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By Mike Johnson on 2021-04-07 11:45:00

WWE Network and Peacock debuted a new, effective Prime Target previewing Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly yesterday in advance of this week's Takeover: Stand and Deliver match between the two.  The 12-minute extended version of what aired on last week's episode of WWE NXT was an excellent precursor to the match, building up the story of a deeper emotional bond between the two that has gone to hell.

They bookended the special with Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly sitting in separate interrogation rooms, discussing their respective memories of meeting the other and their past interactions prior to WWE, using backstage photos from independent shows and New Japan Pro Wrestling to tell the tale.

The special then followed O'Reilly as he exercised on a beach at sunrise, noting the last time he saw the sunrise was partying during a time period with Undisputed Era.  He said that he had changed his focus and found himself moving away from the things that brought him to WWE in the first place.  With footage of O'Reilly biking across an empty beach and floating in the ocean as ethereal music played over the scene, the viewer was given the idea that he was trying to expunge the past to move forward, a quiet piece of storytelling that was an interesting editorial choice for a genre more likely to beat you over the head with the obvious.  The theme for Kyle was whether he was looking for revenge or redemption and that he was admitting that he just didn't know.  It was a reflection that cut far deeper and more realistic than most pro wrestling promos do.

Prime Target then flipped the coin.  Whereas O'Reilly was presented as the Everyman trying to find his balance going into the battle, Cole was presented as sort of a modern interpretation of the Ric Flair style of overwhelming confidence one finds in a professional wrestler.  Bursting with overconfidence, we see Cole jumping in a limo for a meal and enjoying the finer things in life thanks to his success.  He noted that these were the things Kyle was giving up to try and "find himself."  He said Kyle couldn't sleep at night, but Cole is happy to just go buy a better, more expensive bed so he can sleep at night.  Cole

Cole said Kyle was happy being a lapdog on the sidelines while Cole claiming always pushed himself harder and that he, no one else, was the successful one, the driver of the Undisputed Era machine.  In what may have been foreshadowing of how the other members of UE could be involved this week, Cole even took credit for being the only reason anyone even knows the names of Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly.   He was the star and they were the lackeys. 

The special presented Cole as someone who couldn't believe Kyle wanted to throw everything they accomplished away for the greater good but that unlike Kyle, Cole knew and still knows who he is.   Cole said he was a winner and Kyle had proven he was a loser all along with his choices.

The special then provided an overview of the recent angles between the two as they have gotten arrested for incidents with each other, leading to William Regal declaring they would have an Unsanctioned match at Takeover: Stand and Deliver.  The idea is that NXT isn't accountable for what they are going to do to each other, pushing the harshness of the grudge match between the two.  This was edited like a huge montage scene leading to the big fight that closes out of an action movie.

This was an excellent, effective Prime Target.  If someone had never seen either performer or even WWE NXT before, they could easily understand and learn who these personalities were, why they were going to war and where each of them stood as they reached the battleground.  Well worth checkinng out even if you saw the truncated version on NXT TV.

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