Young Shawn Michaels

Drew Buxton

You can picture the RAW writing team being preoccupied more with filling time than creating an interesting product. They must constantly be asking how long they can stretch out a particular segment. With three hours to fill each week, there isn’t much room for creativity. More seemingly happened on NXT last night than on this week’s RAW. It’s impressive how much NXT manages to pack into an hour. I understand this is largely due to it being a taped show, but the simple luxury of having time to plan definitely shows when contrasted with the main roster shows.

Last night featured two matches in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Sanity beat Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss to advance. Nothing surprising here. Sabbatelli has been floundering in NXT for over three years now. That being said I do think he’s finally turned a small corner. He seems to be embracing his natural douchebag look. It’s easy to picture him as the alpha male quarterback in a teen movie. His dusting-off-his-abs thing is a nice touch. In the second match, the Street Profits went over against Heavy Machinery as I predicted. First I gotta say something about that damn Dozer…I just can’t resist him. He’s so effortlessly funny. He’s like wrestling’s version of Chris Farley. All it takes is a slight change in facial expression. The match was very entertaining and each side sold each other’s stuff like crazy. Montez Ford might be the best athlete in all of WWE.

The main event was for the UK Championship. I was initially against the idea of Adam Cole challenging Pete Dunne. The only build up to it I can remember is a little verbal altercation in the NXT parking garage. I’m all for Cole being the next Shawn Michaels, and I just can’t see HBK caring about the UK title. But once I relaxed and forgot for a second that I’m a miserable smart mark, I actually began to enjoy this match. You never got the impression that Cole really cared about the belt. He just wanted to take it from Dunne to be a scumbag. The match ended in DQ nonsense so Dunne retained the title and no one had to eat a pin and look weak.

Somehow they also managed to squeeze in hype for both Takeover: New Orleans title matches. Dakota Kai, an adorable babyface in the Bayley mold, upset entitled southern belle Lacey Evans. Shayna Baszler came out to presumably choke out Kai because choking out the innocent is her thing. Kai quivered in the corner and Ember Moon came to her rescue. Baszler and Moon fought for a bit until Moon hit an Eclipse, the illest finisher in the game in my opinion. The show ended in a ceremonial contract signing for the men’s title match. Andrade “Cien” Almas big-timed Aleister Black and no-showed the meeting, sending Zelina Vega to sign for him. In a very disappointing look, Black then made some jokes about Vega’s height and was generally a funny cool guy. Cute and funny is the last thing Black should be! In a nice touch, Candice LaRae came out and beat up Vega to end the show.

-Other things that happened:

-Like last week, “The Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa came out to address the crowd, but again was booed off stage out of the building.


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


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