I spent Valentine’s Day alone but found solace in the knowledge that I shared this fate with the majority of wrestling fans. Alone but together we took in NXT from sexless couches and beds around the world. The show opened with “Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne retaining his UK belt against Roderick Strong. At only 24, Dunne is a promising talent blessed with charisma and a naturally villainous face.
The match was a lot of fun, but in-ring work has never been the issue with Strong. It’s his goddamn character. I have no idea what the plan is at this point. After flirting with having him join factions Authors of Pain and The Undisputed Era, he’s yet again been reset to his default, a vanilla babyface who loves his family and has vaguely endured a lot. His recent debut on the sinking ship 205 Live will do little to help him build momentum. Even the font in his intro video is boring.
The main event was a title rematch between Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler. Baszler targeted Moon’s already injured arm until Kari Sane came out of nowhere and attacked her, causing the match to end in DQ with Moon retaining her belt. I think the bookers will drag this program out for as long as they can. There aren’t many others options in the women’s division at the moment. Moon is fantastic and more than ready for the main roster, but NXT won’t be in a position to lose her anytime soon.
Other things that happened:
-Aleister Black emerged from smoke in a dope all black suit, and Killian Dain interrupted his promo which Black didn’t appreciate at all
-TM61 won a squash match
BIO: Last year Drew Buxton spent more money on spilled cappuccino, in cafes from one side of this world to the other, than you made. His stuff has been featured in Hobart, Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Funhouse, Mayday, and Hypertext among other publications. Find his stuff at drewbuxton.com.