Reviews by Dave
By David E Houston II
Show air date: May 18, 2021
An uneven episode of NXT on USA. The first hour was weak all over but it picked up some as the show went on, with a historic title win as a finale.
Toni Storm defeated Zoey Stark
Toni Storm won her rematch with her rival, Zoey Starks, with the most convoluted DDT variation I’ve ever seen. The match was okay but never seemed to get out of second gear and probably works better with a few minutes shaved off. Storm does not look comfortable as a heel. She’s immediately upstaged by Franky Monet (and Mr. Mundo), announcing her own in-ring debut next week.
A lot of The Way, very little of it good.
Okay verbal exchange backstage between Legado del Fantasma (minus Santos) and Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa to announce their own match later in the show. Ciampa has really been mailing it in on the mic for months.
Jake Atlas defeated Cameron Grimes
Jake Atlas and Cameron Grimes booked themselves into a match and it was solid. Atlas won his return to TV when Grimes was distracted by Ted Dibiase walking out and laughing. They need to get somewhere with this before they run it into the ground.
Good promo by Bronson Reed before his North American title main event later in the show.
Pete Dunne, a Good Talker?
I could sworn Pete Dunne was a good talker. This week did nothing to confirm that.
Killian Dain defeated Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe of Imperium got beat by Killian Dain and then got beat up by fellow Imperium members, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. This isn’t nearly as interesting as they want it to be.
Legado del Fantasma defeated Thatcher and Ciampa
The Legado team of Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde got the win over Thatcher and Ciampa. Some good work but man, they laid that match out in a way that made Legado look bad. They got beat up for 75% of the match (including Ciampa smashing Mendoza’s nose legit with an errant elbow) and then Zack Gibson and James Drake beat up Ciampa on the outside behind the ref’s back to set up the Legado win. That’s not how you do that and expect people to see Legado as a true top team.
Sarray defeated Aliyah
Sarray won her second match for the brand, beating Aliyah about two minutes. They still gave Aliyah too much offense.
Hit Row defeated Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari
They did not make that mistake in the in-ring debut of the Hit Row tag team of Top Dolla and Ashante Thee Adonis. They looked dominant and dangerous. The mic work after? Not so hot. But they did give Swerve Scott some direction with him saying he’ll be watching the main event closely.
Main Event: Bronson Reed defeated Johnny Gargano (c)
for the NXT North American Championship
Bronson Reed got the biggest win of his career, beating Johnny Gargano for the North American title. The match was entertaining enough despite them jamming in every WWE cage match cliche they could except someone jumping off the top of the cage.
Not a great show, but they closed with their best match.
Thanks for reading!
David E Houston II he’s attended small independent shows with less than 100 people and large stadium shows with over 20,000 fans and live worldwide pay-per-views.