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NXT recap & reactions (May 1, 2018): Back to the Future


NXT returned to us last night (May 1) as they continue to build to an unknown TakeOver. You can find the results at the live blog here.

The Forgotten Sons def. The BritAm Brawlers & Humberto Carrillo

The Forgotten Sons feel like they’re finally coming along.

With a good showing in the Dusty Classic coupled with Jaxson really honing in on his aggression, they’re starting to find their groove.

This week, they had some excellent dance partners, which always helps. Humberto Carrillo is an excellent face in peril, selling the Son’s offense while acting like he’s really struggling out there. (He’s really fun on offense too.) And Burch and Lorcan are just a great, hard-hitting tag team to mix it up with the Sons.

The Sons getting the win makes sense. They’re the established trio and established trios should get the win over ones that aren’t. But a win for the BritAm brawlers could have set up a tag team match, which would be another great opponent for Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler. (Not that it can’t happen any way.)

Cathy Kelley tries to interview Shayna Baszler outside Full Sail. When Kelley brings up the fact Io Shirai has pinned the champ but not vice versa, Shayna knocks the mic out of her hand.

There wasn’t much here, but I was a big fan of the mic slap.

Shayna continues to be a good heel that you don’t want to say the wrong thing to.

Dominik Dijakovic def. Mansoor

After the match, Velveteen Dream is rolled out on his couch! He and the crowd sing a Dream-centric National Anthem.

This match was not a squash. And thankfully so. Those are boring.

Despite Dijakovic was still on the offensive for 90% of the match. But Mansoor kept fighting back, which allowed the crowd to become invested unlike a\ full squash. It made Dijakovic’s aggression mean more when we started caring about the person he’s brutalizing. It made me want to see more of Mansoor than Dominik, but both looked strong here.

Now let’s talk about that post match segment.

It was a rare miss for the Dream.

The song just didn’t work. A big part of it was because Dream was just so damn bad at singing, whether on purpose or not. The immediate reaction to someone singing that badly is wanting them to stop. Hell, they’ve booked entire gimmicks around that. It also meant that we weren’t able to hear many of the lines so couldn’t tell if they were creative or not.

It was a pretty good idea on paper. Dream taking Dijakovic’s weird American promo from the other week and then re-writing the National Anthem that the crowd would sing along to? That wasn’t destined to fail. But unfortunately, it kinda did.

Oh well. The Dream still rules.

KUSHIDA def. Kassius Ohno via submission with the Hoverboard Lock

This was the NXT debut of KUSHIDA so let’s break it down.

His entrance music was pretty generic, but not bad. I was a big fan of his NJPW music, which in itself was kind of generic but super catchy. This feels like a step down. Of course, they can always rework it to give it a bit more substance.

The entrance itself started with the lights off, which always feels special. Those lights came on when he threw his punch. Some minor theatrics to the entrance but not too much going on there.

The match was fun. Kassius may never win, but he’s still great. He’s embraced this a-hole heel role and is so good at it. His antics with first not shaking the newcomers hand and then using it to bait him into a kick fed into KUSHIDA shaking a dazed Ohno’s hand later as revenge. That personality from KUSHIDA felt like the biggest takeaway from the match.

It was a solid rollout of KUSHIDA, but I’m very curious where they go next with him. Is he a guy who will get the video packages for us to learn about him? Or are they going to toss him into the next feud and go from there? We’ll find out soon.

A decent show tonight. Nothing bad but nothing that knocked any socks off.

Grade: B-

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