One More Chance
First off, Bron Breakker and Tyler Bate capped Worlds Collide with a very strong match. No pun intended. On a show filled with good matches, it was the perfect cherry on top of NXT’s rainbow sundae. They showcased their power, their technical skill, and told a story of two very strong boys outmuscling each other. They gave us several great false finishes that built on the idea that this truly was a toss-up. And in most toss-up matches, it came down to who makes the biggest mistake and who capitalizes.
Bron’s first mistake? Hitting his Military Press Slam and pinning Tyler too close to the ropes. Tyler’s first mistake? Not getting all of his Tyler Driver ‘97, which gave Bron just enough of an opening to kick out. Third time was a charm for one of these cats. But whom? If you looked at the image for this story or just know what happened, then you already know. For everyone else, come ride with me through the match’s third act, which was the best part of the bout.
Tyler put his foot on the rope and escaped an L. Bron, frustrated and a little worried, pulled off both straps and marched to the corner for the spear. Throughout the match, both men showed how well they scouted each other, so leave it to Tyler to underline that point one more time with a kick to Bron’s head to counter the spear. Tyler tried beating Bron with a victory roll but no dice, so he went back to the ropes to go for his second rebound lariat after Bron kicked out of his first attempt. Bron knew it was coming this time though, and speared Tyler in mid-air. I’m good with words but that scene deserves your eyes instead of my letters, words, and periods. It happened so fast and the seemingly shook the entire building.
Bron got the W, unified the belts, and Tyler showed his sportsmanship as the two hugged it out in the middle of the ring.
Good match, solid story, and a good ending. Bron as the unified champ gives him more competition since I kept theorizing that his time in NXT was coming to an end. Eventually, he’s going to the main roster because he’s ready. Until then, his current reign’s tenor means whoever knocks him off is going to be a very big deal. Bron, much like Mandy, is in legacy building mode in NXT 2.0
Me championing Mandy Rose is nothing new for this space. In fact, I argued for putting respect on her name before it became her catchphrase. The irony there is I picked against her in this match but not because I didn’t think she was worthy of a win. The exact opposite; I believe Mandy is growing beyond her division in NXT and needs a bigger pool in which to swim. There’s only but so much more she can do in NXT after defeating everyone and dominating for so long. At a certain point, it’s time to take her show on the road.
Apparently, that time is not now
Mandy announced this was a completely solo venture for her because she not only talks the talk but she walks the walk. And walk she did. She teamed with Blair Davenport early to neutralize Meiko Satomura, then hung with the legend step for step when she saw fit. All three women put on a hell of a match, but Mandy was the focal point. She exchanged heavy blows with Meiko, showing she’s worthy of every accolade at the end of her name and why underestimating her is silly. Anytime it was Blair vs. Meiko, Mandy interjected herself even if it meant sacrificing some rest and recuperation. It’s a fascinating character arc for someone who started her reign as a heel willing to do whatever to keep her belt. Now that she’s beyond all of that, her goal is different. It’s why she came to the ring without Gigi and Jacy, and why this “underdog” status insults her so. I get it and it’s a pretty compelling story.
Perfectly illustrating that idea, Mandy won the match when both opponents took their eyes off of her. She nailed Meiko with a Kiss from a Rose while Meiko went for a pin attempt on Blair. Blair took the pin, Meiko licked her wounds, and Mandy defied expectations yet again.
Good match with an even better story.
Anyone familiar with Mortal Kombat understands the mirror match concept. It’s the part of the game where your fighter squares off against themselves. The tricky part of it, if the game isn’t on easy mode, is that the mirror opponent knows your every move and has a counter. That’s what Carmelo Hayes and Ricochet gave us at World’s Collide; a mirror match between two guys who are, in a lot of ways, carbon copies of one another.
For most of this entertaining match, they told the story of two guys who barely beat each other to the punch. It wasn’t even about countering moves so much as it revolved around who can do the exact same moves faster and better than their opponent. But the one thing Ricochet didn’t have is his own Trick Williams. Trick distracted Ricochet whenever Melo was in serious trouble. Trick acted as a fly, bugging Ricochet and throwing him off his game long enough for Melo to regain his composure. And that’s how Trick won the match. Ricochet had Melo in the drop zone for his finisher, only for Trick to do what Trick does best. That bought Melo enough time to reverse Ricochet’s top rope finisher into an inside cradle and go home with the W.
At this point, what is left for Melo to do in NXT outside of tangoing for the main title? We gotta move him up or tell him to move on to the main roster.
Why, Damon, Why?
There was a lot of chaos in this tag elimination match, as there normally is in matches of this type. Especially when the teams involved dislike each other with the intensity of 1000 suns.
Briggs & Jensen found themselves eliminated first, which isn’t too surprising given the teams involved. That’s no diss to them, but there’s more storytelling and pedigree with their three opponents. Sorry, boys. We’ll always have “yee haw, bitch.”
Then the Bros. Creed eliminated Gallus, which was very surprising. For the past couple weeks on TV, they built Gallus up as this unstoppable ball of chaos, so for them to go out was a weird move. But, if the point of the match was to get us back to Pretty Deadly and The Creeds, who have an unresolved history.
This led to more chaos as the eliminated teams brawled on the entrance ramp because, again, their hatred is unyielding. That madness led to another ref bump because, as I keep saying, refs are fragile, which provided an opening for Damon Kemp. Kemp got him some of Pretty Deadly then hyped up Julius to get the W. Except for, ya know, that chair he swung into Julius’ back. Pretty Deadly got the win and Damon walked away in disgust.
Prior to the match, officials found Roderick Strong laid out in the NXT parking lot. Laid out to the point he needed medical attention and Ivy Nile went to the “local medical facility” with him. Are the things connected? More than likely yes. But we won’t know that for sure until the next episode—shoutout to Dr. Dre.
Pretty Deadly as the unified champs makes sense. They can do a lot with those belts as heel champs, while doing a lot for Lash Legend. And it’s not like these teams are done fighting each other any time soon, especially with the Creeds having the Damon excuse.
Fun match, a bit of a mess at times, but like I said, that comes with the territory.
Katana Chance & Kayden Carter defeated Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. How? Well, they owe a lot of their victory to Toxic Attraction. Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne are incensed anyone but them has a chance at beating the champs. They’re more incensed that their replacements in the tag tournament, Doudrop and Nikki, got a shot at their championships. That’s doubly insulting.
Jacy and Gigi attacked Nikki, Carter & Chance pinned Doudrop, and the rest is history.
This was a good show. Most of the matches delivered while the opening bout stood out as great. The show flew by, which is always great, and we effectively closed one chapter of NXT and put the pen to another.
That’s my grade and I’m sticking to it. Your turn.