By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Kassius Ohno vs. Keith Lee: Not the best match that we know both of these men are capable of (maybe Lee defeating Ohno in dominant fashion is going to happen in about a month after the Matt Riddle feud). The result of this match gave us something we don’t see often in NXT, Kassius Ohno winning against a non-enhancement wrestler. While they did go with the old “REF BUMP!!!” finish, NXT doesn’t overdo the finish so it can be excused and it got Ohno a win, so mission accomplished.
Tommaso Ciampa: The promo wasn’t long, but it did a good job at doing many things. It established Ciampa as a a chickens— heel on-the-surface but his “be careful of what you wish for” line did an expert job showing you that he is trying to instill paranoia into his Takeover opponent. Therefore, Ciampa comes off as cerebral as opposed to cowardly.
Johnny Gargano vs. Humberto Carrillo: A standard, and solid squash for Gargano. Nothing much more than that. This match gets a side-Hit due to it being a good bounce-back performance for Carrillo (even though this match was taped before his 205 Live match). Carrillo didn’t have a great match on 205 Live, which was odd because he has impressed immensely on NXT, and Buddy Murphy has great matches with everyone. On this NXT, we got to see the old Carrillo that we’ve grown to love and be astonished by with his high flying moveset that stands out from other high flyers due to the extra height he gets on his leaps.
War Raiders: It’s cool to see NXT do vignettes outside of Full Sail. If you go to WWE’s Performance Center YouTube page, they aired the entire Raymond Rowe-Sarah Logan wedding, which looked like it emanated from this forest location. In that video, Logan talks about how she and Rowe are “modern day Vikings” and they live every day as such by hunting animals, doing Viking rituals, and crafting weapons (?). Go out of your way to check out the Logan/Rowe wedding featuring Hanson as the “normal” friend who just looks like a viking. Anyway, that wedding video added a bit of authenticity to this War Raiders promo because it allows you to know that Rowe takes this Viking thing very seriously. I personally relate to Hanson, who seems to be going along on Ray’s viking ride because viking rituals and battle axes are so damn cool.
Shayna Baszler: Really good promo work from Baszler, who really plays the “bully” role very well. She came off as credible while also flaunting her numbers advantage in front of Bianca Belair.
NXT TV Misses:
Bianca Belair: More like a swing and a miss on her end. It wasn’t a terrible showing but Baszler turned the crowd against her for a bit due by just being really good. Belair is starting to fall into the same pit that Aleister Black once was in and Keith Lee is currently in where she’s forcing the “Un De Feat Ted” line into her promos. The crowd picked up on that forcefulness to the point where Baszler’s amazing “O Ver Rate Ted” line was a biting comeback.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and WOW head writer and lead voice Stephen Dickey discussing his career and the launch of the weekly WOW television series that airs Fridays at 8CT/9ET on AXS TV.
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...