Monday, May 11, 2020

WWE NXT Review - May 6th, 2020

May 6th
Orlando, FL

Commentators - Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, & Tom Phillips

1) Johnny Gargano vs. Dominik Dijakovic

I love heel Candice, but Gargano is still meh to me. Dijakovic does shit a big man shouldn't do and that's his biggest draw and it can be fun so this was alright. Candice came down to tease interference. This also being a TV match didn't allow Gargano to go into melo-drama mode so that also helped the case. Very fun back and forth match. Gargano wins when all is said and done and the self proclaimed king & queen of NXT continue their quest.

Match rating - ***1/4

Replay of Imperium attacking Riddle & Thatcher last week. They stake their claim for the NXT Tag Team Championship. I AM READY.

Io Shorai is warming up backstage for her title match with Charlotte. Queeeeeen.

2) Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher - Cruserweight Title Tournament Match

Fresh off another week of being squashed on Raw, Tozawa is expected to be taken serious by the majority. Poor Tozawa :( but he actually looked really good here. He & Jack seem to have some chemistry and things start out strong. However, as you'd expect, it ends before it can really turn into anything. Tozawa gets the win after an apron bump and a senton off the top rope.

Match rating - **1/2

Post-match, Tozawa sends a simple message to Fantasma - "I will beat you"

TONIGHT: Cole defends the NXT Title against Velveteen Dream

Charlotte preps for her first title defense since WrestleMania

3) Xia Li vs. Chelsea Green (w/ Robert Stone)

Green charges Li at the bell and this is intense from the jump. Alliyah runs down for the interference and it looks like the Li/Alliyah feud is continuing which I don't mind. This ends up giving Green the assist and Robert Stone puts his hand out for her post-match, teasing adding her to his fold with Green.

Match rating - **1/2

4) Karrion Kross (w/ Scarlett) vs. Leon Ruff

Good debut for Kross. Tom Phillips nailed it with the line "Karrion Kross is the damn devil. What the hell did NXT just let in it's doors?" A lot of people hated on their entrance with Scarlett lip syncing the words etc but I didn't HATE it. It fits the very cinematic vibe WWE has been doing with a lot of stuff lately. Kross destroys Ruff in a minute or so.

Match rating - **1/2

5) Charlotte (c) vs. Io Shorai - NXT Women's Title Match

I hate giving almost every match on this show the same rating, but when the action is fun, and it also accomplishes something or continues a story in a timely manner, I can't think of a better rating than a solid **1/2 - same thing here. Sure, you don't like to see title matches end in a DQ, but this whole thing was good. Up until the DQ, in the DQ, and after the DQ. It protects Shorai and keeps her in title picture, brings out Rhea Ripley, and causes a lot of mayhem in the women's division. So, yeah, Charlotte got disqualified for using a kendo stick after 8-9 mins. Rhea attacks Charlotte post match. Io is pissed at her for getting involved, I guess and argues her backstage.

Match rating - **1/2

Pull apart brawl between Io Shorai and Rhea Ripley backstage. GIMME THAT MATCH.

6) KUSHIDA vs. Jake Atlas - Cruserweight Title Tournament Match

This was the shortest of all the tourney matches so far. They seem to be getting less and less time. KUSHIDA catches Atlas in mid-air in the armbar and Atlas taps immediately.

Match rating - *3/4

Finn Balor seems to think a newcomer attacked him two weeks ago. Balor says they won't get the push they want when the bell rings, it will be a squash.

7) Cameron Grimes vs. Denzel Dejournette 

Squash. Trevor Lee with a cowboy hat wins. Post-match, Grimes says he wishes someone else wouldn't have beaten him to the punch on attacking Finn Balor. This brings out Balor who dares Grimes to slap him. It breaks down and Balor takes him out. Balor says he will find the snake that's hiding in the NXT locker room.

8) Adam Cole (c) vs. Velveteen Dream - NXT Championship Match

This was like a compact version of the NXT Title 'epics' we normally get on Takeover's so I was pretty unphased. Buncha moves then Undisputed Era runs down only for Dexter Lumis to slide from under the ring. He throws Roddy into the ref by accident. This allows Cole to get the advantage and inevitably pin Dream to retain the title.

Match rating - **1/4

Full thoughts: First half of the show was solid, but the second half sorta fell off for me and was a little harder to sit through. Still looking forward to next week though to see what's next for Finn Balor and also the Charlotte/Io/Ripley stuff PLUS Imperium/Thatcher & Riddle hell yeah!

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