OPENING VIDEO RECAP- stuff I didn’t notice last week includes Ciampa’s t-shirt saying “Blackheart,” which is a perfect nickname for him right now, as well as Ciampa being in the background and nodding along with the referee’s count on the finish.
THE VELVETEEN DREAM vs. TYLER BATE- 6.5/10
Great for the time it got.
PAUL ELLERING & VELVETEEN DREAM PROMO- good. I like the way they shot this very differently than every other WWE promo you’ve ever seen, and in a way where the atmosphere fit in the with Authors of Pain’s vibe.
GARGANO SIGNS HIS RELEASE- Regal was there, as was the referee who made the count, who apologized to him for missing Ciampa’s interference.
CEZAR BONONI vs. ADAM COLE (w/Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly)- 2/10… but about as good as possible for the time it got.
Cole offered Bononi, the NXT Future Star of the Year, a spot in Undisputed Era, but it was all a ruse to get him to let his guard down. Cole got too cocky and Bononi took over and got one good nearfall in before Cole hit both a superkick and then a Shining Wizard to the back of the head for the win. Bononi looks really good every time he is out there, but the fact that he is still only dong short matches has me skeptical.
STREET PROFITS STUFF- I found it amusing, but I can see others finding it annoying.
SHAYNA BASZLER vs. KAIRI SANE- 7.25/10
An insanely good match for the time it got.
ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS & ZELINA VEGA PROMO- not bad in any way, but this felt like they spent way longer than necessary just to set up Aleister Black Killian Dain coming out to have a brawl and implicitly challenge Almas. Dain won the short brawl. This could have been done at any point during the next few weeks. It did not need to take time away from this week’s matches.
This was a very entertaining episode of NXT, but the matches were shockingly short, with both the opener and the women’s match feeling like they could have really reached that next level with just a few more minutes. Like I said above, I think that closing segment was quite misplaced.
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