Originally posted by Tenken347Let's see if Tyler Bate's learned to cut a promo in-character yet.
But what if that IS his character. I'm convinced Tyler Bate's character is essentially "guy who's starting to suspect he's in the Truman Show."
Man, do I want this to be true. "Trent? Trent, did you know about this?"
It's the penultimate recap! And as the build continues toward Brooklyn, I find myself the most excited I've been for any wrestling show this year. Top to bottom, I expect Brooklyn to be phenomenal.
But before we can get to Brooklyn, we have to get through tonight. We start off with a quick recounting of last week's events involving Ciampa, Gargano, and Black. Johnny admits that he "probably deserved" that Black Mass, but that Black's only going to get one free shot. Tonight, Black and Gargano fight for real in a match that we've been disingenuously promised no less than four times. We'll see how it goes.
Our opener, however, is Nikki Cross taking on Amber Nova, someone we've never seen before but who has Tony Neese-level abs. They come out of the lockup and Cross starts pushing Nova around, hitting a nice back suplex. But Nova comes back with some good good jobber offense, pulling an upside-down variant of Ruby Riot's turnbuckle smash spot, then a takedown and some mounted punches that get her a two count. But the outcome's never in any real doubt, and eventually Cross fights back to her feet, mows Nova down a couple times, and in short order hits the Thesz press, the Cross body block, and the swinging fisherman's neckbreaker. That's three. Match Rating: Kinda Looking Forward To More From Amber Nova.
Next up is a Keith Lee vignette, as he'll be debuting tonight. It's another "spotlight on me" kinda thing, which too many guys are doing down here, so maybe mix it up a bit, guys?
Ricochet is scheduled for action, but he quite literally never makes it out of the gate here. During his entrance, he is actually physically carried out by The Era and deposited on the ramp. Cole grabs the mic to talk some shit, because he's not a coward, and he hides behind no one (as he is literally behind three other guys). I'd kind of like Ricochet to win this, but it's probably smarter to keep The Era strong going into War Games.
We try to grab an interview with Vanessa Borne, but she's far, far too boring for me to transcribe what she says here. Anyhoo, she'll be fighting Taynara Conti for the final spot in the MYC tonight.
Some Jobber is out, and I was going to write down his name because he actually got an entrance with chyron, and that's usually my bar for noting somebody's name. However, his opponent is Kassius Ohno, and I think we all know what that means. On the other hand, this is another jobber with solid offense, doing some cool grappling stuff until KO kicks him in the face a couple times. Jobber goes for a side suplex early, but KO fights out of it, then later in the match he gets another shot and pulls it off. It's a good spot, but ultimately KO fucking murders him with a forearm, followed by a rolling elbow (which someone should definitely start calling a Roaring Elbow again, just saying). Match Rating: Huh, I'm Kinda Looking Forward To More From This Jobber, Too.
It's time for EC3 to Experience the Velveteen Dream. He joins the Dream at poolside, and look. I tried taking notes here, but there's pretty much nothing I can write down to do this segment justice. It's weird and homoerotic and weirdly homoerotic and it's definitely worth your time to watch as both guys go 100% on their gimmicks. This is a match I'm really looking forward to.
Okay, it's time for Keith Lee's debut. He's taking on another jobber, but I retroactively went back and got this guy's name - Marcel Barthel (terrible name, tbh). Marcel here is a classic Evil German (I know) but also a classic European Grappler (I know!). He's the EG of NXT! Anyhoo, this is supposed to be a spotlight for Lee, but I kind of came away more impressed with Marcel here (and I love his entrance music). Lee opens up with some punches, but Marcel comes back with a double chop, only to eat a dropkick from Lee. Lee goes to work, but Marcel nails an enzuigiri and a dropkick of his own, and starts wearing down Lee. Lee fires up and pops Marcel with an open-hand chop, but he misses a Stinger Splash. That looks like it's going to give Marcel an opening, but the raw power of Lee comes through here, as he brushes off Marcel's attempt at more offense, then comes off the ropes with a POUNCE and then a fireman's carry into a powerslam for the finish. Match Rating: Okay, I Am Definitely Looking Forward To More From This Jobber!
I came down a little hard on Lee there, but I'm not sure this was the kind of match that really spotlights his best attributes. I don't know a ton about him, but if I'm not mistaken, he shines brighter in wild brawls than in matches like this. Also, having someone bring back the POUNCE is pretty fun.
