I now know why that Bron Breakker summons never materialized.
Over the weeks, I’ve noticed the reactions to Carmelo Hayes and Bron Breakker have changed a bit. Melo became a fan favorite while Bron received more mixed reactions. I even thought that Melo could come in Booth & Deliver like Jesus going to Jerusalem, while Bron could be greeted like the 2001-03 Sacramento Kings during their heated rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers of that era. While it never got too bad for Bron in the building formerly known as Staples Center, the booing birds were still singing pretty loud.
Bron took his loss, passed the torch and let the world know that Melo was next. But then he didn’t show up Raw after wrestling and scratched my temple. What is that about? On the other hand, based on my feelings about that show, Bron dodged a pretty heinous bullet.
So when Melo and Trick Williams stepped into the ring this week for a “Melobration,” I wondered about the endgame. He knew that Melo’s first challenger could show up and ruin the process. After Melo enjoyed the crowd chanting his name and Trick gassing him, he gave Bron his endorsement. Melo reiterated that he doesn’t know what the future holds for Bron, but he sees the former champion as his most formidable opponent and the respect is real. Melo, showing off more of this new version of his character, called out to Bron. Not to fight, but to thank him face to face.
Bron played the nice guy for a while, said nice guy things and did the nice guy dance. They exchanged jokes and Melo’s music played. But Melo told everyone to relax and wanted one more show of love between himself and Mr. Breakker. That’s when they shook hands once more and Breakker, well, broke up. He attacked the champion and his fan, leaving them both crawling in the ring and enjoying the boos.
If I have anything negative to say, it’s that they let the segment go on too long, which made the twist even more obvious. Melo asking Bron to come back in the ring for the handshake really set the whole thing off, but there’s no reason Bron would hold back until that moment.
That minor issue aside, this makes sense to both men. Melo needs a heel as his first opponent and there aren’t many credible solo heels in NXT right now. And of that group, most of them are busy elsewhere. This gives Melo an immediate challenge and a huge threat early on.
For Bron, it gives him a chance to operate on a different level. She stagnated as a face and more as a face champion. Showing more versatility only helps him keep going.
Everyone wins and hopefully with all that respect thrown out the window now we get a build and a Bron vs. Very different melo than we got the first time.
We got our first look at how Indi Hartwell works with a target on her back. Indi opened NXT and received a hero’s welcome from the NXT faithful. She is a perfect babyface champion in the sense that the crowd believes in her a lot and wants only good things for her.
Their championship celebration lasted five minutes before Zoey Stark crashed the party as Full Force. Zoey disrespected the champion in many ways, but mostly by saying that she got lucky and that she will be the shortest-reigning NXT Women’s Champion in history. Zoey challenged Indi for that championship this week and Indi accepted.
The party possibly set the blueprint for Indi’s future matches, at least until he fully wins over his arrogance and confidence. He got into his punches, but mostly he works from below. The rude gets the best of her but she trusts herself and Indi takes advantage of her. Zoey nailed Indi with the Z 360 but the champion fell out of the ring. After Zoey rolled onto her back in the ring and went for a very arrogant pin, Indi reversed it for the count of 3. “Surviving” and outwitting people who take her lightly makes a lot of sense by now and I hope she gets over it. build on that and give him some growth outside and in the ring as well.
We may see all of that sooner rather than later because someone interrupted Indi’s celebratory moment: Tiffany Stratton. Tiffany made it clear that she wants that belt, but someone else also made her intentions crystal clear: Cora Jade.
Cora returned and got physical with the champion, leaving her lying in the middle of the ring. Cora exchanged words with Tiffany, which means they may need to talk before they get to Indi. Cora provides much-needed warmth at the top of this split, so I’m happy she’s back like she never left.
Everyone feels that the champion is barbecue chicken at the moment, and they want to eat. Perfect opportunity for Indi to prove everyone wrong and provide a bit of indigestion.
enjoy the ride
Axiom and Wes Lee are perfect dance partners. They work together perfectly and encourage each other. After the hell they went through Stand & Deliver, fighting each other after a few days for the North American championship makes sense. Wes still believes there is something to prove, while Axiom wanted a one-on-one shot at the champion.
And just like Dragon Lee and Nathan Frazer earlier in the episode, they donned a show. It’s rare that I have two games that I think are immediately worthwhile, but we got it done tonight. I wondered if they could pull the trigger and give Axiom the title, but Wes held on. Eventually though, at least from a story standpoint, burnout is on the horizon for Wes. Yo love how he altered the Cardiac Kick midway for a double stomp that countered the Golden Ratio. And in turn, Axiom countered the Cardiac Kick with a body scissors. Once again, these two just get in the ring and it’s beautiful.
