Happy Hump Day everyone! I hope you are keeping cool, as temps are heating up all over the place. The action inside NXT rings is fixing to similarly get much hotter, as we are mere days away from the next TakeOver, this time coming at us from Chicago. So, taped as it may be, tonight is all about the go-home show for the junior brand. Expect plenty of hype, packages and vignettes. Let’s dive right in!
Best Match of the night:
This one, by default, is Ohno versus Almas. The other matches were OK for what they were, but this one was the one with all the star power. Was a pretty good match, too.
Worst match of the night:
I suppose the one I was least into was Sonya and Lacey…but I was kind of into it, so I don’t even know that it counts all that much.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
Hideo (ok, fine, the first time was archived, the last was current).
Hero (might have been Chris Hero, but the first part was drowned out).
Let’s go Ohno
Star of the Night
Itami looked most excellent on the show. Great way to send him into Chicago.
Spot of the Night:
Ohno, doing the flip over the rope when Almas had bailed. Impressive agility from the big man. And then that boot on Almas, as he was coming back down the ramp? Damn.
Jobber of the Night:
I was going to say Mr. Maluta…and he probably deserves it…but the real jobbers? That has to be the faux security that first tried to keep Itami from Roode, but then the trio got their butts kicked, and a couple of them ate GTS’s before Roode got one.
Upset of the Night:
Nothing. Not one.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Really wasn’t one major one. I will say, Asuka and her slow but deliberate heel turn has been interesting. Oh, sure, she still has plenty of fans, but her arrogance is going to turn her into a heel, if it hasn’t already, in at least my own opinion. Basically dodging her way through the interview, and then after a walking selfie with fans, she seemed disgusted to have to deal with them. My guess is, especially since most of the big threats to her are babyfaces, it’s just a question of when she fully embraces the heel side.
Botch of the night:
These aren’t happening so much anymore. That’s good for the wrestlers…bad for me.
Commentary of the night:
Commentary was largely vanilla tonight. I don’t mind listening to Percy and Nigel, but collectively they can’t replace Graves, and neither of them have really established the same chemistry with Tom that was there before. It’s a bit of a bummer. But, in fairness tonight, like half the show was vignettes and video packages…not a lot to do commentary on.
LOL Moment of the night:
The Velveteen Dream vignettes make me laugh. I know they aren’t supposed to, I get that…but they do. It’s just such a bad gimmick, I think. The goofy, glitzy schtick isn’t working for Tyler Breeze, it won’t work for Clark either (then again, Clark, to me, doesn’t look like he’s got it either).
Daria Berenato has been repackaged, as Sonya Deville. Same look, same UFC gloves, same home town I believe. But, a name change. Go figure (and mildly surprised that the announcers acknowledged she’s been in NXT about a year, but not that she just changed her name. This, following us seeing an Itami clip where he changes his name in the middle of the ring).
Tonight’s show, to me, felt a little off. The TakeOver happening on a non-big four PPV weekend already messed me up a couple weeks back, and it was just a funny show. Not bad, per se. Lots of recaps and such, which are expected. Still a decent hour…just not as good as it usually is.
For me, someone who has “only” been regularly following NXT for a bit over a year (when the Nutshells for it started), I remember when Kenta debuted and became Hideo Itami, but I had honestly never seen the footage, or seen him in a ring with Hogan and Jimmy Hart. It’s nice, every so often, to get more back story…and I know WWE is playing up Hideo’s long road to a title match. It works, and I liked it.
After the final bell:
More matches for TakeOver (and some we knew)
Roderick Strong versus Eric Young
Women’s triple threat match for the title.
Tag team ladder match, for the titles.
Pete Dunne challenges Tyler Bate for the UK title
Hideo Itami challenges Bobby Roode for the NXT title.
When you consider that, all things said and done, it’s a pretty good card. Any of those matches could very well steal the show, in my humble opinion. I can’t pick just one to look forward to, because I feel each one brings it’s own excitement to the ring. And, I dare say…I may be looking more forward to TakeOver as opposed to Backlash.
Here is one random musing for you guys to ponder. TakeOver is in Chicago. Itami has been using the GTS as a finisher. There’s this other guy, who is from Chicago…he used to work for WWE…and HIS finisher was the GTS…not that they’d bring him into NXT…but hey, someone had to mention it, right?
Drew McIntyre defeats Sean Maluta
Lacey Evans is dispatched by the newly minted Sonya DeVille
Kassius Ohno pins Andrade “Cien” Almas