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NXT recap & reaction (May 8, 2019): Both These Guys, indeed

NXT returned last night (May 8) with their last episode from this set of tapings. You can find the results at the live blog here.

Bianca Belair def. Mia Yim

This match was all about the attitude.

Both of these women are badasses who aren’t going to take crap from anyone. And that clashed in this match. They both love to trash talk and when Bianca tried to disrespect her opponent like she loves to do, Mia wasn’t going to have it. It was an enjoyable mesh of attitudes. One that could one day lead to a tag team if NXT needs a duo to challenge for the Women’s tag team titles. (Though I wonder if that’s actually ever going to happen.)

Not that they’re burying the hatchet any time soon given this match ended with some bad blood.

Despite the extremely creative finish (Belair using her braid to leverage the ropes for a dirty pin), putting her over Mia was surprising. While Belair has the higher ceiling, Mia really could use a marquee win in NXT given she’s meandered since joining the roster.

This being NXT, they get the benefit of the doubt to tell us a story. If this feud continues based off this finish, great. But if this was a one off match and Mia is back to meandering, that’s not a good decision. Bianca is already associated as a main event talent. Whatever the plan is needs to elevate Mia as well.

Security footage show the Forgotten Sons putting a three on two beatdown on the Viking Raiders

The biggest takeaway on this security footage beatdown was how the Sons pulled their truck up to block the exit. It’s a calculating move that you’d see with a mob hit. I dig it! It makes them feel more dangerous.

We’ll hear from the Viking Raiders next week, and this’ll likely lead to a match.

Shayna Baszler is watching Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke spar when Io Shirai runs in and attacks her. They all need to be separated.

Oh man, give me all of warpath Io!

She ran in to attack Baszler knowing a 3 on 1 beatdown would be coming her way. Maybe she figured the rest of the PC would break it up, but it’s more likely she’s just gone full berserker rage.

Let’s see more of it.

Raul Mendoza def. Riddick Moss

Coming into this match, I would have sworn this was all about getting Riddick Moss over, given it was his return from surgery that NXT’s preview talked about in their article. And during the match, Riddick seemed to be the focus of commentary. But Raul looked like the more impressive of the two, and then picked up the win.

The immediate first impression on Moss’ “Riddick Regimen” is that it’s pretty dumb. He worked it into the match by using some workout props, He’d yell at the referee that she doesn’t count as fast as they do in the Riddick Regimen.

It was eye rolling, but at the same time, who’s more annoying than the guy who won’t shut up about his gym regimen so maybe it’s actually a genius heel gimmick? Time will tell.

Matt Riddle def. Adam Cole via submission

Roderick Strong tired to help out at the end, though didn’t straight up cost Cole the win. Cole didn’t see it that way though, telling Strong he would have had the match if it weren’t for him. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly try to play peacekeeper.

Both these guys, indeed.

This was a fantastic main event match between both guys who are the total package. Great in the ring and great characters.

Adam Cole continues to be a great douchey heel. We could point to the trash talk in the middle of the match, but the best moment was the devious smile on his face after he stomped on Riddle’s bare foot to get the advantage.

Riddle is fantastic as well. They continue to showcase his angry streak which really rounds out the character. It takes him from one dimensional stoner bro to a man who can snap into another level. It makes him feel dangerous in the ring, and it’s a level of psychology they can work into matches.

These two guys and Velveteen Dream are a trio that can bolster this brand as long as they need it.

While it’s not surprising the way it went down, the fracturing of the Undisputed ERA is being unfolded very well. It is consisting subtle things that are understandable that keep compounding on itself. This week, Roddy Strong didn’t even cost Adam the match. At least not the way Cole cost Strong the match against Gargano.

But Cole was pissed anyway. Which is understandable. He just lost a very competitive match and athletes are never in a good mood after losing. Given he and Strong have been having some issues, it makes sense to take it out on him.

Meanwhile, Fish and O’Reilly are in the middle trying to play peacemaker but it’s getting harder and harder.

We have no idea where this will land but the journey so far has been well executed so I’m excited to find out where they take it next.

Good episode of the professional wrestling tonight. Even the developmental showcase match was enjoyable. And hey, no wild card!

Grade: A-

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