It’s the first day of November but it’s still Halloween to me! Claire’s on the blog, as per usual, and I’m still in the festive mood.
Let’s talk NXT!
Everyone wants a piece of Bron Breakker. Apollo Crews, Von Wagner, and JD McDonagh. NXT made that clear this week with a couple backstage promos and the main event. Also clear in the main event? Carmelo Hayes isn’t done with Wes Lee, not by a long shot. The show started with both Bron and Wes taking mini victory laps. They felt themselves so much they challenged Pretty Deadly right on the spot for a tag team championship match.
The move confused me. Bron and Wes don’t need tag championships at all nor should either of them take a pin. But that’s when it hit me that this whole thing is about arrogance. Bron and Wes are on top of the world. Bron survived his toughest challenge yet for his championship while Wes not only got revenge on his arch nemesis but got the championship validation of which he fought so hard. So why not challenge the tag champs even though they have way more experience as a team than you do? The spirit of competition was alive and well. And it was all their fault.
The match delivered too. For a novice team. Breakker & Lee work really well together. Pretty Deadly deserve a lot of credit for that as well. They’re the champs and made Bron & Wes look like real threats. A great tag match is all about fluidity, which pretty much defined what we got here.
But the real story is the finish. Wes eventually got the top rope while Bron and Prince battled outside. Carmelo Hayes, who seemed a bit early or late based on the camera, pushed Lee off the top rope and Kit Wilson went for the schoolboy pin. An infuriated Wes Lee took a suicide dive over the top ropes onto Hayes, while Von Wager (ugh) sucker kicked (a thing) Bron into next Tuesday. Apollo and JD watched on the tv in the back in the traditionally awkward way, while JD talked about detaching Apollo’s retina. Because he’s creepy.
Wes & Bron got so cocky they forgot about the wolves clamoring for their own titles. Not sure if that’s the story WWE has in mind but that’s the one I’m going with because it’s a dope one.
Is there a Fatal 4 Way in Bron’s history? And Wes Lee vs. Melo Hayes sounds like fun. Give it another ladder or a steel cage and I might fly to Florida.
Ava Raine is the most compelling component in Schism. Yup, already. During their sit-down interview with Vic Joseph, Ava said the only person who reached out to her while on the shelf was Joe Gacy. She heard from no one else, including those claiming to know her the longest. She’s not brainwashed nor is she corrupt; she believes in what Gacy’s preaching because she wants the power.
That’s real and completely understandable. I’m not saying sign me up but I am saying I understand.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
First off, prayers for R-Truth. Early in his match with Grayson Waller, Truth came down incredibly awkward during a Sunset Flip onto the floor. And that was that; the match ended. Waller did his best with it while the trainers checked on Truth and during the post match action, which is a good look on him too.
Mandy Rose, next to Carmelo Hayes, is the best story in NXT. She told that story this week. The one about no one believing in her because she was a “blonde pinup”; a Barbie doll here for our amusement and titillation. And she’s right. That’s exactly what WWE told us she was and it’s why betting against her at every turn made sense.
She rebuilt herself in NXT as an aggressive villain who not only kicks ass, but is ruthless as she is efficient. It’s quite the turnaround and every week, she’s one of NXT’s best all-around wrestlers. Celebrating her one-year title reign brought all of this into focus, but also provided Alba Fyre with another opening.
While Mandy cut a victory lap promo, smoke rose from the ring. AND SHE KEPT TALKING. It was hilarious, almost as if she told the smoke to put some damn respect on her name.
After the smoke cleared, Alba rose from under a table, attacked Gigi Dolin, and issued a warning to Mandy & Jacy. Alba wants that title in two weeks and I gotta say I’m not looking forward to it. At least not now but as always, I remain open to changing my mind.
Edge of the Axe
Zoey Stark went headhunting this week but came up with nothing. Stark and Indi Hartwell got into it backstage so a match ensued. I actually dug the story here with Zoey losing her temper and getting frustrated as the match went on, then eventually losing control. Zoey had Indi on the ropes, literally, and took her outside the ring. Nikkita Lyons tried talking sense into her, seeing as how winning the match was impossible from that position. She yelled and pleaded as Zoey got a crazed look in her eye and set up Indi for a power bomb through the commentary table.
Once Zoey calmed down, she tossed Indi back in the ring only to get a mouthful of Indi’s boot and eventually lose the match.
Stark’s frustration from her mistake in the NXT Women’s tag title match is clearly weighing on her. And I like it. Especially going into a rematch for those same titles next week.
Wendy Choo came to life! Well, she woke up! Cora Jade wrestled Valentina Feroz, with the latter lacking Sanga by her side since Veer told him not to tag along. With Feroz clearly unfocused, Cora made quick-ish work of her opponent.
But, since Cora never leaves well enough alone, she went for a post match kendo stick attack on Feroz. Wendy Choo ran to Valentina’s rescue and looked like she belonged in the World Series the way she swung the kendo stick.
The quick dominating matches like this don’t do anything for me even if they’re clearly set ups for something else. Choo and Jade intrigues me though due to the clash of styles and personalities.
Chase U doesn’t teach cheating. Weird sentence but just follow me. Kiana James wrestled Thea Hail this week, while acknowledging the departed Bodhi in their own way. Duke Hudson, Bodhi’s replacement, stepped in as the new flag bearer for the school. Kiana dominated Thea. At one point, she pinned Thea near the ropes, so, of course Duke pulled Thea’s leg on the rope. Andre Chase said that’s a no no, and sent Duke to the locker room.
Thea lost the match because of course, and Charlie Dempsey rushed Chase in the aftermath. Duke made the save and earned just a little trust with Chase U.
Maybe this is the right spot for Duke, although it still feels weird seeing him as a part of a group when he’s traditionally solo. But I guess anything at this point is better than nothing. Right?
As a match? Meh. And even the outside drama with Duke isn’t really moving me just because it feels so...off.
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Odyssey Jones is officially back. Javier Bernal talked himself into a match with the wrong person. Side note, but Shawn Michaels’ office looks awful. Besides seemingly just a door like the APA’s office, it looks like he doesn’t use lights!
Anyway, this match showcased Jones’ initial promise and was just a warmup. Jones needs to get himself back over because this match just lacked the juice for me to truly care.
This was a pretty flat show minus a couple moments. The main event rocked and the character stuff on the show worked for me, but the matches, for the most part, left me very underwhelmed. The show evens out to a very whelmed experience. Shoutout to you Young Justice fans reading this.
That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.