BRM Reviews the 4/15/2020 NXT (great!)

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Big Red Machine
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Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12

BRM Reviews the 4/15/2020 NXT (great!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 20th, '20, 12:35

FINN BALOR vs. FABIAN AICHNER (w/Marcel Barthel)- 5.5/10
Balor overcomes not just Aichner working over his back but also Barthel distracting him on the outside and picks up the win.

CHARLOTTE FLAIR VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO- F*CKING AWESOME! I don’t consider video package/post-produced promos to be candidates for Promo of the Year, but if I did, this one would be a pretty clear contender. She says her mission is to prove herself to be the greatest of all time, “past, present, and future.” She has beaten Nattie and Trish (past), beat the best of her contemporaries on her way up, is the best of her contemporaries now (present), and now she’s coming back to NXT to beat the future.
I loved how they managed to say all of the right things but still use kayfabe evidence to support her claims. For example, she talked about how the NXT women’s division has been the best in WWE for years now. We all know that when someone says that they really mean “it has (on average) the highest work-rate, the best promos, and the best booking,” but rather than just leaving that unsaid like most promos do, they had a clip of Team NXT winning at Survivor Series and let Charlotte use this as kayfabe evidence that NXT’s women’s division is better than Raw’s or Smackdown’s. Similarly, bragging about ending Nikki Bella’s historic title reign and including Nikki as a top name that she beat on her way up, it plays into kayfabe more while still giving us the non-kayfabe message that she was better than the people they were pushing at the time.
The interesting note here was her pointing out that Mia Yim was actually the first person she wrestled in NXT, so she wants to give Mia the first “lottery ticket.” This is obviously Charlotte giving Mia favorable treatment while also being a douche about it, which creates a wonderful situation to set up tension between the NXT women (and particularly the babyfaces) because Mia accepting this favor would be bad form, but at the same time, Mia will be compelled to take it because she now has not just her brand’s honor to defend (which, again, I don’t think many fans actually care about and I have trouble believing the wrestlers kayfabe care about), but her own as well (which I think will make Mia’s emotions feel a lot more plausible to fans).

ALIYAH vs. XIA LI- 3/10
Aliyah sent out a Tweet taking credit for the backstage attack on Xia Li that took her out of the ladder match qualifier a few weeks ago. This is a grudge match, so there was no kata from Xia LI before the match. She just marched down to the ring and started shouting at Aliyah, ready to pounce the moment the bell rung. Xia won a short match cleanly, getting her revenge.

MATT RIDDLE TALKS TO PETE DUNNE ON THE PHONE BACKSTAGE- bad
Apparently Dunne is refusing to tell Matt Riddle who his replacement partner will be (Dunne is stuck in the UK). What a dick!
Also, why did we cut to this? This was a complete and total break from NXT’s usual “there needs to be an explanation for why the camera is there” style, which is immersion breaking. This segment added nothing (we already knew that there was a mystery partner), and would have both made the show more cohesive and immersive, as well as not making of our babyfaces look like a dick for no reason.

INTERIM NXT CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT GROUP B MATCH: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Akira Tozawa- 7.25/10
Yeah, they’re doing a round-robin. We’re not getting Best of the Super Juniors this year, but this will do just fine as a replacement. Actually, it will probably even be better because there won’t be any filler.
I’m not going to lie: Having the first match be from group B instead of group A bothers me.
This was a GREAT start to this tournament (especially for the under eight minutes it got). The only blemish was that one phantom-rana off the apron.

SARAH SCHREIBER INTERVIEWS AKIRA TOZAWA- fine

Adam Cole & The Velveteen Dream are supposed to have a “face to face meeting” later tonight but Cole hasn’t shown up yet.

EL HIJO DEL FANTASMA VIDEO PACKAGE- good
He debuts next week, in the Interim Cruiserweight Title tournament.

TEGAN NOX vs. RAQUEL GONZALEZ (w/Dakota Kai)- 3/10
Kai got involved to help Gonzalez so Shotzi Blackheart came out and attacked Dakota, hitting her with her dumb helmet. Gonzalez grabbed Shotzi and went to chokeslam her, but got rolled up by Tegan. This was short, but it’s story well. Unfortunately, that story means we’re going to be seeing more of Shotzi Blackheart. Uch.

KEITH LEE VIDEO PACKAGE- good

DEXTER LUMIS vs. TEHUTI MILES- no rating, fine squash

ADAM COLE PROMO FROM HIS BACKYARD- meh
Cole says he isn’t showing up because The Velveteen Dream doesn’t deserve a title shot. In fact, he says that no one deserves a title shot.

THE VELVETEEN DREAM PROMO- fine segment
TVD cuts a promo on Cole. Finn Balor came out, offended that TVD called Cole “the greatest NXT Champion of all time.” Balor came off like a dick here. There was some good dialogue here, resulting in TVD challenging Balor to a match next week. Also next week, we will see Jack Gallagher vs. El Hijo del Phantasma, KUSHIDA vs. Tony Nese, & Drake Maverick vs. Jake Atlas all in tournament matches, as well as Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs. Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart.

