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.
Donovan Dijak Suffers Injury at NXT Vengeance Day
NXT Vengeance Day was a rousing success for WWE on Saturday which saw a number of headlines come out of the event that was well-received by fans, including an injury suffered by Donovan Dijak during his match with Wes Lee for the North American Championship.
Dijak suffered an apparent broken finger during the match, which was seen on camera and shared on social media.
Following the event NXT general manager Shawn Michaels provided an update on Dijak, stating he did not suffer a broken finger – “Yeah, everybody is good” Michaels said. “I announced it at gorilla, it’s got to be a miracle, It’s not broken.
“We got him x-ray, they said it’s not broken and so yeah, I guess what you do is you kind of numb it and put it back in place and that’s what’s happening now. But it is, again, a modern miracle because we all saw it, it was pretty gnarly looking. But, apparently, he’s going to be okay, which is obviously fantastic news for us and him.”
William Regal’s New Title in WWE Return
William Regal has made his return to WWE following his brief stint with AEW and now has a new title that is much different than what he had prior to his release from WWE during budget cuts last year.
Regal was Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting prior to his release. Regal was also the former General Manager for NXT and also had an on-screen role before he made his way to AEW.
According to PWInsider, Regal is now the Vice President, Global Talent Development for WWE.
Ahead of his return to WWE and amid his exit from AEW, Regal issued the following on social media:
“Yesterday was my last official day with @AEW. I’d like to thank @TonyKhan, Megha and all the hard working crew. Contrary to people who’ve never spoken to me or have their information from people who don’t know me or are trying to make themselves noticed, I had a lovely time working there and had a great time. Lots of talented Wrestlers, and lovely people to work for. To my fellow BCC members, it was a special, albeit brief few months but it cemented our already strong friendship. To everyone there, thank you for welcoming me. Best wishes.”
Ex-NJPW Star Karl Fredericks Signs with WWE
Former New Japan Pro Wrestling star Karl Fredericks has officially signed with WWE following the conclusion of his four-year tenure with NJPW. Fredericks announced on social media back in summer 2022 that he would not re-sign with NJPW.
Fredericks was initially linked to WWE last September, when he was reportedly spotted at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
According to PW Insider, Fredericks has officially signed with WWE and will be a part of the NXT brand initially.
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