By: Frank Hyden
BAD/GOOD- Kushida vs. Tommaso Ciampa ends in DQ
The match was pretty good, no surprise considering the guys involved. However, you knew some bullshit was going to happen because Ciampa wasn’t going to lose and surely NXT wouldn’t be stupid enough to have Kushida lose after giving him the big win over Velveteen Dream at TakeOver 31. So it wasn’t a surprise when Dream interfered and the match ended in DQ. It was frustrating and made the whole match a waste of time, though. NXT had a real chance here. If Kushida had beaten Ciampa, that would catapulted him even higher than he is. But no, they had to go with the bullshit DQ. That just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
GOOD- Drake Maverick and Killian Dain beat Ever-Rise
Maverick had new music for the team, which was some cheesy pop stuff. He was dancing around and stuff. I’ll admit, I thought this segment was funny. The match was okay, Maverick was getting beat down before Dain powerbombed him onto Chase Parker of Ever-Rise for the win. Dain dropped Maverick with a punch afterwards but then felt bad and carried him to the back. I don’t know how much more of this I want to see, but I thought this was fairly entertaining.
BAD/GOOD- Austin Theory beat Leon Ruff, Dexter Lumis beat Austin Theory
They did some stuff where Indi Hartwell left Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae a TV, so maybe that means they’ll do something with Hartwell other than have her be a jobber. Also, a video package aired for Toni Storm and her return. In the match, Theory dominated Ruff and pinned him. Then Lumis came out and they had a match, Lumis making Theory tap out. After that, Cameron Grimes came out and attacked Lumis. What the hell was the point of Theory beating Ruff if he was going to turn right around and lose to Lumis? They totally made his match with Ruff a waste of time, it doesn’t get him over to have him beat a jobber then lose to someone else. It was just filling airtime, the only reason to have it was so that Theory doesn’t lose every single match he’s in. Why should I, or anyone else, give a crap about Theory? He loses damn near every match he’s in, his mic work is okay, and his wrestling is okay. Yeah, that really makes me want to rush right out and buy his t-shirt. I know they’re doing the arrogant heel gets his comeuppance gimmick with him, but that only works if he wins his damn matches. You build him up with wins so that people want to see him lose. As it is, he loses every goddamn match he’s in, having him beat Leon Ruff doesn’t change anything.
GOOD/UGLY- Ridge Holland beat Danny Burch
They announced that Finn Balor broke his jaw in two places during his match with Kyle O’Reilly at TakeOver 31. The match was a quick but fun brawl. Holland continued the beatdown until Oney Lorcan ran in and they brawled. Holland hurt his ankle or something and had to be stretchered out. That completely sucks for him. He was right on the verge of a big push and POOF, it’s gone. I’m sure they’ll continue it when he returns but they’re going to have to work to get this kind of momentum back. Holland destroying Adam Cole like he did was a big deal, Cole has been one of the most protected guys on NXT. They had built him up well and now Holland gets hurt. Hopefully it’s not too bad an injury.
GOOD- Shotzi Blackheart beat Xia Li
I’m a big Blackheart fan so I enjoyed this squash. I do like Li too, though, so hopefully whatever they’re doing with her is good. Boa handed her a letter after the match she read.
GOOD- Ember Moon and Rhea Ripley beat Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez
This was a little too one-sided for my tastes, but they weren’t going to have Moon selling most of the match because it was her return, and Ripley doesn’t do a lot of selling, nor does Gonzalez. So basically, Kai had to carry things there. Moon pinned Kai for the victory. All in all, another good show in the books for NXT.
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