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 Takeover: Blackpool Card
WWE is preparing for their upcoming NXT event, NXT Takeover: Blackpool, and after the airing of this week’s NXT, the full card is now in focus.
NXT UK’s first Takeover event hits the WWE Network, live from Blackpool, England, this Saturday.
Here is the card, at the time of this writing:
NXT UK Women’s Championship Match – Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Match – Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake)
WWE United Kingdom Championship Match – Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey
No DQ Match – Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis
Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin
WWE Reportedly Interested In KUSHIDA
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA is reportedly drawing interest from WWE, according to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
KUSHIDA, 35, has been the cornerstone of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s light heavyweight division and one of their most recognized stars, globally.
The report indicates that NXT is the destination if WWE were to lure KUSHIDA from New Japan.
With NXT globalizing, an NXT Japan seems like a natural progression for the brand and KUSHIDA could be in those potential plans moving forward.
Matt Riddle Talks About Joining WWE/NXT
NXT superstar Matt Riddle has been gaining popularity since his landmark signing earlier this year, and during a recent interview with ESPN for their story on the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, Riddle says that he should have been with WWE long before his 2018 signing.
“I moved my family down here, I’ve got three kids and a wife, so it’s nice,” Riddle said.
“I just wrestle in Florida every weekend. We occasionally do tours or TakeOvers, but for the most part, now I get to spend more time with my family. I’m more local, and it’s great. The training here is top-notch,” he continued. “Where I was, I was lucky to even train three times a week, because my schedule was so insane — and I didn’t have the coaches or amenities to do [much more than that].”
“I just feel like I belong here. I felt like I belonged here three-and-a-half years ago when I had my first try out.”
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