There were two big title matches on NXT this week, with the U.K Championship kicking the show off and an NXT Women’s Title rematch sending us home.
Where is Roderick Strong going to end up?
Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne had a great U.K. Championship match that was back and forth, but ended in a decisive victory for the champion. I don’t think it does much to kill momentum for Strong he continues to kind of lose but look great in his failures. He’s also been spotted moonlighting on 205 Live lately, which begs the question – where is Roderick Strong going? Is he going to continue to have great matches on NXT that set him up for big opportunities he loses? Is he going to come out on top of this Cruiserweight Title Tournament on 205 Live? Honestly, I’m happy Strong is getting the opportunity to be seen on multiple shows because he’s a great wrestler who deserves a chance to really shine. It’s possible that this loss to Pete Dunne kind of quietly sends Strong out of NXT as he permanently heads to the new and improving 205 Live. He really does add some additional star power to that show and could bring in a bit more of the Indy following as viewers if they showcase him more on that show.
Who is Going to Take Down Pete Dunne?
Though most of his matches with NXT have also involved Tyler Bate, a great match with Roderick Strong proves WWE knows they don’t have to stick with only UK wrestlers competing for the UK Championship. That being said, I haven’t a clue who they’re going to lock him up with next. It could be a random NXT star who’s stuck with not much to do (Kassius Ohno?) or they could just go back to their UK drawing board and give it to someone like Trent Seven or Mark Andrews. Or maybe they’ll just keep it on Dunne until they forget it exists. I don’t expect they’ll do that, but I think Dunne could be a big star on the main roster if they and he want to go that direction. In all honesty he reminds me a lot of older Dean Ambrose who was gritty and shifty and kind of scary but in a great way. A brawler. I think Dunne’s attitude and demeanor could really be a hit with the main roster crowd. That just means he has to find someone worthy to drop his belt to.
Is Ember Moon Taking a Back Seat to Shayna Baszler and Kairi Sane?
I really liked what they did with this Ember Moon Shayna Baszler Title Rematch. It was obvious the title shouldn’t change hands, but Shayna losing again would hurt some of her shine – even if they did play it up again like rookie mistakes. I even like Kairi Sane making the save, because I think people should help other wrestlers more when they’re in trouble. It never makes sense to me when no other baby face wrestler makes the save for a baby face getting their butt kicked. My problem is this: For me, Ember Moon has still never seemed like the woman they trust to hold down their division. To an extent I understand this – you need utility players to help bolster a division, but if you’re going to make someone a Champion you have to have the faith to let them be center stage. While Ember was chasing the title it was still all about Asuka’s streak. Yes they hyped Ember up but in the end she never did beat Asuka. She won the title after a Fatal Four Way that would determine the new Champion. Now that she is Champion she barely beat a newcomer – a newcomer who seems to already be setting up for a new feud that will undoubtably end up being for the Women’s Championship. I could be wrong. But NXT ended with Kairi Sane as the hero staring down at the big bad wolf. Ember is hurt and being dismantled but Baszler. I just don’t know if she’s ever felt like a big deal at NXT, and I don’t know if it will hurt her eventually coming up. I hope not, I really like her and she sells amazingly. She’s tough and her finisher is great. She has all the tools! I just am not sure the storylines she’s been dealt have made her feel important.
Aleister Black has got to be moving on to the NXT Title scene next though I guess that path goes through Killian Dain. I like both big men and I’ll be happy to watch what should be a hard hitting monster of a match between the two, which I assume will end with a Black win. Killian Dain is great but I don’t see him ending up with the NXT Title. I still think SAnitY goes up to the main roster soon after wrapping up with the Undisputed Era, so I can’t see Dain lingering in the title picture.
I didn’t get the backstage segment with Velveteen Dream. I like him and his personality, but he had a muddled backstage with reporters throwing questions at him and it almost felt like he forgot he was supposed to bitch about Tyler Bate and went back to do so. Just felt sloppy to me.
UK Championship Match – Pete Dunne(c) beat Roderick Strong
TM61 beat John Skyler & Andrew Duckworth
Women’s Championship Match – Shayna Baszler beat Ember Moon (c) by DQ
That’s it for this week! Find me over at HM_Pufnstuf on Twitter to talk