05th Jul2018

‘WWE NXT’ Review (July 4th 2018)

by Nathan Favel

nxt-logo

Welcome to this week’s NXT. I’m Nathan Favel and we should get right to the fights!

Match #1: Dakota Kai beat Santana Garrett – Women’s Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Dakota Kai had her work cut out for her against fellow former Mae Young Classic competitor Santana Garrett. Yet, with Lacey Evans taunting Kai over recent losses, the Kiwi Superstar refused to be anything less than victorious tonight. Garrett contorted and stretched Kai’s body with submission holds, including an artfully applied Muta Lock, but The Captain of Team Kick turned things around with a step-up enzuigiri. Kai then demolished Garrett with a pair of boots in the corner before putting her away with a flipping backstabber that Nigel McGuinness called the “Kai De Grâce.”

Kai continues to transform from doe-eyed to laser-focused before the NXT Universe’s eyes. But will her latest win do anything to silence The Lady of NXT?

My Take: These two had a pretty nice outing here, with some good action all around. There was a nice, even amount of ground-work and kicks that could make the Rockettes jealous. Kai is a really entertaining fighter and has lots of upside and Garrett ain’t too far off either.

Match #2: The Mighty beat Otis Dozovic in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After Tucker Knight was ambushed by unidentified attackers in the WWE Performance Center weight room earlier today, leaving Otis Dozovic without a partner for Heavy Machinery’s scheduled match against The Mighty, much of the NXT Universe fingered Shane Thorne & Nick Miller as the likely culprits. (Thorne & Miller were, after all, seen hightailing away from the scene). Whether or not The Mighty were to blame, Dozovic sure acted like they were. Screaming that nobody messes with his brother, the steaks-and-weights-loving big man steamrolled Thorne & Miller with clotheslines, elbow drops and a double suplex during the 2-on-1 Handicap Match. He withstood The Mighty’s double-team offense, too, though the numbers disadvantage eventually caught up to him.

A late-game Vader Bomb missed the mark when Miller pulled Thorne out of Dozovic’s path. Miller then shoved Otis into a northern lariat by Thorne, putting the Heavy Machinery member down for the count. Even though they enjoyed a clear advantage in the 2-on-1 setting, that didn’t stop The Mighty from celebrating like it was the biggest triumph of their careers.

My Take: As handicap matches go, this was a decent installment in the annals of handicap wrestling (I can’t believe I just said that handicap matches have annals… what if people think it’s a sodomy joke?) There were lots of big moves here that seemed to exist just to fill time, but at least they gave you some-thing fun to look at. I guess not all matches can be real winners, but as long as they give you a peak at what an athlete can do, then they’re all right.

Match #3: Velveteen Dream beat Chris Dijak

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Competing in only his second match on WWE Network — against the incomparable Velveteen Dream, no less — newcomer Chris Dijak gave the entire NXT Universe something to feast their eyes on. Though Dijak wound up losing the battle, the 6-foot-7 juggernaut put himself on the map with mind-blowing displays of power, such as launching Dream across the ring with a release suplex. Dream eventually tripped up Dijak, literally, by pulling his feet out from under him and causing Dijak to slam face-first onto the steel steps. Velveteen Dream then followed up with a wicked quick-pivot DDT for the win.

Dream took his time in the ring savoring his hard-fought victory, and he looked befuddled, if not annoyed when EC3 entered the arena for his main event showdown with Johnny Gargano. With tensions still running high after Dream abandoned EC3 during their tag team match in London, this latest offense is unlikely to calm matters between the two.

My Take: There wasn’t too much going on with this match, but Dijak looked good here with one of the most vivid characters to come to the WWE in quite some time. The action was swift yet precise and the crowd seemed to have a good time, which is always at the top of the to-do list. Overall, this was a fun little thing.

Match #4: Main Event – Johnny Gargano beat EC3

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Johnny Gargano is a changed man. Bearing little resemblance to the cool and collected sportsman known as Johnny Wrestling, Gargano channeled the viciousness of his arch-rival, Tommaso Ciampa, to topple EC3 in a hard-hitting main event. The Top One Percent may have been expecting a wrestling match, but what he got was a fight. Gargano threw punches and pushed the pace, while EC3 relied on his incredible strength to stop Gargano before he could gain too much momentum. Johnny Wrestling almost cinched in the Gargano Escape, but EC3 countered by deadlifting Gargano into an explosive powerbomb for a near fall.

As a fatigued EC3 sat up in a position reminiscent of Ciampa at TakeOver: Chicago II, Gargano seemingly interpreted EC3’s body language as evoking The Blackheart. Gargano snapped. He locked in the Gargano Escape twice (vindictively reapplying it near the ropes after EC3 had forced the break) and drilled EC3 with an exposed knee, a la Ciampa. Gargano was momentarily appalled by his own actions, but still hit The Top One Percent with a draping DDT (the same move that Ciampa beat Gargano with in Chicago) to claim victory.

Johnny Gargano has found a dark place in his rebel heart, and there’s no telling if he’s going to leave anytime soon.

My Take: The whole idea here was that Gargano is becoming more evil as a result of Tommaso Ciampa attacking him over the past year or so. Rather than the sincere Johnny Wrestling angle Gargano has used over the years, Gargano went full bastard on EC3, who was booked to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. EC3 has been good since he’s returned to the WWE, but he still leaves a little to be desired when it comes to the wrestling part of the sport. I think these two matched up very well and Gargano came across as a big deal here, especially his offense, which seems to speak for itself. The idea of Gargano playing a temporary anti-hero is a nice change of pace, but it should all lead back to him re-affirming his morals at the end of the feud with Ciampa. Any-way, this was the best match of the card and one of the best of the week.

News of the Night:

  1. Shayna Baszler challenged the NXT women’s roster to beat her.

Final Verdict: This was a solid episode that had an excellent main event.

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