I am really looking forward to watching NXT right now. I have been stuck in the podcast Up and Vanished for the past week and my headspace has been totally occupied. It’s a true crime podcast that has such content to consume and as a result I have basically been in Ocala, GA for the past nine days despite having lost the weekends to my family. It’s been exhausting so this should be a treat, as this is the start of a new chapter of NXT. I did manage to read and then immediately forget the spoilers, so thats good. Oh, they mentioned Mustache Mountain and how they won the titles during the UK Tournament. I still have not caught up on that but it looks super cool having been filmed at Royal Albert Hall and I think that is a neat thing that HHH managed to do for his wonderful wrestling pet project.
The show kicks off with Aleister Black coming out wearing street clothes, which is a questionable move at this point. The first time he came out in a suit I was all, “Yeah, this makes sense. This guy SHOULD be really put together because, you know, LOOK at him”. But the more I see it, the more I don’t care about it. I might be starting to turn on him. Black cuts some generic promo about how he beat Lars Sullivan and he is silently interrupted by the best heel in wrestling, Tommaso Ciampa! “Now its time you meet with the Devil.” Ciampa is a Top-Guy heel with this kind of mic work. Self aware smart alert: I’m totally INTO Tommaso Ciampa and I’m totally OVER Aleister Black. This match just made itself. Ciampa is so natural with the mic and sooooo f-----g good in the ring. He is gonna look great with the belt. I can only hope to assume that is the direction the feud will go because Black needs to be on the main roster soon. He is a big time star with a cool gimmick and a sick entrance and a SICK theme song and he will be a great champion on either brand. I hope Ciampa holds the NXT title for a while, too. Maybe THAT is the eventual payoff for the whole Gargano/Ciampa feud: Johnny gets the NXT title? F--k that. That’s NOT good booking. Whoa GROSS they just showed Lars Sullivan chin X-rays and shared that Sullivan wrestled the last half of his TakeOver match with his jaw busted! F--K. That’s brutal and made me feel a little grossed out.
Backstage there are three mics and an iPhone “interviewing” Vanessa Borne who is just s--t talking Kairi Sane. She is trying to pick on her pirate outfit but, honestly, if you can throw an elbow and your damn self off the top rope like Kairi Sane can then you can wear whatever the f--k you wanna wear! It’s not the best promo segment but I’m sure the match will be fine.
Oh S--T it’s time for The Finest, Kona Reeves. This dude looks JUST like Rocky Maivia except with a full head of luxurious hydrogen peroxide blonde hair! He is billed at 240 lbs and while he dresses like Rick “The Model” Martel he moves like a dude at least a foot shorter. Reeves has a pretty brief and dominant exhibition match where he is able to showcase all his moves and his coked out ring style. It’s cool. I think he is gonna be f-----g awesome but right now I’m waiting. The match is fine and whatever. This is the third time I’ve seen him and he has the vibe of a big star who is wearing the wrong ring gear so I’m hoping it pans out for him pretty soon.
Candice LeRae comes bouncing to the ring and while I wasn’t terribly familiar with her prior to NXT, I was made hip to one particular moment with her and the Bucks of Youth and a sneaker with thumb tacks taped to it and a super kick. Yeah, that s--t will forever be super f-----g bad ASS. Candice LeRae is a f-----g badass and Johnny Wrestling is “Candice LeRae’s husband” rather than the other way around. Her opponent tonight is Lacey Evans and I can only imagine these two are gonna kick the s--t out of each other. Evans comes across as a real hardass and generally kind of a bitch. It’s such a sort of likable-unlikable type of thing. It’s really good and I like to see her every time. Lacey seems like a really stiff worker but Candice is really good at taking the beating! Some of this comes off as really choreographed but Lacey Evans looks so f-----g furious that it sucks me right back into the match. Holy s--t! Candice just got thrown down on her face by her arm! F--K! Evans is a f-----g sadist throughout the course of this match. She believably wants to kill Candice. As LeRae mounts her comeback she continues to sell her hurt left arm, throwing rights like a f-----g beast but only so well, given her poor arm.
Vertebreaker! And she wins with a Lionsault! That was awesome Candice! A deserved win for LeRae! That said, I tried to ignore it the first time but I have to say, this theme song sucks. It’s cutesy pop punk s--t but it is the type that I immediately tune out. I don’t want to tune out Candice. I don’t think I can, as that f-----g Young Bucks super-thumbtack-kick is burned in my f-----g brain forever.
Johny G backstage being interviewed by whomever and he is just reminiscing about TakeOver: Chicago, getting mad about the wedding ring spot (I thought that s--t was a little too far myself) and “The way I look at it, he won one; I won one.” Unfortunately, he is essentially challenging Tommaso to one more match and I just f-----g tuned out. That f-----g sucks because I became truly invested in that storyline and I can conjure serious feelings by thinking about it but this may in fact have the Roman Reigns Effect apply to it. It really felt like everything they could possibly do at that last TakeOver match. That sucks. If they do it again it runs the risk of cheapening the whole feud. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong. Prove me wrong, HHH.
