By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Hanson for the WarGames advantage: While the finish was predictable due to the pro wrestling trope of babyfaces being handicapped heading into matches such as WarGames that allow advantages (it’s logical); a lot of casual fans aren’t used to this trope and it might have not have been as much of a slam dunk to some as it was to us who have followed this form of entertainment for years. O’Reilly is rarely used in singles matches in WWE, but we forget that this guy was tearing it up on the indie scene as a singles wrestler. Hanson did a good job too. This match told the solid story of O’Reilly using his martial arts to attack the legs of Hanson while Hanson simply used his power. Adam Cole running in made sense because Adam Cole always runs in.
Lacey Evans vs. Karisssa Rivera: WWE’s traditional mid-show enhancement match. NXT is doing a great job building up both Lacey Evans and her Women’s Right. While I still think she over exaggerates the Southern Accent (she didn’t have that naturally when she cut a promo on WWE Breaking Ground), she cut a solid heel promo post match. My ultimate hope continues to be that they pivot Evans over to the Forgotten Sons. Evans is handicapped with her 1920 cosplay gimmick where as a Marine she would enhance Forgotten Sons and herself in the process.
Mia Yim vs. Bianca Belair: This was a nice, meaty match that allowed Bianca to work another longer match after her feud with Nikki Cross. Mia Yim has gotten a lot better in longer matches since I remember her debuting on TV back in 2015 on Impact (she pulled things together early 2017). Mia losing isn’t the best thing for a supposed “badass”, but they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of Bianca’s winning streak that they seem to care somewhat about given that it’s Bianca’s catchphrase. I’d just have Belair lose so not only can she go crazy about it, but it will get rid of her annoying catchphrase. Other than that, Belair is WWE’s top developmental prospect amongst those without prior wrestling experience.
NXT TV Misses
None: This is not saying it was the perfect show. This was pretty average with a lot of video packages and thanks to the NXT Takeover musical acts. Last week’s episode was a better go home show with Velveteen Dream standing tall in the end. This wasn’t a terrible show because all of the matches delivered.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and John Moore discussing WWE Survivor Series and NXT Takeover: War Games.