NXT looks like a decent show tonight but, to be fair, it’s probably the most consistent of the WWE brands at this point. EC3 makes his tv debut against Raul Mendoza. Heavy Machinery take on War Raiders. And Kassius Ohno faces Tommaso Ciampa in the main event. That’s all that’s on the preview. However, Dakota Kai versus Vanessa Borne was announced last week, so we should get that too.
EC3 def Raul Mendoza
Dakota Kai def Vanessa Borne
War Raiders def Heavy Machinery
Tommaso Ciampa def Kassius Ohno
The show opened with Ricochet, not dressed for competition so he obviously had something to say. He said that everywhere he’s been he wanted to make sure everyone remembered him. After WrestleMania weekend it was his mission to make sure everyone was talking about him. He intends to take over NXT because it’s the brand that continues to redefine what sports entertainment is all about. The only thing on his mind is the NXT championship.
Velveteen Dream came out and said no a lot, then asked who’d given him the authority to ask for NXT title opportunities, called him babe, and told him to take a step back. Ricochet calls himself the one and only and says he makes it look good. Velveteen Dream agrees he makes it look good but he’s right, there is only one man, no, one experience, and it’s him. Ricochet can jump around the ring trying to make a name for himself but however he flips or flops he better make sure he ends up at the back of the line, behind The Velveteen Dream.
Ricochet laughed at the idea Velveteen Dream deserves a title shot and said he gets he’s the new guy, but he knows all about Velveteen Dream. He made the NXT universe say his name. And he made the current NXT champion say his name, but he might not remember as it was just after he kicked Velveteen’s head off.
Velveteen Dream threatened to make ‘Dream Over’ Ricochet’s reality. Ricochet said Velveteen Dream is good, but he isn’t Ricochet. He’s here to steal Velveteen Dream’s show and his spotlight.
Velveteen wasn’t impressed. He said anything Ricochet could do, he could do better. Ricochet told him to prove it, but it didn’t come to anything.
EC3 vs Raul Mendoza
Mendoza has been used in a similar way to Kona Reeves in NXT. I wonder if he’ll ever get the same kind of repackage. It certainly wasn’t going to be in tonight’s match. EC3’s tv debut was only ever going to end in one way.
It wasn’t a squash, Mendoza is too well-established for that, but it was a dominant performance from EC3. Standard debut display match. Entertaining to watch, but short. EC3 won.
How important it was to pick up a win after falling short in the ladder match. He said adversity is what makes a man and he’s a man with a mind like a scientist, a body like a mythical deity, and absolute precision in the ring. You’ll only see victories from him going forward until he rebrands the place NX3.
Footage from last week of Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch talking to Pete Dunne in a corridor. Lorcan said just because they helped him out against Undisputed ERA doesn’t mean they like him. Burch confirmed he really doesn’t like him. Lorcan said to Dunne ‘you know you’re a piece of garbage, right?’ and Dunne just shrugged. Burch and Lorcan suggested they team up to take on Undisputed ERA, Dunne nodded and walked off without a word.
Dakota Kai vs Vanessa Borne
All the NXT women’s matches are interesting at the moment as we watch to see who fits where in a women’s division which is in rebuild.
Another short match, but competitive and aggressive. They’re fairly evenly matched with Dakota Kai having the edge on speed and skill and Borne having the edge on power. Kai got to show off a bit of why she’s the captain of team kick.
Dakota Kai won with a modified backstabber.
While Kai was celebrating, Shayna Baszler’s music hit and the NXT Women’s Champion made her way to the ring. Dakota Kai looked terrified and cowered in a corner as Baszler approached. The ref backed Baszler off and she put Borne in the Kirifuda Clutch, while never breaking eye contact with Kai. Dakota Kai backed out of the ring and up the ramp, while Borne was being choked out, without ever taking her eyes off Baszler.
Backstage Kai was being asked what happened when Baszler appeared and got in her face and told her to do something. After Baszler left, creepy laughter appeared behind Kai and she turned to discover Nikki Cross hanging onto some scaffolding with a maniacal grin on her face.
Heavy Machinery vs War Raiders
It took seconds for this to turn into a big lads’ brawl.
The early exchanges settled into a proper tag match, but not a long one. Otis Dozovic took some punishment while War Raiders showed off their teamwork. He eventually tagged in Tucker knight after suplexing Hanson.
They’re both great teams, evenly matched in style and a lot of fun to watch. War Raiders have just a touch more finesse. Otis Dozovic was taken out on the outside by a suicide dive from Hanson, then Knight was finished with their double-team ‘Fallout’ finisher.
Street Profits latest promo took the form of them doing an outdoor workout. They’re coming for the tag titles.
Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch versus Undisputed ERA will happen next week.
Tommaso Ciampa vs Kassius Ohno
It’s quite effective to have Ciampa coming out to just to boos from the crowd and the occasional ‘you suck’ chant.
This was a vicious two-way beating. Kassius Ohno was in it to avenge Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa appears to just want the world to suffer.
It wasn’t a match of skill and subtlety, although both men are equally capable of these, it was a fight. More punches and kicks than big moves. The object was to inflict damage on both sides.
Ciampa tore off his wrist tape and made towards Ohno as is he was going to strangle him with it. The ref stopped him, but while he was getting rid of the tape Ciampa had his fingers in Ohno’s eyes.
Tommaso Ciampa eventually pinned Kassius Ohno from a neckbreaker.
After the match, Ciampa attacked Ohno with his knee brace and yelled ‘was it worth it?’ He said he broke Johnny’s body and Candice’s heart, the Gargano fairy-tale is over.
Ricochet versus Velveteen Dream will be amazing.
Nikki Cross versus Shayna Baszler is exactly the feud I want to see for the women’s division. I’d love to see Cross with the title. The storyline they’re running with Dakota Kai being terrified of Baszler is interesting. It’s good that Kai got the win today, it would be too easy for her to start to look weak and I’m sure that’s not the intention.
I’m still not sure what they’re doing with Tommaso Ciampa, I can’t see the long-term plan yet. But I’m interested to find out, and that’s all that matters, I guess. He’s doing an amazing job of making people hate him. I like that.