Hi, kids, it’s the Botching One. Come with me as we once again peer into the “Illustrious Future” housed by NXT.
In-ring segment – Aleister Black & Lars Sullivan
I’m a huge fan of Aleister but his voice is a bit too high-pitched for the mysterious, dark thing he’s trying to pull off. I mean he says all the right things and he’s good on the mic. He can’t help what his voice is and it gets in the way a bit. I’d rather he didn’t talk. Ellering would be a great manager for a character of this type. Lars is a rock star. He pulled this whole thing off brilliantly. It’s not easy working through a speech impediment – especially one as pronounced as Lars’ is – yet he sails through it really well. They both told a really great story here. I love that Lars caught the Black Mass Kick and inflicted Freak Accident (the greatest finisher name in history). Very well-done all around.
War Raiders (Hanson & Rowe) vs. George Hickson & Cody Vincent
This was a jobber match – plain and simple. This was just to make War Raiders look like unstoppable machines. It’s almost like WWE wants Authors of Pain 2 in NXT. That’s basically what War Raiders have been so far. I’m not seeing anything that makes them even remotely unique. Jobber matches aren’t going to show me either.
Vignette – Dakota Kai & Shayna Bazsler
They’ve gone back to the bully thing but it has a different dimension given the participants. Shayna is a phenomenal bully and I just have to root for Dakota. This story should be told often and they’re doing a beautiful job with this one.
Backstage interview – Lacey Evans
That wasn’t bad. I’m still not that impressed with Lacey but that promo was pretty good…not great…but pretty good.
EC3 vs. Fabian Aichner
Yep, another jobber match. If Fabian is in it, he’s going to job. They did make a bit of a match of this though. Even with Gargano’s interruption, it wasn’t terrible.
Vignette – Bianca Belair
They’re giving her the Roderick Strong treatment with her bio vids. She off very face here but went heel once she started talking wrestling…kinda. Either way, I’m a fan and enjoy what she does.
Ricochet vs. Chris Dijak
The former Donovan Dijak is now in NXT. This ought to be fun. This was really high-impact. Ricochet shows no mercy with those dropkicks and Dijak shows none either with his slams to the ring apron. Ricochet’s deadlift of Dijak was just breathtaking. This was way too short but what we got was really good.
In-ring segment – Ricochet & Velveteen Dream
When it’s this good, words fail. This was a perfect confrontation with perfect mic work from both of them. Ricochet’s flipping dive right into Velveteen Dream’s face was just…you have to see it. This, kids, is how you tell a story. The match in Chicago will be delectable.
Dakota Kai vs. Shayna Bazsler
The psychology we got from this match was excellent. Shayna is, quite simply, that good. She’s exactly what we want Ronda to be. She is absolutely vicious. She kept talking to her while she inflicted her damage too. Dakota was a bit unrealistic – getting her feet and going after Shayna after the damage she suffered. She’s never be able to do that if this was all real. Still, it had to be for the match to go forward so I get it.
When Nikki came out for the save, Shayne shows such dimension in her reactions. The woman is got serious range. I don’t hate on Ronda at all but Shayna is the one they should be paying all of their attention to. Ronda is for the casual fan and Shayna is all for us. Nikki is a real beast too – playing a character that she is nothing like in reality. The segment was pretty cartoon-y but they were telling a story and there’s nothing wrong with that. The segment also turned Nikki waaaay face and I’m okay with that too.
I could have done without the jobber matches but this wasn’t bad at all! NXT TakeOver: Chicago is going to be must-watch and I can’t wait for it. Join me here again next week for another look into the “Illustrious Future”.