This week’s episode was lackluster – not terrible, but not great either. We saw Kairi Sane pick up an easy win over Shazza McKenzie, the mediocre debut of Kona Reeves, and a couple of promos from Candice LaRae and Dakota Kai. We also watched some tag team action that saw the Street Profits defeated in heelish fashion by TM-61. Overall, it was an average program with at least some action to keep the watcher entertained. There weren’t any Misses this week (a common theme), but about two Hits that surely kept the momentum going for next week’s action.
Candice LaRae vs. Briana Belair: After an emotionally driven promo by Candice Belair detailing the attack on her husband Johnny Gargano last week at the hands of Tomasso Ciampa, she was obviously in disarray as she could barely keep herself together. It served the continued feud between the former two best friends alive as she relived the moment. It served well as it spilled over into her match with Bianca Belair as she was not herself and preoccupied with worry for her husband’s current state. During the match, she was underperforming and unfocused – her whole demeanor showed it. Due to these distractions, she suffered from an onslaught brought on by Belair. Belair looked impressive in every way, especially during one spot when she deadlifted LaRae into a military press and then the snake eyes on the top turnbuckle. Soon after Belair picked up the win with an Alley-Oop that left LaRae in a depressed state in the middle of the ring. This was great as it takes on two stories, one of continuing the storyline of Gargano vs. Ciampa, but also adding to her own story, one of overcoming personal issues, somewhat reminiscent of Gargano. What has yet to be seen is will she prevail like her husband and bounce back with a winning streak, something that every fan will be anticipating to see
Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong: One thing that we know is that there is no love lost between these two after Roderick Strong turned on Pete Dunne at Takeover: New Orleans during the Dusty Rhodes Classic. After the bell rung, Dunne wasted no time in exploding onto Strong with a vicious hit. Strong soon gained some offense as he delivered different variations of backbreakers that he is known for. What was great to see was Strong showing another side of him that consisted of elite skill and a new swagger that was missing from his previous persona. After being pummeled by Strong for a good amount of time, Dunne made a comeback with viciously attacking Strong and was in position to win after hitting the Bitter End, but once again, the numbers game proved to be too much as the Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Adam Cole) beat down Dunne down until Oney Lorcan and Danny Birch came to the rescue. This feud is far from over as the UE are bringing others together to combat their sinister ways. There was also a funny moment when O’Reilly’s shoe fell off in the ring and was thrown at him while he was scurrying up the entrance ramp. This match continued to show the UE’s reign of terror while setting up some formidable foes that are ready to combat them for weeks to come.
NOW CHECK OUT THE TV REPORT ON THIS EPISODE: 5/2 NXT TV Report: Dunne vs. Strong, Street Profits vs. TM61, plus Kairi Sane, Candice LaRae, Patrick Scott