*NOTE* I am trying out a new format where I will basically be briefly reviewing the matches themselves and not walking you through the entire match. Let me know what you think of it.
Here we are with Week 3 of The Yellow Brand’s Flair For The Gold, which has AOP defending their titles against Heavy Machinery. Will this be the week that we see an NXT title change? Or will the champs add to their long list of victims? We’ll find out in tonight’s main event. The show opens with a video package detailing the DIY breakup, and we hear that Johnny Gargano will be on the show tonight. After that, we see video of Roderick Strong in the back with his family after his loss on the NXT title match last week, then we are told that Bobby Roode will be on the show tonight as well. But first, we’ll start our matches off with none other than Aleister Black.
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Fish
Black was out first and then the ring announcer said, “And making his NXT debut”, and out comes Bobby Fish! Nice pop from the NXT Universe for the former ROH/NJPW stalwart. Very good pick up for NXT.
As for the match, this one was a Striker’s Paradise/Technician’s Masterpiece. Very good opening match. The crowd seemed to be a bit out of the match early but as the spots picked up, so did the crowd. Fish was in the match every step of the way until he took a little too much time taunting Black, and paid for it as Black ended up opening up the arsenal and ending matters with a Black Mass. Watching Black get angry and then turn the tide of the match, really made for good storytelling in this one. Again, very good match.
We continue on, now looking back to last week and the continued Downfall of Hideo Itami. Backstage video is shown of Kassius Ohno reluctantly taking Itami to task for constantly blaming others for his troubles. The big turn should be just ahead. Sorry Kassius. After that, it happened… A STREET PROFITS VIGNETTE! I am excited for them to arrive on TV. The tag division is BEYOND due for a shakeup. This stretch segment then ends a Velveteen Dream “interview” from 2 weeks ago outside the arena. Felt myself dozing off, but this dark moment was short so i quickly regained my senses and we were heading into the next match.
Mae Young Classic Qualifying Match: Vanessa Borne vs. Jamey Hachey
First off, sign me all the up for the Vanessa Borne Fan Club, immediately. I mean, no delays. Ok, back to the matchup…
I know we get spoiled with the quality of matches we see out of today’s women wrestlers, but this match was pretty bad. Hachey looked like malfunctioning robot and you could really tell how green she is. Luckily, this was a short match, with Borne picking up the win with a type of high angle spinning slam. She’s beautiful, agile, and in possession of my attention. I will be following her during the tourney.
Upon returning from a break, we go to footage of Drew McIntyre leaving the arena last week and then being attacked by Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain. This leads into William Regal and Bobby Roode in the back, discussing the future of the NXT title. Regal mentions that both McIntyre and Dain have shown interest in the title, and Roode cuts him off. He convinces Regal that it would be good for business to have McIntyre and Dain face off. Regal agrees and makes the match for next week, with the winner facing Roode at Takeover: Brooklyn III. Roode seems content to let the two big men destroy each other, and that’s probably his best bet in this situation. I’m sure he will have a plan to help bring that to fruition.
Johnny Gargano Promo
Oh my what a reaction. Everyone was on their feet as he came out and a “Johnny Wrestling” chant started the moment that the old DIY theme was cut. Johnny seamlessly changed gears various times in this promo: going from thankful (to the fans), to reflective, to saddened, and finally to re-energized. He touched base on Tommasso Ciampa’s betrayal, but didn’t really focus on it since Ciampa will be gone until springtime. He wrapped up by announcing his intention to be at Takeover, saying that he HAS to be there, and then a new theme for him played. Very good return promo, given the injury situation hanging over this angle. I think there may be just enough here to keep the buzz going until Ciampa returns. The editing and camera cuts in this segment were shaky though, which surprised me.
Right before the main event, we learn that the McIntyre-Dain match is official for next week, and we will also see Ember Moon taking on Ruby Riot in a match that could have major implications for the women’s division going forward.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Authors of Pain (c) w/ Paul Ellering vs Heavy Machinery
This massive main event was more than I expected. It was almost all out action, very little stops or slow moments. Heavy Machinery has been growing on me lately but they really showed me alot tonight. They won’t go out there and give you a 20 minute classic or be the second coming of the 3rd Midnight Express, but they will come out every night and give you hell on wheels. I was impressed at the way they hung in there and the chemistry they showed together. In the end though, the champions proved to be too much, as they took advantage of HM wasting a tad too much time and ended the match with a Last Chapter to pick up the win. Their celebration ended up being short lived though as Sanity’s music started to play. Nikki Cross, Alexander Wolfe, & Killian Dain then appeared on the ramp to taunt the champions, as what looked to be book pages fell from the sky. “Has Sanity taken The Book of Pain and destroyed it?” I guess is what will be used to kick off this feud, which is an odd feud considering Killian Dain was just placed in the NXT Title Picture not even 30 minutes prior. Eric Young could be the one to team with Wolfe vs. AOP too, so it doesn’t look like we can rule that out.
Overall, decent show tonight. It was truly anchored by it’s opening and closing matches, which were both good & refreshing. I must say though, this was one week where I missed Asuka… Even though I understand the angle she is playing out. I think the women’s segment made me appreciate her more than I already do.
Match of the Night: Aleister Black vs. Bobby Fish
Moment of the Night: Johnny Gargano’s entrance
Lowlight of the Night: Every single thing Jamey Hachey did. Baffles me that I actually found something lower than “The moment the Velveteen Dream appeared onscreen”.
Well that does it for another Yellow Brand Night. Don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter as well and let me know how/if you like the new format here. See you next week!