WWE Review: NXT TV #465-466 (August 22-29, 2018)

#465

Bianca Belair vs Deonna Purrazzo Absolutely nothing wrong with this technically, and both women are talented. But it’s just kind of a forgettable matchup. ***1/4

Velveteen Dream Promo Pretty funny but pretty nebulous. ***1/4

EC3 Promo I think EC3 does a good job here (especially in doing some solid character development), but I also feel like he risks becoming a parody of a pro wrestler. ***1/4

Ricochet Promo Fun interjections from Dunne (vegan!), Strong, and O’Reilly. Nothing too consequential, though. ***

NXT: CSI Segment I don’t know; this feels super goofy.

Zack Gibson Video Package Pretty good for establishing his character for the NXT audience, but nothing compares to him getting booed like crazy at the Electric Ballroom, if you ask me. ***

Shayna Baszler Promo Great talking here, even if the words themselves aren’t too memorable. Baszler is just so believable on the mic. ***1/2

NXT UK Championship Match: Zack Gibson vs Pete Dunne (c, vegan!) Really excellent work from both guys, with some creative spots and good psychology. ****

#466

Johnny Gargano Opener, ft. William Regal and Velveteen Dream (vegetarian!) It’s good that Johnny is still mega over as a babyface, because it was kind of up in the air at the end of TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. I think coming-apart-at-the-seams-Gargano remains pretty interesting as a character, though I’m not totally sure where it’s all headed. Once Regal and Dream come out, this is feeling like one of the better-written segments you might see on an Attitude-Era Raw, with the plotlines feeling coherent and the characters feeling believable. ***3/4

Dakota Kai vs Aliyah (vegan!) Solid TV match. Probably the best Kai’s looked on NXT TV, not that she’s had a ton of major opportunities just yet. ***

Inspector Regal Questions the Forgotten Sons I’m surprised that the quasi-veteran Wesley Blake comes across as so stilted here, though I guess he hasn’t been talking a ton.

Inspector Regal Questions Nikki Cross (ft. Bianca Belair) Kind of fun, but kind of overdone, too. Being too on-the-nose with Nikki’s gimmick kind of dilutes it. ***

Lars Sullivan Promo & Violence Not bad, but they really need to be careful not to make him “minor league Braun Strowman”.

Tommaso Ciampa Promo The NXT title was kind of getting overshadowed by the Ciampa/Gargano storyline, so it’s really smart of them to have a segment (however short) in which he focuses on himself and his championship. ***3/4

Keith Lee vs Luke Menzies We’ve seen good exhibitions of Lee’s athleticism so far, but his personality really hasn’t been shining like it needs to, for him to be the star that he can be. It’s still early in his NXT career, though. ***

Pete Dunne (vegan!) & Ricochet vs Roderick Strong & Adam Cole (Undisputed ERA, w/ Kyle O’Reilly) Fantastic action with heated storylines between four of the best that NXT has to offer right now. I was worried that this would end up being more of an angle than a match, but it was really an excellent bout. ****1/4

Photos of the products in the Meatless Rib Store.

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