This week’s NXT was ultimately skippable, but set up some stuff to happen post-Mania/Takeover and heated up two Takeover matches with preliminary in-ring action.
What’s big, agile, hairy, and covered in face paint?
The War Raiders faced off against a pair of nameless jobbers and the tag team of Jade and Benoni in two subsequent squash matches. Did you forget how strong and cool they are? How dare you. My only beef with them in NXT is that they just aren’t heels to me. As Viking-y as they try to be, they have fundamentally benevolent sweetie energy. Yeah they’re huge and aggressive, but have you seen their smiles? They’re just too warm to be monster heels. They did some of their cool athletic big dude moves here as a reminder that their match with Ricochet and Aleister Black should be a good one.
Candice Lerae vs Aliyah is set for next week on NXT
Candice Lerae had a short interview segment outside the Performance Center talking about how she’d like to challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship at some point, and was interrupted by the fabulously dressed pair of Aliyah and Vanessa Bourne. I’m glad Candice is getting some airtime because she has long been one of my favorites. Candice Lerae is also probably number one on the list of WWE wrestlers who the Young Bucks would like to sign to All Elite Wrestling, so NXT is going to have to do something more with her than have her be Mrs. Gargano, or else lose her for good.
“Jaxson” is not a spelling I will recognize as a name
Oney Lorcan, the latest member of the 205 Live roster, had a match with Jaxson Ryker of the Forgotten Sons. There have been some goofy NXT names in the past, but Jaxson Ryker sounds like he was named by this lady:
Admittedly, I am much more excited about the feud developing between Oney Lorcan and Cedric Alexander on 205 Live than I am about this match Oney (also not a great name) had with Taylee Mckarty Nayvie Maylee Lakynn, but this was firmly decent.
Before you accuse me of bullying the Forgotten Sons, I am so firmly against the spelling “Jaxson” that I refused to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo when I saw that one of the kids in the first episode was named Jaxson. Also I find this Jaxson just as musty and dusty as I found his brethren last week.
Oney Lorcan’s ability to channel that rowdy vicious Boston boy energy into both heel and babyface work is really impressive to me. He did a shoot interview once where he talked about a time he broke his hand punching a car because it crashed when he was trying to drive it around a baseball field and I think about that whenever I see him. Boston culture. His offense looked great and he made Ryker’s offense look extremely strong. Ryker picked up the win. Boo. Whatever.
Keith Lee is coming back in two weeks!!
Keith Lee called one of those little NXT “press conferences” that I love so much (you know, the ones where a wrestler is talking to like four different hands holding phones) to announce that he has spoken to William Regal and his much anticipated rematch with Donovan Dijakovic will happen on NXT TV in two weeks. I’m excited for this, their work together in Beyond and Pro Wrestling Guerilla is a big part of what put both of them on WWE’s radar in the first place. I was crestfallen when Keith Lee signed because I knew I wouldn’t get to see him anymore at my local superindie, so the least NXT can do to console me is give him as many awesome matches as possible.
Editor’s note: Dijak and Lee sometimes tagged on the indie circuit as the Monstars like from Space Jam and I love that and them. Thanks. – JW
Are you excited for NXT Takeover yet?
Kairi Sane vs Bianca Belair was this week’s main event, and it was good. These two have excellent chemistry together, and they’re really able to do fun things with their size difference. I’ve long felt that Kairi Sane (much like her former Stardom compatriot, current Women of Honor champion Mayu Iwatani) is a perfect of example of how a diminutive woman in wrestling should carry herself. (Take note, Kacy Catanzaro!) Sane and Belair had an extremely competitive match, spilling outside the ring and mocking each other. I can’t decide if I liked Sane twirling her tiny ponytail or Belar’s sarcastic “ahoy” better. The match was interrupted by NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler and her lackeys, then by Io Shirai, and then by what looked like the majority of the NXT women’s locker room. There was some fun brawling, and one of my favorite things to see: Io Shirai doing a moonsault in street clothes. If you’re not pumped for the Women’s Championship fatal fourway, I don’t know what to tell you. I can’t relate to you on an essential level as a human being.
- Awesome match between Bianca Belair and Kairi Sane
- NXT women’s division is pretty stacked right now
- Io Shirai street clothes moonsault
- Court Moore cameo in the Candice Lerae segment
- More Forgotten Sons
- I hate the name Jaxson Ryker
- More filler than I want the week of Takeover