Shayna Baszler & Nikki Cross Promo/Brawl Baszler is really carrying herself well, character-wise. Crushing it, really. ****
Nick Miller & Shane Thorne (TM61) vs Mike Hughley & Robbie Grand A perfectly effective character-based squash match. The promo afterwards bordered on clunky, though. ***1/4
Lars Sullivan Pre-Taped Segment Kind of a unique way to get Sullivan over, with him running through Performance Center trainees. I didn’t love it, but I appreciate how it was a new idea.
Roderick Strong vs Danny Burch Super fluid action from the opening bell, and it stays crisp and competitive-feeling throughout. Pretty great TV match, if a bit rushed. ****
EC3 and Kassius Ohno Backstage Pretty funny, but I’m already getting a little tired of EC3’s character, honestly. It just strikes me as a bit cartoonish, beyond the bounds of standard pro wrestling fare. ***1/2
Ricochet & Velveteen Dream (vegetarian!) Video Package I think this is the best program going into TakeOver: Chicago, and this video does a really nice job hyping it. ****1/4
Lacey Evans vs Kairi Sane Generally quite good, with just a touch of awkwardness (if only due to the size difference). Evans continues to improve both technically and character-wise. The finish was slightly flat for me, though. ***1/2
Tommaso Ciampa Promo w/ Gargano Brawling He still has a ton of heat, even if I’m pretty unhappy with this program at this point. He does a good job here, nevertheless. Some cool brawling spots after his speech is over, too. ****
Hanson & Rowe (War Raiders) vs Justin Storm & Ricky Martinez Another squash for the War Raiders. Nothing too memorable.
EC3 vs Kassius Ohno Good, heated action. A well above-average TV match. ***1/2
Bianca Belair vs Aliyah (vegan!) It’s great to see how much support Belair has earned so quickly, and it’s even better to see how NXT has repackaged her a little bit to capitalize on that. There’s no reason that she can’t have a great career. Solid squash match, by the way. ***
Baszler/Cross Video Package Really good stuff. This program feels like it’s had a relatively short build, but I’m into it. Both women are fantastic promos for completely different reasons. ****
Dakota Kai & Bianca Belair Backstage Brilliant character stuff all-around. There’s a good program brewing here. ***3/4
WWE United Kingdom Championship Match: Kyle O’Reilly vs Pete Dunne (c, vegan!) The crowd was so hot for this, to the point of almost being unbelievable. Awesome technical work on display from both guys, as can be expected. (Dunne’s veganism was referenced on commentary by Nigel, by the way.) ****1/2
Aleister Black & Lars Sullivan Promo/Brawl Some of the best talking I’ve seen from Black, which hasn’t been his strong suit so far. The physical confrontation almost felt redundant, but it ended up making me care about the match more than I expected to. ***3/4
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