NXT Review, 4/25

NORTH AMERICAN TITLE MATCH: ONEY LORCAN VS. ADAM COLE
Kyle O’Reilly looks like a random 12-year-old they picked out of the crowd. Roddy gives a lame excuse for joining the Undisputed Era. Definitely the right choice for his character though. The story of the match is Lorcan smartly working on Cole’s injured ribs. The crowd loves Oney Lorcan, I’m not sure why. I like him, but I’m curious to how he’s as over as he is. I would guess it’s because he’s small and scrappy, I can see him reminding people of Daniel Bryan in some ways. Smart heel tactics from the Undisputed Era here. I’m surprised how much I end up praising simple and logical booking and tactics, that it’s seem to become the exception rather than the rule these days. You have a heel faction that is trying to run NXT, so of course it makes sense for them to use their numbers advantage to cheat to win in a title defense. I wonder if we’re going to see Lorcan, Danny Birch, Pete Dunne, and maybe one or more other guys band together against them.

They announce Candice LeRae vs. Bianca Belair for next week. These are two of my favorite wrestlers right now. Both women are the total package and I see huge things on the horizon for them, both in NXT and eventually on the main roster. I’ve seen more of Bianca Belair so I’m more familiar with her, but I’ve also been blown away by what I’ve seen from Candice.

HEAVY MACHINERY VS. TINO SABBATELLI & RIDDICK MOSS
I’m a big fan of Heavy Machinery, not so much Sabbatelli & Moss, but I think my dislike of them is actually heel heat, so they must be doing a good job. Otis Dozovic’s voice is so weird. He reminds me of a pirate from “Hook.” Tino walks out on Moss, probably setting up a match between the two. Heavy Machinery gives us all what we want and calls out War Raiders after the match.

Shayna is shown intimidating Dakota Kai, who cowers like a kitten. I’m not sure what they’re doing with Kai there. They shows clips of Nikki Cross, Aaliyah, and Kairi Sane saying they’re coming for Shayna, then show Dakota Kai acting scared to death of her. How does that do Kai any favors with the crowd?

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP: JOHNNY GARGANO VS. ALEISTER BLACK
Instead we get treated to another Gargano-Ciampa brawl, and Ciampa’s brutal beat down robs us of the championship match. They had an unsanctioned match, so if they’re continuing this feud, what’s next? Iron man match? Steel cage? Hell in a cell? Street fight? Boiler room brawl? Punjabi prison match? Tuxedo match? Crutch on a pole? Judy Bagwell on a forklift? Whatever it is, give me more.

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP: ERIC YOUNG VS. ALEISTER BLACK
This was probably just a way to let the crowd see Sanity one more time before they debut on SmackDown. The hanging dragon sleeper from the top rope is something new and awesome. At least I’ve never seen it before. Black constantly reminds me why he’s my favorite wrestler right now. I’m always thoroughly entertained by his matches. His style is so unique and he seems to be able to put on tremendous matches with anybody. Eric Young has a unique style as well, a lot of innovative moves. I often wish I had watched guys like him and AJ in TNA, but I think I watched one episode of it years ago and could never bring myself to watch it again. Aleister standing tall over the three departing members of Sanity is a fitting way for them to go.

Mauro ends the show appropriately: “DAMN YOU, TOMMASO CIAMPA!”

Damn you, indeed. Thoughts?

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