NXT HITS & MISSES 5/1: Kushida’s debut vs. Ohno, Baszler interview, Dijakovic vs. Mansoor, Belair and Yim at Performance Center, Undisputed Era dissension, more

By James Myers, PWTorch contributor

Cassius Ohno (photo credit Kyle Niblett © PWTorch)


Editor’s Note: The following is James Myers debut as the writer of NXT Hits & Misses. If you are interested in contributing to PWTorch.com and joining our great team of volunteers who help round out our coverage, drop me a line at kellerwade@gmail.com with your interests and strengths as a writer. 

The Forgotten Sons vs. Humberto Carrillo & Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan – MISS:While the wrestling match itself was probably a hit, I don’t see a direction for any of these wrestlers going forward. Jaxson Ryker is the bright spot in the Forgotten Sons while Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan have been Full Sail favorites for quite a while now. They had some really good matches with the Undisputed Era, but like every one in this match, they have been treading water. The win builds up the Forgotten Sons, but what does that do for Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan?

Shayna Baszler-Cathy Kelly Interview – HIT:Baszler continues to play the strong heel character and she backs it up in the ring. She has been built up tremendously in NXT. Her in-ring style is credible and some fans genuinely want to see her lose. Because fans want to see her lose, whoever unseats her as NXT Women’s Champion will automatically be put into a good position.

Bianca Belair and Mia Yim Performance Center altercation – HIT:Yim and Belair have an argument while Yim is training in the ring. This is a HIT because it shows the Belair wants Yim’s spot against Baszler next week and that she sees herself as champion and is upset that she isn’t. Talent coming across as acting like they care is something that should happen more in WWE.

Dominik Dijakovic vs Mansoor – HIT:The way they have used Dijakovic looks like they see some promise in him as he has been made to look good even in his losses. He’s a big guy who can move decently so you might think he is going to be on Vince McMahon’s radar in the future. That said, those future call ups and what they do with them, as we have seen on the main roster, is nearly impossible to predict. The match served it purpose and Dominik Dijakovic got the win.

Undisputed Era interview – HIT:We all wondered – at least I did – how long all these members of the Undisputed Era would maintain a cohesive unit and, in recent events, we have seen the cracks in the wall, so to speak. We see Strong visually upset over the accident, so there is dissension within the Undisputed Era. Bobby Fish seems to side with Strong while Adam Cole plays it off as a no big deal. This could obviously be – and should be – a main focal point moving forward as all the members of this faction are phenomenal workers in the ring and any matches or storylines that come out of this situation will surely appease the fans.

Kushida vs Kassius Ohno – HIT:For Kushida’s debut match, this is probably what most foresaw even though he probably could have had a better opponent. It seems they are always content on trotting out Ohno for the opponent in these debut matches. The match showcased Kushida’s skills and he looked good in his debut. But the question is going to be what is his ceiling in NXT? And if he gets to the main roster, will he be used correctly? If history has shown anything, it’s that it will all be up to how one man, Vince McMahon, perceives him. Past Japanese stars haven’t been used to their full potential such as Hideo Itami and Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura was used brilliantly in NXT, but it was when he hit the main roster is where issues arose. Although he main evented against A.J. Styles, he was made to look very weak. Itami was injury prone and just couldn’t seem to get any momentum going. Kushida will probably be just fine as part of NXT; I really have no concerns there. Beyond NXT is the question I have for Kushida because, if you have knowledge of his past, you know that he can get it done in the ring as he has been called the ace of NJPW’s Jr. Heavyweight Division.

FINAL THOUGHTS:Kushida’s debut and his ovation he received is a good sign. The Undisputed Era situation could play out several ways; it has my attention as much as anything in NXT right now along with Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle, and Johnny Gargano. I’m looking forward to Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle for next week as they should tear the house down. This was a good NXT show centered around the debut of a Kushida with an hour of a wrestling show that easily goes by.

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