Reviews by Dave
Show air date: August 19, 2020
NXT on USA this week was an uneven show as this was the go-home for TakeOver this Saturday: when it was good, it was great but when it wasn’t…it was Raw.
Johnny Gargano defeated Ridge Holland
In the first of two Last Chance qualifiers for the North American title Ladder Match at TO, Johnny Gargano beat Ridge Holland in a pretty good match. Gargano suffered a sick looking bump on the top of his head but powered through to finish the match. Beth Phoenix compared Holland to a young Rick Steiner and she’s was dead-on. He does remind me of Mid South/UWF Rick Steiner. The finish was goofy but…WWE.
Dakota Kai defeated Jessi Kamea
Dakota Kai beat Jessi Kamea in a one-sided affair as she prepares for her Women’s title match against champion Io Shirai at TO. Kai cuts a solid in-ring promo and is interrupted by Shirai, who slaps her around pretty good until Kai is saved by her bodyguard Ms. High Britches herself, Lady Diesel, Raquel Gonzalez. Decent segment but I liked it better when Shawn Michaels and the original Diesel did it to Razor Ramon on WWF Superstars in 94.
Legado El Fantasma defeated Breezango and Isaiah Swerve Scott
The show lost some steam here as Legado del Fantasma beat Breezango and Swerve Scott in a six-man match, with Cruiserweight champion Santo Escobar pinning Tyler Breeze. Everyone worked hard, but it was just there for long segments of the match and they gave us another goofy WWE finish. If Breeze was the legal man, why didn’t the ref enforce the change or start the count on Breeze? I always hate that spot because it’s so hokey and bullshit.
Pat McAfee Mic Heel Work
Pat McAfee does a good job with some good heel mic work on his TO opponent, Adam Cole. For some reason they had Cole beat up all the itty bitty security guys and tell McAfee he’s going to make him his bitch. Okay. Let’s get this over with. Cole went toe to toe with the monster Keith Lee and nearly won. He should beat McAfee pretty quickly and easily. Anything else is a travesty.
Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart defeated Aliyah and Mercedes Martinez
Show ran off the rails here with a less-than-interesting tag match with Shotzi Blackheart and Rhea Ripley facing the Robert Stone Brand team of Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah. Apparently, they didn’t get enough of Aliyah bringing down the quality of last week’s match so she got even more work this week. RSB team loses. Ripley powerbombs Martinez on the floor.
Excellent Keith Lee vs Karrion Kross Vignette
In one of the great preview vignettes all year, they featured the NXT title match between champion Keith Lee and Karrion Kross. Excellent vignette.
Main Event: Velveteen Dream vs Finn Balor
Velveteen Dream punched his ticket to the Ladder Match at TO, beating Finn Balor in a match that was going pretty well until they decided to WWE it up by having all the other guys in the match (starting with Cameron Grimes) come down. Balor showed he was definitely back to being a face because he was so easily distracted by Grimes, even climbing the ladder Grimes was on for no good damn reason. So of course he’s on the floor, having dove on Bronson Reed and Damien Priest, when Timothy Thatcher lays him out, a receipt for Balor attacking him after their qualifying match a few weeks ago. Overbooked like a mofo. Reed was standing at the end so he’s not winning.
Good show but when it went south, it went to Antarctica.