NXT Hits and Misses 4.22.20 w/ The Chairman
This week on NXT after their encounter last week, the main event was set with Finn Balor taking on Velveteen Dream. Of course in typical WWE/NXT fashion, we got the old bait and switch. Balor was announced at the start of the show that he was taken out and nowhere to be found. Of course we don’t know who did it. Was it Dream? Was is Undisputed Era? Was it Imperium? We’ll have to wait and see. Adam Cole was in the building and confronted Dream at the start of the show. Dream was ambushed by Cole, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish. Keith Lee made the save setting up the new main event of the evening. Keith Lee and Velveteen Dream vs Adam Cole and Roderick Strong.
HIT: Another Chapter in the Dakota Kai/Tegan Nox War
Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez took on Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart. Shotzi last week got herself involved in this war to help Tegan overcome the odds. This was your standard tag team match. Raquel did all the work being she’s the muscle of the heel team and Dakota picked and chose her moments to get involved. Tegan and Shotzi gave it their best, but they were unable to slow down the powerful Raquel Gonzalez who pinned Shotzi. Looks like this rivalry isn’t stopping anytime soon folks, but perhaps we could get a breather for a week or two from it.
HIT: The Final Days of Drake Maverick
NXT focused on Drake Maverick’s recent release and are playing this into a storyline. I have mixed feelings regarding this, but I’m here to review the match. A desperate Drake Maverick is determined to win the NXT Crusierweight Championship while a newcomer Jake Atlas wants to make his mark. This was a solid contest and the first time I remember Drake Maverick actually being in a legit match during his WWE/NXT tenure. The story definitely made some folks sympathetic for Maverick hoping he could overcome the odds, but there was no fairy tale ending here. Atlas with a cartwheel DDT secured the victory and scored the first points in the A block.
HIT: Kushida and Tony Nese Face Off in A Block
Former Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese touched on winning the title at Wrestlemania 35 and how he never lost it when involved in a triple threat match at Stomping Grounds where he wasn’t part of the decision. Nese vows to win the title back and knows Kushida is a tough opponent, but he never faced the Premier Athlete. This was a decent match and sure enough the commentary team pointed out Kushida being a favorite in the tournament as many of us fans expect. Kushida made Nese tap out giving Kushida his first win in the tournament.
MISS: Mia Yim Squash
Mia Yim at this point in her NXT tenure doesn’t need a squash match, but here we are. In a era where it’s hard to get invested into live action wrestling, we don’t need a snoozer of a squash match. Mia Yim made quick work of Jessi Kamea for a tune up with Charlotte Flair. Flair confronted Mia Yim and said she wants to face wrestlers in the deepest women’s division in wrestling starting with Yim. Next week these two collide.
HIT: The Gentleman Faces El Hijo del Fantasma
Gentleman Jack Gallagher complete with new ink and a new attitude takes on newcomer El Hijo del Fantasma. Gallagher believe it or not has been around for four years and never won the title yet. Fantasma of course has worlds of experience and now brings his talent to NXT. Fantasma managed to defeat Gallagher to start off the B block on the right foot.
HOLD: Velveteen Dream Finds an Unlikely Ally
This segment was a mess. Originally it was supposed to be Balor and Dream, but that was changed to Keith Lee and Dream against Roderick Strong and Adam Cole. Now Damian Priest takes out Lee before the match by striking him in the throat with a nightstick being they’re facing each other next week for Lee’s North American Championship. Bobby Fish gets ejected from ringside while this is going on. Dream then goes this match alone and of course is at a two on one disadvantage. All the sudden Dexter Lumis shows up and joins Velveteen Dream as his partner? Lumis contained Strong leaving Cole vulnerable for the Purple Rainmaker giving Dream a victory over the NXT Champion. So Cole eats a pin in a tag match and anybody that knows me knows how much I despise that. Dream was already pretty much the number one contender, did he really need to pin Cole in a throw together tag team match. Honestly this match should’ve been Fish and Strong taking losses and not Cole. I’m holding on all of this and seeing where it’s going, but I’m going to either like or hate the payoff when we get there.
Another episode in the books. Next week we get Keith Lee in a North American Championship match against Damian Priest and Charlotte Flair facing Mia Yim. More than likely some more Crusierweight matches as well. Thanks for reading.