Date: October 16, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, Nigel McGuinness
It’s a big night as we have the return of Tommaso Ciampa to in ring action. That’s quite the get for NXT, as they are in for a fight against Dynamite. There are only so many people you can throw out there and Ciampa is already a legend around here. Speaking of legends, the advertisements for the show have featured Finn Balor so we could be in for another major appearance. Let’s get to it.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Angel Garza
Ciampa gets the hero’s return welcome. They start fast with Ciampa running him over but they both miss kicks to the ribs, allowing Garza to kneel for a handshake over. Ciampa kicks that away but gets enziguried for his efforts. Back in and the Fairy Tale Ending is blocked and Garza dropkicks him in the corner for a trip to the floor.
That means a big flip dive but hang on, because GARZA HAS TO TAKE OFF HIS PANTS. Ever the pants fan, Ciampa snaps and stomps away in the corner, before stomping on the Mexican flag in the corner, including a kneeing knee. He even loads up the Fairy Tale Ending on the flag but stops to hit the Willow’s Bell (hanging DDT) to finish Garza at 3:17.
Rating: C. The stuff with the flag was a little weird but at least they didn’t go into anything too strange and it didn’t become a mess. It’s good to have Ciampa back and there was no reason to have him break a major sweat in his first match back. I’m a bit surprised by having Garza be the one to take the fall here, but Ciampa is what matters the most.
Post match here’s the Undisputed Era to stare Ciampa down. Ciampa grabs his chair and crutch but hang on a second as Kyle O’Reilly goes over to the announcers’ table and throws Mauro a USB drive. The Era walks out without saying or doing anything else.
Post break we see what is on the USB, which shows the Era in the back, having laid out the Velveteen Dream and Strong BREAKING HIS SUNGLASSES.
Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch vs. Imperium
Marcel Barthel/Fabian Aichner for Imperium and they have Alexander Wolfe as a bonus. Aichner literally throws Burch into the corner to start so Burch runs him over with a shoulder. It’s off to Lorcan for a double elbow so Barthel comes in, only to dive into a headbutt from Burch.
It seems to mess with Burch even more though as Barthel hits a sliding dropkick in the corner as we take a break. Back with Burch hitting Aichner in the face and bringing Burch in for the house cleaning. Uppercuts into a slingshot dive to the floor sets up a big dive onto both of them. Back in and Burch German suplexes Aichner, followed by a powerbomb into a jackknife cover for two.
The assisted elevated DDT is broken up by Barthel so it’s Lorcan and Aichner chopping it out. Barthel dives on Burch on the floor, leaving Aichner to hit a double springboard moonsault for a close two on Lorcan. That leaves Lorcan to get beaten up with a series of strikes and the European Bomb gives Barthel the pin at 8:32.
Rating: B-. This was about four people beating the heck out of each other and that’s exactly what we got. Lorcan and Burch are not looking like a team who will ever win the titles, though that tends to make them guaranteed champions around here. Imperium being on both NXT and NXT UK adds a fresh change of pace around here and it’s an interesting twist.
Video on Johnny Gargano. He has wanted to wrestle forever and is living his dream by staying in NXT.
Gargano isn’t sure what to think about Ciampa being back and won’t know what to think until they see each other face to face.
Io Shirai vs. Kayden Carter
Carter starts fast but flips around once too often and gets shouldered down. Something like a sunset flip gives Carter two and Shirai bails to the floor. That doesn’t go well for Carter as Shirai hits her in the face, setting up a springboard missile dropkick for two back inside. Carter sweeps the leg though and a kick to Shirai’s chest staggers her a bit. A low superkick gets two on Shirai but she’s right back with a hard release German suplex. The moonsault finishes Carter at 2:37. That was a rather entertaining match for so little time.
Post match, Shirai says she only wants Shayna Baszler and not Rhea Ripley or Bianca Belair. Cue Ripley and Shirai is looking a bit nervous. Rhea is ready for Belair next week but she’ll shut Shirai up too. Shirai teases a fight but bails instead.
We look back at Killian Dain distracting Boa so Cameron Grimes could beat him in about five seconds. Dain destroyed Boa after the match for a bonus.
Boa wants revenge on Dain.
William Regal says Velveteen Dream is out of action for the time being due to the attack. Therefore, Strong needs a new #1 contender so Keith Lee vs. Dominick Dijakovic is now for a title shot.
Keith Lee vs. Dominick Dijakovic
The winner gets Strong for the North American Title next week. The exchange of shoulders goes nowhere to start so they try it again for the same result. They try a test of strength with Lee going to one arm and lifting him into the air in a nice power display. Lee shoulders him down and stays on the arm with a splash for two.
Back up and Dijakovic gets in a clothesline with the good arm and we take a break. We come back with Lee hammering away in the corner before tossing him across the ring. The Pounce gives Lee two and Dijakovic’s sitout chokeslam gets the same. Dijakovic can’t hit a superplex though as Lee shoves him down and hits a middle rope splash onto the arm. The Spirit Bomb sends Dijakovic rolling out to the floor but he’s right back with the cyclone boot for two back inside.
That means it’s Lee’s turn so he muscles Dijakovic up (on the third time in a crazy strength display) for a suplex and the big crash. Lee loads up what looked to be a Vader Bomb so Dijakovic gets him in an electric chair, which is countered into a reverse hurricanrana for the big knockdown. They get to the corner with Lee loading up a super powerbomb, only to have Strong come out and hit both of them at the same time for the no contest at 15:23.
Rating: B. It was good, but they were under the pressure of their previous outstanding matches and it didn’t hold up as well as they were shooting for. What we got was good, though the ending is the same heel idea that has never worked before and hopefully they get to the point and do the triple threat. We don’t need to see these two again in another singles match for a long time though, because the impact isn’t as strong anymore.