MALCOLM BIVENS (& INDUS SHER) PROMO- great!
They want the next title shot. This was Stokely being more like Stokely than this pale imitation that Malcolm Bivens has been. Indus Sher spoke in Hindi afterwards.

NXT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher (subbing for Pete Dunne)(c) vs. Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong)- 8/10
They had Dunne send in a video introducing Thatcher. Roddy is subbing for Kyle O’Reilly, who is injured. In other news, Dexter Lumis was shown watching from the shadows. They put a mood-appropriate spotlight on him because… umm…
The babyfaces won an awesome match. Thatcher is a good substitute for Dunne in terms of taking his place in the odd-couple act with Riddle. They gave him the win here to make him seem like a real part of the team. Roddy is the won who drops the fall for UE, which both preserves the Bobby & Kyle team for a title shot when Kyle returns (which they will surely wine about in order to get) as well as provides yet another instance of Roddy letting the team down for that inevitable Roderick Strong babyface turn on UE that we’ve all been sure is coming for a good year or so now.

WILL TOMMASO CIAMPA SAY THAT JOHNNY GARGANO IS THE BETTER MAN?- Yes. Yes he will.
In retrospect, this actually being over with a dirty finish like that doesn’t sit well with me, and I no longer like the finish of last week’s match. Also, am I the only one who was under the impression that this match was Loser Leaves NXT?
Ciampa says Johnny is the better man and that the feud is now over. Then he his grabbed from behind and laid out by Killer Kross. They shot this well, so that you couldn’t see who grabbed Ciampa from behind. I figured that having the camera get knocked over would be their way of preserving the whodunnit, but ross revealed himself ad they instead used the knocked over camera to create the mystery of who the person in the boots with Killer Kross is (I mean… it’s got to be Scarlet Bordeaux, right?). Either that, or Killer Kross is the world’s greatest contortionist.


This was a great episode of NXT, despite being very squash-heavy. Pretty much everything that wasn’t a squash was either great, effective, or both. There were some exceptions, of course, but not many.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle

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Serujuunin
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Joined: Dec 17th, '10, 19:56

Re: BRM Reviews the 4/15/2020 NXT (great!)

Post by Serujuunin » Apr 20th, '20, 13:04

Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 20th, '20, 12:35
I’m not going to lie: Having the first match be from group B instead of group A bothers me.
I was wondering if that was going to bother you like it did me lol
Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 20th, '20, 12:35
NXT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher (subbing for Pete Dunne)(c) vs. Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong)- 8/10
They had Dunne send in a video introducing Thatcher. Roddy is subbing for Kyle O’Reilly, who is injured. In other news, Dexter Lumis was shown watching from the shadows. They put a mood-appropriate spotlight on him because… umm…
The babyfaces won an awesome match. Thatcher is a good substitute for Dunne in terms of taking his place in the odd-couple act with Riddle. They gave him the win here to make him seem like a real part of the team. Roddy is the won who drops the fall for UE, which both preserves the Bobby & Kyle team for a title shot when Kyle returns (which they will surely wine about in order to get) as well as provides yet another instance of Roddy letting the team down for that inevitable Roderick Strong babyface turn on UE that we’ve all been sure is coming for a good year or so now.
See, this is why I love NXT and I love your reviews. I never would have thought of all this but it makes perfect sense.

User avatar
Big Red Machine
Posts: 25010
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12

Re: BRM Reviews the 4/15/2020 NXT (great!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 20th, '20, 23:58

Serujuunin wrote:
Apr 20th, '20, 13:04
Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 20th, '20, 12:35
I’m not going to lie: Having the first match be from group B instead of group A bothers me.
I was wondering if that was going to bother you like it did me lol
Big Red Machine wrote:
Apr 20th, '20, 12:35
NXT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher (subbing for Pete Dunne)(c) vs. Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong)- 8/10
They had Dunne send in a video introducing Thatcher. Roddy is subbing for Kyle O’Reilly, who is injured. In other news, Dexter Lumis was shown watching from the shadows. They put a mood-appropriate spotlight on him because… umm…
The babyfaces won an awesome match. Thatcher is a good substitute for Dunne in terms of taking his place in the odd-couple act with Riddle. They gave him the win here to make him seem like a real part of the team. Roddy is the won who drops the fall for UE, which both preserves the Bobby & Kyle team for a title shot when Kyle returns (which they will surely wine about in order to get) as well as provides yet another instance of Roddy letting the team down for that inevitable Roderick Strong babyface turn on UE that we’ve all been sure is coming for a good year or so now.
See, this is why I love NXT and I love your reviews. I never would have thought of all this but it makes perfect sense.
Thanks. I really like looking at the puzzle pieces and seeing how they fit together.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle

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