Hey, kids, it’s the Botching One with another look into “The Here and Now”! So I’m losing four great workers. Dag! I will miss writing about them. Here’s hoping they don’t screw them all up on the main roster. Given the disregard they’re already showing for their NXT characters, I don’t hold out much hope but ore on that later. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Aleister Black vs. Roderick Strong
I mean…I like his entrance on the main roster but it’s so much more majestic in NXT. They have the run of the building so they can really go for it in there. Further, it’s smaller so the smoke can fill up the space far more easily. It just looks amazing in there. Oh yeah, Roderick came out too and he was boring. This match, though, had no apologies to make.
It is fun that the commentators had no clue Aleister was leaving at the time this was taped so they don’t mention it at all. It’s oddly disembodied. For all the complaining I do about Mauro, I do like how Nigel was expressing himself, Mauro had to interrupt him to call the action, and he went right back to Nigel – nicely saying “finish your thought, Nigel”. I dig nice people and Mauro seems really nice. It’s a little thing, I know, but it was classy. Very classy.
Relatively short but a decent match with Strong showing some nice viciousness. Afterward, as is their custom, The Undisputed Era came out to wreck things and Ricochet was there to save Aleister.
Cinéma de Catfight – Girls Locker Room
Quick little spot that first debuted on Twitter. Jessamyn, Marina, & Shayna are the locker room bullies and they play that role extremely well.
Cinéma de Un-De-Fea-Ted – Bianca Belair
I love that she’s not just your typical babyface. She wants what’s hers and she’ll take anyone out to get there. I also like the idea of having an undefeated attitude. Even if you’ve been beaten, carry yourself like you can’t be. Great message for really anyone. It’s looking like we may get a fun feud involving Bianca/Io/Kairi and she’s still not done with Shayna. Who says you only have to feud with one person, right?
S i d e b a r
Can I just say how much I hate the fact that the writers on the main roster seemingly couldn’t care less about NXT storylines? I mean…Ciampa & Gargano debuted on the main roster this week and….teamed together. Why??? They’d been at each other’s throats fairly recently and were tentatively coming together. On the main roster, they threw that all away and now they’re a team. That made no sense. Clearly, they don’t care about what was happening in NXT. The result is that Ciampa and Gargano aren’t as compelling anymore. They’re still great in the ring but Ciampa’s darkness and Gargano’s recklessness is gone. SMH…
Mia Yim vs. Xia Li
I have been a fan of Mia Yim in every incarnation I’ve ever seen her in. I loved her in Black Wall$treet years ago on the indies, I loved her as Jade on TNA, and I love her now. On top of being an incredible worker and platinum talker on the mic, she’s also stunningly beautiful and I might have a crush on her that never dies.
I said I might…moving on…😇
Xia is one I haven’t seen much of so this was a fun match for me to learn about her. She was really good here. I love her speed. Still, this came down to Mia and her Protect Ya Neck finisher. Once over, Shayna, Jessamyn, & Marina came out to spend some quality time with her. The other trainees came out to even things up. It was fun seeing Aerial Monroe in there. Still, the Three Horsewomen were too much for all of them. Shayna is the best bully ever. Great segment to end a fun match.
Backstage segment – Candice LeRae, Johnny Gargano, & Tommaso Ciampa
Candice is just terrible at this. She can’t act – it’s that simple. Johnny & Tommaso, on the other hand, are brilliant and the darkness on display here from both of them was just great. Shame they didn’t keep a shred of it on their main roster debuts.
Cinéma de Borash – Matt Riddle
Jeremy Borash!! Cool to see him again off the Titanic. What’s not nice is listening to Matt talk. He’s not ready yet for long talking segments. He needs to be showing determination but I just don’t believe him…at all. The full length interview is on YouTube. I’ll pass…LOL!!
Velveteen Dream vs. Johnny Gargano
Velveteen Dream’s theme is tragic but I’m loving Johnny’s lately. There was a Twitter video of some dude screaming it and I just about died. It was hilarious. I retweeted it at Gargano hoping he’d say something but no love. Oh well.
What a great match. Any match Velveteen Dream is in is always a chess match and a psychological game as much as it is a physical one. He’s much like Ciampa that way but without the cruelty. Gargano is like Ciampa in the cruelty department – especially the way he went after Dream’s arm. YIKES! He was just cold-hearted with it and Dream sold it all brilliantly with blood-curdling screams. Both of them going for odd moves. Gargano’s spinning Flatliner off the second rope for Dream was just breathtaking. That Dream Valley Driver from Velveteen Dream was incredible too and I was nearly out of breath by this point. “This is awesome” chants filled Full Sail and they were warranted. This match just wouldn’t quit. You have to wonder how many of these Gargano can do. He’s still got time left but every match he does is absolutely incredible and life-shortening. A couple more Dream Valley Drivers and a Purple Rain Maker and we have ourselves a new North American champion! Of course, since Gargano is on the main roster now, it had to be. Still, you can’t put anyone over harder than Gargano did for Dream. These two worked their faces off and I was beyond entertained. This was TakeOver-worthy for sure.
More compliments for Mauro. He kept himself under control here nicely. My only real beef with him is that he goes from 0-60 so fast that he has nowhere left to go when he should have more in the tank. He can only reach 60. Hearing him try to take it further is really grating. Here, he was much more even and everything was benefitted from it. When shrieking and adrenaline was called for, Mauro supplied it in abundance as he always does but it was appropriate. Percy and Nigel joined him up there and it was fun.