OPENING SEGMENT- bad
Undisputed Era’s Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, & Roderick Strong came out, so I guess Roddy and Fish were able to escape from Dexter Lumis’ trunk. Or maybe he was nice and did the right thing and just let them out right after the match.
UE say that they escaped on their own over twelve hours after the match ended. They’re doing a bit where Roddy keeps seeing Lumis but when the other two turn around, he’s not there. So is he just running away, or magically disappearing? If it’s the former, then you’d think the crowd would point out that “he went over there!” and if it’s the latter, you’d think they’d be gasping at seeing someone vanish into thin air right in front of their eyes. Either way, this is a bad idea.
UNDISPUTED ERA BACKSTAGE- They’re giving Roddy some counseling. Keith Lee and Mia Yim came by so that Lee could tease a match between himself and Cole. The heels left, and Lee and Yom continued on their way to the ring for their…
MIXED TAG TEAM MATCH: Keith Lee & Mia Yim vs. Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae- 4/10
I didn’t like this very much. There was too much cutesy mirror stuff early on, and way too much inter-gender action right in front of the referee. They did a decent job making sure that Lee never did anything violent to Candice to make his concern at the end feel legitimate. That being said, the only way I am okay with this is if the storyline is that Candice was happy to be sacrificed for Johnny and the heels portray Lee as a fool for being sentimental. I hate the cliché bullsh*t where love between two heels is shown to crumble in the face of self-interest. Bad people can still love each other and gladly make sacrifices for each other.
DAMIAN PRIEST INTERVIEWS FROM AFTER TAKEOVER- bad
He tried to reframe his loss in a positive light, but the fact that his only goal to “make my name live forever” but without explaining what his mechanism for doing that is makes this promo feel empty at best and silly at worst.
MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS CAMERON GRIMES ABOUT THIS MATCH WITH FINN BALOR LATER TONIGHT- good
Grimes a good false confidence heel promo. When Damian Priest showed up, Grimes tried to suck up to him in the hopes that Priest will help him beat Balor again, but Priest shoved him.
VIDEO PACKAGE OF JAPANESE WRESTLERS CONGRATULATING IO SHIRAI- fine
TWO JOBBERS vs. INDUS SHER (w/Malcolm Bivens)- fine squash
MCKENZIE MITCHELL SHOWS US SENIOR REFEREE DRAKE WURTZ INFORMING REGAL ABOUT CAMERON GRIMES ALMOST CERTAINLY BOGUS CLAIM THAT PRIEST’S SHOVE BROKE HIS JAW AND NOW HE CAN’T WRESTLE TONIGHT- Tablet-Regal wants Drake to take him to Grimes
I do like that they’re showing us a logical backstage process occurring.
THEY FIND CAMERON GRIMES TRYING TO SEDUCE CHICKS BY CLAIMING THAT’S HE FINE AND PRIEST DIDN’T HURT HIM AT ALL- He tries to lie, but Regal yells at him and orders him to wrestle the match.
BREEZANGO VIDEO PACKAGE- GREAT!
Raise your hand if you had forgotten all about Fandango’s beating Jericho in his debut match at WrestleMania XXIX. I sure had. I was shocked that they didn’t mention that the win was over Jericho.
This was a great way let them be more serious while still in-keeping with their comedic characters. They’re getting their tag title shot next week.
TOMMASO CIAMPA IGNORES AN INTERVIEWER ON HIS WAY OUT OF THE BUILDING AFTER TAKEOVER- good
They teased that his future was “uncertain.
RHEA RIPLEY TURNS DOWN ROBERT STONE’S ATTEMPT TO RECRUIT HER- bad
Was punching him in the stomach really called for? Rhea came off like an asshole here. If she didn’t want to join, just tell him know, don’t tell him there is a slim chance that you might join him, ask him to come with you, and then attack him. What a jackass.
FINN BALOR vs. CAMERON GRIMES- 7.5/10
Balor gets his win back… which kind of makes it fell like neither Grimes nor Priest have gained anything out of this program.
KAZY CATANZARO vs. DAKOTA KAI (w/Raquel Gonzalez)- 3/10
Dakota won with a Death By Roderick that she’s calling Go To Kick even though it’s not really a kick but rather a gutbuster with the knees.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine
The heels attacked Kacy so Kayden Carter came out to make the save. She got some offense in, but Raquel Gonzalez laid her out.
TIMOTHY THATCHER’S “THATCH AS THATCH CAN” TRAINING WILL BEGIN NEXT WEEK- He’s going to teach his style to some trainees. They’re going to get brutalized, but, dammit, they’re going to learn some wrestling.
EL HIJO DEL PHANTASMA’S PROMO IS INTERRUPTED BY DRAKE MAVERICK- very good, but with one glaring issue
I don’t care if you’re coming out here to congratulate the guy. Letting him finish talking first. Don’t interrupt him right after he starts. And don’t give excuses like “I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I had a clear head.” Drake has come out here, interrupting the dude three words into his promo, and, trying to worm his way into a title shot he hasn’t earned. I don’t if you put the guy over in between! Doing this just makes you putting him over look like insincerely sucking up.
Things are interrupted by the luchador abductors. They’re coming right out from the back now, so they had better be someone who has a real reason to be backstage.
The babyfaces go back to back… but then EHDP turns around and attacks Drake and they all beat him up… and the masked men reveal themselves to be Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde. EHDP unmasks himself and introduces himself as the “Santos Escobar.” He also speaks perfect English now.
This pretty much works out all of the plot-holes (although it’d be nice to maybe have a promo saying that the abducted wrestlers called NXT the day after the abduction to assure them that they were fine so we can understand why NXT was so nonchalant about things), so good for NXT for making this make sense.
UNDISPUTED ERA BACKSTAGE- fine
Roddy is freaked out because Dexter Lumis apparently snuck into their locker room and left a drawing of the three of them laid out and bleeding. Lumis was revealed to be spying on them through a window in the door, but once again only Roddy saw him.
Tegan Nox and SHotzi Blackheart are getting a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles next week, presumably just to make me angry by giving Shotzi a title shot she hasn’t earned.
DEXTER LUMIS vs. ADAM COLE (w/Undisputed Era)- 7/10
I get that you want to make Dexter Lumis look strong, but I just don’t see him as someone at a main event level, and thus Cole needing help to beat him is a little frustrating.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- meh
Cole taunts Lumis but Lumis pops and up and locks in his submission. Roddy and Fish tried to make the save but The Velveteen Dream ran out and took them out. Lumis gave up the submission hold on Cole at one point to go menace Roddy, leaving. The lights dimmed, at which point Scarlet came out and left and hourglass on the apron. The crowd is chanting “FALL AND PRAY,” which is odd because they’ve always been supporting the babyfaces, and Kross is pretty clearly a heel. Cole looked a little worried by all of this. Karrion Kross is another one of those people who I just don’t see as world title guy yet, so I’m really not excited by this potential match.
This was an okay episode of NXT. A lot of stuff was done well, but it just wasn’t stuff I wasn’t into. They definitely seem to be having a problem with their babyfaces, though. That needs to change.
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