Last week on NXT:  We are in the midst of a Takeover Hangover. That is where we get episodes of matches that happened before the Takeover event but are airing after the Takeover event. There isn’t much in the way of story progression, more recaps and character retrospectives, most likely to acquaint the newer audience on what’s been going on on NXT.

Keith Lee squashed Fidel Bravo. Lars squashed Keto Murray even quicker. Nikki Cross and Candice LeRae tore the damn house down in a banger of a match.

Cold Open

Right into the theme song and a match. We are in San Jose State University now. This seems to be an episode of just some matches but we will see.

Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan vs. The Mighty

  • Shane Thorne had trouble taking his coat off but still pulled off the cocky douche persona. I don’t get The Mighty’s gimmick but whatever it is works. They are better than thou slimeballs and good looking and good at wrestling!
  • Oney Lorcan and Nick Miller have some fun counter wrestling and Burch and Thorne get involved too. A double submission.
  • Those spots are fun and everything, but I miss tag team wrestling where the rules mean something. Now guys can just run in and do some moves willy nilly. Rules are created so bad guys can break the rules. It takes a tool away from the wrestlers, or a color from their pallet if you will.
  • Lorcan lost momentum by a double team attack and the match slows down so The Mighty can exert their will over Oney.
  • Danny Burch gets the hot tag and Shane Thorne is bumping and feeding like a champ. The energy never dies and there is little to no wasted motion.
  • Lorcan and Burch tag with one and two fingers instead of a hand slap!
  • The match leads to Thorne and Lorcan hitting back to back big spots for nearfalls and dives. This match is pretty hot right now.
  • It’s weird though, everytime Oney tags, Burch tags back out withing minutes.
  • Miller gets tagged in and the commentators tell us who is legal even though all four men are in the ring. I get that they say who is legal because that’s who can win the fall.
  • Oney gets the pin on Nick Miller admist the chaos but The Mighty win the battle because they jumped Burch and Lorcan after the match.

And I’m Like… That was a typical NXT tag match. Really good hybrid of indie and WWE style. The Mighty get chants of “you still suck” which really sounded like “you sick fuck” which made me wonder what The Mighty did that was so bad! This was a good foundation to a future feud but probably a match I won’t remember next week.

A video of last month where EC3 got a win over Adam Cole. Which I honestly don’t remember. Bobby Fish then took out EC3 with a chair shot to the knee which kept EC3 out for this whole month.

Recap of Io Shirai, Dakota Kai and Kairi Sane beginning a feud with the Three Horsewomen of UFC in NXT. Io, Kairi and Dakota cut a promo. Kairi looking like a badass in a leather coat and Dakota looking like she smokes Marlboro Reds in a jean jacket. Io isn’t flashy at all. They say that they want Marina Shafir, Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Bazsler in a match.

EC3 vs. Marcel Barthel

  • San Jose has a unique skyline. Weirds me out.
  • EC3 gets cheers from the crowd and the camera zoomed in on a very happy woman and her not so happy boyfriend.
  • Marcel Barthel is a German Regal type character in no nonsense black trunks and a German flag. With rumors of NXT Germany happening soon and the signing of Walter, maybe Marcel will be a focal point going forward.
  • After a feeling out process Marcel wags his finger and yells “Neun” the crowd claps and chants “Neun”. EC3 then gets the advantage and yells “one” to NO REACTION.
  • Marcel’s offense is really crisp and vicious. The crowd is chanting “USA” and the commentator are really only talking about Barthel. I thought this was an EC3 showcase match but hell the fuck no.
  • EC3 is able to get the comeback in after slamming Barthel’s head into the middle turnbuckle. EC3 goes into his five moves of doom. Punches, Back Elbow, Bodyslam, Name Drop elbow drop and One Percenter for the win.
  • EC3 cuts a babyface promo on Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish. EC3 says he is only talking to Bobby Fish. “This is a bold proclamation that I am coming for your head, your knees and everything in between.”

And I’m Like… I really dug that match. It made both men shine. Marcel Barthel left a great impression and got a crowd response but EC3 got the win while looking strong developing his five moves of doom. I like how the camera cuts only to women while EC3 is posing after he puts the mic down. EC3 seems not as confident as before, I can’t put my finger on it but something is missing at the moment.