After both men gave each other their well-deserved props,
reggie SCRYPTS fixed his gaze on Axiom… again. And Axiom put his foot between the SCRYPTS teeth. So we’ll get it soon, at least I think so. We got a weird cut of the action as Vic Joseph explained what Axiom said to the downed assailant about him.
I rarely have a problem with NXT tag team matches. This one between Pretty Deadly and Tony D’Angelo’s Family did not disappoint. It also doesn’t bother me that Tony D & Stacks lose because this is really their second match as a team. and Pretty Deadly turned nefarious for W. And even better, Tony D & Stacks didn’t look like fools.
During the third act, Tony D and the referee chatted as the referee checked on him with Elton tied up on the ring apron. Pretty Deadly, always the smart team, played it up a notch when Elton and Kit switched places. Tony attacked who he thought was Elton, only to find Kit. Elton sneaked up from behind and smashed Tony’s head into an exposed turnbuckle.
So yeah, a cheap finish from a cheap team that keeps them on the road to Gallus while becoming more sympathetic to Tony and Stacks.
Ivy Nile finally got her hands on Tatum Paxley. I wish we didn’t have to wait three weeks for it. And I wish we had a little more business between the two of them after their initial breakup. And given the bad blood between them, it seemed the match never got to the right level. It felt too much like a normal couple and not like something between two former friends in the same amount of pain from their eroding relationship.
Don’t get me wrong; they fought a good match in the technical sense. But it missed the emotional level that the commentary and ending clearly wanted. Ivy earned the victory via submission and celebrated with the Creed Bros. All of that told us how cathartic this was for Ivy, but the match itself didn’t reflect it. But that’s not her fault, that’s on the reservation.
Dijak against Odyssey Jones. It’s not the longest match or the cleanest, but certainly physical. Dijak continues to impress while one wonders about the state of Jones. He loses his first match on TV in a while and he even gets beaten up! Props to Dijak for all that strength, but Odyssey seems lost in the sauce right now.
Although, the last time I said that about someone, that person won a championship.
Little information: WWE is in its new season, so I’m changing things up. All the headlines and subtitles in this season are related to music. Usually the title has some connection to the match or segment. If you made it this far, you’ll see “Real Big” and “Knuckleheadz.” The first is a Mannie Fresh song and the second is Raekwon. I don’t think any coincidence involving Odyssey Jones and Dijak needs a reason why I chose that song. And seeing as how Tony D & Stacks were duped, that makes them “knuckleheads”. Also, Tony had his head crushed with a turnbuckle.
“Verbal Intercourse” is one of the best raps of any song. Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Nas defy gravity in the song with perfect rapping and outstanding lyricism. Nas, in particular, delivers an unforgettable performance with a textbook rap that also speaks volumes about the social conditions he saw in 1994 and 1995. Dragon Lee and Nathan Frazer did the wrestling equivalent of that 1995 song. designed, it made both men look competitive and set a very high bar.
Noam Dar returned with the Heritage Cup in hand and announced that he wants competitors for a new Heritage Cup tournament. That meant impressing Dar became goal number two, which is still possible with a loss. If both men show up at this tournament, it’s a win for everyone.
After the mess that was the most recent Monday Night Raw, it feels great to suggest a combination for your consumption.
take you home
Briggs finally knows!
Kiana James blamed him for the loss she and Fallon Henley suffered in Booth & Deliver. As he was apologizing, Fallon and Jensen showed up like a couple jack-in-the-boxes and finally told Briggs that Kiana was cheating on him. Of course, Kiana makes a very good point about her exclusivity or lack thereof. However, she definitely manipulated him saying that her kiss changed everything about her and she thought she could trust him until he let her down by not helping her cheat. Yeah everyone put on your rubber boots.
However, Briggs completely bought it and said it’s her fault for not making them exclusive and demanding that her friends stay out of her love life.
Too bad Kiana and Fallon are taking on Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre next week with the tag titles on the line.
NXT made me happy this week. Not a spectacular show, but good across the board. Two very good fights, solid wrestling and logical stories. As I often say, the basics work for a reason. And with all the buzz about who controls what on Monday and Friday nights, NXT could serve as the only stronghold we have when it comes to WWE for a long time.
That’s my story and I’ll stick to it. What’s yours?