Hey, kids. It’s the Botching One with another look into the “Illustrious Future”. This is always a fun show and I wish I could say this was another fun one…but for the most part, I can’t. Let’s dive in and try to make some sense of this, shall we?
Backstage segment – The Undisputed Era
Cole is just drowning in charisma, so much so that when the members of UE talk, it’s nowhere near as interesting. Believe it not, Roderick was kinda funny. When he referenced Pete Dunne, he said that they were friends and then he off-handedly said “for, like a week”. The way he threw it away gave me a chuckle. Maybe turning him heel really will be the right move.
Kairi Sane vs. Shazza McKenzie
Man, what a stupid gimmick. “Pirate princess”? Just…no. Don’t get me wrong – I love her; I just can’t stand her gimmick. If this makes it up to the main roster, I fear it will be savaged. Having said that, her Insane Elbow is just incredible. The height she gets on it is really amazing.
The match? Nothing but a jobber thing. Shazza got in zero offense. I abhor matches like this. This isn’t George Championship Wrestling circa-1983. There was really no point to this.
In-ring segment – Lacey Evans
I’m still waiting to be impressed by Lacey. So far, so bad, really. She’s rather monotonous on the mic and merely okay in the ring. She wasn’t really believable here, though Kairi’s reactions were spot-on. Not good.
Backstage segment – Candice LeRae
She pulled this off like a champ. I was totally with her. She really told that story perfectly. Totally textbook.
Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. TM61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne)
Mauro’s hip-hop-isms are just cringe-inducing. He always goes into “hood overdrive” when the Street Profits show up. It almost makes me not want to see them. TM61 have done next to nothing themselves so I’m still looking to be impressed.
Montez has a ton of “it” and it call came out during this match. He can also work really well. TM61 took this one in a dirty fashion so is this the beginning of a heel turn? They need a shakeup and maybe that’s what’s needed. The Street Profits also sold their frustration well – especially Dawkins.
Backstage segment – Kassius Ohno
Decent promo. Nothing showy but decent. It was also unbelievable as Kassius has done nothing of note since being in NXT.
Patrick Scott vs. Kona Reeves
Enter the cocky “I’m the best of everything and you’re nothing”. Patrick is an indie guy (and a very good one) who’s been through PWA and various other promotions. Sadly, of course, we ended up with yet another jobber match. Oh, and Kona really wants you to know “he’s the finest”. I know this because he kept shouting it so that we’d remember. Next…
Cinéma de Press Conference – Dakota Kai & Vanessa Bourne
This wasn’t bad at all. It came out of nowhere, story wise, but the ladies worked it.
Candice LeRae vs. Bianca Belair
Interesting that Bianca was getting hotter chants than Candice was. For my part, I like ’em both. Both of them are incredible in the ring and both of them tell a good story. Bianca showed some incredible feats of strength. Her dead life of Candice barbell-style was incredible and watching her hold Candice high above her head was just amazing. This female Tony Atlas. I did not expect the match to end so cleanly and so quickly but, for storyline purposes, it does make sense. Candice is distracted and that’s the story that’s being told here so I get it.
Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong (w/ Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly)
I’m a huge fan of Pete Dunne. I just love his in-ring style. He tortures his opponents and it’s very cool to watch. We didn’t get much of that here but we still got a very good match.
This match began quickly. I’m also happy to say that the heel-ness of Roderick has found its way to his ring work. He’s become more vicious and calculating. I like it. On the commentary side, Percy has gotten a lot better at telling stories. He told the “why did Roderick join the team that takes shortcuts” story and it was effective.
Of course, the Undisputed Era was going to interfere. Why else would they be out there? Pete almost had it won and they got in. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan came out for the save and I’m sure this’ll lead to a six-man – likely next week.
This was not a great episode of “NXT”. Jobber matches are of another era and there’s just no need to resurrect them. Thankfully, the Dunne/Strong encounter and Candice (in promo) and her match with Bianca saved this episode from itself. We also didn’t get any Shayna Baszler or Aleister Black. You remember them, don’t you? They’re the NXT champs. Let’s see what happens next week. It can only get better from here. See you next week for another look into the “Illustrious Future”.