By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle vs. Ricochet vs. Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream in a Fatal 5-Way for an NXT Title shot: A fun-fest of a main event. Many people got a chance to shine with their signature moves, but the ones who benefited most were Matt Riddle and Adam Cole. Riddle is a wrestling machine. The widespread comparisons to Kurt Angle are no joke. Riddle has great strikes and in this match his story was the creative ways he would lock in the Bro-Mission. Cole gained even more. We haven’t seen Cole a lot on TV since he simply had nothing to do other than to cut his fun and formula promo of trolling whoever the North American Champion is. They were telling the story of Undisputed Era being on a losing streak (and this wasn’t supposed to be the payoff since Tommao Ciampa’s injury caused a change of direction). Since Cole was doing nothing and such a great heel, he’s the obvious pick. In fact, you could have predicted this match if you just picked the one guy who wasn’t in a program. The best part for Cole is he gained some credibility in the end because he got a clean, but sneaky, win.
Triple H: Papa H is best H. Speaking of people who haven’t been on NXT TV in a long time, Triple H made his return to the spotlight with his usual proud papa promo. What’s good about these rally promos is he comes off as so genuine, way more genuine than Hardcore Metal H or Heel Authority H. Hunter may be the most endearing sappy babyface promo right behind babyface Drew McIntyre or Mustafa Ali.
Video Packages: Standard video packages to hype the wrestlers in the main event, but what made the first half of hype packages stand out was the promos addressing Aleister Black, Ricochet, and Velveteen Dream being in other programs. Rather than have the viewer logically deduce that Cole was going to win by process of elimination, the promos talked about how Black and Ricochet might have to wrestle twice at Takeover or Dream being a potential double champion. Nice attention to detail to divert fans trying to remove themselves from the suspension of disbelief.
NXT TV Misses
None: This episode was too short to really find any Misses, and the shortness wasn’t a Miss because we got one good Triple H promo and a great main event match. What more could you ask for? It is interesting how two weeks ago we got the 90-minute episode and this week’s episode was closer to 40-45 minutes with longer commercials.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Eric Bischoff discussing whether there are similarities in Vince McMahon’s WWE booking and Verne Gagne’s booking of the AWA during its dying days, a network shakeup that could potentially be an issue for All Elite Wrestling, Eric’s upcoming shows with Tony Schiavone and Conrad Thompson in Chicago and New York, and much more.