Well, At Least Now, We’re on the Same Level

Hey, kids.  It’s the Botching One with another look at “The Illustrious Future” that is NXT.  TakeOver is shaping up to be a lot of fun.  This episode would create even more fun for it.  Let’s peer in, shall we?


SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe & Eric Young) vs. Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss

Things have gone haywire for Sabbatelli and Moss as of late and they went from being in a somewhat interesting feud with Street Profits to absolutely nowhere without much explanation.  Here, they find themselves facing off with Wolfe and Young.  I can’t imagine anyone thought that they’d win either.  They did well at first but it couldn’t last.  Young tagged in and took over.  Even Nikki Cross got involved with the dive onto Riddick to take him out of commission.  With that, SAnitY moves on.

They were telling the story of Sabbatelli and Moss having issues with each other but didn’t do much of that here.  Other than Riddick’s accidental punch to Sabbatelli, there wasn’t anything else said.  No discord at the end of the match…nothing.


In-ring segment – Tommaso Ciampa

Loved seeing the audience holding up their paper flat smiling faces.  Johnny Gargano showed one on Twitter and the fans have really taken to it.  Much fun.  Tommaso tried to speak and the crowd simply didn’t want to hear it.  He played it perfectly too – getting a little angry with them and then surrendering by getting out of the ring.  Once outside, he walked the perimeter slowly – staring at many as he walked by in the most bloodless way possible.  The NXT crowd is truly special and they are as responsible for the success of that segment as Ciampa was.  Very well done!


Lacey Evans vs. Dakota Kai

Lately, on each show, there’s been far more “grab a body part and work it”.  I don’t know why that is but I like it.  Evans started to do that here but Dakota rolled her up and ended the match with lightning speed.


In-ring segment – Shayna Baszler, Ember Moon, & Dakota Kai

Unfortunately for Kai, this was really only about Shayna coming back and having a little fun with her.  Before she could, Ember Moon showed up with mic in hand.  It broke down quickly, of course, with Ember going after Shayna for all she was worth.  Two refs were unable to break it up.  They went back and forth for a bit with Dakota saving Ember Moon so that she could deliver the Eclipse.  It’s a truly devastating move and it looked great here like it always does.  The fact that Ember finished the segment with the upper hand worries me about the result of “TakeOver”.  Will Ember lose her title?  If history is an accurate indicator, she just might.


Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight)

The Street Profits are my favorite tag team in WWE and I’m so happy that Angelo Dawkins is finally getting somewhere.  As much as I hate to go here, Angelo has always been rather pudgy and he needs to find a gym…stat.  Here, he appeared pudgier than usual and that’s a bad idea if you’re trying to get ahead.  Again, I love these guys.  Montez Ford is drowning in “it” and Angelo is something really special too.  Dawkins just needs to start working out more and he’ll be golden

The match was a riot.  Watching Montez offer Otis the black solo cup was a riot.  His reaction to drinking from it was just great.  It was like Popeye with spinach.  I was DEAD.  HM are just huge guys and they work like they are.  It’s fun to watch.  Montez’s frog splash is just a thing of beauty.  He gets great height on it!  The Street Profits took this one and that makes me happy.


This fits nowhere but Nigel McGuiness must never dance again.  Okay, on with the show…


Adam Cole (w/ Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Pete Dunne

That UK title is really nothing more than a prop that this point that’s only ever defended in NXT and at that, pretty infrequently.  There was no way this match wasn’t gonna be fun and it really was.  Adam Cole is undeniable proof that you can lose most matches and still be over.  He always does incredible work and has charisma for days.  Dunne’s sadism when it comes to going after his opponent’s fingers and arms is just perfection.  Few do that better.  He kept going back to it throughout the course of the match.  They really told the story of “no matter what I do to Dunne, I can’t end him!” incredibly well.  Cole came at him with everything and nothing worked.

‘Course, the match broke down.  Even Roderick Strong came to help out but it was all for naught – at least initially.  I suspect “TakeOver” will now give us Bobby Fish & Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne.  We’ll see if I’m right.


In-ring contract signing – William Regal, Zelina Vega, & Aleister Black, and Candice LaRae

Well, this was easy.  Andrade signed the contract and so did Aleister did too.  Done.

You don’t believe that, do you?  Okay, Zelina got to talking like she always does and Aleister was not interested.  He kills at mind games and watching him mess with Zelina’s head was beautiful.  The crowd even got in on it with “too short” chants.  She slapped him and he absolutely didn’t care.

Candice LaRae came out and went after like a 7 year-old on a frozen TV dinner.  This feud is going to be delicious!


As usual, another excellent episode of “NXT” that served to tell us more about the upcoming “TakeOver”.  Join me again next week for another look into “The Illustrious Future”.