Watching both AEW and NXT in quick succession really highlights the great points they both have, and where both are failing. In many ways the shows even out in the end, but while watching the best and worst points are so apparent that it almost hurts. I love both shows, but NXT is struggling in the ratings. Maybe they should move to Tuesday nights.
I’m Only Afraid Of The Weirdos
I’d be the first to admit I was never a Barrett fan, but on announce he’s found his niche, and I loved his weirdos line. That being said, his disbelief in Shotzi’s athleticism really bothered me. She is a beast in the ring, and while this was a beautiful match for these women, I can’t say it was a massive deviation from what she normally does. Further, at one point Beth went a bit Mauro at one point and it truly didn’t work. Beth getting loud and shocked over something in the ring really didn’t feel like what I think of as the Glamazon’s character, even though her character hasn’t been anything since late in her in-ring career.
AEW DYNAMITE SPOILER WARNING:
This match was fantastic between these two workhorses. They really worked the ring hard, but obviously have so much more to give us at some point in the future. They really know each other and trust each other in the ring, and their work was that much better for it. Having that kind of trust is important in the ring. Watching Ivelisse face Thunder Rosa on AEW Dynamite had me so excited because they’re both top of their game in the industry, yet they don’t know each other in the ring and it showed in their work. The start of the match was tentative with a number of rocky moments and minor botches. The end had Rosa not comfortable in her holding of Ivelisse for a tombstone. Two of the best being handled so badly by the company they’re wrestling for that I was really afraid of injury, compared to two women who have been booked in a storyline that built to this match where they were obviously comfortable and gave us a great match for it. And this was the first of two women’s matches on this show.
Braids In His Beard
Who is Desmond Troy? He looks like he escaped his college wrestling team, which Barrett stated as I wrote that line. Troy just looks so clean cut in his singlet with his hair looking trimmed and perfect. Then again, compared to Ciampa and those little braids, most could be called clean cut. I guess the braids work, I’m just used to my Viking friends braiding in only one or two into their beards. I think it will take more time for me to get used to it. Maybe he needs beads?
Jake Atlas looks good and his mic work was solid here. I’m hoping he’s much more than the clean cut we see here, but it is good to put that type of guy against scruffy Ciampa. I’m excited to see where they go with this.
Note from Botch: Desmond Troy is Denzel Dejournette. He just had his name changed a la Tehuti Miles.
Maverick is so adorable. I’ve adored him since I first saw him in the TNA reality show thing they did, British Boot Camp. That’s also where I first encountered Marty Scurll and knew I didn’t like him. Speaking of BBC, I’ve seen almost nothing from the Blossom twins since then. Anyway, I fell in love with Rockstar Spud then and have loved his heart and passion that brought him back to WWE when they forgot storylines and released him. I’m excited to see what they do with him going forward, as he’s proved he can do anything and look great and goofy doing it.
80s Are Back And Bouncier Than Ever!
Someone needs to slap him, please, let it be me! Something about Theory makes me want to slap him. He’s just that type of cocky and it’s annoying. I’m honestly not sure if he’s a good heel or if it’s just ADR-esque heat (I like Waltman too much to call it X-Pac heat any longer), I guess time will tell. Then there’s Kushida who I adore. Few can pull off the 80s look the way he does and doesn’t feel out of time or like he doesn’t know what he’s wearing or why. It’s not ironic, just really cool on him. Sadly my love for Kushida couldn’t make me care about Theory enough in this match. The ringwork was really solid, but I wasn’t overly excited. I will say I like his hoverboard lock. When Eleazar was sending me NXT results to post during the show, I had no clue what the hoverboard lock was, but I get it now, right down to his look.
They Haven’t Cleaned Yet?
Johnny claims there’s still spaghetti everywhere, so they haven’t cleaned in a week? I love the segments at their house. It kind of adds some warmth to them, except it doesn’t because they’re heels. It’s all strange and funny. They are so cute together, except their heels so they’re not. They just work together so well, which goes back to besties being the best when together.
Breeze-Dingle Are Still Gold
I wish my new Fashion Police shirt was in today for taping our next episode of Royal Council, but the mail doesn’t move that quickly. Anyway, when Fandango first started his run as this character my youngest Sam really loved that he was from Maine, but as is the case when you have kids around, names of things change. Therefore Fandango will always be known as Dingle in my house. Speaking of Dingle, I’m thrilled he’s building/refurbishing a house up here. Makes me feel good that he’s not walked away from his roots up here.
I have to say that Imperium really took it to both Breeze and Dingle in a massive way. That they took such a beating from such strong competitors and came out the other side retaining their straps. Breezango has been underutilized and underappreciated for many years. They are not just funny, but are great wrestlers, and Breeze has proven that he’s a great champion, especially that he’s not Breeze-2-Belts. Or, does the LRLR belt count too? Whatever, it was Breeze who saved this match after Dingle took most of the abuse, and both looked great doing it. I wish we’d seen more of THIS Breeze on Raw and SD, he could have been either US or IC Champion with the work we saw from Breeze here.
