Previously on the Best and Worst of WWE NXT: Otis Dozovic did the goddamn worm. That’s all you really need to know.
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE NXT for November 15, 2017.
Worst: I Did Something Bad
Where to begin with this one: How about Riddick Moss being completely blown up less than a minute into the match? How about Mauro Ranallo going super-hard on hip-hop references, but only when black people are in the ring? How about Percy making Nigel repeat himself on commentary because he apparently can’t understand him through his accent? How about Angelo Dawkins planting his own head into the turnbuckle but somehow recovering instantly and scoring a pinfall on Tino Sabbatelli after connecting with one (1) punch, making Sabbatelli look like the ultimate chump? Truly garbage from top to bottom.
Best: Don’t Blame Me
We might as well start writing his name as Lar$ $ullivan, because this guy’s got money written all over him. Here, Sullivan mangles CWC leftover Raul Mendoza, as we all expected, and was prevented from delivering an extended post-match beatdown by his TakeOver: WarGames opponent Kassius Ohno, again, as expected. But the best part is how Lars straight-up laughs in Ohno’s face when he puts up his dukes. Kassius, dude, remember that you asked for this fight. Don’t blame Lars when he puts you in the local medical facility this Saturday night.
The best part of this show in a walk is a competitive 10-minute match between Ember Moon and Mercedes Martinez. Of course, the outcome is never in doubt, but it’s not like Martinez is a can — she put up a hell of a fight. (It’s worth re-visiting the pair’s feud in Shimmer from a few years ago to see what they can really do.) This match was unlike most women’s matches you’ll see in WWE, by which I mean there was a minimum of goofy animations (think Natalya’s ridiculous spinning clothesline) and plenty of intensity — Mercedes’ stalled vertical suplex was impressive, and Ember’s suicide dive was absolutely bonkers in its velocity.
Either of these women could credibly hold their own in the ring with a male cruiserweight, and it’s a shame we will probably never see that happen in a WWE ring. Hell, Martinez has been wrestling intergender matches for nearly 15 years, as this amazing clip from 2003 proves (even if the video didn’t have a year on it, it’s clearly from 2003, based solely on the sullen teen wearing a Zwan T-shirt facing the hard cam).
Worst: Look What You Made Me Do
The final segment of the go-home episode before TakeOver: WarGames is spent trying to add more fire to the NXT Championship match which is 100 percent not closing TakeOver: WarGames. Drew McIntyre storms out in some goofy-ass designer jeans and demands that Andrade Almas “face me like a man” and then starts insulting his manhood, blah blah blah — the most boring, basic insult used in pro graps. Drew’s supposed to be the good guy here; shouldn’t Almas be questioning his manhood for dodging his championship match request and making him jump through hoops to give him competition?
Anyway, the episode ends like you think it would, with Almas and Zelina Vega showing up and getting some heat on the champ. (Why there was that long gap between when Vega appeared and when Almas appeared, I have no idea; I thought maybe he was coming in through the crowd, but nope, he was just 20 seconds behind her.) It’s fine, I guess, but there’s no easier way to tell if a challenger is legitimate or not than where the match is on the card, and while this match might be for the NXT Championship, it sure as sh*t ain’t the main event.
So just like that, we’re at TakeOver: WarGames. Are you ready for it?
Next Week: We will get to see Pete Dunne defend the U.K. Championship against Johnny Gargano, as well as Ruby Riot and Sonya Deville go toe to toe. See you then, and see you this Saturday for TakeOver: WarGames, too!