NXT TV Hit List: Aleister Black and Andrade Almas contract signing, Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole, Heavy Machinery vs. Street Profits, Shayna Baszler, Lacey Evans

By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)


Aleister Black and Zelina Vega contract signing for NXT Takeover: New Orleans: This segment, if I just heard it happened the way it was, might have been in ‘miss’ territory given how Aleister Black spent all of his promo time cutting short people jokes. After seeing it though, I couldn’t help but get a chuckle out of the jokes and it totally made sense as a combative tool for Black to attack Vega without physicality. What helps is that Black was so calm and collective in his delivery and Vega slapped him at the right time when he deserved it at the moment. Hopefully they keep from making Black comedic down the road but moments of levity are sometimes needed to break the ice on such an ice-cold personality. This segment was also extremely efficient in setting up both Black vs. Almas and Vega vs. LeRae (presumably) for New Orleans.

Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole for the WWE UK Championship: This was more of an angle than a match. The match part of the thing was solid. The work was fun especially with Cole managing to get in a few of those shoulderbreakers. The fact that Cole is so great at playing a worm adds to his mystique despite him taking losses. The DQ finish was fine and it set up something down the road involving Dunne, Undisputed Era, and Roderick Strong

Heavy Machinery vs. The Street Profits in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic match: This wasn’t the most technical of matches, but it had the right amount of cheese and charisma, which made it a fun watch. I already mentioned how Montez Ford and Otis Dozovic exude charisma and energy and their interaction was a testament to that. It helps that due to Dawkins and Knight being pretty good in the ring, that this character spectacle was able to be grounded in the NXT environment. The only downside is this had to happen in their big Dusty Rhodes Tournament and with so many developmental acts in this year’s tourney, the Dusty just doesn’t have as much star power as it did in the past.

Shayna Baszler: Added credit to Dakota Kai for doing a great job in playing the victim role to the bully Baszler. Baszler is not only one of the better heels in NXT, but in all of WWE with just how she is able to garner heat while also being badass. The babyfaces got the better of her here but they needed to get some heat on her after she broke both of their arms. This arm breaking thing is great too as it gives her a knowable aspect for people to latch on to.

Tommaso Ciampa: This was a carbon copy of last week’s segment with the addition of Johnny Gargano symbols. Repetition isn’t a bad thing all of the time because for this purpose it is being utilized to stress the enormity of Ciampa’s sin. The addition of the symbols was a nice touch as it turned the contrarian fans against Ciampa due to their urge to participate in a TV segment. To be repetitive myself, Tommaso Ciampa cut a great promo and he didn’t have to say one word.

NXT TV Misses

Sanity vs. Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic match: The match was fine and the expected team went over but I can’t help but feel that this match didn’t have to happen either. In the comment section on my live review from last week, a Dot Net reader made a great point in eliminating TM-61 so early and how it would have made more sense for them to beat Moss and Sabbatelli just to spread out the star power in this tournament. Sanity could have faced and beat Street Profits for example. Instead, TM-61 was eliminated in the first round only to have the superlative of “having a finals matchup in the opening round”. The problem with that is what I mentioned in the hits, is that you get an over concentration of “developmental” tag teams and it drags down the prestige of the Dusty Rhodes Classic.

Lacey Evans: After watching NXT this week, I went to the network to watch episode 2 of WWE Breaking Ground that featured Evans. William Regal noted that while she was nervous and fidgety in her promo delivery, she made herself vulnerable to the audience and was able to enthrall them with a natural promo. Matt Bloom noted the badass look. Random fact, they selected Evans over a lot of women including Impact Wrestling’s Sienna (which I didn’t notice at the time I reviewed the show due to Sienna possibly not being in TNA). This 1920s pinup gimmick is dead in the water and I don’t even think they can Velveteen Dream this one (where Dream took a dead gimmick and made it natural/great), especially as a heel. She was better in the Mae Young Classic where she was trying to play a women empowerment and Rosie The Riveter figure. Now, as a heel, are viewers supposed to think that empowered women are entitled jerks? Not the right message. They should go back and try to integrate more of the badass, natural, and maybe U.S. Marine aspects of her because she has it in her to be an outstanding character. Her promos as a heel the past few weeks have been robotic with an exaggerated fake Southern accent instead of her natural Southern accent.

Feedback is always appreciated and feel free to contact me via twitter @liljohnm to tweet and discuss pro wrestling or anything for that matter. You can also comment and discuss professional wrestling topics directly with me via email: jmoore3.net@gmail.com.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. “The addition of the symbols was a nice touch as it turned the contrarian fans against Ciampa due to their urge to participate in a TV segment.”

    Not only an accurate observation, but a perfect summary of what utter tools some wrestling fans are.

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