Guess what? NXT is taped from Florida this week, but I’m alive and in living color. So is Claire, blogging up a storm like only she can.
Let’s talk NXT!
When NXT kicked off this week, IIlja Dragunov basked in the glow of the crowd and stated his reason for being: Bron Breaker. Ilja doesn’t want to wait in line because he never lost his title, nor is he concerned with the current number one contender, JD McDonagh. Which, I get because that cat is an entire mess. Dragunov sees a lot of Gunther in Bron and believes he can work his magic one more time.
Long story short, JD came to the ring, Bron came to the ring, used some Steiner math and called for a triple threat match at Halloween Havoc. Any time a Steiner does math, it’s always an adventure. And I can relate, because me and math go together like Cleveland and winning sports teams. There’s a reason I’m a writer.
Dragunov’s arrival meant the guy who believes he’s the cock of the walk, Hyon Quinn, feels a bit insecure. Quinn got in Ilya’s face, challenged him to a match, and a match we got.
Quinn is a perplexing cat right now. Months ago during the heyday of the 2.0 days (remember those?!), he looked prime to blow up. Now he’s a running punchline. Quinn is the guy who talks about how good he is and how he has the “X factor” but loses big match after big match. Which includes this match with Dragunov. And it was a good match with the outcome never really in question, but it’s just hard getting excited for anything involving Quinn these days. It’s fun seeing Ilya do his thing but I wish his first match on NXT in several months involved someone truly worth caring about.
Puff, the Magic Dragon
So this was weird. Mandy Rose wrestled Fallon Henley, she of “Yee-Haw, bitch” fame, and Henley held her own. This was a solid match between the champ and a young challenger who showed she has enough skill and character to go far in this business-ah.
But then Mandy won and that’s when things got strange for me. Mandy has a date with Alba Fyre, so naturally she called out her next challenger after dismissing Henley. Fyre showed up on video, bat in hand, and lit fire to a display that read #AndNew. That shocking display of fire and calligraphy sent Toxic Attraction into a tizzy.
Huh? That’s the big thing? She lit up some words with her bat because she prefers to let her actions do the talking? Meh. And that’s the thing that intimidates the champ? No, sir, I don’t like it.
I’m not even going to try to recap this Pub Rules match between Briggs & Jensen and Gallus. Just know it was fun, violent, an absolute mess, and the country boys won. Oh, and Gallus got “arrested” after the show.
Wes Lee qualified for the ladder match at Halloween Havoc due to the ref stopping the match. One drop toe hold sent Tony D’Angelo into the middle turnbuckle, and Tony D immediately clutched his knee (peep those rhymes). So, yeah, not much to say here other than Wes didn’t want to win this way but he did.
Sol Ruca made her NXT debut in a match against Amari Miller. All I can say is Amari deserves better. Sol has some interesting moves using her gymnastics background, but this was a rough first match. More tread on her tires might help and put some steak behind the sizzle.
Tough seeing Amari take the L here since she has more potential and feels destined for developmental hell at this point. Or maybe I’m just taking it hard since I go hard in the paint for Black women. Shrug.
Pretty Deadly’s video this week might be the funniest thing I’ve witnessed in wrestling in quite some time. Just watch this gif for a tease. That’s all I can say.
To the Mat
Look, everyone. I’m sorry, you know I can’t get into Joe Gacy for the most part. And that’s acknowledging that the man can go in the ring too. But this thing between him and Cameron Grimes is going on way too long now and with Gacy’s win tonight, thanks in part to the Dyad, it shows no signs of ending. Meaning I show no signs of being less annoyed.
Hear Me Roar
Kayden Carter and Nikkita Lyons put on a solid and entertaining match this week. Both women showcased their athletic ability, agility, and their other assets in a couple fun spots. the story going into this was whether or not Lyons and Zoey Stark even know how to be tag partners. Especially when compared to the NXT tag team champions. If Stark and Lyons are Carter and Katana Chance’s next challengers, then Lyons’ victory here is the right call. Establishing Nikkita and Zoey as worthy challengers to the champs is paramount. Color me interested.
Can’t lie to you, ladies and gentlemen. This was a hard show to get through. There were solid matches, most definitely, but not much grabbed my attention and demanded my eyes. This wasn’t one of NXT’s better outings and just didn’t connect with me on the levels I hoped. That said, Halloween Havoc is shaping up to be quite the event, which is my light at the end of the tunnel.
That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.