By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
DIY vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet: In terms of in-ring, this was a really good match. With the four singles stars of NXT’s main event scene all in one match, you had to expect that the talent level would carry things here and that it did. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano did a great job with their DIY throwbacks, from the generic blue shirts to the double submission which they used to beat The Revival. The right team went over given what they were planning to do with Gargano and Ciampa at the next Takeover. Obviously, plans have changed and this finish thankfully allows the ripple effect from Ciampa’s surgery to have minimal effect on other storylines.
Shayna Baszler: The highlight of the night for me. She was pretty bad on commentary. She’s usually hit or miss in terms of promos (the misses usually come up when she is put in a position to improvise). What I really liked was the presentation of how she demolished all three of her title contenders. Baszler went in there and laid out all three contenders with the same finishing hold, and she locked it in on all three in creative fashion. Go to my full review for the recap, but I thought it was smart. My favorite part of this was the heel coming off strong without coming off like a pest heel. Sadly, given the “stacked against Shayna” nature of the next Takeover match she’s involved in, they’re obviously foreshadowing Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir’s involvement from a mile away. Obviously, she comes off better without them and the coinciding development of the two WWE rookies integrated into their business as usual only complicates their TV show unnecessarily.
Moustashe Mountain vs. The Forgotten Sons: Another good tag team match from a tournament that hasn’t had a bad match yet. I always look forward to Moustashe Mountain these days after their wonderful feud with Undisputed Era last year. The Forgotten Sons are actually really good tag team wrestlers with good tandem offense. A lot of pieces in terms of talent fell into place here. I’ll get into it in the Misses section, but the crowd was dead for most of this match and the reason I think that’s the case is the Forgotten Sons sucking the air out of the room.
NXT TV Misses
The Forgotten Sons: NXT really needs to find a way to make Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake more identifiable as characters because being very generic is the bane of their existence. Like him or not, Jaxson Ryker has an it factor and some charisma to him, but sadly it seems like he’s on an island onto himself while the other two do things separately from him. He interferes in their matches, but in that case he’s just a means to an end. The crowd was silent for their match and I’ll attribute it to a combination of Moustashe Mountain not being on NXT U.S. regularly on top of The Sons just not being meaningful.
DIY Breakup: So the segment was written well enough. They even did a good job planting seeds a few weeks ago where Gargano was telling Candice LeRae that he had an ulterior motive. I felt that this was a missed opportunity to tell a compelling story with the reunion. They crammed a lot of nostalgia spots in the two weeks, but that’s just it, it was crammed and tough to absorb all the points that NXT wanted to come out of a temporary nostalgia trip with Gargano and Ciampa. A minor Miss for the missed opportunity.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Ian Riccaboni discussing his decision to re-sign with Ring of Honor, getting emotionally invested in matches, Friday’s ROH 17th Anniversary show, the G1 Supercard at MSG, and much more.