Moore’s NXT Hit List: Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Candice LeRae in a Triple Threat for a NXT Women’s Championship title shot, Velveteen Dream promo, EC3, Lacey Evans vs. Dakota Kai, War Raiders

By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)


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”.


Readers Comments (6)

  1. This is just speculation, but I think they may have left Bianca off to set up a future program with whoever leaves Brooklyn with the NXT Women’s Title. I mean if Kairi wins there, she’ll need someone to feud with, and Bianca would likely be the first person in line. It would also make Bianca look like a more credible threat considering she is still undefeated (at least on NXT TV). A loss in the fatal four way would diminish that somewhat, or add an asterisk next to her record.

  2. I have to admit I was never a big NXT fan. I would always hear how great their Takeovers were but then when I watch the weekly show be slightly underwhelmed. Having said that, the last two weeks have been awesome. What won me over was the War Raiders documentary. I had never heard of them until I saw them debut a few weeks back and wasn’t impressed. I just saw them as two fat white guys better suited for the indies. But between the sit down interview and career highlights it not only made me see what they were about but gave them a human element to connect with. I admit that I look forward to their journey in NXT and hopefully they can get to Smackdown sooner than later while the Bludgeons are still dominant…..Kairi Sane is incredible. Charisma level off the charts and I don’t know if the camera missed it on purpose but that Insane Elbow from nowhere was the sh*t….Lacey Evans has the look and personality to go a long way. She needs to work on her timing and making her moves a little crisper but I see her as a very effective lead heel down the line. Kudos for them taking their time with her and not rushing her before she’s ready.

    • ” I just saw them as two fat white guys better suited for the indies”

      What does their skin colour have to do with anything? If they were two fat black guys, would that be better or worse?

      • To Shauny:

        To the commentor’s credit. I don’t think they were being derogatory. A Caucasian guy is a white guy, just like a person of african heritage is a black guy. I don’t think there’s a problem calling me a black guy for example. If War Machine were two overweight asian guys (before calling me offensive note that I’m asian on my mother side) then that wordage would be fine too. As long as no hate is implied it’s fine.

        • Hi John (and Sir Anthony), I am not accusing the commenter of anything, I am asking as a non-American student of Linguistics who has noticed this a lot in American writing/blogging recently – adding a superfluous ‘white’ before man/guy/woman/dude for reasons that I don’t quite understand but always seem to be in a slightly negative context, for example in the above comment about War Raiders. Again, I am sure the commenter meant no harm, I am just wondering what the ‘white’ has to do with anything here.

  3. Nxt is taped a month or so in advance, not months. This week was the final taping before the Brooklyn show. Belair is undefeated in NXT so it makes sense she would be included in the match. She was on her honeymoon when the match was taped so she was given a medical out which I think was smart to do.

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