Street Profits are hanging out...at an ATM? Okay. Anyhoo, they mostly just want to let TM61 - excuse me, The Mighty, they're The Mighty now, Street Profits have got this - they just want to let The Mighty know that they're coming for them next week.
Vanessa Borne takes on Taynara Conti next, and okay, look, this is a bad match. No polite way to say it. They blow a couple spots pretty badly here, and they're both way too green to be working with each other. HOWEVER. I want to give them credit for something. They can't really do technical stuff to improve this match, so they both went big on personality to try and amp it up, and it kind of works. Specifically, it comes through that both women really want to win this, and that the MYC is a Big Deal. So, yes the match is bad, but I really want to give credit here for doing their best in a way that basically worked. Match Rating: Still P. Bad.
Although, not the worst match I've ever seen? Anyhoo, Kairi Sane takes on Aliyah next week, because apparently Aliyah heard I was retiring and wanted to make sure she got me one more time. We'll also get Tyler Bate vs. Roderick Strong, though, so thank you for the lovely going-away present, NXT.
And now, our main event. It's worth pointing out that, at this point, the main event for Brooklyn is still just Black vs. Ciampa, like we don't know how to do the math. Give us some credit, guys. As Johnny Gargano gets in the ring, Mauro really Mauro's it up with the Nietzsche quote about those fighting monsters becoming monsters, but okay Mauro, you're not exactly wrong here. And now the question: Will Black and Gargano actually fight for real this time? The answer is yes! Finally, the bell rings, and these two start going to town on each other. Gargano hits the rolling kick, and that sends Black outside, where he eats a quick tope suicida! Gargano sends him back in, but when he sets up for the battering ram, Black counters with a knee strike and starts raining body blows on him. Johnny tries the rolling kick a second time, but this time Black's ready. He dodges and hits another knee strike, then sets Gargano up for a leg sweep. Gargano hops over it, and the two of them exchange not one, not two, but three double clotheslines. This puts both of them down on the mat and here's Ciampa. Match Rating: Boo! Boo! Booooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
You're the worst, Ciampa! Just let me have this match, already! Anyhoo, they Triple Threat it up for a bit, and the crowd chants "Triple Threat," and finally GM Regal's out to make a Triple Threat. See, that wasn't hard, was it? Johnny Gargano grins like the kind of maniac who's lost his mind fighting his former best friend as we go out.
I dig how they're playing the feud at this point. Ciampa and Gargano clearly hate each other, but Black is a guy who was just trying to mind his own business and has had his shit fucked up by these two, and he's absolutely done with both of them. Nobody really cares about fighting Black, but he 100% wants to fight both of them. It should make for a good match, although I've got some more thoughts that I'll probably save for next week.
And that's it. One more for me. Thanks so much for reading this far, and forgive me if I ask indulgence for just one more bit of your time. See you all, one last time, next week.
The plot thickens as Black is found unconscious in the parking lot:
Even better is the investigative reporting by Cathy Kelley.
You would think the big news from this is that the title match at Brooklyn is now a Last Man Standing between Gargano and Ciampa (sorry Tenken, Black and Gargano still don't have a match), but the real story here is how many people hang out in the Full Sail parking lot. I feel like I am missing some crucial information here as to what makes it so great. I cannot imagine people would voluntarily spend time outside in Florida in the middle of August without a really good reason.
Wow. That...actually is really cool, and must have been a pain in the ass to set up the whole thing, with everyone wandering around. We've got a genuine mystery on our hands here, and although it scraps the triple threat in favor of exactly the same match Gargano and Ciampa have now already done twice, this could play out into something really good.
The parking lot at Full Sail seems to be just as safe as any other parking lot in wrestling history.
While Cathy Kelley claims, not unreasonably, that Tomasso Ciampa is the most obvious suspect, Ciampa's defense puts that theory to rest. He's the biggest asshole in professional wrestling today. If he was responsible, he'd be bragging about it.
Personally, I want Shayna Bazzler to be the perpetrator. Seeing as how it's a groin injury that lead to this storyline, I want it to have occurred as a result of Black turning down Bazzler's advances, leading to her attacking him. This would lead into a sexual violence storyline that I have absolutely no faith in WWE to tell, even at the NXT level.
Alternatively, I'll accept Black doing it to himself by attempting the Keke challenge.