Greetings, humanoids. I am a big sack of crap tonight. I played a gig with my band Brown Lasers (brownlasers.bandcamp.com) at a club in Jamaica Plain, didn’t get home till 1:30 am and then I couldn’t fall asleep for a while so I stayed up watching Antiques Roadshow. It’s really thrilling to play drums in an instrumental post rock band for 20 people on a Tuesday night after manual labor in the heat, only to follow up the next day with more manual labor in less heat. That must read as sarcastic but I mean it. I am wiped out from less than four hours of sleep and all the hot heat of the day. Ultimately it’s nothing, but at 36, it’s everything. It does makes me appreciate all the hard work and suffering that WWE Superstars put themselves through. Well, enough about my lead up to right now — either way, I am stoked to watch some f-----g rasslin’.
Ooooh, NXT starts off this weeks episode like it’s a soap opera. “Last week, on NXT…”. Im so distracted by the voiceover guy that I don’t even pay attention to the content.
I love how the opening credits sequence for NXT is constantly evolving to reflect the cast of characters that are relevant. The theme song sounds in the style of Voivod, so that rules. I’m glad that I like the theme song so much, too, because it has changed a few times since I’ve been watching and I recall not being fond of it at another point.
SHOCK THE SYSTEM! Oh F--K YES! Out comes the f-----g best dude, the inaugural North American Champion, Adam Cole (BAY BAY)! When he hits that “BOOM” with the theme song, man, the f-----g crowd just belongs to this dude. I can totally see this not working on the main roster for any number of reasons but I don’t give a f--k about that. I just want to enjoy exactly what I get to get each week. Out comes his opponent, one half of the Hooligans, Danny Burch. Danny Burch reminds me of someone but I can’t quite figure out who. This should be a stiff f-----g match. While I generally get the idea that big guys are the way to go in wrestling, it rules to see guys who are my size or even smaller dudes wrestling. It helps me to suspend disbelief and even imagine that I could do it (NOT). Cole throwing in a little ring talk but it’s ultimately a pretty silent contest so far. (Side note: I realized the other day that they haven’t said the term “rubber match” since my rampant complaints and I appreciate that very much, HHH). So far this is pretty “meh”. It’s quiet like a Japanese wrestling match. You can really hear all the little s--t that the Full Sail marks are yelling. GIVE IT UP DANNY. NOT IN MY LEAGUE. I hate to say but I’m pretty disappointed by this match. It is technically sound, but there isn’t really any contest or gusto.
Burch gets a second wind and throws a bunch of strikes and kicks at Cole but Cole takes control again. Danny Burch looks like Michael Stipe. That’s who it is. TOWER OF LONDON! (RANT ALERT: Tower of London is a sick move, even though the Diamond Cutter is an unimpressive one. It might be compounded by the fact that I took DDP to have a rip-off Stone Cold Stunner as his finisher and his theme was a s----y rip-off of Smells Like Teen Spirit, a song I loved deeply at the time and was appalled to hear it used in such a way. Man, I appreciate his yoga and all that help but as a wrestler, f--k DDP. I said it. So I never think of the move as the RKO, it’s the diamond cutter, and it’s the shittier version of the Stunner, which is in the top three best finishers.)
Even as the match goes back and forth, I find myself completely disinterested in it. That stinks. Adam Cole keeps saying that Danny isn’t in his league. Suplex neck breaker across the knee. Cole pulls his kneepad down and then BAM The Last Shot! That f-----g knee to the back of the head finisher is BRUTAL. I like to think of wrestling back in the terms where a move like that believably ends a match. The finish of the match was fine, but I already basically forget it. That stinks. Ah well.
Backstage interview with Candice Wrestling. She is a GOAT in my book. She excuses herself and walks right up to Shayna and calls her out for talking s--t and THERE IT IS: Candice and Shayna. That’s gonna rule. I totally buy it and can’t wait to see it. LeRae is a major f-----g badass and Baszler gives me the creeps and it’s gonna be a great battle of good and evil. F--k yes.
Cathy Kelley backstage with my GIRL, Dakota Kai! She asks her about Baszler calling out the women’s division and as she mentions that she is working her way up the ladder to get a shot at Baszler she is interrupted by Lacey. Evans looks like such a beautiful southern belle — she plays a b---h so very well. She is a real believable character. It’s almost uncomfortable, but thats how I know it’s working. I would really like to see a rematch between Dakota and Lacey, presuming that Dakota Kai will beat her and move on to the next women’s champ, possibly Candice Wrestling AFTER she beats Baszler at the SummerSlam TakeOver.
Up next is Vanessa Borne and Kairi Sane. Vanessa Borne has a pretty forgettable ring entrance but a really striking look. Kairi seems like a character from some PlayStation 1 RPG. I like it, but it really seems as if she is straight out of a video game. Vanessa Borne almost has an Alexa Bliss style of arrogance and I love it! I have a hard time buying Kairi Sane getting offense in, especially given how small she is, yet every time she is between the ropes her work is unquestionable. Oh s--t they just showed that NXT is coming to a city near me. I may have to go to that! Borne certainly still seems “green” but she has a pretty violent style. Oh f--k Borne just kicked Sane’s head INTO the camera! CHEER FOR ME! Vanessa Borne rules. Borne has been kicking the s--t out of Kairi so much that Sane actually seems gassed. The sliding f-----g punch is brutal! When Kairi starts marching around the ring and then she builds up her head of steam, no matter how adorable or harmless she may seem, that s--t looks like it hurts! The Anchor?? That is a gnarly f-----g submission hold! Holy F--K! It was a sort of figure four/Boston crab/bridge and it is insane! It looked so painful that Vanessa Borne could barely tap out! F-----g wow! Awe s--t, Kairi calling out Shayna AFTER winning a really good match! Man, she is so adorable and likable. She is doing a great job of acclimating to American wrestling and the WWE style. Her promo was fine. I don’t want to see that match, though.
