NXT Thoughts: The Road to San Antonio Starts Here
First of all, I am so glad NXT are back at Full Sail this week. It was a nice novelty seeing footage from Osaka and Melbourne over the past month, but between the clipped title matches and the longer broadcasts, a month is a long time to watch what were basically house shows with WWE cameras filming. I could have done a NXT report for last week's Melbourne show, but the action outside of DIY vs. TM-61 was pretty mundane and we already saw the Nakamura-Joe cage match. So, I'm happy we're back at Full Sail, where storylines advance and the action means way more- and speaking of action, DIY were again the highlight against some familiar foes.
-Kicking off the show with "breaking news" and the footage of Peyton and Billie attacking Asuka in the parking lot (or car park as we call them in Australia). I LOVE stuff like this. One of my favourite things about the Attitude Era was the way the cameras went everywhere, arena, backstage, parking lot, whatever. Always love a good change of scenery. Scumbag people watching and not intervening though!
-The Peyton/Billie double act is starting to really work for me. Hot and aggressive, just the way I like- I've said too much. But seriously, the characters have edge, and I like their creative double team finisher. Still need some promo work though.
-Asuka coming down injured to fight both the Aussie girls probably crossed the line between bravery and stupidity, but it made for a cool visual.
-Who does The Drifter have incriminating photos of? Terry Taylor? William Regal? Triple H? Seth Rollins? Okay, so that last one is pretty attainable. Point is, Elias Samson is terrible in just about every way. A minute in real time is like 5 minutes when dealing with Samson.
-On the other end of things, I've been really impressed with Andrade "Cien" Almas and Oney Lorcan in recent weeks and months. They showed that they had good chemistry in Osaka and it continued at Full Sail, albeit in a shorter and slightly less competitive match. Lorcan's blockbuster off the steps was so cool that I can almost overlook his terrible name. Almost.
-Main event of DIY vs. Revival! No way this could suck. Both teams deliver fire in that ring, like bad Mexican food. Sorry, probably not the best simile to use. I've seen them wrestle several times (including live in Sydney for the clear MOTN) but it never gets old. Revival are masterful in cutting the ring off, Gargano is a master of garnering sympathy, Ciampa has the aggression down for a babyface hot tag. Great near falls and while not up to the standard of the Takeover matches, probably in the lead right now for WWE match of the year**
-As much as I'm not a fan of Authors of Pain, especially not them getting a title shot after nearly killing a jobber the other week, the post match angle was well done. Also liked Regal's little bit of matchmaking for Takeover San Antonio. He's the most effective authority figure in WWE due to appearing in small doses. Broadcasting announcements from his office give the impression that he's very calculated and doesn't make rash decisions.
**I deliberately said "WWE" match of the year because I went and watched Omega vs. Okada after reading all the plaudits it received. I don't know if it's the best match ever as some are claiming, but it certainly was incredible.
Until next time, take care,