Backstage: The Undisputed Era
They very much have this “nicer version of NWO gang” thing going on. Adam Cole, in particular, is just dripping in charisma. Bobby and Kyle are great foils who can get it done in the ring and hold their own on the mic. They are going got be a lot of fun.
Shayna Bazsler vs. Dakota Kai
There was this fun little backstage thing they did before the match began and she came across like a very convincing bully – overdoing it with the submission on that poor girl. It gives us insight into her character and it worked well. I’d love to see more of that.
Dakota Kai was there to be fish food and that’s exactly how it went. She’s the first WWE superstar from New Zealand since the Bushwakers and Tony Garea but this was not an auspicious debut. They told a great story together. Shayna was out to torture this poor girl and did a great job of it. The match was stopped because of Shayna’s viciousness. It appeared that she broke Dakota’s arm and it looked really good. Even in slow motion, it looked like it could really have hurt, even though it didn’t. Of course, we know damage doesn’t work if the other worker doesn’t sell it and Dakota did that! She continued the assault at the end of the match and that looked really good too. Shayna does not care and the story was told so well. Ember Moon came out to make the save and sold that well here. The success of this match and the aftermath was all in the nuances and they were really good.
Backstage segment: Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering
They actually talked…and did it pretty well. They even spoke more than Ellering did. For the language barrier they’re dealing with, I thought they did pretty well.
Backstage segment: Shayna Baszler and William Regal
Even when Regal came to her and laid down the law, she didn’t care! Love this. She only said, “We done here?” and walked off. I think I’m in love.
Kassius Ohno vs. Raul Mendoza
For all of Mendoza’s 190 pounds, he’s clearly not spending time in the gym. He appeared quite flabby here. Not a good look at all. I don’t say that to “fat shame” or anything silly like that. I say it to say that his style if that of a fast luchador and he’d really be able to achieve the speed he seeks if he were carrying around less weight. I watch “205 Live” as a weekly habit (of course) and Mendoza doesn’t measure up in that department. This wasn’t a bad match any means. I don’t think these two could give us a bad match. I just think Mendoza will be better once he loses a few pounds and tones up a bit. This does not negate that this match told a great story.
Backstage segment: Zelina Vega
She just oozes confidence and control. She’s so completely domineering and I love it. She’s just so “snippy”. She works this so well that I can’t help but completely love her. She’s also absolutely gorgeous and that helps.
Backstage segment: Johnny Gargano & Velveteen Dream
This started off plainly enough until Velveteen Dream showed up! I’m beyond happy to see him again. The whole Dream was talking, Gargano continued to sell it. They don’t always do that and Gargano did a beautiful job of it. Velveteen Dream isn’t quite there on the mic yet but he’s so close. He was still highly entertaining here if very slightly stilted. I would have liked just a bit more attitude. In time, I have no doubt I’ll get it.
Backstage segment: Street Profits
Montez and Angelo are so much fun! Montez is doing this quite naturally but Angelo is putting it on a little. He’s not used to being on the mic this much and he’s really having to step up. He’ll get there – no doubt in my mind. Regal is an absolute card and when he referenced “blocking”, I died! Regal nearly dancing was a riot too.
Lio Rush vs. Lars Sullivan
He’s back!!! I’m kinda surprised to see him, honestly. For those who forgot, he caused quite a firestorm when he made light of Emma’s departure and ended up in the doghouse for a while. He appears to be out of it and…
Nevermind…he’s in the ring with Lars Sullivan
I was sure he’d be fish food here but it wasn’t totally the case. We got to see Lio’s incredible speed too. He actually got some chants in there which is cool. Regardless of what you think, Lio really is a lot of fun in there. He’s also not a bad guy; he just made a mistake. Here’s hoping it doesn’t ever repeat and he can move on from it. Sadly, the outcome was what you think it’d be and ultimately, he crashed and burned at the hands of Lars. Lars, too, was very good in there. He did exactly what needed to be done and told a very nice story.
In ring segment: Lars Sullivan
He’s big, angry man and that’s what we get when we get promos from him. They aren’t bad, we’ve just heard them before. And then, there was the Super Freak Accident!!! DAG!! That was FIRE! Lars nailed it and Lio took it so well.
Backstage segment: Undisputed Era and SAniTY
Very nice attack on all of the members of SAniTY. Undisputed Era laid them out in very Nash/Hall/Hogan fashion and it looked great. Let’s see where this goes.
In-ring segment: Undisputed Era
I LOVE them. The snark and sarcasm from these three is so potent, it could fill a coliseum quite easily. Nikki being crazed and trying to come out and disrupt them in the ring was a thing of beauty. Nikki is unhinged! I LOVED that!
Roderick Zzzzzztrong coming out to challenge the Undisputed Era since SAniTY was taken out was cute but then it got interesting when Aleister Black came out. Aleister is over like rover and when he came out, the whole vibe changed in the best way. Now, we’ve got ourselves a match!
Undisputed Era vs. Roderick Strong & Aleister Black
The ebb and flow on this match was very nice. This crowd loves them some Aleister. He suffered and they were right there with him. The “hot tag” from Strong was really nice too. Strong may be very vanilla but he can generate some excitement in the ring. At the end of the match, Aleister was the main target and they ate him. It was such an NWO thing to do but very effective. They stood tall in there like bosses.
Regal came out as they exited and made a very nice match that will feature Aleister vs. Cole in an “Extreme Rules” match. The way Cole got up in his face and Regal’s “step to me if you dare” reaction was just perfection.
We got another very good episode of “NXT”. Can’t wait to see what “TakeOver: Philadelphia” has in store for us. If the match Regal made tonight is any indication, it’s going to be a lot of fun! See you hear again next week for another edition of ‘The Illustrious Future”!