The End of #DIY
Two weeks removed from the brutal assault that ended NXT Takeover: Chicago, Tommaso Ciampa came out and cut a strong and important 10 minute promo in the middle of the ring. He talked about the news of his injury leaking and knowing that people were talking about who would replace him. With much anger, Tommaso talked and pointed out his hatred for the people to say that and knowing that Johnny Gargano would do the exact same thing, finding someone to take his spot. Ciampa showed to me, on NXT, that he is for real. We have gotten incredible matches over the past year, as well as memorable moments from every single NXT Takeover from #DIY. The timing was perfect and his injury is only going to help him upon his return. He showed to me that he can dominate the mic and get everyone to listen to every single word that he says.
His inflection in his voice, his reasoning and his intense looks at himself (rarely at the crowd) made this promo impac a feud that can carry until August between him and Gargano without either of them really seeing each other until then. I think this would be a spectacular way to book their feud, but tonight was an excellent and compelling first step in a long trail.
Pete Dunne Dominates
In a bruising confrontation between new United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and Danny Birch. For Dunne, it is all about continuing to showcase his unlikable, yet likable, gimmick to the NXT Universe. For Danny Birch, it is about trying to carve his name in that roster of talented UK guys. Pete Dunne hit Birch with a suplex into the corner before hitting Bitter End.
We all knew the champion would win, but do not discount how strong and physical Birch was tonight. He held his own against a technical and physical presence in the ring and I think he could really be valuable down the road. Unfortunately, there are already 4-5 guys ahead of him and Pete Dunne will be the guy that decides who rises above him. Figuratively speaking, of course, but Tyler Bate coming back with a more intense gimmick would really spin off well. Furthermore, the constant showcase of the United Kingdom talent on NXT will tell you who can swim and who will sink. A strong and physical match will always impress a crowd like NXT and it was a good bout tonight. Nothing fancy, just physical.
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