Hey, kids, it’s the Botching One yet again with another edition of “The Illustrious Future” and if you saw “TakeOver”, you know how absolutely illustrious it really is. I love what’s happening here and I can’t wait to see some of it up on the main roster to stay. On with the show…
Nikki Cross vs. Lacey Evans
This wasn’t really much of a match, honestly. Lacey got some offense in but it was basically yet another vehicle to show how completely crazy Nikki is. Nikki came out of this one with the victory as expected. I’m not really invested in Lacey in any way yet. Perhaps that will change with time.
Backstage segment – Shayna Baszler
Shayna is supposed to come off like she doesn’t care but she didn’t give enough here. I need to feel more cheerful apathy from her and I didn’t really get it. She’s still figuring out the art of the promo and she’ll get there – I’m sure of it.
Backstage segment – The Undisputed Era
This was a nice reaction to what happened right after the Cole match happened. It wasn’t much but it did exactly what it was supposed to do and I liked it. It was short but sweet.
Backstage segment – Velveteen Dream
He’s pulling off eccentricity very well. He’s got absolutely everything it takes to be successful…at 22 years-old! Put a rocket pack on this dude; there’s nothing he can’t do.
TM61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) vs. The Ealy Brothers (Gabriel and Uriel)
Well, the Ealys are a nice surprise. We haven’t seen them in ages. They work house shows only at this point so it’s nice to see them make it to TV again finally. Of course, they’re here to lose. They pulled a cute little “twin magic” thing one that lead to some offense and they did their job in making Thorne and Miller look good. WWE has done a nice job of airing vignettes to make me care about TM61 and I’m kind of invested in them at this point. “205 Live” could take a lesson from that approach. Miller has a very nice (and high!) moonsault and it was used nicely here. Their finisher, Thunder Valley, looks very nice and it ended the match.
Backstage segment – TM61
Very short little thing that was pretty useless honestly. Apparently, they are now the “might” and “the mighty don’t kneel”. No clue why they bothered with it. Makes a nice title though.
Backstage segment – Zelina Vega & Andrade Cien Almas
Zelina is golden. Andrade is nowhere without her. Not much more to say than that. He is incredibly fortunate to be paired with her.
Roderick Strong vs. Tyler Bate
I’m at the point where I’m all about any match Tyler Bate is in. He’s just so inventive that it’s fun to watch him. He never lets me down. He’s another one who’s very young (even younger than Velveteen Dream) who just has “it”. He doesn’t have mic yet but he’ll get there. Strong is clearly excellent in the ring as well but I’m just not as invested in him because his move set isn’t as inventive and because his personality isn’t there, IMHO. I also love that Bate never forgets to sell. Strong was on his back for a bit and never forgot it. I do like Strong’s finisher though. I also like its name, The End of Heartbreak”. Nice match overall!
As expected, much of this episode was about the aftermath of “NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia” and they recapped quite a bit of what happened, though I’m not sure why. There’s no way the NXT faithful (like myself) were going to miss that for the world. It ate up more of the show than I would have liked. Still, a fairly decent episode and I’m sure that since we’ll be a week off from “TakeOver” next week, that show will be even better. Join us again for another “TIF”!