Classic Heel Tactics

To change things up while Sam is away, I’ve stepped in to cover NXT for the first time in almost a year!  I had so much fun reviewing this show, and I hope you enjoy what I had to say about the incredibly packed Tuesday night show.


Two Men, One Fight


Normally heel versus heel doesn’t work very well, other than those rare matches.  I’m not sure if this is one of those rare matches for most, but it is for me.  I think the only way to truly know is if there were people in the stands giving us their feels for it all.  Relying on social media, especially Twitter, for reactions to matches is a catch-22.  It all depends on who you are following as to the types of things you see there.  The thing is that Balor and Cole are two of the best in NXT – and that’s a DEEP pool of talent – so no matter where either of them are, they will give us the match that was booked, plus more.  They are both just that fantastic in the ring.

Hard-hitting with big moves from both, this match is a feast for our eyes.  The kicks and high flying to mat work, they’re giving their all!  They are so evenly matched in the ring that I could watch them work all night and not be bored, but in the back of my mind, is that Steel Cage Match, and hoping it gets the time it deserves as well.  Then the near-falls happened and I was so into this match I couldn’t look away.  Good thing I can touch type.

Going into this match I accidentally read a spoiler – was looking for the card for the show and clicked on the wrong thing – which really had me worried.  There was so much fallout from the Fatal Four Way Iron Man Match last week not ending with a solid winner that I worry if they do something else screwy that the fans are going to trash NTX, more than AEW fans usually do.

Thank goodness that this match ended clean, and the way it did.  Now Cole can move to Raw or SD with nothing holding him back.


Rhea Talks

I could listen to Rhea’s accent all day long.  I just adore her all the way around.  It wasn’t a bad segment but wasn’t fantastic either.


Backstage Love


Seeing the love and support backstage is always cool.  Regal, Trip, and even Cole back there giving Finn his props for the win.  That’s one thing I love about NXT – breaking the 4th wall.


Who’s Stoned?


I never thought I’d love watching Robbie E, but as Stone he’s really rocking it.  He was dumber than a box of hammers when I interviewed him, but this is working really well.  Or, it was until Aliyah knocked into Io and it was all over for her and Stone.

What a great way to build storylines, feuds, and women.  AEW needs to watch and learn!  I can’t wait to see Shotzi go after Io for the strap!


Dream This…


I will fully admit I don’t know who Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis is, but I really like him.  Between taking it to Dream through most of the short match to the smack talk at Dream, I like this guy a lot and want to see more.

Then things completely devolved when Kushida came out to attack Dream.  The moves on the corner were beautiful!  So much creativity in those holds.  Loved it!

Botch note:  Ashante is a renamed Tehudi Miles.  Realized it this morning after I saw the match last night.  I agree – he’s got “it”.


Breezy Times


Normally I’m all for WWE videos like this, but I really didn’t like this one.  Yes, it set up for Breezango to face Imperium next week, but it felt really flat for a WWE video like this.  They really better not move the straps back next week, Breezango has worked so hard to get gold.


2020 Breakout Star!


I’ve not been writing about NXT so I haven’t had the chance to talk up Reed.  Talk about having a great year in the middle of the worst year of most of our lives.  Reed and Orton are of the few doing really well unexpectedly, and while I’ll never like Orton, I’m very excited for Reed.

Then there’s Theory who sold everything from Reed in such an over-the-top way that I wonder if he had springs in his shoes.  He flopped all over that ring, flipping and flinging himself everywhere when it really was too much.  He made Dolph’s selling look TAME!  I loved how HBK sold and have no trouble with Dolph like so many do, but I really didn’t like it from Theory in this match.  Theory did impress in lifting Reed, but that’s all I can give him credit for.


You’re A Good Man, Adam Cole


I love how Cole talked up Balor the way he did, again, but it sounded like he’s going after Balor again and not moving to Raw or SD.  Guess only time will tell.


Killian Drake?


Dain was all over Strong from the start.  Strong fought back well, but I have to wonder if Strong would have lived through it had Fish not been out there with him.  Beyond that, this match was almost nothing.  I was hoping they were going to be building Dain so he could finally join his wife on SD, but no.  I get that he might not be what McMahon likes, but he’s really good and one of the few not on the same show with their life partner.

On the other hand, seeing Drake coming to Dain’s defense was adorable…or it was until Dain punched him out.


Facing Thatcher?


Priest has really come into his own in NXT since he came up.  That voice alone is great, but his ring work is great too.  I’m liking him more and more.


The Gargano House


They did a really good job of where the TV was hit and how it looked after Johnny turned it on.  Stacy is a techie and knows all this stuff, so I thought I’d ask.  I held off until the end of the storyline of the night to write it all together, as I usually do that for overarching storylines.  First off, I love the Gargano House segments, they’re always well-executed, except the one segment in the middle, when things really started going south but hadn’t yet turned into a food fight.  It was a bit tough but came right back when things started flying.  I think, and I hate to say this, that Nox just isn’t as comfortable on camera in such a situation.  She just didn’t look as at ease as the Garganos did.



Rip This Martinez Or, Robbie E Flopped On Top Of The Cage!


I have to say I’m not sure how I feel about that cage.  If anyone can put their head out through the corner, I have to wonder about the build of the cage is a bit dangerous.  I know they are pros in that ring, especially those two, but I still tweak at things like that.

I absolutely love Rhea’s reverse cloverleaf.  It’s a favorite move of mine, and her height adds so much to the move.  Because she’s fairly tall, she can put that move on almost anyone.  I’d love to see her take out Nia with it, but I’m biased.  Beyond that, what can you say about a match with two of the hardest hitters in NXT?  They totally killed it in that ring, showed that they are.

Rhea has been wrestling for seven years, but only came onto my radar through the Mae Young Classic, and I fell in love with her.  Mercedes is a twenty-year veteran of the ring who should have been holding the WWE Championship – Raw or SD – years ago!  She is one who should have been top-billed through those horrible Diva years.  She should have been leading the charge for women, which she has for years, but doing it on TV brought tears to my eyes.  I’ve wanted to see her at the top of the biggest company in the US for over a decade and I’m hoping we are on the path to getting that.  Mercedes will be 40 in November, and nothing is stopping her.  I can’t wait to see the heights these two women go, because they are beautiful beasts in the best possible ways.

I do have to go back and (this pains me less, but not 100% painless) say that Stone at the top of the cage all flopped out was the gravy on this match.  While I’d love to give it five crowns, I know that they will give us more and totally top this, so I’m holding off right now.  I decided on four, the extra half is for Stone laying on the top of the cage like a forgotten Cabbage Patch Kid.


Keep Talking Wade, You Make Me Smile

For the first time since I started writing my wrap-up this way, I don’t have anyone on announce I want to tell to shut up.  I’ve not been a Wade Barrett fan, ever.  The most I’ve ever felt toward the man was when he dislocated his elbow in the ring and he was in such obvious pain that I was in tears watching, and felt horrible that it was obvious that his body is just too breakable to be in the ring.  I never thought he was very good in the ring, and while his mic skills have always been solid, I just never vibed with any of his characters, good or bad.  He was just that annoying fly to me, but he’s really stopped buzzing in my ear and I’m thrilled to hear him on NXT every week.