The WWE Network features some of the best content of the wrestling week on a consistent basis. Thus, those Network shows deserve the same 3 Stars of The Night treatment as Monday Night Raw and Smackdown Live.
The Third Star:
The Mighty (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller)
I’m not gonna lie here–I’m 100% biased when it comes to The Mighty.
As TMDK, they captured the hearts and imaginations of fans all over the world. I was lucky enough to work with Nick Miller myself, as we booked the then Mikey Nicholls, where he first worked as a heel and showed early promise of a career that’s taken him to NXT.
Their match was a handicap match (thanks to child birth), but this was all about character development for The Mighty. If they keep this up, NXT gold could end up around their waists.
The Second Star:
The story of the match was Gargano’s continued departure from Johnny Wrestling as he marches towards Johnny Aggression (and, of course, eventually Johnny Hero), the real star of the match was the former Ethan Carter III.
I’m still concerned that EC3, much like Drew McIntyre before him, is out of place in NXT, but time will have to tell me if I am right. For now, EC3 continues to outperform the opposition in nearly every way possible, en route to whatever his WWE future may hold.
Others given consideration:
Johnny Gargano, Santana Garrett, Bianca Bel Air, Noam Dar, and Drake Maverick.
And now…a distinction usually reserved for the top performer of the night…the first star!
The First Star:
Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy (tie)
Tuesday’s match-up was seemingly their last for a while, as Mustafa Ali overcame the onslaught of Buddy Murphy, a match that it seemed like the Australian was certain to win.
And that’s the reason for the tie. The match was booked to tell us the story that Buddy Murphy was about to pick up the decisive victory and end his issue with Ali. Had he won, he’d occupy this spot all to his own.
But he didn’t win! Mustafa Ali pulls out the win with a Tornado DDT off of the ring steps (which were in the ring), winning the feud and most importantly (in my mind) driving this tie at the top this week.
In hockey, a game’s “Three Stars Of The Night” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:
“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.
Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.
The NHL keeps track of its own Three Stars Of The Night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”
In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.