#NXTMVP: Oney Lorcan (Week of 4/2/2017)

Dave Gibb explains why Oney Lorcan takes this week's NXT MVP honors.

Traditionally, the episodes of NXT immediately following TakeOver specials have been clip shows featuring highlights, post match promos, and a few dark matches from the big show. This week’s edition followed that formula but offered a much more compelling standalone show than past post-TakeOver episodes have mustered.

This week’s #NXTMVP is a wrestler who stuck his head and shoulder above the parapet in Orlando, asserting himself as a main wheel in the next year of NXT television: Oney Lorcan, formerly known on the independent scene as Biff Busick.

Lorcan richly deserved the opportunity to wrestle before the Orlando crowd, as his masterful match with Andrade “Cien” Almas on the March 22 episode of NXT was key to preparing the former La Sombra for his feature bout against Aleister Black on the TakeOver card. Over the last year, Lorcan has been the most important enhancement talent in the promotion, but this week’s show proved he’s ready to move into a full-time role.

Throughout the show, Oney displayed an intriguing promo style, which stood out on the WWE stage: he talked like an actual person might talk. His backstage promo, while far from cable TV polished, was a clear mission statement for his character, and Lorcan delivered it with the curt, straightforward honesty of a man who’s confident he can win a fight. His later in-ring promo was filled with righteous babyface intensity, even in the face of a crowd that was mostly done caring about pre-show matches and ready for TakeOver to start.

When the time for his match came, Lorcan made his way to the ring with purpose, looking ready for the task at hand, as NXT color commentator Nigel McGuiness said, “He’s gritty, and he’s determined, and he’s street tough. Boy, can he get the job done. He reminds me of a young Fit Finlay or William Regal.”

When Lorcan’s opponent was ultimately revealed to be El Vagabundo (or The Midnight Drifter, Drifter Lee, Dirty Yellow Drifter, Drifter Brown from Outta Town, Giant Drifter Machine, Mr. Drift-S-A, as you will), who then proceeded to sing a song comedically deriding the audience, it was easy to assume that Lorcan was simply there to be a body in a short exhibition of pure Sports Entertainment. However, like last week’s #NXTMVP act, Heavy Machinery, Lorcan turned what could’ve been comedy into hard-hitting action. As he slammed into the masked Vagabundo over and over again in the corner, Lorcan showed the intensity and explosiveness that could easily make him one of NXT’s top acts.

When Lorcan ultimately hit his beautiful neckbreaker and unmasked El Vagabundo (who, shockingly, did in fact turn out to be “The Drifter” Elias Samson), he took his first step toward being a featured babyface.

This week’s episode of NXT may have been leftovers from Saturday night’s TakeOver, but it wasn’t a microwaved slice of dry meatloaf; it was a hot Thanksgiving sandwich with all the fixings. In a few months when Oney Lorcan is competing for the NXT Championship, fans will look back on his #NXTMVP performance on this week’s show as the beginning of the Lorcan movement.

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David Gibb

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