Fancy seeing me around these parts. I've had entirely too much going on for the last three weeks, wrapping up work for the semester and preparing for a trip I'm taking soon, so I've been passing on recaps for a while here. And said trip is next week, so I probably won't even see NXT, let alone write about it, for another two weeks after this. My inconsistency has truly become the only reliable thing about me.
However. That's all incredibly boring to you fine people, and this week I've got a wrastlin' show to write about. So, we start off with Johnny Gargano's entrance music. It is, of course, a ruse, as Tomasso Ciampa comes out to his standard ovation. Ciampa talks a lot here, much more than we've become accustomed to, and makes a fairly bold point. He's broken Johnny's heart, mind, spirit, and now body. Johnny won the battle, but Ciampa's won the war. This brings out Candice, and man-o-man, does the crowd want to see these two fight (which Ciampa absolutely laughs off). Candice grabs the mic, and demands to know what's become of the man who used to be like family to her and her husband. She tells Ciampa that the only thing broken is him, because he knows that Johnny will always be better than he is. Ciampa gives her that one, but wants to point out that Johnny's always been half a man at best - Candice was always more of a man than he was. He continues for a bit, and it becomes increasingly clear that this betrayal, this feud, has always been about Candice, not Johnny. And just as Ciampa makes his way to spelling that point out, Candice slaps the taste out of his mouth and walks away.
Powerful segment, and while this angle isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, it makes this whole thing make sense in a way that it technically didn't before, with Ciampa's half-assed promo about being abandoned and replaced. I had wanted to see Candice strike out on her own, but this segment changed my mind on that front.
Some Jobber is out to fight Lacey Evans. Some Jobber is technically Brandi Lauren, as it is my stated policy to name jobbers when they get entrances and chyron, which Brandi gets both of. It's a p. textbook squash here, although Brandi bumps well enough. Lacey hits a straight up gorgeous moonsault, followed by stiff punch that's named the "Women's Right." That's three. Match Rating: My Hatred For A Punch As A Finisher Is A Matter Of Public Record, However I Will Make An Exception For A Pun Of That Quality. After the match, Kairi Sane runs out to deliver some retribution from last week, when Lacey sucker punched her.
Aleister Black is outside, in the one part of Full Sail campus where the wind is low enough not to kill the sound. He talks a bit tough about Ricochet and Velveteen Dream, who both want to stake their claims as number one contender tonight. It's easily the best promo Black has ever cut.
Although, as much as I like both guys, there's several other people I'd rather see in title matches first.
Dakota Kai is holding a press conference, one of their more recent conceits that I don't think works quite as well as they seem to think. Anyhoo, it's a setup for Nikki Cross to come out. See, Cross wants to watch Kai suck it up and fight Baszler, whereas Kai seems really confused about the amount of aggression and physicality she's encountering as a PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER. I'm sorry man, I like Kai, I think these matches are going to be real good, but this angle is just so fucking stupid.
Our next match is Velveteen Dream against Ricochet. They actually spend most of their time doing some really cool mat work, which is fun because neither of these guys usually do a lot of that. They've also got a kind of neat reversal/counter reversal bit, and both guys do a dive fake-out. I'd go into more detail, but as it turns out, this was never a match, it was an angle. Match Rating: Lars Is Out For The No Contest.
Boo, I was having fun!
Raol Mendoza now takes on "The Finest" Kona Reeves, and by now y'all should know me well enough to realize that there ain't no chance of my calling this match. Match Rating: Actually Better Than Reeves' Last Match, So There Is That.
Backstage, both Ricochet and Dream want a shot at Lars, so they decide to have a chat with GM Regal about it. It turns out that they'll be getting a handicap match with him next week.
Heavy Machinery are filming the Heaviest, most Machinery-est cellphone video they can, when they run into TM61, who are most definitely heels now. HM want a rematch, so TM decide to give it to them. There now, that wasn't so hard, right?
Finally, our main event is the Undisputed Era against Pete Dunn, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch. It's not the support we expected for Dunne, but I sure ain't complaining. Anyhoo, Strong and Dunne tease the start, but both beg out, bringing in Riley and Burch. They do some standing switches, and Riley manages to latch on a knee bar. Burch escapes into a headlock, but Riley gets back to the leg and drags him over into the Era's corner. The Era go to town on Burch, with Strong Baszlering his arm, but this is fairly short-lived as Burch makes it over to bring in Pete Dunne. Dunne comes in with a monster forearm shot, then starts working over the joints as he does. The Era tries to make a save, but Lorcan and Burch come in as well, leading to a triple Scurl spot. The Era regroup, and after a distraction, they get the advantage on Dunne. Now we settle in for the proper extended heat sequence, until Dunne manages to fight out, flip off the Era's corner, and make it back for the Hot Tag to Lorcan. Lorcan lands a blockbuster, then goes right into a Danger Zone dive to take out the Era. It really breaks down at this point, with all six men brawling all over the place, until Strong lands a backbreaker on Burch. This lets Cole come in with an ushigaroshi and a big kick for two. Burch punches his way back into contention, sending two members of the Era outside, and clamping a crossface on Cole. Next, Lorcan slaps a half crab on Strong, and Dunne ties up Riley with a double wristlock. Strong manages to kick his way free, though, breaking up the other two holds in the process. It's not looking good for Dunne's team here, especially after Dunne takes out Cole by suplexing him over the ropes, but manages to get his own neck cracked across the top rope in the process. Strong and Riley move on Lorcan, with Riley hitting the Axe kick, setting him up for a combination forearm Smash and a jumping knee strike. But Burch moves Lorcan out of the way at the last minute, and Riley eats the knee! Burch follows up with a massive headbutt to Strong, then Lorcan hits a double blockbuster on the pair. Lorcan hoists Riley up in a wheelbarrow position, and Burch plants him with a DDT. That's the pin! Match Rating: Fantastic!
Great, fun match, and Lorcan and Burch finally pick up the big win they've been needing for some time. Definitely catch this one.
Welp, like I said up top, this is the last one for another two weeks. Sorry. But next week's show has a couple of interesting match ups, and we'll see when Johnny Gargano might actually show up on this show again.
I am not a pessimist when it comes to WWE storylines and pushes but I am afraid business only was lifted a few inches of the ground instead of really picking up. DDP is too banged up to take any big risks with.