Mustache Mountain will appear. Third mention of the episode.
Heavy Machinery selfie cam backstage promo segment starts off with them sans makeup, grilling with charcoal in bathing suits. S--t talking The Mighty. Whatever.
On screen they show a tweet from William Regal basically telling Johnny G to get over Tommy C and next week he will have to face EC3. Thank you, Regal.
Alright now we are partying! Mustache Mountain! These dudes rule but, oh, this song isn’t very good. I swear I have seen them in NXT before and THIS was not the theme song. Maybe I’m just recalling WCPW episodes but anyways this theme song doesn’t fit them. They had some BDE type country sounding music as their previous theme that just kept going on and on and they used to walk around and shake hands with every single person who was ringside before they would start the match. It was obnoxious but endearing. They are “gentlemen,” but not in the Jack Gallagher sort of way — well, maybe kinda, because they all have mustaches.
Anyways, their opponents are two jabronis who get out to the top of the ramp and get f-----g jumped by UNDISPUTED ERA!!! FUUUUUUUCK YES!!! Kyle O’Reilly is screaming into the mic and s--t talking England (where they lost the tag titles). Roddy sounds like a dork when he says the word “dork.” Adam Cole (BAY BAY) just says words into the microphone about wanting the tag titles back and it’s not very interesting but it doesn’t matter because he rules. After a brief moment of it appearing that Mustache Mountain would be outnumbered, in comes Rick O’Shea to even out the odds! The match is set by William Regal from an off screen location and here we go.
One of the things that I love about Mustache Mountain is that Trent Seven looks like a 36 year old father of two and Tyler Bate looks like his overachiever little brother and they f-----g rule at wrestling. This match has too much star power for it to avoid being a spot-fest. Roddy and O’Reilly do a nice job making the good guys look really GOOD. Undisputed Era are a really good heel unit, though, as they take control of the match and slow it down, and wear down Tyler Bate. For some reason I get a really good late ’90s WWF vibe from seeing Adam Cole and Tyler Bate in the ring against each other. The dynamics in this match are really clear between the goofy and flippy style of Ricochet and Mustache Mountain vs. the methodical and brutal style of Undisputed Era. The whole vibe of Undisputed Era almost has me hating on Ricochet coming in with the hot tag to break it up!
O’Reilly is a really good at selling when he is taking a beating and he manages to make Trent Seven look pretty badass in only a few moves. Adam Cole takes control of the match just in time to take a “Clothesline From Hell” (shout out to Bradshaw who, despite being an alleged prick, had the nastiest f-----g clothesline of them all) courtesy of Trent Seven. These matches become pure spectacle at a point and it is pretty delightful. They also seem to hit that point where it’s just like the grand finale at the 4th of July fireworks: predictable and awesome! Ricochet seriously did a standing flip to avoid a clothesline! Flatliner? Thats what Ricochet calls his “self-Rock-Bottom”. Meh. That move (it is also Baron Corbin’s finisher) looks like it hurts the guy who is delivering it more than the opponent. I decidedly do not like it. Oh boy after all this s--t Ricochet is the one who takes the pin? He hit the 630 but O’Reilly pulled Cole’s leg under the rope, causing a rope break which allowed Roderick Strong to do some f-----g move onto the “hardest part of the ring” to Ricochet and THAT is what put him down for the 1-2-3. At least it lead directly to the finish of the match but I really f-----g hate that THAT spot is becoming a standard part of wrestling right before my eyes. Oh s--t, that was it. It’s been an hour already. Copyright 2018.
Okay, well, we now begin the newest chapter of the NXT story and as it stands I only know a few things. I do know that Tommaso Ciampa has his sights set on Aleister Black and I am so ready to see that. I know that Vanessa Borne wants to wrestle Kairi Sane but I don’t think she stands a chance. I know that they need to figure out Kona Reeves because I feel like he will be a huge star, and it’s not just the comparison to Dwayne Johnson that has me feeling that way. Oh, and I know that Johnny Wrestling will have a match with EC3 and that is probably gonna be awesome. And I guess I know that Old Barrel Chest Lars Sullivan has a legitimately broken jaw, likely as a result of Aleister Black really kicking the f--k out of his face. With all that I do know, there is so much that I don’t. Will we see Velveteen Dream next week? What is next for Shayna Baszler? The list goes on and on. One of the great things about NXT being a one hour show is that they can only fit so much onto one episode. That makes me HAVE to tune in next week because it will most likely be all different people on next week. This s--t is awesome. Another great week of programming and another hour well spent on a Wednesday night.
F--k the World.
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