By John Moore
Nikki Cross vs. Asuka: The conclusion of their elimination match from a few weeks ago was a good teaser as to what we were going to get from this match and this match didn’t disappoint. The match type falls well into both women’s wheelhouses: hard hitting with no limitations. Asuka always has good matches. Nikki Cross does a great job with wrestler-character integration. She comes off as a Feral Cat and integrates that into her moveset. Asuka’s kicks really stood out in this match with each one having a nice crack to it. Both women did a great job with the usage of weapons/chair piles to keep the no-DQ stip in play. Even though Nikki Cross lost the match, she didn’t lose much in defeat. She should stay down after a superplex through the table. Cross helped her case with the masochistic laugh afterward to be a foil to Asuka’s sadistic laughter. It’ll take a lot to get Ember Moon to the point of being the chosen one to dethrone Asuka because Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot are better choices at this point while Moon has gone extremely cold.
Hideo Itami vs. Oney Lorcan: Wednesday night was a good night for strong style wrestling (El Rey Network had an amazing Sami Callihan vs. Shane Strickland strong style war that very same hour). The false start of the match was well done with Lorcan dropping Itami with that nice shoryuken that led to the Itami bloody nose. Lorcan is NXT’s Mr. Intensity. I complain about Andrade Almas eating too many loses, but Lorcan eats just as many yet is teflon because his intensity and great matches makes you forget that he doesn’t win. Itami is starting to evolve back into the old KENTA that we all knew and loved at one point. I wouldn’t mind seeing more Oney Lorcan vs. Hideo Itami matches. But I wouldn’t mind seeing more Oney Lorcan vs. Andrade Almas, Drew McIntyre, Kassius Ohno, etc. Hell, how awesome would it be if Lorcan somehow learned the Shadow Clone Jutsu and we got a Lorcan vs. Lorcan match? Moving on to Hideo, I’m still a fan of the subtle tweaks he’s making to present himself as a main eventer and heel. Hopefully he doesn’t get injured again because Hideo Itami’s strong-style wrestling could be a huge asset to WWE. Oh, how awesome would a Shinsuke Nakamura vs. KENTA match be if we could get there?
Bobby Roode: This was via a highlight package and vignette. NXT started this around the end of his feud against Shinsuke Nakamura. Before that time, Roode was just the former TNA guy whose entrance was more popular than he actually was. These vignettes have done a really good job of making him out to be a rich and entitled douchebag who is also good at wrestling. Roode has held his end of the bargain by playing the role well. Roode is doing a great job coming off as a douche and using Strong’s family to enhance that. So far so good with Strong, but he needs to tone down the family man thing a bit or he risks coming off as a bit too sappy.
Velveteen Dream vs. Ho Ho Lun: There was nothing much to this match. Velveteen Dream is still a Prince Cosplayer and Hoho Lun still isn’t very good. Ho Ho is like the Chinese version of Mahabali Shera in that he’s not good, but we know he’s put on TV for political reasons. The commentary hurts the Patrick Clark character and it’s not the commentators fault. Nigel McGuinness of all people is linking Clark to Percy Watson. The only problem, if you look back, is Percy Watson played the flamboyant character way better than Clark, who is better in the ring, but Percy wasn’t bad. I got a chuckle out of Mauro saying that Clark has a lot of charisma, and then the other two commentators going silent for a few awkward seconds. When using comparison, charisma is what Clark is missing because in Percy Watson’s case, what he lacked in in-ring skills he made up for in natural charisma. I would rather see Clark try to go for a less cartoony character because he seems to struggle playing a cartoon character. While they’re at it, they should let Percy Watson play Velveteen Dream since he’s much better at it.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...