes from here is anybody’s guess, but he’s undoubtedly had the greatest NXT run in the short history of the promotion. As for Cole, the Panama City Playboy continues his run and it’s getting increasingly hard to keep him heel. He’s just that damn good.Grade: A-last_img read more