Hey, kids, it’s your Botching One hear to deliver “The Illustrious Future” of NXT to all who wish to read. Join me, won’t you?
“TakeOver: War Games” was just about everything I hoped it would be. Yes, there were some mildly dead spots but the spots that shone were as bright as the sun. “War Games” created a new star in Velveteen Dream. He absolutely blew me away with Aleistair Black. The match had everything and more. I don’t issue five crowns easily but that match was just incredible and five crowns were well deserved. They both worked incredibly hard and told an absolutely incredible and unique story.
Let’s get started with this week’s show, shall we?
Ruby Riot vs. Sonya Deville
Ruby was such a complete and total rock star last night on “Smackdown Live!” and I couldn’t be happier to see her on the main roster. She is immediately hate-able and I can’t wait to see what becomes of Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan, and her. Sonya’s gonna be fun too with Paige and Mandy Rose.
The match began with some beautiful chain wrestling. These ladies can go and they certainly brought it here. Throughout, Ruby sold Sonya’s attack on her ankle brilliantly. She even continued to sell when the match was over. The ending was a Riot Kick out of nowhere and it was beautifully done as usual. This was a very good match by two women who are set to make waves on their respective brands.
Backstage – Lars Sullivan (after TakeOver)
Yeah, the less said about this, the better. I hope he gets there but as of now…
Backstage – Ember Moon (after TakeOver)
This promo wasn’t much Ember Moon. It was about all Adrienne Reese. She was still captured by the moment and it was really refreshing and cool to see. The emotion in this interview was just intoxicating. Ember is one of my absolute favorites and I can’t wait to see what she does now that she’s been justifiably strapped.
Backstage – Drew McIntyre (after TakeOver)
A lot of this was very real but he was smart enough to inject “business” into it. He absolutely would have felt dejected because of his legit injury and that came through here loud and clear. I hate this for him and hope he comes back better and stronger than ever.
Segment – Street Profits and Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss
This looked really good. Tino and Riddick are becoming decent heels. I’m, of course, all about the Street Profits. All four of them are stepping up nicely and I want them all to succeed.
Pete Dunne (U.K. Champion) vs. Johnny Gargano
This is a match I honestly wasn’t looking forward to. They’ve done zip with Pete Dunne and they haven’t done much of anything with Johnny either since the feud with Tommaso Ciampa – a feud which had to end because of Ciampa’s injury.
I’m absolutely not digging Pete holding the U.K. title in his mouth. Also telling is that there are two spots for side plates, yet those spaces only feature the default WWE side plates – a real indicator of what WWE doesn’t think of that title.
I’ll give it to them. This worked hard here. The dive outside to a vicious DDT by Gargano looked great and Dunne sold the impact with his face. “NXT” chants broke out during the match as well and they were well-deserved. The way they both traded impactful shots looks great too. Seeing Dunne remove his mouth guitar to bite down on Gargano’s finger to get free from the crossface is very nice. The way Gargano noticed and attempted to capitalize on it was excellent storytelling. Very nice work all around and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if I’m not really invested in either worker much.
Maybe, just maybe, they’ll finally do something with Dunne and the U.K. division. It’s definitely more than time.
This NXT episode was, more or less, a “TakeOver: Wargames” recap show but it certainly had its moments. Join us again next week when “NXT” truly gets back to business.