By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano: This was billed as the final battle between Ciampa and Gargano, but I honestly hope this wasn’t actually it. The low blow finish with Candice LeRae left me wondering if they were leaving the door open for one more match once things get back to normal. I enjoyed this version of WWE’s cinematic approach more than the Boneyard Match and certainly more than the Firefly Funhouse match. This felt like a fight rather than a movie, and I didn’t miss the musical score that often accompanies pro wrestling’s cinematic matches. But this is the greatest feud in NXT history and one of the strongest feuds in all of pro wrestling in recent years. Ciampa and Gargano worked very hard and this was entertaining for what it was, but the wrestlers and fans deserve a more satisfying final match held in a traditional setting.
Io Shirai vs. Mia Yim vs. Candice LeRae vs. Tegan Nox vs. Chelsea Green vs. Dakota Kai in a ladder match to determine the No. 1 contender to the NXT Women’s Championship: An entertaining ladder match with all the big spots and stunts. I did feel a bit numb to some of the spots after sitting through the WrestleMania ladder match just days earlier. I hope that Raquel Diaz is okay after folding up like an accordion when she was powerbombed from the ropes and through a table at ringside. The outcome of the match was the right one and sets the stage for what should be a hell of a match between Charlotte Flair and Io Shirai.
Finn Balor and Walter: The recap with the NXT UK footage of Balor beating Alexander Wolfe and Balor’s promo were all effective ways to keep the feud fresh in the minds of viewers. While the circumstances that caused the Walter vs. Balor match to be delayed suck for all of us, the wait could actually turn out to be a positive in terms of this match feel even bigger by the time it finally happens.
Mauro Ranallo: Tom Philips did a fine job on NXT commentary in recent weeks, but Ranallo is the true voice of this brand and it was good to hear him back on the call again.
Indus Sher vs. Matt Martel and Chase Parker: A soft Miss for a squash match that just didn’t leave me excited about the spotlighted tag team. Rinku did the majority of the work for his team and I suspect that will continue be the case because the bigger Saurav seemed very limited.
Having Mauro Renallo back was great! Best announcer in the business right now.
I’m not a fan of Mauro’s style, tbh. He over powers the other members of the booth, and some of the stuff he says… Literally no one talks like that. If you enjoy him, hey, to each their own. JR is still the best, though. As far as WWE goes, I’d give the nod to Corey Graves. He does force some of the WWE verbiage some times, but he sounds more organic with his comments.
What a stupid tag team name! It sounds like they’re “Into Cher”. Haha.