By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Hits
Kushida vs. Drew Gulak: A fun match with a different style than we usually see in pro wrestling, a pure submission based match. If you’re a wrestler in WWE and you want to make your submissions look good on TV, then you have a match against Drew Gulak. After a rough match against Kassius Ohno, Kushida has come back strong with solid showcase matches. The Kona Reeves match showcased Kushida’s high impact offense while the Gulak match showcased Kushida’s submission moveset.
Mia Yim vs. Bianca Belair: A surprising clean finish and Yim’s biggest moment in NXT to date. Yim and Belair have had a solid ongoing feud. Part of it is their trash talking during the matches. These two also have solid chemistry in the ring. Belair hasn’t had a bad feud yet. The finish was clever with Yim using Belair’s hair to give her the clean win (whereas Bianca used her hair for a dirty leverage pin in their last match). The key here is the followup because Yim needs to express her character on the microphone. That and hopefully they don’t start trading wins and losses in parity fashion.
Takeover Video Packages: The overall “Go-Home” nature of the show was a bit lacking, but these video packages were well produced. Both used the same formula and were really efficient in adding context to the Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Breeze matches.
NXT TV Misses
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. The Forgotten Sons: Not much of a match to speak of because it just led to all the tag teams running out to brawl in obligatory fashion. The Undisputed Era got to have a cool moment in the end, but that doesn’t take away from the NXT Tag Division looking fairly messy at the moment. I continue to state that NXT would have been better off booking War Raiders vs. Street Profits at Takeover 25 with the Profits finally beating War Raiders. They were obviously booking towards that or at least a triple threat between the Raiders, Profits, and Sons based on the mafia style beatdown of the Raiders by the Sons. That cool angle seems to have been wiped away from the storyboard or “forgotten”.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Alexander Hammerstone, who discusses his background, how the underdog story has been overplayed in pro wrestling, the Dynasty faction, facing Brian Pillman Jr. at Saturday’s MLW Fury Road live special on beIN Sports, and more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...