By John Moore
Roderick Strong vs. Drew McIntyre: I was extremely critical of McIntyre’s characterization when he left WWE until I found out he was the nicest babyface in the world. Now I’m willing to say that McIntyre is both the prototypical babyface and best all round pro wrestler in the world today due to the complete package he brings to the table. One intangible tool that McIntyre brings to the table is his selling for smaller opponents. For some reason, he’s a big man that makes selling to smaller guys (which is a majority of his opponents) seem believable. I believe he even sold well for El Torito/Mascarita Dorada. Strong is showing that he can really turn it on in the main event when the talking is turned off and the backbreakers are on. Bobby Roode’s interference plays to his Triple H-Ness, but it makes sense and makes him out to be the most cerebral person in NXT.
Street Profits vs. Lars Sullivan and Chris Silvio: I am still not sold on the Profits. Angelo Dawkins tries to hard to play his character that his acting comes off as choreography. Montez Ford does impress me with the swagger he’s showing. He reminds me of a younger Ron Killings in a positive way. The highlight of this match was everything around Lars Sullivan. You had to know that The Profits were going over so it had the viewers hanging at the edge of their seats to see what this big man does to his poor tag team victim of the week. It was funny how Lars circumvented William Regal’s edict in assisting his partner outside of Full Sail so he could beat him up. I can’t wait to see Lars continue to lose tag matches just to see him destroy his tag partners.
Ruby Riot vs. Billie Kay: A simple and effective enhancement match for Riot, who is obviously several rungs up the totem pole than Kay. It sucks that Kay is stuck as the designated jobber to the stars, but at least she’s really good at selling. Riot hasn’t disappointed yet, so much that I feel that she would have been a better babyface challenger to pit against Asuka. I got two chuckles from this segment. One is how Riot is bringing back the Zack Ryder half pants (I know she’s been wearing this, I’m just pointing it out now). The other chuckle came from Nigel McGuinness, who sounded like he wanted to call Kay’s foot move Eat D-Feet (due to him being in the same company as Gail Kim for a stretch) and then stumbling to find a different call of the move.
Asuka and Ember Moon: The later part of this segment was fine, but as I’ve stated in several Hit Lists for weeks, every time they put Moon in a position to cut a promo she makes her matches less hype. Moon is a great worker and reminds me of a young Gail Kim so much in that she share’s Gail’s strengths and weakness with the latter being prolonged monologues. Kim nailed this character in 2015 and I want to see the same from Ember by having her say less while acting more stoic. She’s trying to come off intense in promos but she just comes off as reading lines and mopey. If Ember wins, where does the division go from there? Ember has already beaten Kay and Royce in what may be 100 matches. Not to mention, Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot will surely get cheered more than Moon based on how further along in development the latter two are.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features guest Eli Drake talking about signing with the NWA, his departure from Impact Wrestling, rejecting an intergender match with Tessa Blanchard, his WWE developmental run, and much more...