By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Lars Sullivan vs. Keith Lee: A well worked big man match between two big men with different styles. This is probably going to be a trend in big men matches that Lee wrestles where he’s the high flyer, but due to him being so huge it makes it very unique and exciting. The crowd popped big for Lee’s lucha libre planchas in addition to his stiff chops. Sullivan is really underrated as a guy who’s efficient with his moveset. Sullivan hasn’t had a bad match in NXT yet. He hasn’t had any show stealers, but he’s had average to really good matches (his matches against Roderick Strong and Lio Rush are the ones that were memorable). Sullivan does the basics very well and makes it look violent. What made the ending to this match odd was both Lee losing early in his run and Sullivan’s story being that he’s going after the NXT Title. They filmed all this before his vignette aired on the subsequent Sunday so there’s a possibility that Paul Levesque and crew were writing Sullivan into the title picture but had to take a different route once the call up came to fruition.
Mia Yim vs. Vanessa Borne: Borne isn’t quite ready to move into credible title contender yet, but she isn’t far off with her advancement since her early days on NXT (by the way, Aliyah is ready to move to that next level but she’s stuck in old school Andrade Almas hell in being the enhancement wrestler of the division). Borne botches a lot less and has integrated some unique looking offense into her repertoire like the Final Cut Suplex. Yim, on the other hand, really flourished from clunky to crisp over the span of her time in Impact Wrestling. Yim carries herself in a way that makes her come off as a “badass” which is resonating with the crowd (as I witnessed through observation while attending this show in San Jose).
EC3 vs. Marcel Barthel: EC3’s been pretty solid in the ring, better than he was compared to most of his Impact run. EC3 has been directionless for the longest time so hopefully they do something of note with him now that he’s paired against Undisputed Era. Marcel Barthel (a.k.a. Axel Dieter Jr.) is the guy to look out for. He impressed yet again in his short amount of offense and he oozes this foreign menace charisma. I’ve been high on Barthel since his indie days in Progress Wrestling and totally believe that he’s main roster ready if they want to have a ready made German heel. His only weakness is he yells “Nein!” a bit too much to the point where it makes him cartoony.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. The Mighty: A minor Hit due to in-ring quality. Lorcan and Burch always have fun matches while the Mighty matched them in terms of ability. The biggest detractor here is the Mighty keep losing and never really pick up steam. Something needs to be done with them ASAP. I would make them candidates to take the titles off of Undisputed Era, but I’m not confident that it would be worth it given how even teams like Heavy Machinery or Lorcan and Burch could carry the torch with more reliability.
NXT TV Misses
Unaired Kona Reeves Promo: After the Lee vs. Sullivan, for the first time in ever I thought Kona Reeves cut a good promo. Sadly, you guys didn’t get to see that unless you were in the building. It was a promo that reminded me of the heel Ethan Carter III (EC3) in Impact wrestling with the right combination of confidence and arrogance. Maybe they’ll have Reeves cut a similar promo at Full Sail, but I feel that this promo had to be seen by the masses to test out how they would react to Kona with a little tweak since the guy is in serious need of one.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Jonny Fairplay discussing WWE Raw’s struggles, All Elite Wrestling, Johnny Impact on Survivor, and Drake Maverick’s gimmick infringement.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net staffer John Moore returning for an in-depth discussion on NXT, AEW, Impact Wrestling, MLW, and the NWA, and more...