by James Toal
It’s that time again, time to see what happened This Week on NXT. We get a main event tag team title match plus even a slight teaser for the Mae Young Classic. How does it all hold up? Let’s take a look.
The show opened with a video recap of the feud between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. This was really well done and helped solidify Ciampa’s mindset. He wanted HIS moment, and when The Author’s of Pain took that away, Ciampa knew that it was step up and seize a chance, or get replaced. Now we are pretty sure that Johnny would never do that to his best friend. But, it’s intriguing to watch Ciampa’s delusional explanations to why he did it. It creates an interesting psychology that if done right could create a really entertaining match down the line.
MATCH 1: ALEISTER BLACK (Winner) VS BOBBY FISH
That’s right! Former ROH, Evolve, & Pro Wrestling Noah star Bobby Fish debuted on NXT. A very athletic and acrobatic match ensued that even had Aleister Black double take and give himself a moment to register what had just happened. Bobby looked very good in his debut, able to bring an even match for Black and had the advantage for a considerable amount of the match.
Things changed however once Fish got cocky. Black saw this and took his chance to kick and destroy Fish to ultimately take the win. Not so sure about having Bobby Fish debut just to have him lose? But he did present himself as quite strong. He came across as cocky towards the end so maybe this will work into his character on NXT.
We cut to last week after the match Hideo Itami and Kassius Ohno teamed up against Sanity. Itami blamed Ohno for the loss whereas Ohno called out Itami for not taking responsibility.
We also got an interesting video package teasing a duo known as Street Profits and the footage used was from the team’s Snapchat. They snuck into the performance centre and had to quickly escape before they were caught. I’m curious to see how this goes as just by glancing at these guys, they have a lot of enthusiasm and bring some more charisma.
There was another attempt to interview Velveteen failed when he refused once again to talk. He ended the segment by saying;
“I’m not other superstars. I’m the Velveteen Dream”
Got to enjoy that ego of his, although we’re not getting information that we want. We’re learning more about his character by dodging questions, we know he’s narcissistic, pompous, judgemental, and backs up what he says by winning in the ring. Nice work to all involved here.
MATCH 2: VANESSA BORNE (Winner) VS JAYME HACHEY
I immediately felt like I knew who was going to win just based on their music. Vanessa Borne entered with an intense song that included vocals and sounded like you could’ve already heard it on the radio. Whereas Jayme Hachey’s sounded like someone discovered music loop software and this was the first thing they made.
The match itself felt quite slow. Almost like the gravity in the room was so high that most of the moves looked cumbersome. I won’t be too harsh as this is just to build up to the Mae Young Classic and we really haven’t had much time to see what these women are like. But this shouldn’t be the match to represent the tournament if you’re interested in seeing it.
We cut to footage last week of Drew McIntyre getting into an altercation with Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dane of SAnitY. If SAnitY is around to cause some destruction on NXT, that’s fine. At the moment is just seems like their drifting from one opponent to the next without a real end goal. For now…
Meanwhile Backstage, William Regal makes an announcement to Bobby Roode that Drew McIntyre will face Killian Dane to be number one contender for Roode’s NXT Title.
Johnny Gargano’s Return!
We finally saw the revival (not that one) of Johnny Gargano and damn he looked happy to be able to talk in front of the NXT crowd once again. He vented his sadness about the betrayal of Ciampa by stating he never thought that the guy he’d take a bullet for, would pull the trigger on him. But he wasn’t here to dwell on the past, he wanted to move forward and get back to wrestling in an NXT ring. He made a statement that he wants to be at NXT Takeover Brooklyn, and he wants to be back to his old fighting self. A shorter promo than expected given how long he’s been gone for. On the other hand, it’s really exciting to see Johnny back on NXT, especially if we’re going to build up to a match with Tommaso Ciampa.
MATCH 3: HEAVY MACHINERY VS THE AUTHOR’S OF PAIN (Winner) – NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
The funny thing about weight, It can be your ally or be used against you. Otis managed to be one of the few people to knock one of the AOP off their feet. But, Tucker found that throwing all of that weight to attack Akem in the corner, only to receive an elbow to the face. The AOP asserted dominance throughout even with the evenly matched weight.
Otis turned the tide once get gained the hot tag and soon the AOP were flying around the ring. They almost managed to hit their finisher until Rezar interfered and won the match, once again retaining and remaining undefeated… But, SAnitY appeared.
But, SAnitY appeared.
Alexander Wolfe, Nikki Cross, and Killian Dane stood at the top of the ramp smiling as pages from the book of pain rained down upon them. SAnitY vs the AOP? Hell yes, I’m into that. Plus now we have the main focus for this stable, I’m excited, to say the least.