Wednesday, October 31st, 2018
RESULTS: Nikki Cross over Mercedes Martinez, Street Profits over The Mighty, Matt Riddle over Luke Menzies, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch over Humberto Carrillo & Raul Mendoza
-On this week’s show, it concluded with a huge brawl involving The Undisputed Era with the War Raiders, Ricochet & Pete Dunne and led to William Regal’s announcement they would meet in the War Games match at TakeOver on November 17th in Los Angeles. I liked how it started with Undisputed Era doing their usual promo with the music underneath, so you feel like it’s a pre-tape, but then someone grabbed Adam Cole, the music ended, and it was War Raiders stopping them mid-promo. They fought outside and into the arena and built to Dunne’s music playing to help the babyfaces. Overall, a good segment and should be a terrific match at TakeOver.
-Regal announced Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT title and Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano at TakeOver as well. Black was searching for Gargano, who not at the arena. He confronted Candice LeRae, who has changed her hair and was wearing black lipstick.
-Matt Riddle debuted on television with a short submission win over former Rugby player Luke Menzies. Riddle was the most popular person on this show and the audience treated him like a superstar. If you’ve never seen Matt Riddle in your life, I can see people believing his entrance is too silly for a top guy, but in time the charm of Riddle will erase that. His charisma is through the roof and he felt like a big deal. Nigel McGuinness stated, “he is a man that has trouble with authority.” Riddle won with the Bro Mission. On WWE.com, they did a segment with Kassius Ohno stopping Riddle and Keith Lee, stating he likes “new shiny toys” and likes breaking them.
-This show focused heavily on several tag teams to emphasize the depth they have in their strongest division. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch won a short, but fun match over Humberto Castillo & Raul Mendoza. This is everything you want in a short television match as Castillo & Mendoza got to shine with their incredible speed and getting plenty of offense during the short match. I always enjoy Lorcan & Burch, they never lose your attention and work such a fun style match in this format.
-There was also a tag match with The Street Profits (not recognized as EVOLVE champions) defeating The Mighty. This turned into a good match as well with Montez Ford standing out a lot. Ford is a tremendous athlete and works well in a tag team but has high upside when he eventually breaks off from Angelo Dawkins. Thorne used a cross-legged jackknife cover, which he beat Ford in their last match with, but this time Ford kicked out. Ford survived a superplex after Dawkins saved and Ford pinned Thorne after a springboard frog splash. The tag division is incredible in NXT, but this match emphasized how deep their tag division goes as either of these teams would have an incredible tag title match at a TakeOver, if they had the time.
-The show started putting the pieces in place for the TakeOver card with the key programs about to peak for Los Angeles next month and have been simmering for a long time. This is where the slow pace of NXT storylines payoff because you’ve been following the story, they book long-terms and now it’s time to get set for the payoff with everything coming together. None of the matches were stellar, but for a series of shorter television matches, they each had something to offer and this was an easy show to watch.
-Next week’s show will feature Velveteen Dream vs. Lars Sullivan with the story that Sullivan is pissed he didn’t get the title shot against Ciampa for TakeOver.