NXT continues to fire on all cylinders week after week on the road to NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV.
The July 4 episode featured a good main event match between EC3 and Johnny Gargano. Although the 1 Percent thriller lost to Johnny Wrestling, he put on a great performance he can build on in the coming weeks.
But it wasn’t just his match with Gargano that stood out during the episode. Moments before the bout, EC3 made his way to the ring as Velveteen Dream was celebrating his victory over Chris Dijak. If fans didn’t know EC3 was facing Gargano, it would appear that he was going after Dream for what happened in in England one week prior.
During the June 19 NXT UK Championship special, Dream and EC3 teamed up to face Aleister Black and Ricochet. They lost the match after Dream walked out on EC3. This seemingly throwaway tag team match could have planted a couple of seeds for their impending collision course in Brooklyn.
Although nothing has been confirmed, fans might get to see EC3 and Dream face off at Takeover: Brooklyn IV on Aug. 18. If the EC3 and Dream do face-off in Brooklyn, it could be a match that steals the show.
One question that came out of the recent NXT Takeover: Chicago event was “where was EC3?”
EC3 is one of the one of NXT’s rising superstars and has been a house of fire since he arrived on the brand. In his first Takeover in New Orleans, he and Dream were a part of the six-man NXT North American Championship ladder match – one of two matches that earned five stars in the evening.
When NXT Takeover: Chicago came around, it made sense to see EC3 compete at the event. Yet the man formerly known as Ethan Carter III didn’t wrestle on the card. He made an appearance on the Takeover pre-show panel, drawing a big response from the crowd.
An explanation as to why EC3 did not compete at Takeover: Chicago was summed up as not having enough space for him on the card. Takeover events usually have five matches and the entire event lasts about two and a half hours.
There’s a chance NXT could increase the time of Takeover events and add more matches. There are pros and cons to extending the time of a Takeover event, but that is a topic for another day.
Meanwhile Dream had a stellar match against Ricochet where the two tried to outshine each other throughout the match. In the end, Ricochet claimed the victory.
The match with Ricochet is one of a few examples of Dream wrestling solid matches at Takeovers events going back to his classic with Aleister Black at Takeover Houston. Some critics would say his short match with Kassius Ohno at Takeover: Philadelphia was lackluster. In the 10 minutes, the competitors put on a good match that had fun moments, including Dream’s showboating after he “knocked out” his opponent.
In addition to his matches, Dream has made his entrance a featured part of the act.
While NXT fans may not have seen much of EC3’s work between the yellow ropes since he returned to the brand, he has a wealth of in-ring experience and has spent a lot of time developing the character.
There is already a narrative built in for this feud with the events of the UK Championship special. Dream and EC3 could build on their initial animosity with great microphone work and trash talking.
NXT’s Takeover Brooklyn events have become the brand’s big showcases. There have been many NXT classic bouts that have happened in the Barclays Center in the last three years.
EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream could be added to the list.
NXT UK Premiers on WWE Network October 17
WWE has officially announced the premier of NXT UK on the WWE Network, in a Twitter post that appeared on Wednesday morning.
Per the announcement, the UK division of the NXT brand will debut on October 17th at 8pm BST and will air weekly, featuring male and female wrestlers in the UK.
BREAKING: #NXTUK, a new weekly episodic series featuring the greatest male and female competitors from the UK, will stream on @WWENetwork on Wednesdays beginning 17th October at 8pm BST. pic.twitter.com/L8wVJquMdF
— WWE UK (@WWEUK) October 11, 2018
Lita Praises Bianca Belair
WWE Hall of Famer Lita had some high praise for NXT superstar Bianca Belair, noting her “great attitude” and how “physically gifted” she is, adding that “when I very first saw her she had that intangible star quality that I just want to see more”, during an interview with The Sun.
“Down at the performance center, all the guys at NXT are in the ring every day and in class,” Lita said. “They have everything they need to learn and there is so much talent in regards to physical ability and thinking about their character. But for someone to have that intangible star factor… Bianca Belair, along with some other the others there, is very talented.”
Lita is also impressed with how Blair uses her hair as a weapon.
“It’s crazy, no-one has ever used their hair as a weapon. It’s so cool how she thought of that and how it works. She sure has that star quality and uniqueness.”
Johnny Gargano Talks NXT, Dream Matches
NXT superstar Johnny Gargano remains one of the most popular superstars on the brand and while his callup to the main roster seems imminent, he prefers to stay on the NXT brand, a brand he takes a lot of pride in.
“I do not see why not, everyone’s dream – and mine too – is to wrestle at WrestleMania, but right now NXT is such a special place” Gargano said of a potential call up, during an interview with the Daily Star.
“We are focused on building something wrestling fans can be proud of, and we are building it together.”
But Gargano, during a recent media session, discussed some dream matches he would want to make a reality when he does make it to the main roster.
“[…] so I’m going up to the main roster…after I win the NXT title and everything’s done. After that, man, I’m gonna say, obviously Daniel Bryan” Gargano said. “That’s a dream match that a lot of people would love to see now.”
“I think I just posted a Tweet recently that the internet went nuts for, and that’s me and Seth Rollins,” Gargano said. “Because, of course, I wore my Captain America Infinity War gear and he just wore the Thanos gear, so you never know what can happen there.”
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