By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream: Ciampa was back in babyface mode and I hope he stays there. He’s a great heel, but he feels more valuable as a babyface than he did while working as a heel following his recent layoff. Dream had a good outing, but his character feels flat.
Pat McAfee, Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch, and Pete Dunne: McAfee is delivering some of the best heel promos in the business. Hell, he’s quickly becoming one of the best heels in the business. McAfee isn’t trying to be funny or trying to get over as a cool heel, he’s just plain obnoxious and unlikable. I love it. And while I remain a little bummed that we’ll never get the feel good underdog title win for Lorcan and Burch, I am thrilled to see them cast in higher profile roles.
Dakota Kai vs. Ember Moon: A really nice match between Moon and the ever reliable Kai. As much as I enjoy Moon’s work, it was a pleasant surprise to see Kai pick up the win, even if it was by distraction. It means there will be a rematch, which is welcome news. On a side note, I would love to see NXT showcase its loaded women’s division with a Mae Young Classic tournament that plays out on the weekly television show. Normally, they bring in a lot of women from outside the company, but with the pandemic, it strikes me as a perfect time to hold a tournament featuring the NXT regulars along with some developmental talent.
Kushida vs. Cameron Grimes: Kushida and Grimes work really well together and I hope they circle back around to giving them a meaningful Takeover match at some point. Grimes being afraid of the referee after last week’s match with Dexter Lumis was campy, but it didn’t ruin the match for me.
Drake Maverick and Killian Dain vs. “Ever-Rise” Matt Martel and Chase Parker: Sure, the match was just a way to get to Pat McAfee’s crew attacking all four men. But we got to see Maverick’s pre-match dance to the whistling portion of his entrance theme, which continues to make me laugh. Plus, the beatdown by McAfee and hi crew likely means Maverick and Dain will end up challenging Burch and Lorcan for the tag titles at some point.
Toni Storm vs. Shotzi Blackheart: The actual match and the work of both wrestlers was definitely a Hit. The finish with Candice LeRae distracting Blackheart was fine, but they lost me with Blackheart’s over the top reaction to her toy tank being destroyed. I get that she had to sell it to make it matter. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that she could go buy a replacement. Perhaps she’ll be able to salvage this with a promo where she explains that this particular tank had sentimental value.