Wednesday, October 24th
RESULTS: EC3 over Adam Cole, Mia Yim over Aliyah, Kassius Ohno over Justin Xavier
-The closing segment was great. William Regal was in the ring and about to announce the NXT title match for TakeOver when he was interrupted by Tommaso Ciampa. This turned into a procession of interruptions as Velveteen Dream and Lars Sullivan made their cases for the title match. Then, Nikki Cross showed up and warned that “he’s coming” referring to Aleister Black. They cut outside the building and Black and is wrecking dudes with Black Mass kicks and the crowd roared at this entrance. Black made it to the ring, hit a Black Mass onto Sullivan and asked Regal, “where is he?” He turned around and was hit with a superkick from Johnny Gargano, who ended by stating, “I’m right here”.
-Black was awesome in this closing segment and felt like the ultimate kickass babyface, who destroyed anything in his path before being blindsided by Gargano. The direction looks to be a five-way match for the NXT title at TakeOver with Gargano presumed to be the attacker on Black. I’m not a fan of multi-person matches for the title, but they set this one up effectively.
-There was a nice video teaser for Matt Riddle, who will be wrestling on next week’s episode. He looks to be earmarked for a match with Kassius Ohno at TakeOver and that’s a perfect opponent for his first big NXT match. He’s going to be an enormous star in this environment.
-Mauro Ranallo was accepting a mental health advocacy award on the night of these tapings and was replaced by Vic Joseph. Of all the shows for Ranallo to miss, the man that popularized “Mamma Mia” in professional wrestling wasn’t there for the easiest call in the world when Mia Yim won her debut match on the show. They stated Ranallo would be returning at TakeOver next month.
-Kassius Ohno won a quick squash match over Justin Xavier and it was a fun match. Ohno in these short strike heavy matches is great. He bullied Xavier, yelled that this wasn’t what he was asking for from Regal and led to a brief Xavier comeback. Ohno turned Xavier by the wrist and landed the rolling elbow to win. Nikki Cross came out and warned that “he’s coming”.
-The show opened with a promo from The Undisputed Era to officially announce that Bobby Fish is healthy, and they are back to 100%. EC3 interrupted and ran down the group, stating that Cole did not deserve a North American title rematch with Ricochet. It may have been me, but it seemed like EC3 is adopting speech patterns from Yoda for his promos. This led to a match with Cole and EC3 that the latter won after ducking the Last Shot and rolling up Cole. While he isn’t the smoothest, I thought EC3 worked very hard in this match to hang with Cole and it was noticeable. It was a good television match.
-Bianca Belair is campaigning for the next women’s title shot and was berating Regal backstage to be the next contender.
-After the loss, Undisputed Era laid out EC3 on the floor and Cole hit the Last Shot to the back of the head on the stage. Fish went a step further and attacked EC3’s right knee with a big chair shot as the Undisputed Era was trying to calm him, so he’s the loose cannon of the bunch. Regal made a match with Cole & Fish against the War Raiders for next week.
-The highlights were the opening and closing segments and made for an enjoyable show. Again, I really liked the closing segment where you got a pretty clear wrap up to the mysterious attacker, set up your main event, and made Aleister Black feel like a megastar. Black has so many special gifts and he could be something gigantic if left to his devices. It’s always a crapshoot with the move to the main roster and whether he’ll adjust.