Well, here we are. The “go home” show heading into NXT TakeOver: WarGames II. Last week’s closing moments felt pretty much like that, so let’s see if they can top it this week.
Bianca Belair vs. Mia Yim
Last week I talked about Taynara Conti’s career started a little under two years ago (professional wrestling wise) and how much potential she has. This week we got a really good look at Bianca Belair, who has about the same experience level as Conti does, but she adds a whole lot of character as well. Bianca’s cockiness in and outside of the ring is fantastic. I believe that she thinks she’s The EST of NXT. I thought this match was overall positive, definitely a showcase for Belair. Belair remains undefeated after hitting Mia Yim with her fantastic new finisher, KOD.
Cathy Kelley briefly interviews Ricochet, Pete Dunne, and the War Raiders to find out who will face Kyle O’Reilly a little later on. After some indecision between Ricochet and Dunne, Hanson announces he will be the one facing Sleezy Kyle a little later on in the evening.
We got another amazing video package to hype Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano’s match for this Saturday.
Cathy Kelley was keeping busy this episode with a backstage interview with Matt Riddle, who has a very interesting way to pronouncing the word “debut”. Kassius Ohno comes by, claims Matt Riddle is ducking him. So next week, we will see the NXT version of Ohno/Riddle. Get hyped!
Karissa Rivera vs. Lacey Evans
I’ll keep this short, because there really isn’t much to say here. NXT’s bad attempt at Liberty Bell wins with the less than satisfactory finish: a punch.
We get a hype video for Tommaso Ciampa and The Velveteen Dream’s NXT Championship match this Saturday. I’m personally excited to see Ciampa face someone other than Gargano. Following that, we got a hype video for Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler’s NXT Women’s Championship match as well. We got the following gem out of that:
LOOK AT HER SAD FACE.
Hanson vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Our main event was to determine which team would have the man advantage at this Saturday’s main event. I won’t lie, I felt like the old school NWA/WCW way worked just fine (a coin flip) but that’s just me. All remaining members of the WarGames match stayed backstage. Which was great for me, because I didn’t have to see Adam Cole for a couple of minutes. I think sometimes we forget how great of a singles wrestler Kyle O’Reilly is, but he reminded us very quickly in this match. O’Reilly worked over the much bigger Hansen’s leg for most of the match, and Hansen just out muscled him every time. Hansen hit a sweet tope suicida, and went for a moonsault as well but Adam Cole couldn’t help himself and came out for the distraction.
Despite everyone getting involved towards the end and O’Reilly using an NXT Tag Team Title to help him win, this was a pretty solid match. I especially love when Kyle O’Reilly channels D-Von Dudley’s jelly legs when selling.
Well, there you have it. I’m very excited to attend my first NXT TakeOver LIVE on Saturday. I’ll have a full report for you following that event.