Note from Botch: YES, yes the LeftRightLeftRight championship counts. In fact, it’s the NXT Tag belt that may or may not count… 😉
The Li Beast Is Loose
I love the way Kacy Catanzaro climbs the corner post to get into the ring, so putting her with Kayden Carter who I think is just fantastic was brilliant. Kacy might be the smallest woman on the WWE roster, but that doesn’t stop her. Kayden has a unique look and a solid athleticism that works so well with her strong ring work. I know nothing about Jessi Kamea, but she held her own but looked a bit tentative at times. Then there’s Xia Li who is a favorite of mine on the NXT roster.
Li looked pissed over that loss. A number of people on Twitter through Li was turning heel by the way she handled the loss, and that might be exactly what Li needs to move forward. She’s been on the WWE roster for almost four years (January 2017) and people barely know who she is. I think a solid heel turn could be great for Li. They need to do something with her to get her over, as she has everything needed except that bit of push to get her over. Fingers crossed that this is the start of something for her, because she’s too good to be wallowing in mid-card purgatory any longer. Heck, I’d be up for a solid Tag Team Championship run for her. Just something that moves her forward.
Two last things. First, I didn’t’ know what Eleazar meant by a creative rollup, but what Catanzaro and Carter did to roll Xia up for three was creative, unexpected, and so interesting! Second, this match was also so much better than Thunder Rosa versus Ivelisse because this moved storylines and character development forward.
Same Setup Everywhere!
It seems as though everyone has the same basic computer set up right now, with similar chairs and some sort of superhero merch sitting there between the coffee cups and mousepad. I will say that Nox just isn’t as great on mic as she needs to be for this, but her ring skills make up for it. I also give her mad props for trying. She needs more personality and needs to learn to emote, but if she gets those things, she could be unstoppable. Time to watch and really learn from those who came before her.
Note from Botch: Queen asked me to add my two cents so I will. Sam and I both thought Tegan was great here. She nailed every bit of this. She told a great story and was even a little snotty when referring to Candice. IMHO, Queen was overly-harsh with the grade. The feud between them is picking up nicely and I can’t wait to see it play out further.
Little Man, Big Hairy Man
I thought Fish was in his panties at first. See what bloody Thwagger has done to my head? Sorry, for those who don’t watch AEW, Jake Hager has been wearing knickers to the ring, rather than actual ring gear. It’s horrible, and he keeps doing it, even though he’s shown he has ring gear with Hager on it. I don’t get it, and really thought Fish had come to the ring in panties, but then saw he was in actual ring gear.
Sadly, ring gear caught my attention from the first moments of this match, then ran fleeing because Maverick was killing it in here. That little man works the ring as if he’s been in there since birth. He’s so great in there and I hope he gets more gold while in NXT, either Tag Team Champs, or North American Champ, because he’s so great on so many levels, and hasn’t made it to the top of the roster because of his size – in my opinion. But Rey did it, so why not Drake? Though Rey has two inches and 35lbs on Maverick, I could see Maverick at the top of the NXT card if things were to go right for him, but he’d need to be built more if anyone was to believe he could go against Balor and hold his own. I know he could, but it’s making the majority of fans think that, and I know they could do that with him, despite his size. Hopefully his work with Dain will do just that for him.
Wee Bit Of A Fight
Why was O’Reily standing up to Ciampa the way he did? That was very strange. A couple people have mentioned that they think he could be turning on UE, but that wasn’t enough to go on. It will take time to see what the plans are, especially if they move Cole to Raw or SD.
I’m really confused by Thatcher. I just don’t get him yet. I’ve not given enough of a reason to care about him or hate him, which is unusual for NXT. Normally I know where I’m supposed to feel about NXT superstars early on, but for him, not so much. Add in that he wears no padding and I’m automatically going to be wary of him. Priest, on the other hand, continues to impress me. Between his look, his mic skills, and how he works the ring, he could easily be IC or US Champion on either Raw or SD and I wouldn’t think he was punching above his weight. In fact, I’m a bit shocked McMahon hasn’t wanted to move him up already as there isn’t anyone on either show that looks at all like him. In fact, he could do quite well on SD as he is right now. Not saying to move him now, just that he could do it without batting an eye, which is saying something as I was shocked when he won the strap in the first place. This guy could have a massive future if he continues as he’s been going lately.
Shut Up, I’m Talking!
That was a pretty solid episode of NXT, but AEW was still better. Okay, the women of NXT are amazing and totally win every Wednesday night, but beyond the women, AEW wins hands down. I love NXT, especially certain superstars, but AEW is blowing them out of the water. Where that leaves Triple H as the leader of WWE in the future, I’m not sure, but as of right now, AEW is winning hands down.