Did you miss NXT this week? Well, I’m here to make it all better. It’s the weekly NXT Report Card, right here at Last Word on Pro Wrestling.
So, what in the world happened with DIY in the closing moments of NXT Takeover: Chicago? Additionally, was Bobby Roode able to retain his NXT Championship and hold off Hideo Itami? Finally, what did Velveteen Dream have in store for his debut? Let’s find out, shall we?
NXT Report Card: (5/24/17) – Velveteen Dream Comes True
Match: Aleister Black vs. Curt Hawkins
Opening up the first post-Takeover: Chicago show was Aleister Black. Once again, Black’s entrance was absolutely chilling as he made his way to the ring. This week, Curt Hawkins had the displeasure of facing Black in the ring. Hawkins is still keeping up with this Chuck Norris-esque gimmick, and I’m not quite sure why. One thing is for sure though; Curt Hawkins is no Chuck Norris.
This one was over quickly and painlessly. Well, unless your name is Curt Hawkins. After a few devastating kicks, the man formerly known as Tommy End reigned supreme. With one powerful Black Mass kick, Black was done with this match. Maybe it’s time for Curt Hawkins to Face the Fact: maybe WWE just doesn’t like him that much.
Segment Grade: B
Video Recap: D.I.Why?
Anyone that watched the closing match of Takeover: Chicago knows exactly what happened here. If you didn’t, I’ll fill you in. In short, Tommaso Ciampa attacked Johnny Gargano after the match, ending DIY. It was bound to happen, but this heel turn might be the slowest burn of all time. In any case, this segment gets an A+ from me on its name alone.
Segment Grade: A+
Match: Velveteen Dream vs. Robert Anthony
Oh my god, this guy is hilarious. Velveteen Dream might be the most flamboyant star on the yellow brand today, and it’s not really even close. As with all new NXT stars, Dream pulled no punches in his opening match. Along with fantastic poses throughout his match, Velveteen Dream was actually brutal. Following an elbow drop with an astounding vertical leap, Robert Anthony was finished. Don’t let the purple paisley tights fool you; Velveteen Dream is here to stay, and he is serious.
Please, please let him feud and/or tag team with Aleister Black one day. The “polar opposites” dynamic is too hilarious to ignore. Either way, I’m really excited to see more of the Dream, and yellow brand fans should be too.
Segment Grade: B+
Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Wesley Blake
Logistically, did Wesley Blake ever stand a real chance against Drew McIntyre? Well, probably not. McIntyre is on a rampage right now and has much bigger fish to fry than Wesley Blake. However, that didn’t stop this main event from being actually really good. So let’s get into it.
Drew McIntyre, since coming back to the WWE, is a completely different wrestler. Since moving on from his “Chosen One” gimmick, McIntyre has become more agile and fun to watch. In this bout, he showcased his supreme strength and athleticism. Starting off with some stiff slaps (followed with “Woo!”), McIntyre was ready to give Blake what for. However, Blake was able to fight back and actually gain the upper hand. Now, I give both Blake and McIntyre a lot of credit for what I’m about to say. Even when McIntyre was down and somewhat out, he always looked tough. That’s a lot of credit to McIntyre’s selling and Blake’s style.
Getting back to the match, McIntyre eventually retook the upper hand and headed for the top rope. Again, something he rarely did back in 2010 and 2011. Following a downright massive powerbomb, this one started to pick up. What followed was ten minutes of incredible back and forth action. I couldn’t count how many times momentum changed between these two in the final ten minutes alone. Wesley Blake showcased his resilience throughout this match, but in the end, it just wasn’t enough. After a thunderous single leg Yakuza, Drew McIntyre walked out victorious.
Segment Grade: A
A Hundred Words or Less
For those who said, “Too long; didn’t read”, I offer you this. Tonight’s NXT in one hundred words or less.
As with every post-Takeover show, this one basically rebooted the NXT universe. Aleister Black once agained emerged as a supreme competitor, and he should absolutely team with Velveteen Dream. Speaking of the Dream, he debuted tonight and was…menacingly hilarious? In our main event, we saw Drew McIntyre and Wasley Blake put on one hell of a show. This show was something of a Takeover recap, but for what it was, it was quite satisfying. The composite grade for tonight’s NXT is a solid A-.