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    Thursday, May 4, 2017

    NXTBT: Holla Holla, It's a Tag Team Match!

    Welcome back to another edition of NXTBT!

    Now Hold On Just a Minute, Playas

    Seth Rollins kicks off this episode in a match against Camacho, who had his buddy Hunico tagging along. This was a much better showing for Rollins compared to the previous episode, although it’s still not much—there’s a couple of moments in the match where they awkwardly stand around while waiting for the other guy to get in position. That said, Camacho did get some great height on a leg drop, but this match wasn’t really anything to write home about.

    Camacho is one of those guys we tend to forget actually existed in the WWE, so let’s talk about him for a bit here. He originally came onto the scene as Hunico’s enforcer, where they had a lengthy reign of terror on the WWE B-show Superstars. They even rode around in a lowrider bicycle, which is both as ludicrous and funny as it sounds. Camacho would continue being your typical Latino for most of his time in the WWE, before leaving in 2014. After a brief stint in TNA, Camacho found his way to NJPW, where he hooked up with his adopted brother Tama Tonga and formed the Guerillas of Destiny, two-time IWGP Tag Team Champions. Say hello to Tanga Roa:

    From Mexican gringo to foul-mouthed Tongan guerilla—how's that for reinvention?

    Anyway, back to NXT. Rollins was beaten down by Hunico and Camacho, leading to Bo Dallas making the save. Yes, former World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins once had to be saved by the inspirational, ex-Social Outcast Bo Dallas. Now there are two guys on each side, and you know what happens when things even up, right?

    Oh, surprise, now it’s a six-man tag team match, with Tyson Kidd and Michael McGillicutty being inserted here for some reason. Considering that these two put on NXT’s best match to date since the reboot, though, I’m not going to complain. McGillicutty got his revenge here, pinning Kidd after a McGillicutter when the latter’s teammates were held back outside after a pair of dives. Well, at least they showed how messy it gets when bodies get tangled up outside the ring. This was a good main event that saw a couple of nice spots, including a couple of nice exchanges between Kidd and Hunico.

    We’ll be seeing these guys continue to fight in the next couple of episodes, meaning that this is probably the first semblance of a feud we have in NXT. Hey, they can’t just keep introducing new faces forever.

    Oh, No!

    This episode of NXT also gave us the debut of Kassius Ohno. He’s presented as a sadistic, brooding guy who likes to hurt people, and whose mere appearance makes people say “oh no!” I wonder if he always believed people thought they were fucked when they saw him, rather than them just greeting him by name like any normal person would. Ohno picks up a quick win against Mike Dalton, knocking him out cold with a rolling elbow. This went how most debuts have gone on NXT—random guy gets a couple of shots in, but it’s the guy being showcased who looks dominant and wins.

    You’ve also probably noticed how 2012 Kassius Ohno looks so different from 2017 Ohno. That’s about an additional 50 lbs., give or take, which he’s said is due to a medical condition. It’s worth noting that despite the weight gain, Ohno continued to tear it up on the independent circuit. In the time between his first NXT run and his present one, he put on a legitimate case for being the best wrestler in the world. The guy was as athletic as ever and moved around as if he didn’t have all that extra weight, which is actually pretty impressive when you think about it. He's still a huge asset for NXT to have back, and we can only hope that Ohno’s second run turns out to be much better than the first.

    The Rest of the Show:
    • Sofia Cortez def. Paige. Before Paige’s dominant run on NXT, she was just another wrestler making someone else look good. Former Tough Enough contestant Sofia Cortez was the star of this match, picking up a victory after a DDT. Cortez has since moved on from the WWE (thanks, Bill DeMott!), but has at least found success in other places. She’s a multi-time Shine Champion, but you probably know her better as Lucha Underground’s Baddest Bitch in the Temple, Ivelisse. Also, we'd probably be raving about this match if it happened in 2017.
    • Corey Graves & Jake Carter def. CJ Parker & Nick Rogers. SHUT UP, TOM! Graves and Carter look like a pair of Hancock's homeless drunk friends here, and their finisher is even called the Bottoms Up. Fun fact: Jake Carter is actually a second-generation wrestler, being the son of none other than Vader. His career in the WWE didn’t really turn out too well, but at least he’s dating JoJo. Yes, Monday Night RAW’s JoJo.
    • Jinder Mahal def. Derrick Bateman. The Jinder Unhindered World Tour continues, with Mahal picking up a win over the future Ethan Carter III. This was a much better Bateman match—his flash pins and decent offense were a little fun to watch. It's a little odd that it's Bateman picking up this loss, when at this point, he was considered a future star. Nevertheless, Mahal is being built up as a decent threat here.
    This was a much better episode than the previous one, mainly because of the main event. There are still too many matches being crammed in the space of one hour—we had six for this week—but look for that to drop down in the next couple of episodes. This is the point where NXT started to build some feuds, especially now that we know who most of the major players are. It's slowly coming out of its starting phase, and we'll be seeing more stories in the next few episodes.

    Cover photo taken from Uproxx.


    Anthony Cuello is an HR and training practitioner. When he’s not sleeping or reading the Harvard Business Review, he covers Lucha Underground for Smark Henry. A psychology nut, he tends to watch wrestling looking for these small nuances of in-ring behavior. He dreams of a wrestling business with good people management practices, and hopes to help make that happen one day.

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    Item Reviewed: NXTBT: Holla Holla, It's a Tag Team Match! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Anthony Cuello
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