STEEL CAGE MATCH: Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai (w/Raquel Gonzalez)- 6.75/10
I have very mixed feelings about this match. I liked the grudge-match intensity they had, and the way they built it up. I thought their opening bit did a wonderful job of feeling like a grudge match while not immediately going to the hockey fight kind of spots. I also liked how well they used the motifs of the feud, and thought that the spot where Nox slammed the door on Kai’s knee, combined with Nox’s promo last week about how this started in a cage and would end in a cage created a perfect bookend feeling set up a wonderfully convincing false finish.
I didn’t like the interference. I will give them credit for doing it in a way that didn’t just have Gonzalez getting in the cage and the referee standing there, impotent, but at the same time, it feels like it kills the stipulation, which is even worse than usual when you’ve got another one of these things as your main event. I was also left wondering why none of the other women who have had problem with Kai over the course of this feud (Mia Yim, Candice LeRae) didn’t run out to counter Gonzalez after she first started to get involved. Why even have Kai and Gonzalez attack Mia Yim last week and reignite a feud that felt completed if it wasn’t going to lead to Mia getting involved to counter Gonzalez tonight?
FINN BALOR VIDEO PACKAGE PROMO- fine
He says that WALTER has made the first move, so now he gets to make the next one.
RHEA RIPLEY VIDEO PACKAGE- terrible
Rhea started out by saying “It’s insane to think that this is the first time that an NXT championship or anyone from NXT is going to be on WrestleMania.”
1. Why is it insane to think that? NXT was not part of the main roster, and thus it’s titles are rarely defended on main roster shows, be they WrestleMania or any other PPV.
2. This is decidedly NOT the first time that anyone from NXT has appeared on WrestleMania. We’ve seen quite a few members of the NXT roster involved in the various WrestleMania battle royales in recent years. Hell, Baron Corbin was still technically a member of the NXT roster when he WON the damn thing. And I’m certain that the first year they decided that the women’s battle royale would be an annual thing, they did a big spot where all of the NXT women decided to work together, then started chanting “NXT!”
Other ridiculous statements included Rhea Ripley, who has spent most of her WWE career as a heel bully saying “all I’ve ever wanted to do is help people,” and claiming that “when I first came to WWE everyone would always say that I looked exactly like Charlotte. ‘Oh, she’s a mini-Charlotte.’” That last one in particular is just completely ridiculous. They’re both tall and their hair is the same color, sure, but that also applies to me and AJ Styles, even though our physiques and skillsets are vastly different. I just cannot believe that one single person would look at Rhea Ripley and say “oh, she looks just like Charlotte.”
TAKEOVER: TAMPA #1 CONTENDERSHIP LADDER MATCH QUALIFER: Shotzi Blackheart vs. Chelsea Green (w/Robert Stone)-
Oh my G-d Shotzi looks SOOOOO F*CKING STUPID with that Little Tykes tank and idiotic helmet. She looks like such a poser. At least she lost. And not only did she lose, but she lost to someone who has been established as an overhyped loser, so that makes her look even worse. Hopefully this is a sign that they have abandoned all hope with Shotzi and will not be using her on TV any more, so not only will I not have to see her on NXT, but the fact that she’s under WWE contract means that she can’t show up and waste my time in various indies as well.
Chelsea’s finisher is an Unprettier called the “I’m Prettier.” That’s kind of clever, I guess.
A VIDEO OF A BUNCH OF RANDOM PICTURES EVENTUALLY WARNS US THAT “THE END IS NEAR”- whatever
DOMINIK DIJAKOIVIC WAS INJURED IN HIS MATCH LAST WEEK- He’s listed as week-to-week
KEITH LEE’S PROMO IS INTERRUPTED BY CAMERON GRIMES- didn’t like it
I really wasn’t into this. I think it was mostly the crowd that killed it for me with that thing where they just keep booing harder every time the heel starts to talk. Eventually Grimes as able to say that Regal had granted him a title shot next week. Lee shoved him and said he’d kick his ass next week.
SHANE STRICKLAND INTERRUPTS AUSTIN THEORY’S INTERVIEW ON YOUTUBE- fine
Theory was arrogant. Strickland challenged him to a match.
ADAM COLE PROMO- decent
Just some quick hype for UE’s matches tonight while the others warmed up in the background
THEY SHOWED TWEETS ABOUT THE STREET PROFITS WINNING THE TAG TITLES- They plugged a rematch at the PPV on Sunday.
DANNY BURCH & ONEY LORCAN vs. UNDISPUTED ERA (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly)- 6/10
They got a lot of heat on Burch, then Lorcan finally got the hot tag… and then he was pinned shortly afterwards when UE hit their finisher almost out of nowhere.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- great
Bobby & Kyle cut a promo saying they wanted their belts back. The Broserweights came out and said they’d be happy to grant them a rematch. Grizzled Young Veterans jumped the Broserweights from behind and beat them up. Zack Gibson then picked up the mic and cut a great promo.
ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO ON AUSTIN THEORY- good, considering how short it was
ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT vs. AUSTIN THEORY- 7/10
This was GREAT for the time it got. They told a good story with the power differential, and Theory’s selling of his arm was great.
MAURO RANALLO’S SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH JOHNNY GARGANO- okay
Gargano yelled a lot and called Mauro a liar. He said that Mauro, Ciampa, and others “know why” he attacked Ciampa. My guess based on the few clues he gave was that he’s unhappy that everyone is treating Ciampa like a babyface and conquering hero when Ciampa is a terrible person (and Johnny thinks he saw this when he looked into Ciampa’s eyes in Portland.
UK vs. Broserweights for the tag titles has been announced for next week. Don’t get your hopes up, folks. There is basically no way that GYZ don’t interfere, leading to a three-way at TakeOver.
STEEL CAGE MATCH: The Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong- 6.75/10
Hey look… even more interference in a cage match than before. Twice in a show is just not palatable, no matter how good the idea behind the second one was.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- no rating, good segment… but with a caveat
Cole count up in the cage. TVD shoved Roddy out to make Roddy win the match, but then closed and locked the door, locking Cole in with him. Roddy wound up getting back in and both he and Cole got beaten up by TVD, including Cole getting laid out with his own title belt.
I thought this segment was very clever (although Mauro thinking this was TVD’s plan all along was a bit ridiculous, as how would he have been able to ensure that just Cole wound up in the cage, or that UE interfered at all?). That being said, I have one caveat: I want the fact that TVD lost this match to be made to matter. I want UE to use that fact for Cole to hide behind, and for TVD to have to beat Roddy again.
This was a meh episode of NXT. It moved several stories along well, but the interference in the cage matches was just too rampant, and lot of the big video package segments were bad.
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