Hey, kids. It’s your Botching One with another look into the “Illustrious Future”. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Cinéma de Outside – Tommaso Ciampa & William Regal
This sets up the unsanctioned match between the two. There are plot holes but whatever. Chiefly among them, they don’t tell us what an Unsanctioned Match is or anything convincing about why they’d need to have it. If Regal is making the match, it’s…ta da!…sanctioned. Oh well. We’re gonna get a great match from these two. Their chemistry is off the charts so this’ll be fun either way – plot holes be darned.
In-ring segment – William Regal & EC3
Here, he introduced another title – the North American Championship. This is basically the IC title for NXT.
EC3’s entrance was done perfectly. He got SUCH a raw deal with WWE last time as Derek Bateman. His response? He went to that other place, showed us what he really had, and came back to a program people actually watch. Good for him! The way he smiled on the way into the ring, he’s clearly thrilled to be back. I, for one, am thrilled he’s back too. He put the work in and he really deserves this. Regal smiled back at him so we know Regal was happy to have him back too.
I do like the idea that the North American Title match will be a ladder match too. This should be fun.
Cinéma de Control Room – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
Zzzzzz… I’m sorry but I’m just not interested. It’s not that I don’t like the teams or workers involved. I really do. There’s a bit more motivation here to win it too (not the cup, the shot at the titles).
Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) w/ Paul Ellering
I remember a while back when Montez Ford debuted under his real name. There’s footage of it on WWE Network. He came out looking pretty plain and rather out of shape to boot. Now, he’s got all the pieces together. He has a metric ton of “it”. Watching him offer Ellering a drink from the cup was a riot. Ellering didn’t flinch a bit and played it perfectly. Angelo languished as a jobber for years until he hooked up with Ford. He’s stepped up his charisma game nicely and the two are great together. I’ve spoken before about Angelo’s lack of conditioning but, if you follow on Twitter, he’s actually just joined a gym so my hope is that it’ll begin to change now.
Akam and Rezar have been the Mack Trucks of NXT for a while now. Sadly, this was very much a jobber match that ended quickly with almost no offense from Street Profits. That’s honestly a bit concerning and heartbreaking for me as a fan of theirs. I knew who’d win but I was really hoping that they’d make more of a match of it. Also concerning is that, every time I can think of, Angelo does the job.
Is the female ref new? I’m just noticing her now and I love it!
Backstage segment – William Regal & Velveteen Dream
Dream: Mr. Regal. William Regal: Dream?. Dream: You look well. William Regal: I know. DEAD! How Velveteen Dream didn’t crack, I have no idea. Velveteen Dream has been added to the 6-man North American Title match. Good stuff! Very nice work (again!) from Velveteen Dream on the mic.
Lars Sullivan vs. John Silver
Yet another restart on Lars. Vince loves his big guys and Lars certainly fits that bill. John is a Boston guy who’s wrestled often in the northeast and is quite good. This, however, was a jobber match so Silver couldn’t show it. That wasn’t the intent of the match. Most notable is that Sullivan’s bulky knee brace is gone! Good for him! While he’s not much at this point, I’m fine to see if he becomes more as time goes on.
Backstage segment – William Regal & Lars Sullivan
Sullivan is also in the Ladder Match now. He’ll also get Killian Dane next week on the show. Lars comes off well on the mic too. Let’s see where this goes.
Dakota Kai vs…nevermind…
Cinéma de ATTACK! – Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega) and Aleister Black
ACA was outside attacking Aleister at the car he arrived in. They even took the added step of having a cooler full of ice water that ACA dunked Aleister into. Nice touch. The mercilessness of ACA was needed. Now, they both look merciless. Very effective storytelling!
SAnitY (Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe) vs. Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne
Another relatively fun match. All of been more fun in other matches but this wasn’t bad. It had its moments for sure and, somehow, Pete and Roderick move on in the tournament. This is a bit of a shocker for sure.
Backstage segment – William Regal &…Ricochet
HA! This was incredibly quick but perfection. No grade needed! Couldn’t be happier to see Ricochet in WWE. No grade needed due to the brevity of the segment.
Another episode of “NXT” has ended and we got a huge improvements to “TakeOver”. I’m excited! Hope you are too! See you next week as we peer once more into “The Illustrious Future”.