How Illustrious is the Future of NXT? Let’s have a look, shall we? As is the case most of the time, I write this blog as I’m watching the show. The semi collision that will be Lars vs. Keith Lee has me salivating as I type this. I absolutely cannot wait to watch it!
I’m quite relieved to once again get Vic Joseph on commentary instead of Mauro. I much prefer Vic’s style and he’s becoming excellent. I get to enjoy him each week on “205 Live” and I hope there’ more for him down the line.
Oney Lorgan & Danny Burch vs. The Mighty (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller)
While all four of these men can work, they’re all completely boring and I’m not the least bit invested in any of them. The commentary team is trying to sell me on the heel turn of “The Mighty” but I just don’t care. They danced around and heeled it up as best they could but it was all for naught for me personally. Oney and Danny show even less personality than The Mighty do so I just focused on the ring work. To that end, they didn’t disappoint. The leg take down as Miller was coming at Burch was interesting. The Mighty lost again (they lost to Street Profits) and they’re mad and won’t take it anymore – gosh darn it! They attacked Burch & Lorcan and the crowd reacted nicely when they did it. They’re trying really hard to make us care about their heel turn. I need to care to be invested in a match. I’m trying to play along but so far…
Backstage segment – Kairi Sane, Io Shirai, & Dakota Kai
Kairi’s and Io’s English needs a lot of work so their parts in this wasn’t great. Dakota was far better and she likely should have done all the talking. They want Baszler, Shafir, and Duke in the ring and I have no doubt they’ll get what they want. In spite of the language difficulties, this promo did its job.
EC3 vs. Marcel Barthel
Marcel’s theme music is positively bizarre…and I like it. It’s oddly symphonic for CFO$ and I didn’t know they had it in ’em. I like it! EC3’s is bombastic and arrogant as it should be. EC3 is, of course, great and I’m glad they appear to be giving him a chance again. Barthel is kind of a mess in there. His selling needs work and little that he did was believable. I’m actually kind of amazed that this match ended clean. I was looking for a run-in from the Undisputed Era.
The promo at the end was really good. The audio was oddly muddy. They’re not at Full Sail this week and you can tell. The venue isn’t as well-lit and the sound needs some work. I know, I know…nerdy sound engineer but I notice these thing. I’m sure you can tell too.
Vanessa Borne vs. Mia Yim
Vanessa is truly gorgeous. I crush on thee, my sweet ‘Nessa. Mia is a bad, bad woman. She’s finally getting her propers in NXT and it’s really nice to see. I’ve been a fan of hers since even before her gross misuse in TNA. This was a fun match as they can both go. Mia does a mean tarantula. Interesting that she called her move “Soul Food” and the commentators called it “Eat De Feet”. Either way, good stuff from both.
Backstage segment – Tommaso Ciampa
I love the rhythm of his promos. He ebbs and flows and never rushes anything. He’s got it down. Great promo.
Keith Lee vs. Lars Sullivan
Keith has been working since 2005 and I’ve been a huge fan since then. He worked then as Kevin Paine in XCW and would do so for a few year until he went to his given name and became a huge name on the indie scene. He is an absolute beast that can work a few different types of matches and do so brilliantly. Lars is better than he has any right to be. He can not only go in the ring well, he can also cut a mean promo, working past a pronounced speech impediment brought on by an underbite to do it. It’s fun to see both of them in the ring with guys their own size. They could manhandle each other and the commentators told that story nicely. We also got a great moonsault from Keith. We knew he had it in him but it’s the first time we’ve seen it on NXT and the crowd absolutely ate it up. Of course, Lars had to win. He has to be kept strong going to the main roster. Still, very good match!
Of the two of them, Lars appears in better shape with Lee having a rather pronounced gut on him. I fear for him over that because WWE historically loves “the type” and Keith is a bit outside of it. Hopefully, my concerns are all for naught and he’ll get what he so richly deserves. It absolutely shouldn’t matter.
Very nice episode of “NXT”. They really all are so I’m clearly running out of adjectives. See you guys next week for another look into ‘The Illustrious Future” of NXT.