By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Candice LeRae: This was a fun television main event where all three women got a lot of their signature offense in. Three fun things. One, it’s cool seeing LeRae actually wrestling as opposed to playing concerned wife for the last few months. Two, Cross is one of the best in the world at going all in on her character. Her cute hellos to Shayna Baszler were classic. Three, I loved that they played against wrestling tropes by doing a red herring foreshadow last week by having Candice LeRae and Shayna Baszler brawl. My Miss from last week has turned to a Hit because I really thought that they spoiled the finish to this match (and unless it’s a huge title change or huge angle, I personally and purposefully forget the taping spoilers).
Velveteen Dream: We’ve seen this promo before, and it’s still amazing. He turned a pro wrestling promo into a Prince music video. Unlike early in his Velveteen Dream run where it came off as a Prince rip-off, he continues to draw inspiration from Prince and make all of these promo segments all his own.
War Raiders Video Package: NXT continues to hit it out of the park with there documentary video packages. It all started off with the Finn Balor lego video package. The most memorable one is probably the Roderick Strong one. This was a good one too. It was fun to hear from both Hanson and Ray Rowe. Rowe addressed his huge motorcycle accident and tied it into his character. They couldn’t show New Japan or ROH footage so they showed a ton of PROGRESS footage. Another fun part was War Raiders globetrotting at various landmarks which makes their Viking gimmick less hokey and more seamless.
Kassius Ohno vs. Rick Ramirez: I still don’t expect Ohno to win a big match in the future. In fact, I feel it’s not to far ahead until we see Kassius Ohno take a loss to Keith Lee. This was fun and it was cool seeing Ohno just knock a guy out. Bonus points for the local enhancement talent for the way that he crumpled Ohno’s singular blow.
EC3 and Kona Reeves: A really fun backstage skit. For one, why do WWE main roster skits usually involve a red or blue backdrop and nothing much more than that? It’s cool knowing that there is an environment that wrestlers work in. EC3’s interaction with the people in the lobby and his ripping of Kona Reeves reminded me of the old Ethan Carter III that became such a phenomenon in Impact Wrestling. He talked naturally rather than spew out a bunch of catchphrases. Reeves had his best showing as the “finest” character even though it still sucks. EC3’s joke material mostly consisted of Kona’s suckiness. I have to admit that I did crack up at that closing line, but I hope that it will lead to EC3 burying this character in the ring rather than them forming a tag team because I feel EC3 is way above trying to elevate developmental Kona, who still needs to find a footing in NXT.
Lacey Evans vs. Dakota Kai: It’s good to see that NXT is starting to get behind Lacey a little bit as she continues to improve every week we see her. Dakota Kai gains a lot every time she loses because it will eventually build up to her redemption storyline. A lot of people compare Kai to Bayley, but I see Kai being the female Sami Zayn if WWE plays their cards right. One good thing NXT continues to do with Evans is in building up her “Women’s Right” finisher. It’s a simple right hand and they are building this thing up as a legit credible and devastating finisher.
NXT TV Misses
Street Profits: The Street Profits are back and they are still doing training montages. I liked the last training montage, and then they disappeared for several months. The problem with this training montage is it seemed like it was supposed to be played a week after the last training vignette because it was a direct followup. Another clue as to the outdated vignette is Ford and Dawkins referring to The Mighty as “TM-61” and not in a mocking way. Rather, this was an outdated video.
Bianca Belair: This didn’t ruin the match because it ended up being fun, but I don’t understand the bait and switch? They knew this was a triple threat match and even recorded promo interviews involving Belair to hype this match while she was on her honeymoon cruise. They recorded Belair promos on a boat after they recorded this match! Odd. The reason this bait and switch is a Miss is Bianca Belair has been so impressive in the ring and there was some anticipation for her mixing it up with the women main eventers of the show. They didn’t even put heel heat on her and instead put the heat on the “medical staff”.