WHAT EVEN IS THAT VIGNETTE TALKING ABOUT?!?

Candice LaRae doesn’t respond to reporters questions.

Vanessa Borne vs. Mia Yim

  • This isn’t on The YouTube.
  • Vanessa Borne still looks like she should be in a White Snake video and Mia Yim comes out looking like she in a 90’s West Coast Hip-Hop video.
  • Mia Yim gets a great reaction and is exuding confidence. Vanessa is really good at wrestling with personality and character.
  • Mia offers a handshake and Borne lays in a slap, defining who to cheer for right off the bat.
  • Vic Joseph calls an arm drag an “arm drag suplex” and I don’t know if that is right or not.. I mean it’s totally plausible and I just learned something, but I’m not gonna use that as a name for a move either way.
  • Yim has an obvious advantage over Borne until Vanessa’s craftiness kicks in. She avoids Mia enough until an opening appears to take control of the match.
  • Mia takes quite a beating and Vanessa is real mouthy. It really adds to the match and makes you want Mia to fight back so much.
  • Borne gets too cocky though and licks her hand before attempting a slap on Yim. Mia turns that into an armbar and that sets the table to turn the tide.
  • Mia is trapping Borne with submissions, landing kicks to the face and I think we are witnessing her moves of doom. Kicks to the face, a dropkick, a running, a boot to the face in the corner and an Eat Defeat for the win.

And I’m Like… Every once in a while NXT builds members of their roster up for future stories. A way to get invested in someone’s matches is familiarity and knowing their moveset. Having these type matches help us as fans familiarize with the whole aspect of the wrestler furthering our future investment into their stories. So it might not always been super entertaining but it is important groundwork.

Tommaso Ciampa cuts a promo about how he is the most dangerous s.o.b. in NXT history. How everything he has told us is happening. He expects all the fans to follow his lead.

Keith Lee vs. Lars Sullivan

  • Keith Lee’s music builds well and sounds better here than at Takeover Hangover and Full Sail. I like it more now. He just wears a sleeveless hoodie so like I don’t get his character much either outside of “Athletic and Strong”
  • Forever Troll Lars Sullivan comes out to the menacing music, the complete lighting treatment, the imposing entrance with lack of the usual spotlight highlighting his figure.
  • The difference in music and entrance with these two is striking. Lars is a fully formed Superstar with not much in the way of character and Keith Lee is just starting out. In two years Keith Lee will be the same but so different.
  • Hearing Lars yell “you ain’t nothing” has a lot more behind it after those bodybuilding forum posts came to light.
  • Lars has never been overpowered and Lee is just toying with the man. That is until Lars throws his whole ass weight behind a shoulder block.
  • These two behemoths are landing BIG blows to each other and the moves are so devastating.
  • This is like a super hero fight or a Godzilla vs. King Kong type match. Reminiscent of Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg but more technical and athletic.
  • The match slows down with Lars applying a chinlock in the middle of the ring. The crowd is clapping in support but Keith is really getting beat down.
  • Nigel McGuinnes does a George Gershwin reference saying “potato/ potahto, tomato/ tomahto let’s call the whole thing off” and I popped huge for that. Gershwin is one of my favorite song writers.
  • It really bothers me when wrestlers don’t wear elbow and knee pads. Protect your shit you guys. Lars wears neither, at least Keith wears one elbow pad and knee pads!
  • We get a yay/boo spot that ends with Lee doing an over the top rope cross body block. That leads into a nearfall and another yay/boo spot.
  • You know what a fun chant during Sullivan’s matches would be? Saying “Lars” like one of those birds from Finding Nemo or like how a sea lion says “arf”. Just random people in the crowd continually saying that.
  • Keith Lee does a corkscrew crossbody to the outside over the top rope, gets a nearfall, misses an Asai moonsault and gets caught in the Freak Accident.

And I’m Like… NXT did a great job this week of making everyone that wrestled look like they belong and could have won the match. Plenty of people upset Sullivan won but he is getting called up soon so maybe he needs to look his best. That was a real fun match and I wouldn’t mind a long feud between these two.

Again the lack of storylines made this show easily forgettable but not skipable. Some real good matches and an overall fun time this week. NXT is still my favorite brand/company in wrestling right now.

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