Hold on though as Regal wastes no time in saying that isn’t going to work and next week it’s a triple threat match for the title.
Matt Riddle vs. Bronson Reed
Riddle’s shoe flip misfires this time for a somewhat funny moment. We get a quick bit of respect before Riddle hits him in the face. The Final Flash sets up the running forearms in the corner and a t-bone suplex makes it even worse. Reed runs him over though and drops a backsplash for a fast two.
Riddle is right back with a powerbomb and the second Final Flash for two of his own. The Floating Bro is countered into a sitout powerbomb to knock Riddle silly and the straps come down. Reed tries a suplex but Riddle reverses into a sleeper. That’s escaped as well and Reed tries to jump over Riddle in the corner, only to get caught on Riddle’s shoulder in a rather nice power display. The Bro Derek finishes Reed at 3:04.
Rating: C. This was a fired up Riddle, who threw everything he had at Reed and took the big guy down. Reed looked good as well though as you can always use a monster who can move. It was more about Riddle here though and this should get him back on tract after the loss to Cole.
Video on Bianca Belair, who is ready to beat Shayna and is tired of people jumping in front of her.
Kushida has a fractured wrist and will be out for a month.
Taynara vs. Tegan Nox
Nox starts fast with a kick to the face for two but a bicycle kick puts her on the floor in a heap. Back in and Taynara gets in some rolling judo throws into some running knees in the corner for two. Nox is right back up and a running knee and a chokeslam, followed by a Willie Mack style reverse Cannonball. The Shiniest Wizard finishes Taynara at 2:55. Mauro:” Tegan Nox it out of the park!” She did look good here and just seeing her getting to wrestle again without having her knee explode is a good sign.
Post match Dakota Kai comes out to hug Nox but here are the Horsewomen to interrupt. Baszler doesn’t like the idea of Nox jumping into the title picture because she’s running out of limbs to rehab. When she does something important, come see the champ.
Finn Balor talks about needing a new path to take so he’s taking the one he took before. He’s in the ring next week.
Boa vs. Killian Dain
Boa kicks away to start and a spinning kick to the head sends Dain to the floor. That’s about it for Boa’s offense though as Dain starts the power by crushing him in the corner and whips him into another corner for a bonus. A snap suplex gets a nonchalant two and it’s off to the nerve hold. Boa tries a comeback but runs into a clothesline, setting up the three Vader Bombs to give Dain…no cover as instead he grabs something like a seated abdominal stretch for the tap at 3:37.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here for the most part with Dain dominating, as he should. Boa is someone with a good look though he is just one of the warm bodies around to take beating at the moment. That can change in the future though and he looked good for the first thirty seconds or so.
Pete Dunne comes out for his match but gets in a staredown with Dain. For some reason Dain thinks it’s a good idea to point his finger at Dunne, who snaps it to send Dain running.
Pete Dunne vs. Damien Priest
Priest goes with an elbow to the face to start before winning a battle of the kicks. With that not working for Dunne, he grabs the finger and gets in the stomp to the arm to take over. They head outside with Dunne working on the arm even more, including another stomp on the steps. Priest kicks him off the apron though and a right hand puts Dunne down again as we take a break.
Back with Dunne hitting a superplex and striking away with lefts and rights. An enziguri sets up a middle rope dropkick to the knee and Priest heads outside again. That doesn’t go well either as Dunne hits the middle rope moonsault for another knockdown. Back in and a Liger Bomb gives Dunne two more so he loads up the stomps, only to get kicked in the head.
Dunne can’t get a cross armbreaker so he tries a triangle, which Priest counters into a rollup with feet on the ropes for two. Priest sends him shoulder first into the post and gets two of his own off a Razor’s Edge (somehow without a Razor Ramon reference from Mauro). Dunne is sent outside for a crazy running flip dive from Priest, followed by the South of Heaven chokeslam for another near fall.
They slug it out with Priest turning him inside out with a clothesline. The Reckoning is blocked but Dunne can’t hit the Bitter End. Another chokeslam is countered with an enziguri so Priest hits a spinning kick to the head. They’re both down but Dunne gets up first, only to have his moonsault hit knees. Dunne slips out of a powerbomb though and cranks on the finger, with the referee getting between them. That’s enough for a low blow from Priest and the Reckoning gives Priest the pin at 14:20.
Rating: B. This worked very well with two guys beating the heck out of each other and one of them taking the shortcut to win in the end. Dunne doesn’t lose anything here and you can almost guarantee a rematch here, perhaps in the form of a tag match with Dain joining Priest against Dunne and….Riddle maybe? If that’s still a thing?
Overall Rating: B-. The main event helped a lot here but the show hasn’t felt quite as special since the show moved up to two hours. The shows are still quite good though and we are getting some big stuff in the future, though it doesn’t have exactly the same spark that it had for all those years. Good show here, though it was missing a little something.
Overall, AEW wins this week but as usual it’s just by a hair. They had a tighter show with better matches up and down the card. The big tag match on Dynamite was the best thing all night and I liked how they were setting up Full Gear. NXT worked rather well too, though it lagged a few times and it hurt things just enough to give Dynamite the win.
Tommaso Ciampa b. Angel Garza – Willow’s Bell
Imperium b. Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan – European Bomb to Lorcan
Io Shirai b. Kayden Carter – Moonsault
Keith Lee vs. Dominick Dijakovic went to a no contest when Roderick Strong interfered
Matt Riddle b. Bronson Reed – Bro Derek
Tegan Nox b. Taynara – Shiniest Wizard
Killian Dain b. Boa – Seated abdominal stretch
Damien Priest b. Pete Dunne – Reckoning
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