SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
MANDY ROSE (w/Gigi Dolan & Jacy Jane) vs. SARRAY
Prefacing this with, I am not a fan of Mandy Rose. She’s a pretty face and isn’t the worst talent in the ring, but the only time I cared about her character was during the Otis storyline. What’s intriguing me about this story isn’t Rose, but it’s Dolan & Jane. New (to NXT) talent, they intrigue me so much more than Rose back in NXT.
As little as I care about Rose, I only care about Sarray slightly more. She has yet to really capture the audience, Sarray really didn’t get much offense in on Rose until the end of the match when Sarray kicked Rose in the face and out of the ring. Dolan & Jane covered Rose’s face with a towel and whisked her out back selling some facial injury.
The injury angle is somewhat intriguing simply to see how they roll with it next week. But otherwise, the opening 12 minutes of NXT was completely skippable as far as I’m concerned.
DUKE HUDSON vs. KYLE O’REILLY
After Duke Hudson attacked KOR last week backstage, KOR has been hellbent on taking out his frustrations on the Breakout Tournament star. While they want you to believe Hudson is a new star, Hudson has been part of the NXT system for years as the jobber/hardly used Brendan Vink. He’s absolutely ready for the limelight. He understands his heel character and comes across as such an asshole. His in ring work is on point as well, so why not put him opposite one of the bigger names in NXT?
When this match was announced last week, I wasn’t super jazzed about it. Granted, it’s kind of hard to get jazzed about NXT lately when so much could be changing. KOR may have won the match, but Hudson dominated the majority of it. He still looked good as far as I’m concerned, even if he did tap out. However, I wonder where Hudson goes from here? He’s lost most of his matches at this point, they need to build him to be credible from here on out.
IMPERIUM vs. GREYSON WALLER & DRAKE MAVERICK
I was wondering what was in store for Maverick after Killian Dain was released from the company. He’s one of my favorite acts on the roster, so I was concerned for his job safety during the cuts. Greyson Waller made his debut alongside Maverick tonight to take on Imperium. It wasn’t a bad match, just a short match.
Waller made a rookie mistake towards the end of the match, allowing Imperium to get a much needed win. However, the bigger story here is the angle between Maverick and his new partner. I’m very much looking forward to this, as Maverick has the tendency to turn anything into gold as best as he can.
JOHNNY GARGANO (w/In-Dex) vs. LA KNIGHT
Man, I don’t care what anyone says. I love this In-Dex story line. It’s so bad and cheesy that it’s actually good. Indi stared at Lumis for the entirety of the match, showing just how much she cares for the silent one.
Gargano and Knight put on a great match, perhaps match of the knight (pun absolutely intended). Dexter Lumis stepped in to help Gargano out, but wound up costing him the match. This will most likely prolong the view from Gargano that Lumis is bad news for Indi Hartwell.
JESSIE KAMEA vs. RAQUEL GONZALEZ
While I really want to get behind Gonzalez as NXT Women’s Champion, look no further than this match to understand why I haven’t been able to give her my blessing just yet. Both Kamea and Gonzalez are still relatively green and it showed during the match. Clunky and mistimed spots, it looked like two rookies not an undercard talent and the Women’s champion.
At least it was more coherent than Nia Jax vs. Charlotte last night, my god what the hell was that?
While I am looking forward to seeing what Franky Monet does with Kamea, I have to give this segment a…
RODERICK STRONG (w/Diamond Mine) vs. IKEMAN JIRO
Diamond Mine has grown in numbers, adding the Creed Brothers to the stable. All four other members of Diamond Mine stood in Strong’s corner as he took on the hilariously amazing Ikeman Jiro. Jiro may not ever grow much beyond a lower-mid carder in the WWE system, and he may never speak perfect English but he has charisma coming out his ears. Where do you get a sports coat with your own face on it? I want one.
Roderick Strong is being booked as a fighter, cold blooded. He made quick work of Jiro tonight and called Kushida out for a match for the Cruiserweight title. Not the best talker on the mic, it’s hard for me to get behind Strong.
Verdict: Lukewarm HIT
RIDGE HOLLAND (w/Dunne, Lorcan & Burch) vs. TOMMASO CIAMPA
As expected, this was a brutal fight more than a wrestling match.
Ciampa and his tag partner Timothy Thatcher have been embroiled in a feud with Holland, Dunne, Lorcan & Burch in recent weeks. Last week, Thatcher was injured and is out indefinitely leaving Ciampa alone for this matchup. The odds were not in Ciampa’s favor tonight, but that didn’t stop him from getting some great offense in on Holland. He scored the win against Holland, MSK coming out to make the save before the rest of Holland’s crew destroyed Ciampa.
I feel like Ciampa needed this win. Holland looked strong in defeat, and ultimately I think he’ll wind up winning the feud altogether.