NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH: Keith Lee(c) vs. Cameron Grimes- 6.75/10
There was a lot of good stuff in here and they told the power vs. speed story relatively well… but if you’re going to tell that story, then for the love of G-d DON’T HAVE THE LITTLE GUY LIFT UP THE BIG GUY! This goes for Grimes, Bandido, David Starr… all of those guys. If you’re going to be the little guy, be the little guy. Pac can get away with it, but only because he’s so ridiculously jacked.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- very good
Damian Priest attacks Lee from behind with a nightstick. Dijakovic, who is trying to get Lee to give him another title shot, comes out to make the save, and Priest bails. When Lee came to, the only person he saw in the ring was Dijakovic, so he assumed Dijakovic was the one who attacked him and thus gave the unexpecting Dijakovic a Spirit Bomb.
TAKEOVER: TAMPA #1 CONTENDERSHIP LADDER MATCH QUALIFER: Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai (w/Raquel Gonzalez)- 6.5/10
Gonzalez interfered a lot, but it eventually backfired when the referee was yelling at her to stay away, which resulted in him missing a visual pinfall Dakota got from rolling Yim up (although it shouldn’t have counted anyway because Dakota had the tights). Mia then hit her finisher and won. Gonzlaez beat Mia up after the match, so we’re two for two on post-match attacks tonight.
FOOTAGE OF TOMMASO CIAMPA ARRIVING “MOMENTS AGO”- He’s obviously here for Gargano, but if he wanted to get Gargano, you’d think he would have made an effort to show up to work on time. What if Gargano just came out and the beginning of the show, cut his promo, and left before Ciampa got here?
CREEPY VIDEO- Yeah… this has to be Killer Kross, right? It fits his whole general thing too well to be anyone else.
KUSHIDA vs. RAUL MENDOZA- 4.5/10
Props to the announcers for reminding us that this match was actually scheduled for a few weeks ago but didn’t happen because Cameron Grimes attacked Mendoza. I like it when a promotion makes sure to rebook a match that was supposed to happen but didn’t because someone got taken out. It just gives things more of a “real sports” feel, where a scheduled game that gets delayed for whatever reason has to be made up at some point.
The match was an outstanding four minutes of action!
TYLER BREEZE INTERVIEW FROM EARLIER TODAY- good, but…
Yeah… they really need to do something about the mic in these backstage segments. That’s not the “but…” in this segment, though. Breeze was fine with his syrupy “just as much as we built the Performance Center, the Performance Center built us” crap and Theory was an excellent arrogant dickhole. My problem, however, is that Breeze’s character seems to be gone. He’s not blond anymore, he’s not dressed in that slightly outrageous male model way, and he’s not talking like Tyler Breeze anymore, either. It’s the same voice, but he’s pretty much a normal person now. I don’t like it. Where did his gimmick go?
WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH SEGMENT- bad
Rhea Ripley came out here and basically bragged about knocking Charlotte down with a sucker-punch. What kind of babyface is that?
Charlotte then showed up and cut a promo on her. Charlotte came to the ring to fight. For that reason I’m mostly morally fine with Rhea attacking before Charlotte was in a position where she could effectively defend herself, but either way, the fact remains that despite starting the fight when Charlotte was not in a position where she could defend herself well, Rhea still got her ass kicked. What a sh*tty babyface.
FINN BALOR/WALTER VIDEO PACKAGE- GREAT! Balor is going to show up in Europe and go after WALTER (presumably tomorrow on NXT UK).
A VERY WEIRD THING HAPPENS IN THE PARKING LOT- weird
This started out as a Mia Yim promo, but an SUV zoomed by her. Then two Luchadors jumped out and grabbed Raul Mendoza. Raul seemed very surprised to see them, but he didn’t really resist then they pulled him into their car, either. Then the car sped off into the night. I’m intrigued.
TAKEOVER: TAMPA #1 CONTENDERSHIP LADDER MATCH QUALIFER: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Tegan Nox- 3/10
Tegan wins a short match with the Shiniest Wizard after getting her injured arm worked over.
VELVETEEN DREAM PROMO ON UNDSIPUTED ERA- good
Someone goofed and put up TVD’s graphic during UE’s entrance. This was a much-needed pivot away from what we had seen since TVD’s return that made him feel like a creepy heel. They even managed to make the whole “Cole was his real target the whole time” thing make sense by specifically not having him claim that the cage match was his plan but rather just leaving the idea open that he just wanted a way to get at Cole (and the cage match simply provided him with a convenient opportunity). TVD wants the title shot in Tampa. Cole points out that TVD lost last week so he shouldn’t get anything. Cole also announces that he’ll be having a celebration next week when he becomes the longest-reigning NXT Champion, so one assumes that TVD will be ruining that, which should make for one hell of an entertaining segment.
NXT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Broserweights(c) vs. Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) (w/Adam Cole & Roderick Strong)- 8.25/10
Our babyfaces tried to lie their way out of a title match via Eddie Guerrero-ing. Fortunately, the referee stuck to the rule book and wouldn’t call a DQ for something he didn’t see, and this only resulted in Strong and Cole getting ejected from ringside.
Other than that, I thought this match was awesome. Grizzled Young Veterans came out and interfered on behalf of the heels but the Broserweights overcame it and retained their titles.
TOMMASO CIAMPA & JOHNNY GARGANO SEGMENT- awesome, but…
Ciampa came out and demanded that Gargano come out and tell everyone why he cost him the title at the PPV. Gargano popped up on the Hunter-Tron and confirms the theory that he’s angry because everyone has forgiven Ciampa even though Ciampa never actually did anything to redeem himself and show he deserved to be forgiven. Ciampa found the room Gargano was in and they started to fight.
They had a big, crazy brawl that went all over the place. Lots of things were thrown and glass was broken. It ended with Ciampa giving Gargano an Air Raid Crash off of TVD’s podium and down through the announcers’ table. It went on for a good ten straight minutes… and during that time, ABSOLUTELY NO SECURITY SHOWED UP TO TRY TO BREAK THEM UP. There comes a point where it’s utterly ridiculous for security to not have gotten to them, and this went well past that point.
A great episode of NXT, despite that awful Rhea and Charlotte segment. TakeOver: Tampa is shaping up to be quite the… well… TakeOver-level show.
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