KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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Matt Riddle vs. Arturo Ruas – HIT: A really good mixed martial arts type match here from Riddle and Ruas. Good singles competition will always get a Hit from me, but this was more about the angle after the match with Killian Dain. Riddle got the win with a referee stoppage after repeated ground strikes. After the match Killian Dain attacked Riddle and put them both through part of the stage. I’m not sure if Riddle taking a step backwards, but feuding with Dain is. It this really the best idea for Riddle’s career? I would figure the next step for Riddle would be that North American or NXT Title challenger. Nonetheless, that’s what seems to be in the plans moving forward.
Breakout Tournament: Dexter Lumis vs. Bronson Reed – HIT: Dexter Lumis has a lot of agility, but has the weirdest sci-fi-like entrance that you will ever see, complete with a hilarious looking facial expression. The match was good and Reed won with a top rope splash. I will have to see some more of these guys to make a proper judgement, but they looked okay here. Again, a Hit for the Breakout Tournament just because of its purpose of highlighting new talent.
Forgotten Sons and Tyler Breeze segment – MISS: A Miss here as I just did not like this. This does not help Breeze or the tag team future of the Forgotten Sons. Forgotten Sons said Breeze was not taken seriously on the main roster because he is always joking. It looks like it’s going to be Ryker and Breeze in a match at some point with.
Apollo Crews vs. Kushida – HIT: I’ll give this a Hit here. This was a good little TV match. Kushida looks to be comfortable in NXT. Apollo got a great reception returning to Full Sail from the main roster. I would like to see Kushida wrestle guys that are a little higher on the pecking order. Not taking away Apollo Crews talent or potential, but I have seen Kushida have match of the year type matches, and I want to see that here in NXT with top level talents. Both guys looked great and this was a great match it is just that Kushida has had several matches with guys of the bottom tier. In this case, they used a guy who has had main roster exposure in Apollo Crews to put Kushida over more. Kushida won with an amazing flying armbar from the top rope.
Keith Lee Interview – HIT: A Hit here as Lee basically pointed out that his push has had a start and stop problem. I enjoyed this interview because it seemed somewhat organic. They announced a match with Lee vs. Damien Priest which the outcome of the match should be interesting. It would seemingly point to who has the most potential in NXT.
Adam Cole Championship match – MISS: A Miss here as the match never happened because Gargano came out and brawled with Cole. Cole called out Twan Tucker, a wrestler trained by Gargano, and he stated that he was not having a title match because he did not come alone. Out came Gargano and the brawled untill Gargano applied the Gargano-escape. Big let down and a big miss.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I was let down this week. I was hoping for a few singles matches, and while I got two of them, one of them never happened. The breakout tournament match was okay but nothing special. Riddle wrestled Arturo Ruas in a striking and grappling heavy match that was good. Adam Cole defending his NXT Title was even advertised a week out and that never took place. Matt Riddle seems to be feuding with Killian Dain which is not exactly thrilling, while Tyler Breeze seems to be getting into it with the Forgotten Sons. Meanwhile, Velveteen Dream has been missing besides a short pre-taped segment last week, and the new NXT Champion Adam Cole is yet to have a match as champion. The feud with Gargano and Cole currently looks like it will be going on for a while. Some of the current feuds do nothing for me at all.