February 3 was a big day not only because it's the date of this year's Super Bowl, but also because it marked the return of WWE Halftime Heat for the first time in 19 years.
WWE knows some people don't care about the musical portion of the year's biggest football game, so it decided to offer an alternative on WWE Network in the form of a six-man tag team match featuring some of the biggest stars in NXT.
Let's take a look at what happened on the return of Halftime Heat.
Aleister Black, Ricochet and Velveteen Dream vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano
The last time WWE had a match on Halftime Heat, we saw The Rock battle Mick Foley in an empty arena. The company opted to go a different route this time by featuring six NXT Superstars instead of two of the biggest names on the main roster.
The spark that lit the fire took place after NXT TakeOver: Phoenix. Aleister Black, Ricochet and Velveteen Dream got into a brawl with Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano, but it was quickly broken up by Triple H.
Ricochet and Johnny Takeover got things started with a spirited exchange of counters and takedowns. When it was time to tag in a partner, Gargano opted to bring in Cole instead of Ciampa.
This was the definition of a fast-paced match. Everyone was using all of their most exciting moves, and the crowd was responding with constant chants of "This is awesome" and "Fight forever."
Unfortunately, using such a quick pace led to a few noticeable mistakes. Nobody botched anything big, but there was no hiding a few missteps.
The action was outstanding and all six guys looked great, but they sacrificed story in the name of choreographing as many multiple-man spots as possible. It was fun but hollow.
Black kept the heels at bay, while Ricochet hit a springboard 450, and Dream nailed the Purple Rainmaker Elbow on Cole to score the win.
This was a fun alternative to the Super Bowl halftime show, but it's not a match people will be talking about in a month.
Notes and Highlights
- WWE chose to film this at the Performance Center instead of Full Sail University.
- It's always nice to have a two-man commentary team. Shawn Michaels and Vic Joseph worked well together.
- Dream's football-inspired gear went over big with the crowd.
- It's always nice to see Jessika Carr refereeing a match. She usually officiates for women, so it's nice to see WWE letting her work with the men.
- Who convinced Vince McMahon to unban the Canadian Destroyer move? Cole is the third Superstar to use it in the past month.