So he’s gone. Johnny Gargano has officially left “NXT”. Tommasso Ciampa nailed him with a crutch…and now Gargano is gone. Surely that feud has to continue somewhere. Just how is anyone’s guess right now. I’m fine with ACA hanging on to the belt because of Zelina. She’s been just incredible for ACA so he should hold it for as long as she’s with him as far as I’m concerned.
Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Bate
I think I said it last week but if I don’t, I’ll say it now: I can’t stand his theme song. It’s awful. CFO$ usually nail it but they whiffed here badly. “D-R-E-A-M”? Really? Tyler Bate is on the “bad list” in WWE at this point (for completely stupid and very “Vince” reasons) so he’s fish food for the Velveteen one right now. Both of them are “over” and both are tremendously skilled so there was no way this wouldn’t be fun. It was fun watching Velveteen Dream toying with Bate too. He heels it up nicely. Bate has (with Pete Dunne) been in my very favorite match of 2017 so he’s definitely no slouch either. He gives us airplane spins! Who does that nowadays? I can’t tell if Bate’s headbutt to Velveteen Dream caused real contact but it certainly looked like it. If not, great selling! Of course, Velveteen Dream finished him with the Purple Rainmaker and that’s it. Nice match from both, though they’re both capable of far more.
Backstage segment – Paul Ellering & the Authors of Pain
The “Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Tournament” is completely useless but the promo was good. Ellering is so good at being evil and the AoP is just beastly! Listening to AoP speaking in their native tongue makes it all the scarier.
Backstage segment – Johnny Gargano, William Regal, and Drake Wuertz (the referee during Gargano’s match with ACA)
Very nice work there. The acting was right on the money and I could feel the regret coming from Regal and Wuertz. Johnny was the gentleman and accepted Wuertz’s apology and that fits his character perfectly.
Cezar Bononi vs. Adam Cole (bay bay)
Cole is over like rover and I love it. I’m a huge fan of his ring work and his whole thing. He’s got charisma and presence for days. Bononi is HUGE! Bononi did a pretty good acting job holding the shirt and contemplating whether to join them or not. Of course, Cole and company weren’t the least bit serious and they proceeded to eat him…for a moment. He came back nicely and showed his brute strength for a moment too but he essentially jobbed hard here. He made Cole look good and that’s what you’re supposed to do.
Cinéma de Outside – Street Profits
Montez is an absolute scream! He goes a mile a minute and he’s just dripping in “it”. Angelo should be quite thankful he’s there. That’s not to say Angelo is loitering. He isn’t. In fact, he’s getting right up there with him. They are great together and I’m so glad Angelo is finally succeeding at something.
Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Bazsler
I love Kairi but her gimmick is completely ridiculous and I really wish she’d just drop it and pretend it never happened. It’s absolutely the worst gimmick in WWE right now. People are down somewhat on Shayna and I have no idea why. She’s doing the “devil may care” thing incredibly well. She just wants to hurt people and she’s completely sadistic while doing it. I absolutely love how she’s coming off. She needs a little work in the promo department…but only a little. She’s just vicious in the ring and not particularly crisp but it’s perfect given her MMA past.
I love that she goes after a body part and annihilates it a la Minnesota Wrecking Crew but with more heartlessness than Ole and Arn ever showed. Kairi sold like a champ – shrieking with every move Shayna put on her. She would periodically forget the damage done and use the arm like nothing was wrong with it. This is what makes Ember better. The whole time Shayna was working on her arm, Ember never forgot it and sold it throughout, no matter what she did. Shayna, too, sold Kairi’s Kabuki elbow well too. Sane went down to Shayna’s Kirifuda driver and clutch. Shayna’s quick promo shouted toward commentary was just perfect. “I’m either leaving with Ember’s title or a limb!” Perfectly done.
In-ring segment – Andrade Cien Almas w/ Zelina Vega
It’s the subtleties I love. When they both got in the ring, Zelina went and got mics for both of them. Loved that! Zelina did the talking here and she’s just perfection! The crowd cannot throw her; no one can. ACA began talking and it went south. He really needs to let Zelina do every bit of the talking. He’s trying to be full of himself and he just looks foolish. The language barrier is definitely not helping him but that’s not the only problem. The problem is that when he’s talking, I just don’t believe him. It’s really that simple. Zelina, I believe all day long; not him.
Aleister Black surfaced right in the middle of the ring. I’m all about him because he’s just incredible in there. He just stood there staring at ACA and it spoke volumes. Then, out came Killian Dane and things became even more fun. They started attacking each other and ACA and Zelina took off. I’m going to enjoy this feud for sure!
I’ve gotta say that CFO$ have done a genius thing with all the members of SAniTY. They’re using only slight variations of the same melody and groove for each of their themes. It’s a brilliant idea rather than just having each of them come out to a single theme. Love that!
Very nice episode of “NXT”…yet again! Join me next week for another edition of “The Illustrious Future”!