Breaking News from Regal: Top 4 Fatal 4 Way: Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Candice LeRae vs. Bianca Belair. That will be sick. And Aleister Black/Tommaso Ciampa is in two weeks. I love that I have to wait two weeks to see a f-----g match. That rules. I hate seeing Aleister Black in street clothes. As he is being iPhone interviewed he is interrupted by Jon Wrestle who tells him “Ciampa can NOT be champion”. Black responds “Ok…” kinda miffed and as they are walking away from each other and the commentary is rambling on, they show Black go walking into the building and he gets jumped by Ciampa. Tommaso beats him up, tosses him on a stretcher and then DDTs Aleister Black onto the actual cement floor in the back. And then, Tommaso Ciampa just gets up and f-----g walks away. WHAT THE F--K. He is so f-----g good at his job right now. I f-----g HATE him.
SHOCK THE SYSTEM! F-----G TWICE IN ONE NIGHT! It’s like Christmas for me tonight! This song rules. These fools don’t looks right without titles. I hope they f-----g pummel these idiots and get those belts back on. Not seeing O’Reilly play the belt like Hogan is a real let down. I hate this theme song for Mustache Mountain. I hate it. It’s young and hip or some s--t like that but Trent Seven looks like a 36 year old father of two with a belly. I like the guys a lot. But I LOOOOOOOVE Undisputed Era. The crowd’s in business for themselves, chanting “MUSTACHE MOUNTAIN/UNDISTPUTED” over the ring introduction. Mauro makes a passing reference to “British Strong Style” and Pete Dunne being a part of that. I believe that is a reference to Progress Wrestling, a UK promotion that Triple H has been draining of talent for the past two years. Mustache Mountain are really fun to watch in tandem but when the match switches to one on one it usually gets pretty boring. This is a real barnburner though so far. Man, the crowd is f-----g obnoxious with the dueling chants tonight. Trent Seven’s gut jiggles every time he throws a punch and I can’t help but stare at it. F-----g f--k the crowd is INTO this match. The focus of the Undisputed Era is Trent Seven’s left knee and boy can he SELL. It does help that Rilo Kiley and Rodney Danger-Strong are great ring technicians. The crowd is still dual chanting. Now it’s just annoying. Shut up, you stupid idiots. Roddy and O’Reilly are so good at tag team wrestling. I am eating my words right now because the slowed down bit of UE just taking turns decimating Trent’s knees is so gross and exciting.
The four of them pull off an amazing missed hot tag where O’Reilly pulled Tyler Bate off the ring apron just as Seven was jumping for the tag! Kyle O’Reilly throws on a heel hook and Trent Seven screams in pain! Really good work here, lads. Tyler Bate finally gets the hot tag and Mini-Justin Timberlake goes ape s--t and runs around throwing punches and kicks! Tyler Bate throws Strong with an EXPLODER SUPLEX into the corner directly INTO O’Reilly! Bate pulls a feat of strength with Roddy in a torture rack and then grabbed Kyle’s feet and spun them both in a circle for a while. Geez, that kid IS strong. Tyler Bate hits Roddy with the Tyler Driver and O’Reilly breaks up the pin attempt! The THIS IS AWESOME chant is totally deserved in this moment. Trent Seven asks for the tag and Bate refuses only to get leveled by Roddy and then O’Reilly. There’s a mix up and and O’Reilly hits Roddy! It looks like Mountain will retain but Trent Seven tags himself in and FUCKS S--T UP ON ONE LEG!!! He is selling the knee like a champ. Roderick Strong puts him into the Strong Clutch and that s--t looks impossibly painful! Kyle tags in and jumps from the second rope and smashes Seven’s f-----g knee into oblivion and then wrenches in the Heel Hook. Holy f--k I am nauseous right now! I wanted this to be over a few minutes ago and I am fully back into it right now. Mustache Mountain is putting in a storytelling/mat classic, match of the year candidate tonight. It is becoming a bit unbelievable that Trent can take this much pain though. Tyler Bate is holding the white towel, waiting to throw in the real, actual towel! HOLY S--T THIS IS RIVETING. HOLY F--K Bate threw the towel across the ring and then launched across the ring to Seven as if his cat got hit my a car and he saw it happen! That was really dramatic and amazing! For the fourth time tonight I get to hear BOOM! Undisputed Era all convene on the top of the stage and gloat about their victory while Seven and Bate lick their wounds in the ring. O’Reilly is doing the Hogan move with the belt already! I f-----g love it! He totally f-----g rules.
Boy oh boy that was an exciting last match! Those gentlemen from the Strong Style Collective are well loved and appreciated by the whole NXT universe, especially after that match! Tyler Bate is a freak in the ring and Trent Seven is just plain OVER. I thoroughly enjoyed that. Well, I’m looking forward to the next few weeks as NXT builds towards the SummerSlam coordinated TakeOver. It’s nice that, even though Extreme Rules is this weekend, that there isn’t an NXT event. They feel more special. Less is more. That really seems to be the answer, especially for me in this instance. People have time to develop and percolate. I didn’t see Velveteen Dream this week and that’s okay. It’s fine, because I got to see someone else and I will get to see him next week. Or maybe the following week. Either way, I will see Velveteen Dream sooner than I will see Brock Lesnar. Ah well.
F--k the world.
Do you love wrestling? Do you have strong opinions on AEW, WWE, NJPW, Impact, ROH, and the independent scene? Do you like to write about wrestling? Then we want you on our team. AIPT is currently recruiting wrestling writers. Apply to write for AIPT today!