Hey, kids! Let’s peer once more in to “The Illustrious Future” and take in another episode of “NXT” together, shall we?
In-ring segment – Ricochet & Velveteen Dream
He was really stiff here. He eased into it and kinda got there but it took a second. He also wasn’t terrible reactive as Dream was speaking. That’s forgivable and he’ll surely get better.
Velveteen Dream, thankfully, was far better and saved this segment. He’s not afraid to take his time in there and tell the story. Even when he’s not talking, he’s just dripping in charisma and continued to be responsive. The segment as a whole dragged a bit but it was still very good.
Raul Mendoza vs. EC3
Mendoza’s pretty quick in there. He had some different moves in there and I liked it. He looked great at the beginning but, of course, it couldn’t last. At its core, this was a jobber match with EC3 getting in 95% of the offense.
As for EC3, he’s got all the tools for sure. Now rid of the Derek Bateman debacle, he’s made his name elsewhere and is well on his way to being a very big deal in WWE like he always should have been.
Backstage segment – Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch, & Pete Dunne
It was quick and it set up the Undisputed Era match. That’s all that can be said for it.
Dakota Kai vs. Vanessa Borne
What the heck is Vanessa wearing? She a gorgeous woman but she came out dressed in incredibly degrading fashion choices. She just looked trashy. Let’s hope this isn’t a regular thing. Onto the match…
This was pretty good. There was some good action here, although it was rather short. It’s intended to further establish Dakota and it did. When she won, Shayna showed up and ruined the moment beautifully.
Dakota sold her intimidation perfectly. She turned white as a bedsheet. Shayna enjoyed every second of it too. She put her submission on Borne in the most vicious way and it was all Dakota could to get away. The storytelling at the end was significantly more captivating than the match itself. Just…wow. It brought the grade way up.
Backstage segment – Dakota Kai & Shayna Baszler
They’re running a really cool bully angle here and I’m here for it. I love the admirable stories WWE’s been telling lately. First, we got Bliss/Jax and now we’re gonna get Baszler/Kai. Kids need to see that bullying is completely wrong and with the #BeAStar initiative in place, we’re now seeing it on WWE’s programming. It’s darkest before the dawn so Baszler has to have the edge for a bit and I get it. When Kai fights back and triumphs, it’ll be epic.
Again, Dakota did really well here as the intimidated girl and Shayna is great as a bully.
Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic & Tucker Knight) vs. War Raiders (Rowe & Hanson)
I love how “over” both of these teams are. Hanson has no fear of flying and gave us some too. This two teams went move for move and made this more interesting than it should have been. Of course, War Raiders had to win. Still, the match was nothing to sniff at – even if it was a bit short.
Cinéma de cellphone – Street Profits
They’ve done this before but it’s always fun when they do it. It was short and I enjoyed it.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kassius Ohno
Tommaso is the only worker in WWE without a theme…and it’s perfect. He doesn’t need one. The audience provides all the theme he needs. They hate him and it’s great!
Kassius Ohno has been a complete zero since coming to NXT. He’s literally done absolutely nothing of note. His claim to fame is to avenge the pain his friends have felt on a couple of occasions (and do so unsuccessfully). He continues to get good response and I have no idea why.
I love Tommaso’s pacing. When he slows things down, he slows them way down and does damage like a total mercenary. He also perfectly voiced what has always been Kassius’ issue when he said “What are you? Big brother?”. They kept trying to tell that story but the problem does less for Ohno – even if he did win.
I did like Kassius’ viciousness. It’s not something we’ve seen before and it worked well. He started attacking the eye and Mauro did what Mauro does. I couldn’t turn it down fast enough.
Of course, Tommaso took it. He kinda had to. He has to be an unstoppable, vicious heel. The after-match attack showed that off perfectly.
Another good episode of “NXT”! The is really what “205 Live” should be doing. There’s a perfect mix of storyline and great ring work here and I always enjoy this show. I also can’t wait for the inevitable Velveteen Dream/Ricochet match. They are going to tear the roof off of whatever venue that match happens in. See you next week for another look into “The Illustrious Future”!