Last night’s episode of NXT wasn’t bad, but I will say it had a hard time holding my attention. There were a lot of good things to talk about, but all of it has been overshadowed by the feud between Adam Cole of The Undisputed Era and Pat McAfee formerly of The Indianapolis Colts which clearly seems to heading towards a match between the two at TakeOver 30.
I’ll admit that I haven’t been a fan of this feud from the beginning. To me it feels like a ploy to bring in “traditional” sports fans to the NXT product, and maybe I am wrong but most sports fans who don’t watch wrestling all ready tend to fall on the “You know that wrestling is fake, right?” side of the world and don’t seem likely to change their viewpoint just to watch Pat McAfee go after Adam Cole. All of this to say I’d rather see Cole take on someone more worthy of a wrestler with his pedigree than a podcaster who used to play football.
The rest of the night had it’s ups and downs but for the most part it just had trouble holding my attention. The best match of the night opened the show and then we got a lot of setup for TakeOver which should be a lot of fun. So, let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of NXT 8/5/20.
- The Rhea Ripley and Dakota Kai match was a lot of fun. They really went at it and made it feel like whoever won really did deserve a shot at Io’s title.
- Mercedes Martinez and Rhea in a feud should be a fantastic watch, it could also be a great way to write Rhea off of NXT and move her to either SmackDown or Raw.
- Ridge Holland’s look and packaging are awesome!
- Cameron Grimes did a fantastic job of selling in his match with Lee. He also looked like he belonged in their with Lee as opposed to just being a flat out squash.
- Honestly, Grimes and Lee had some solid storytelling in this match. Grimes was fighting for his shot while Lee was so focused on Kross that he wasn’t even thinking about his opponent in the match.
- I like the idea of the two singles matches to find the last two spots for the North American Championship ladder match. Should be a way to add some names like Johnny Gargano or Finn Balor and get more eyes on this one.
- Santos Escobar’s segment was lot of fun and I really want to see Legado Del Fantasma dominate not just the cruiserweight division but the entire NXT brand.
- Underdog babyface Undisputed Era is fun. I love it when they are cocky but it’s even better when the audience is behind them.
- Beth Phoenix called out McAfee for being a dick and it made my night.
- The tag team match was a lot of fun!
- I’m glad to see Shane Thorne is back but wasn’t he supposed to be a part of The Hurt Business on Raw? Now he’s doing the job for Bronson Reed…I feel bad for him.
- I was really surprised that the didn’t book Ridge Holland more dominantly. Maybe we will see that in his single’s match in two weeks? I hope so, he could be great.
- Damian Priest winning the triple threat match. He’s fine but this could have been a great opportunity for a guy like Lorcan or a huge US debut for Holland.
- The Tegan Nox and Indi Hartwell match was fun to watch but commentary spent the whole time talking to Pat McAfee about his feud with Cole. I wish they had given this match a little more respect.
- The feud between Pat and Cole really messed up the finish for this otherwise fun tag team match. I am biased against this feud, but I wish we could’ve seen the match end before getting into Adam Cole and Pat McAfee.
- The punt on Adam Cole looked super worked, I don’t think that Pat McAfee couldn’t kick a guy unconscious but the camera angle and the cut made me have a negative knee jerk reaction.
- Nothing ugly, even the Adam Cole and Pat McAfee feud was that bad. This episode felt longer than normal, and I hope that the next two weeks before TakeOver have a little more to offer.