AMBER NOVA VS. NIKKI CROSS
All I know about Amber Nova is that she’s a gearhead, and that’s only because the announce team just told us. Oh, I also know that she’s about to be torn apart by Nikki Cross. Mauro says, “I wonder what side of Nikki Cross we’re gonna see today.” My guess is the crazy side. Amber doesn’t seem intimidated by the insane Scot and uses her strength go keep Nikki grounded with a straight jacket submission.
You can’t keep Nikki down very long and once she gets up and running, it’s over. She hits a pretty stiff looking cross body and The Purge for the win. Nova hit a couple good moves early but most of her offense was the submission hold, then Nikki won in quick fashion once she escaped, making for a so-so match. Nikki’s ring psychology (or psychopathy) and mannerisms made it a better match than it actually was.
Match Rating: Four Gold Medals
The Undisputed Era attacks Ricochet on the entrance ramp. Very good, very good. Now Adam Cole just needs to stop inciting the crowd to cheer for him and he can be a truly awesome heel.
I see the potential in Vanesse Borne to be a really good heel, she’s just missing something right now and I can’t figure out what it is. Maybe we need to see more of her and she needs more mic time, because it could be that I don’t know enough about her for there to be a connection.
ADRIAN JAUODE VS. KASSIUS OHNO
They’ve been teasing an Ohno heel turn, and I don’t think that would be a bad thing for him. I think he’s peaked as a face for now. He looks disinterested in the match until he gets taken down, and then a switch flips and he gets nasty. This is definitely a heel turn. A brutal elbow gets him the win. Great psychology in this match to show off his new attitude. It’s not a Meltzer “five-star classic” but it accomplished a lot to further his angle, and that makes it a great match.
Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals
VELVETEEN DREAM’S COMPOUND
Dream and EC3 have an encounter at Dream’s house. They build each other up a bit, insult each other, and Dream ends up getting tossed into his own pool. Very cool.
Segment Rating: Four This Is Your Lifes
MARCEL BARTHEL VS. KEITH LEE
I don’t watch anything but WWE (I probably should) so I’m not familiar with Keith Lee other than they hyped the shit out of his signing. He looks pretty awesome from the highlight videos I’ve watched. I don’t know if this will a short squash or a longer match to show off much of Lee’s arsenal. I expect the former.
This big man can MOVE. Barthel is not bad himself, he’s a no-nonsense guy in there while Lee seems to like to have fun. I guess I was wrong about it being a short squash, and so far it’s been more of a showcase for Barthel rather than Lee. Until Lee hits the loudest double-hand clap to Barthel’s slap that I’ve ever heard. For some reason, Barthel tries to suplex Lee, who is twice his size. Obviously that didn’t happen. That’s gonna be the nail in his coffin I’m sure. A Jackhammer from Lee ends the match. Nice debut for both guys.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
For and Dawkins cut an awesome promo on The Mighty. These guys are terrific on the mic.
Promo Rating: Seven Stone Colds
MAE YOUNG CLASSIC QUALIFYING MATCH: VANESSA BORNE VS TAYNARA CONTI
Borne seems like she would fit in well with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. I think she has the look and the attitude that would work with that group. Conti catches Borne with a damn hard slam for the win to secure the final spot in the Mae Young Classic. Meh, this match was ok, nothing special.
Match Rating: Four Gold Medals
ALEISTER BLACK VS. JOHNNY GARGANO
Is Gargano turning heel? The crowd seems to have turned against him. I don’t know if this was on purpose or not, and if it wasn’t I don’t know if they will follow through with a heel turn or try to right the ship, but it’s become really intriguing. Selfishly I wanted to see a still-popular-as-hell face Gargano beat Ciampa for the title in Brooklyn because I’m going to be there and I wanted to hear the roof come off the place. 95% of the shirts in the crowd are Bullet Club or Adam Cole. Be original, people. If I have one complaint about NXT, it’s the hipster, wannabe-ECW crowd.
Black definitely has more crowd support. Ciampa attacks and the match ends as the crowd chants “triple threat.” Unfortunately because there was no fucking SPOILER ALERT for a story about an Aleister Black injury on Wrestlezone (not the first time they’ve pulled this shit on me), I already know there’s a triple threat match booked for Brooklyn. Regal comes out to and announces the match for Brooklyn. Not much of a match, but good booking here.
Booking Rating: Five Dustys
Overall Show Rating: Six Gold Medals