DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Riddick Moss & Tino Sabbatelli vs. SAnitY (w/Nikki Cross & Killian Dain)- 2.5/10
Moss & Sabbatelli had one mishap, and it didn’t even lead to their loss, so I guess this is going to be drawn out even more.
TOMMASO CIAMPA “PROMO”- Almost every single fan in the building appears to have the same Johnny Gargano winking emoticon sign… so it’s all planted. This was the same lack of song and dance as last week. While this might be fun for the live crowd, it’s excruciatingly dull to watch on TV.
LACEY EVANS vs. DAKOTA KAI- 0.5/10
Evans tried to work over Dakota’s arm but got rolled up. The only reason for the low rating here is that this was exceptionally short.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good build to Takeover.
Shayna Baszler showed up. Kai looked like she was about to sh*t herself, which was good… but the fact that she forgot to how get out of a wrestling ring was not. Ember Moon came out to stand up for Dakota, which also made Dakota look kind of bad. Ember cut a promo vowing to end her feud with Baszler at Takeover: New Orleans, then charged at her, took her down and gave her a pretty good pounding. Referees came out to separate them but Baszler nailed Ember with a good cheap shot. Baszler set up for something but Ember ducked it and hit a big kick, then went for the Eclipse but Baszler knocked her off balance and was about to do something undoubtedly painful and dangerous to Ember’s injured arm but Dakota Kai saved Ember. Ember then came off the top rope and nailed Baszler with a one-handed Eclipse.
DUSTY RHODES TAG TEAM CLASSIC FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Heavy Machinery vs. the Street Profits- 2.75/10
The right team won here. The Street Profits have potential. Heavy Machinery, on the other hand, come off to me as undercarders for life.
WWE UK TITLE MATCH: Pete Dunne(c) vs. Adam Cole (w/Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly)- 8.25/10
The story of this match was that Dunne would bea the sh*t out of Cole but Fish & O’Reilly would always manage to cause a distraction to let Cole take advantage. The match got pretty awesome and seemed like it was about to get even more awesome when Fish & O’Reilly finally just ran in and caused a DQ.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
Undisputed Era beat Dunne down until Roddy made the save. Roddy offered Dunne a handshake but Dunne snubbed him. Dunne posed on the ramp with his belt, while Roddy stared at it longingly. Roddy still wants the belt, Dunne remains the heel he should always be, but Undisputed Era get to remain the biggest heels of all.
NXT TITLE MATCH CONTRACT SIGNING- didn’t like it.
Zelina Vega came out and announced that Almas wasn’t here. Aleister Black then started looking around oddly. I thought he was trying to figure out where Almas would be coming from to inevitably attack him, but instead he was just trying to figure out how to move the stable so he could sit down in the ring, making the first of a series of jokes about Zelina Vega’s height. He was a total jerk here, to the point where I actually popped when she slapped him in the face. Him ignoring all of her taunts and left the ring… but then said that he’s happy that Vega came out alone tonight… “because I didn’t,” which was the signal for Candice LeRae to run out and beat Vega up. This whole thing felt totally heelish to me. Candice already got revenge on Vega at Takeover, and Vega has not yet done anything to Black to warrant setting this trap. Not cool, “babyfaces.” Not cool at all.
This was a pretty good episode of NXT, even though I thought the final segment was quite bad. This was a bunch of quick matches that got right to their point in order to save time for the big stuff (Dunne vs. Bate, the Ember-Baszler brawl, and the contract signing). If you’re going to be giving me a bunch of short matches and promos and then one match at level of Dunne vs. Cole every week, I’m totally fine with that in a one-hour show.
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