Hey, kids, it’s the Botching one with another look into the “Illustrious Future”. With TakeOver just a couple of weeks ago, things should get more interesting for this show. Let’s dive in!
Johnny Gargano, Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa, & Aleister Black
Johnny has been a different kind of character. He’s successfully blurred the lines between heel and face to the degree that it almost doesn’t matter. They like him and that’s it. The DIY tease was cool but it apparently didn’t mean anything – at least not right now. Gargano is now on to Ricochet and his North American title.
Ricochet came out and said all the right things and, in truth, he’s gotten better. He’s definitely more fun than he was too. Still, he’s a work in progress on the mic so it wasn’t amazing. He’ll get there.
The Aleister/Ciampa stuff was fun and the super kick on Ricochet from Gargano was a nice punctuation mark. Gargano/Ricochet is now a legitimate thing.
Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross
I cannot begin to imagine how exhausting Cross’ ring entrance and antics must be for her. She really puts it all out there…and this is before the match starts. I can’t wait for her to shine on the main roster and she will if she’s allowed to. Bianca is just…next. That’s all there is to it. She has it all and I can’t wait for her to show us all she has. We definitely haven’t seen it yet.
Belair’s athleticism was nicely on display here throughout the match. So was Nikki’s sadism. Both styles got equal time here and it was a very enjoyable match. Of course, Belair wasn’t afraid to get dirty too. Nikki had her in an evil-looking sleeper on the outside and Bianca slammed Nikki right into the entrance ramp. It looked sickening.
Of course, Bianca had to take the match. She is undefeated in NXT too and we know how undefeated streaks fair, don’t we? Nikki will debut on the main roster…at some point. The rumor is that the call-up announcements were intentionally premature and we may be seeing those videos for a while longer.
Cinéma de Outside – Street Profits
Angelo beatboxing while Montez freestyles. DEAD! As is always the case, both are fun but Montez gets the edge here easily. Angelo always feels like he’s trying really hard. You can almost see his gears turning. Montez, on the other hand, does this easily. I keep waiting for Angelo to turn that corner where it becomes easy for him but he hasn’t quite yet.
Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel vs. Kuntzman & Stanley Watts (I’m guessing at the first name)
I really love it when WWE does this. Giving the indie guys a chance to be seen like this is just aces. They even kinda said their names this time. Watts was a lot of fun in there and Kuntzman got a little in too but this was mostly about Aichner & Barthel. As for them, they looked decent in there but they aren’t anything special for me. I don’t know them and as a result, don’t care either. It was a decent match and that’s about it.
Cinéma de Production Truck – Ricochet
This was better. He should have been angrier but this is a definite step in the right direction. He was very well-spoken but it still felt like the script it really is. Had he ratcheted up the anger, this would have been even better. He’s still learning this and he’ll get there. I have little doubt about that.
Backstage segment – Keith Lee
I dearly love Keith Lee and have for years. He’s very erudite and this promo was perfection. It wasn’t long but Keith could have gone on longer if he’d have chosen to. It wasn’t kept short because he couldn’t go longer. Promos have never been an issue for Keith and I love that he wasn’t “angry man” here. He spoke deliberately like he always does. Great work.
EC3 vs. Adam Cole (Bay Bay) [w/ Undisputed Era – Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, & Roderick Strong)
Adam Cole is all ego all the time and I love it. EC3 isn’t without one either so there’s no way this wasn’t going to be fun. Fish was an absolutely out there. EC3 shouted “Say my name!” and Fish shouted “I’m not doin’ anything!!” Of course, this has to end dirty and it did with Cole taking the win. The after match attack was to be expected but the War Raiders came out for the save. Each of them was handling two members of the Undisputed Era. It made the War Raiders look incredibly strong and the Undisputed Era look incredibly weak. I get it but I’m not sure that was exactly the right move. We’ll wait to see their match at TakeOver to see if that repeats.
So ends another episode of “NXT”! The rumor is that the call-up videos are likely to continue for some time before we see any of them. They jumped the gun on the call-ups intentionally so they could run these videos to get us interested. Unfortunately, they’ve been running them for so long that they’ve become boring. They’ve almost reached Emmalina levels of tedium. Two of them did work Main Event last week (Nikki & EC3) so here’s hoping we see them all before too long.
Anyway, see you guys next week for another look into the “Illustrious Future”.