By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Viking Raiders vs. Street Profits for the NXT Tag Titles: While only lasting about two minutes, this was a very fun and frenetic two minutes. This was very similarly paced to their last match except with the nice twist of the Raiders being the team that jumped the gun on the Profits to return the favor from last time. I liked that even though the Raiders came up with the opening salvo, the Profits showed that they thrive in fast paced situations better than the Raiders, even though the Raider’s MO is that they are fast paced. The Street Profits really rose to the occasion and totally deserve a singles title match against the Experience. Sadly, that’s probably not going to happen. More on that in a bit.
Kushida vs. Kona Reeves: Kona Reeves always gets distractions in his favor and never really capitalizes because his opponents always destroy him in the end. Poor Kona. I’m honestly rooting for the guy because even though his gimmick and acting flopped when they debuted this “finest” gimmick, I’ve seen enough from the guy in recent months to see that he’s refined it immensely to the point where it might be very entertaining (I’m reminded of Ethan Carter III in TNA, which was a good thing). Anyway, this match was solid and a much better showcase for Kushida compared to that solid but strangely booked match that he had against Kassius Ohno. Another positive is Drew Gulak finding a way to get out of the wasteland known as 205 Live. He probably stands no chance in this feud, but Gulak has improved since his indie days and this should be a solid program to get Kushida over.
Keith Lee vs. Cezar Bononi: Not much, but good to see Keith Lee back on TV after a long absence. It sucks that after disappearing for a while, Bononi is back to enhancing people, but maybe it’s not his time yet. Bonus points for NXT bringing back Keith Lee’s Dragon Ball Z finisher. Son Goku would be proud. Vegeta san would not.
Aliyah’s Attire: She seems to change things up to absurdity every month it seems, but I really like what she wore this week. A minor Hit, but the casual clothes she wore this week really worked and I hope they find a way to incorporate that into her ring gear (it reminded me of the cool attire that Chelsea Green wore during her Lucha Underground run).
Undisputed Era: Interesting and fun energy from these guys in their limited TV time. We got to see Adam Cole curse up a storm behind censor beeps. We also got to see Roderick Strong “take care of Matt Riddle” and bring Cole a blood covered flip flop as proof of this mauling. Part of the Hit is the absurd mystery of the bloody sandal. Did Roddy beat up Riddle with this sandal. Given the rib tape, did Roddy knife stab Matt Riddle a la Carlito and Jesus stabbing John Cena from back in the day?
Closing segment: Why did they make things so needlessly complicated here. This was so uncharacteristic of NXT to the point where I was reminded of the many “Only in TNA” moments I had to review over the years (by the way, Impact is good and logical now, you might want to check it out). This almost felt like the main roster finding its way into the NXT show somehow. Why did they go above and beyond to prevent the War Raiders from getting defeated? On top of that is the Forgettable Sons who initiated this no contest.
The Forgotten Sons: Their promo was actually delivered well, but is NXT going to just scrap the very cool mafia beatdown that the Sons did to the Viking Raiders via security cam footage we saw last week? That was the coolest thing the Forgettable Sons ever did in NXT. It was straight up some gangsta stuff. Instead, they show up this week saying how people keep forgetting about them and how they are going to show you why you shouldn’t forget. This team is built around punning all over the word “forget”, isn’t it? On top of that, the Viking Raiders apparently don’t care that they were mafia beat down by the Sons last week because they couldn’t give two S’s about the Sons in their opening promo and were more pissed about the Profits making a Viking Experience joke.
Vanessa Borne vs. Jessie: Not a great looking match. A bit harmless, but totally missable. Borne has improved a lot since looking rough when she made her debut, but she isn’t good enough to carry fellow developmental types. It also looks like Jessie Elaban lost her last name as well as her gimmick (which was that of a nerd girl). Maybe they’re saving it to when she’s going to mean something? In this case, she just looked like a huge fan of Dakota Kai.
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