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.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) July 5, 2018
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 2.0 Welcoming Main Roster Superstars Tonight
During tonight’s edition of NXT 2.0 fans can expect to see a number of main roster superstars on the show, which will air from Orlando, Florida on the USA Network.
Raw Superstars Nikki A.S.H and Doudrop will be back in NXT to battle Toxic Attraction, which was setup following Toxic Attraction’s interference that cost Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop the NXT Women’s tag team titles in their match against Katana Chance & Kayden Carter at Worlds Collide this weekend.
Nikki may be finally losing her super-hero gimmick and perhaps return to her prior character in NXT.
On tap for tonight:
- Ricochet vs. Trick Williams
- JD McDonagh vs. Wes Lee
- Axiom and Nathan Frazer will kick off their Best of Three series
- Meiko Satomura vs. Roxanne Perez
NXT’s Adam Cole Discusses Creative Freedom
NXT Champion Adam Cole is at the height of his success with the promotion, recently defeating Johnny Gargano in another instant classic to capture his first NXT Championship, and he is talking about how things go down in NXT.
Unlike much of the main roster, where promos are often scripted and comedy-acts are more common, Cole says that superstars in NXT get a bit more creative freedom, as he had with Gargano for their match.
“One of the coolest things about NXT is we have a ton of creative liberties to come up with the story and the vision we have for the match” Cole said, during an interview with TalkSport. “Of course, there’s input and advice given and there’s suggestions or, you know ‘we need something this way’ (but) we do have a lot of freedom, which is great.”
Cole added that he and Gargano came up with the format for their two out of three falls classic at NXT Takeover: New York.
Fandango, Apollo Crews, Killain Dain Make Returns to NXT
WWE is starting to allow superstars on their main rosters to transition back to NXT, much like they did with Tyler Breeze, who recently returned to NXT, where he had his most success, following around 2 years of meandering on the main roster following his callup.
Fandango, Apollo Crews, and Killian Dain made their returns to NXT tv at Winter Park, FL at Full Sail University for Thursday’s NXT TV tapings.
Fandango, also making his return from injury, made the save for his Breezango partner, Tyler Breeze, who was on the receiving end of an attack at the hands of the Forgotten Sons. Crews made his return to take on Kushida in singles competition, and Dain made a brutal attack on Matt Riddle following Riddle’s win over Arture Rass.
Fandango had been out of action after suffering a shoulder injury back in July 2018.
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