By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
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NXT TV Hits
Aleister Black vs. Tommaso Ciampa: A really good match. It took a while for the Full Sail Crowd to get into it. I suspect this was partially because of Black not clicking so much as top champion. The bigger reason might be what I brought up a few weeks ago, I (and almost everyone in the world) knew that when they booked this match to be a thing, that this match was going to end in something that will lead to a triple threat because Johnny Gargano would interfere in the finish of this TV match. That 100 percent happened and the crowd was probably looking at the ramp a majority of the time. Thankfully, Ciampa and Black came to play on this episode and won over the crowd with a great series of high impact moves and nearfalls. Another great twist is we saw a title change on regular TV. That’s shocking in a good way because we haven’t seen a title change at Full Sail on regular TV since 2013. Good, shocking things all across the board. We still expect the Triple Threat, though. NXT also ended up with a potentially stronger champion after all is said and done with Ciampa getting the strap.
Lacey Evans vs. Tenilla Price: A basic enhancement match with Lacey Evans continuing to be rebuilt as a credible heel. Not much new here other than her showcasing her moveset again. The best part from this match is NXT continuing to build up the “Women’s Right” as a credible finish. It’s just a right hand, but the right hand is being given the “Main event push” of finishing moves.
Adam Cole and Ricochet: The enhancement match was fine but the real story was the post match stuff. Ricochet continues to show poise on the mic and hasn’t shown why so many people have feared his mic work in the past (see is Lucha Underground work season 2-3 and the reason they had Konnan do all his mic work). Ricochet is very comfortable now. This also set up Cole vs. Ricochet for the title at Takeover (which Cole didn’t accept but you have to know this is the direction they are going). They also set up Moustache Mountain and War Raiders as contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship. Are they going with a triple threat at Takeover? Are they going with a number one contenders match leading to a one-on-one tag at Takeover? I hope for the latter but this was a good first step in the setup. A overall productive segment for two of NXT’s four titles.
William Regal: He’s back, and I mean he’s physically back! They announced at the beginning of the year that Regal was out due to “medical issues”. They never really said what those issues were and at one point they stopped mentioning Regal was a part of NXT. Then they said Regal was back but then it was just unseen on TV or via Twitter. It was as if Regal became the NXT Anonymous General Manager. Thank goodness Regal is doing fine health-wise and thank goodness we have the return of one of the better authority figures in all of pro wrestling today.
NXT TV Misses
Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane: Shayna was solid in her statement, but it’s nothing we haven’t heard from her before. It was the same stuff that she’s been saying from recent weeks. Kairi Sane’s one sentence was fine the first time she said it, but she said the same thing three times in a row which was one time too many. It came off as her repeating a scripted line. It also hurt that she still has heavily broken English, which will get better in time. There was a good part of this segment though and it was the Candice LeRae jab. They played off this later in the show when LeRae showed she was listening to this contract signing and had to be held back from mixing it up with Baszler. Are they setting up a triple threat here too?