By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Ricochet vs. Tyler Breeze: A heartwarming return home for the long lost soul known as Tyler Breeze. It was great seeing Breeze back in a meaningful spot, if only for one night only. Breeze shined in this main event. It wasn’t a Takeover main event by any means since it wasn’t given any build or extended length. This was the “best of Tyler Breeze” and that’s all it should have been. Ricochet is as amazing as usual. Hopefully we get more Ricochet open challenges down the road. Even before anyone the North American Championship (which you can find in my confidence pick article HERE), I was hoping that if Ricochet were NA Champ, that he’d play the same role that he did in Lucha Underground where he anchored Season 1 as their weekly television champion with quality and reliable main events on a regular basis. This was vintage Prince Puma and hopefully we get more cool surprises like this one.
Aleister Black: Two weeks in a row, and Black has delivered some solid long-form promos. He was better when he was a man of few words many months ago, so much that NXT was able to make commercials where they were hyping up his first talking segment. The problem with his longer promos in NXT were that they came off as him reading off scripts. Here he sounded natural and hopefully all his promos from now on have similar passion and delivery.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. The Mighty: A Hit due to in-ring quality. This was a step up from their San Jose match. It was shorter, so it didn’t included The Mighty in needless restholds. Lorcan got to show us what makes him fun, him just slapping dudes. Thorne and Miller upped up the aggression on their end too. Why did they not give The Mighty the win here? Lorcan and Burch can take clean losses without damage to their credibility because they are plucky babyfaces. The Mighty never win! Maybe Roderick Strong was right in calling them “The Weaky”, and “weaky” isn’t even a word right?
EC3 vs. Bobby Fish: A clever finish to give EC3 a needed win while protecting Fish with the flukey finish. They can come back to this match in a longer form if they want to extend this EC3 and Fish program. The post match stuff was standard, but efficient in building up Heavy Machinery as Tag Title Contenders.
NXT TV Misses
Reina Gonzalez: Swing and a miss in terms of character and attire. They were going for generic cowgirl with her. So much that she reminded me of a lesser version of El Texano Jr. She even had a random cowbell and jeans cut in the form of chaps. That said, a ton of people have stumbled initially in NXT before and came out strong, look at Lacey Evans, Velveteen Dream, or Elias Sampson. Reina did look pretty good when wrestling. Her offense wasn’t the most crisp, but it wasn’t bad.
Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke: Not to be too tough on them, but they haven’t been great since they made their NXT debut. This is mostly because of their goofy angry faces during their interviews. The bad acting stands out when they are next to Shayna Baszler, who does an amazing job. This should get better since Shafir and Duke are just starting out. Shafir has looked pretty decent on NXT before when she was playing the worried wife of Roderick Strong playing off of the cocky heel Bobby Roode.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Konnan, who discusses his return to the ring for MLW in Miami on Friday and shares the crazy story of how he started in pro wrestling.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features guest Eli Drake talking about signing with the NWA, his departure from Impact Wrestling, rejecting an intergender match with Tessa Blanchard, his WWE developmental run, and much more...