By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Show closing brawl: It’s not like we haven’t seen pro wrestling pull-aparts before, but this one came out of nowhere and was done pretty well. The surprise aspect came in from the War Raiders emerging from the Undisputed Era set while they were performing one of their NWO-style promos. Then this brawl had the right type of escalation where people just kept coming and coming until William Regal had to logically book all the players into a WarGames match. It was a tad bit rushed as War Raiders haven’t developed quite the blood feud with Undisputed Era yet, but at least they got a feud up and running.
Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs. Raul Mendoza and Humberto Carrillo: On the surface this was your traditional squash match in the favor of Burch and Lorcan. The Hit comes from Humberto Carrillo. Carrillo is the nephew of the late Hector Garza, and he made a great first impression. He hit a moonsault and a high flying armdrag but he got a ton of air off those moves. His airtime and smoothness reminded me of Mistico before Mistico became a botch machine. I’ve already praised Mendoza in the past so there’s nothing more I can say about him. These two are ready to move into important programs on this show. Maybe Carrillo might need a little seasoning in the English language? I’m not sure. We haven’t heard him talk but we have seen language and communication be a barrier that NXT helps mitigate.
Matt Riddle vs. Luke Menzies: Simple enhancement match meant to introduce Matt Riddle to the NXT audience. Riddle comes off as a cool Cali stoner dude, but when he wrestles you quickly see that he can do some great shootfighting moves with slick roundhouses and submissions. Menzies didn’t look bad on his end where he got to lay in a few snug holds.
Aliester Black: Aside from that one time in this episode where he had to sneak in his “Fade to black” catchphrase, he managed to limit his words and come off as a badass threat. He’s not a bad promo at all, but similar to the Undertaker and Kane, less is more at times. This “man of few words” version of Black is the Black I was hoping we’d get as NXT Champion.
Nikki Cross vs. Mercedes Martinez: Not much in terms of story here, but it’s always good to have Mercedes Martinez show up in NXT to put on a well wrestled match. Sometimes the storytelling happens in the ring and Martinez has spent years perfecting in-ring stories. It helps that Nikki Cross is such a fun character because she always seems 100% in character 100% of the time.
NXT TV Misses
The Mighty vs. The Street Profits: This was a Hit in terms of in-ring action and better than their past encounters. When they aired the replay that said they had a match “last month” it reminded me that this feud has been going on both for a long time and become a filler on the NXT show. It’s true, every two weeks to a month, NXT has a Street Profits vs. Mighty match. The Profits seem ready to move into the tag team main event. The Mighty have been ready, but they’ve been hanging around the NXT tag team undercard so long that it might be better for them to move to Smackdown. The person I fear for in that equation is Nick Miller because he’s still a work in progress on the mic and in front of a camera. Shane Thorne is more ready to be a singles act. They remind me of the American Wolves where Shane Thorne is like Davey Richards while Nick Miller is like Eddie Edwards.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest John Canton.
The Best of The Boom features Jim Ross joining Jason Powell in this May 9, 2018 discussion regarding his relationship with Vince McMahon, why Vince sticks with Roman Reigns, how Triple H has changed over the years, and more. New episodes of the Boom are typically available mid-week...