— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) August 18, 2018
Velveteen Dream is totally trying to get themselves’ fired, right?
I mean, the Dream came out with “Call me up, Vince” airbrushed on the arse-end of their tights, in prime real estate where the crowd and, more specifically, all of the hard-cameras couldn’t miss it. Obviously, they wouldn’t have gone out without prior approval from at least somebody in creative, especially since even Mauro Ranallo drew attention to it on commentary, but still, right? The Hogan get-up at the last TakeOver was brash enough, but between this and Dream’s deliberate overselling of EC3’s offense in the first half of the match, almost definitely a callback to the infamous Hogan/HBK SummerSlam match-up, Velveteen is totally trying to get themselves’ fired. I loved it, because Dream is already preternaturally good and he’s 9 months younger than me (THE NERVE), but I also want them to stop because I don’t want anything bad to happen to this beautiful creature. Tyler Breeze on the main roster is still too raw a wound to bring up.
Anyways, EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream suffered partly because the crowd was still burned out from that opener and because it was more of a straightforward WWE-style match than NXT typically gives us. The latter is not a knock against the match, by the way; one of my favourite things about this card is how each and every match provided something different from everything else on the card, so it was kind of a supercard for the variety provided by wrestling as a whole. It was also to be expected given that Dream and the former-Derrick Bateman are WWE-grown talent instead of wholly imported tastes from elsewhere, but this was still a fun time! The match wasn’t a classic, but it told a good story thanks to both wrestlers being great characters and consistent sellers, whilst the ending of Dream hitting both the Dream Valley Driver and Purple Rainmaker elbow on the ring apron – statistically the Hardest Part of the Ring™ – was very sweet indeed. It did what it needed to do, providing a relative rest for what was to come, without taking that as an excuse to phone proceedings in and even making a compelling argument for more WWE-style matches in NXT more often.
Also, Dream won and I can’t dislike a TakeOver match where the Velveteen Dream actually won! Can we get Dream into a rematch with Ricochet but this time for the North American Title, so we can finally put some gold around their waist?