The Best And Worst Of WWE NXT 11/8/17: Everything To Nothing

Previously on the Best and Worst of WWE NXT: NXT got f*cking hostile with the announcement of the first-ever iteration of WarGames under a WWE banner.

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And now, the Best and Worst of WWE NXT for November 8, 2017.

Best: Top Notch

Heavy Machinery is the gift that keeps on giving. I realize their gimmick might be too hokey for some, but every time they appear on my TV, they’re doing something new in the ring to keep it fresh. Tonight, we got two examples of pure ridiculousness in their match against Sean Maluta (current holder of the world’s worst TitanTron graphic) and Chris Payne. First, we had Tucker Knight’s goofy-ass springboard elbow drop. However, that was completely overshadowed by Otis Dozovic doing the goddamn worm mid-match.

It was a thing of pure, absurd beauty, and given that Scotty 2 Hotty is a coach at the Performance Center, I have to assume this is an official passing of the torch for this crowd-pleasing move. Keep it up, guys. #steaksandweights4ever

Worst: The Ocean

With the field set for TakeOver: WarGames’ Women’s Championship fatal four-way match, each competitor has been getting tune-up matches on TV. Last week, Nikki Cross squashed Taynara Conti.

This week, Kairi Sane gets some stiffer competition in Billie Kay, but the outcome was never really in question, leading to a relatively dead crowd and a match where both participants were clearly holding back. Even Peyton Royce’s attempts at interference were half-hearted. It pains me to give any segment with this much talent a Worst, but outside of Sane’s gorgeous-as-always top-rope elbow drop (and the revelation that she was an Olympic hopeful for yachting – thanks for that, Nigel), this was mediocre.

Worst: The Mistake

Next, Kassius Ohno barges into William Regal’s office wearing a four-year-old Cesaro T-shirt he ordered during one of WWEShop’s double-clearance sales, demanding a match against Lars Sullivan at TakeOver. I assume this will be a pre-show match aired after the fact, but if somehow this makes the actual TakeOver event and we still don’t get to see the Johnny Gargano/Pete Dunne U.K. championship match, I’ll cancel my WWE Network subscription*.

*no i won’t

Best: All I Really Wanted

While having only officially announced the WarGames match last week, NXT’s promo department has kicked into overdrive. (If you haven’t seen each team’s web-exclusive vignettes yet, they’re all worth watching.) But this week’s WarGames promo was awesome. It’s been nearly two decades since this match has existed, so the fact that anyone from WCW is still in good enough health (and good enough standing with WWE) to appear on-camera to discuss their experiences is rare but very welcome.

While Cody Rhodes might be salty about the whole thing, Goldust seems to be giving it his blessing, and NXT is certainly giving Dusty all the credit he deserves for its creation. I hope this match lives up to expectations, because despite my ambivalence on the participants (more on that below), I’m still jacked for it.

Best: Mighty

Time Traveler Zelina Vega and Andrade “We’re Still Keeping This Nickname, Huh” Almas are up next, locked inside NXT’s promo room. (Little do producers know that Vega can just Quantum Leap herself out of that room whenever she wants, but I digress.) And as pointless as some of their segments have been in recent weeks, Vega delivers a fire promo here, building Almas up (“This man is head and shoulders above everybody else — this man has no peers”), essentially morphing herself into a Latina Paul Heyman. I half-expected Almas to end the promo by yelling, “Ciudad suplex, perra!

Best: Pride

You know what’s crazy? Patrick Clark is 22. Twenty-two. And in the eight months he’s been on NXT TV in his current form, he’s gone from a part of the show I’ve loathed the most to a must-see segment. Props to you, dude, for finding that next gear and gunning it as hard as you can.

Dream’s match against the six-and-a-half-foot pile of used Tupperware that is Cezar Bononi was over mercifully quick, ending after Dream hit his cartwheel DVD. Bononi is such an afterthought, he doesn’t even warrant the top-rope elbow — or maybe NXT creative realized it’s not a good look to have two matches end with the exact same finisher, as I ever-so-astutely pointed out a few weeks ago. #heyHHHhiremeplease

Dream’s promo after the match was more of the same “say my name” stuff directed toward Aleister Black, who surprisingly did not make an appearance. Be careful, Dream: Pride comes before a fall.

Best: I Can Feel A Hot One

What’s this? An NXT talent is continuing to sell an injury well after the match? Bless you, Ruby Riot. She’s still nursing her ankle that took a beating in her triple-threat match three weeks ago when in comes the woman who helped make her injury worse, Sonya Deville. The war of words between these two badasses was enthralling, and I’m stoked to see them go toe-to-toe.

With the release of Josh Bredl earlier this week, Deville is one of only three Tough Enough season six contestants to still be with WWE (the other two are Velveteen Dream and Mandy Rose), and she is making the most of her screentime. Go get ’em. Jersey Devil.

Best: April Fool

Literal, actual LOL at Montez Ford telling some random delivery guy, “Today’s your lucky day, because I’m Tino Sabbatelli!” in order to steal his $5,000 suit. Supplemental LOL at Riddick Moss for saying, “You can’t afford our suit!” Last week, I suspected Moss and Sabbatelli were lovers. Now, I’m wondering if they’re actually Station.

Worst: I’ve Got Friends

Our main event is a minis match between Roddy Strong and Adam Cole, and I gotta be honest, I was completely checked out during this. Knowing that WarGames is only a week-and-a-half away, there is no reason to expect this match to end with anything even resembling a clean finish, so it was tough to get engaged with it (and furthermore, why have two team captains go one-on-one now, when Strong could have easily fought Kyle O’Reilly or Bobby Fish and have the same end result)? Curiously bad booking.

However, I will happily award a Best for that backbreaker delivered on the top turnbuckle — I jotted down “WHAT THE F*CK???” after that spot, and it’s worth watching it on a loop:

As Strong nears victory, BayBay’s kids come out for the save but barely even put a finger on Strong, instead rushing to their fallen leader’s aid. At least beat up Roddy on your way to check in Cole, dudes! I’ve been calling this squad Ring Of Dishonor, but I might as well start calling them the mWo, or millennial world order. They’re three wimpy guys who have accomplished virtually nothing since arriving in August but think they’re actually “shocking the system” just by showing up.

Of course, this ends up with every other WarGames participant making their way to the ring, resulting in an all-out brawl (but not before the mWo tries to beg off before any physicality — guys, this is a professional wrestling league, you are expected to fight at least occasionally).

I’m really not sure how WarGames itself is going to go: We have two separate feuds going into this, one that laid dormant for a few months (SAnitY/Authors Of Pain) and the other that really just started a few weeks ago (Roddy/Cole). I’m not nearly invested in the latter feud as much as I was invested in the former feud when it was hot, and I don’t think I’m alone here. It’s strange to think there is really no true main event-level singles talent in this WarGames match (Cole and Strong are both borderline at best), but hopefully the sum will be greater than the parts.

Next Week: Ember Moon squares off against Mercedes Martinez, and Drew McIntyre and Andrade “Cien” Almas come face to face (again).