By: Frank Hyden
NXT continued the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Tournaments this week.
GOOD- Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai beat Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro
Carter and Catanzaro especially, looked very small compared to Gonzalez, but they have nice styles and work well together. Gonzalez was just too much for them, and she got the win to advance her team to the finals.
GOOD- Austin Theory beat Leon Ruff
Both guys looked pretty good in this match. Ruff was smooth as always and Theory is improving and getting comfortable.
GOOD- Legado del Fantasma beat Lucha House Party to advance
This was a fun high-flying match with plenty of big spots. Some of the lucha stuff was too contrived but at least it was athletic.
GOOD- Edge promo with Finn Balor and Pete Dunne, with Karrion Kross later
Balor and Dunne are just kind of blah on the mic but they can work so that’s fine. Edge came out and teased possibly going for Balor’s NXT Championship. He talked about NXT helping him get his passion back and put both guys over. He did look a good deal taller than both of them but that is what it is. Having Edge on the show really brought things up a notch, and his interaction later with Karrion Kross also helped him as well. Kross also stayed away from the bug-eyed expressions he does a lot when he’s being intense. Hell, Edge does that enough for everyone lol.
BAD- Toni Storm vs. Jessi Kamea ends in DQ, Io Shirai ridiculous moonsault
The match between Storm and Kamea barely got started before Mercedes Martinez interfered. Martinez and Storm brawled a bit before NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai came out and watched. She then got on the top rope and did a moonsault to both of them on the ground below. The problem is that it looked completely contrived. They actually did a fairly good job of covering it up with the camera angle they used but it was painfully obvious that Storm and Martinez were just standing there, waiting to catch her.
Jim Ross talked about this stuff on his podcast weeks ago, about wrestlers doing those dives to the outside in a way you really wouldn’t in a fight. Specifically, the part where the other wrestlers just stand there and wait to catch you. I remember some people (too many) getting their panties in a bunch over those comments. JR is exactly right. Dives to the outside are fine generally, it’s just that some guys do them way too often and in too hokey and contrived a way. Shirai doing a moonsault to the outside is very dangerous. I know a lot of people do these dives so it’s become commonplace but it’s still very dangerous. So I know you have to make sure the person lands as safely as possible but there’s things you can do to make it look better, as one of the catchers on the outside. Not standing there looking like you’re waiting for the person to jump is probably the first step. I could go on but I’ll save that rant for another time.
GOOD- Santos Escobar beat Curt Stallion
This was a good match with some real exciting moves. After Escobar won, though, Karrion Kross came down and beat up Wilde and Mendoza and told Escobar to be careful. I don’t know what the point of that is but I’ll wait to see if it plays out before condemning it too much.
GOOD- Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher beat Adam Cole and Roderick Strong to advance
This was a really good match, no surprise given the guys involved. They went back and forth before Ciampa pinned Strong. Ciampa and Thatcher have some nice chemistry together.
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