Date: November 15, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Mauro Ranallo
It’s the last show before Takeover: WarGames and that means things could be getting very fun in a hurry. The big story tonight, aside from the build towards Saturday’s main event of course, it Andrade Cien Almas and NXT Champion Drew McIntyre coming face to face. That match hasn’t gotten a lot of attention so a good focus could serve it well. Let’s get to it.
Street Profits vs. Riddick Moss/Tino Sabbatelli
This has been built up in a culture clash feud over recent weeks. Sabbatelli drives Dawkins into the corner to start but a shoulder puts him down, allowing Ford to come in for a basement dropkick. That’s about it for Ford’s offense though as he gets double teamed in the corner, followed by Moss’ hard belly to back. Ford is able to get over for the hot tag though and house is cleaned in a hurry. Sabbatelli avoids a splash in the corner but gets punched in the jaw….for the pin at 3:18.
Rating: D+. Well that was sudden. Alexa Bliss did that to Mickie James a few weeks back but you kind of expect it to be a long time (like years) before you see it happen twice. Sabbatelli has an incredible look but you have to wonder just how bad he is to not get a chance after all this time.
Recap of Velveteen Dream vs. Aleister Black, which is all over Dream wanting Black to say his name and doing whatever he can to get such attention. The best ending: Black is about to say his name and then kicks Dream in the face so Dream can’t hear it.
Lars Sullivan vs. Raul Mendoza
Mendoza fires off some kicks to start before being run over in the corner. A powerslam and some crossface shots set up the Freak Accident (standing Boss Man Slam) for the pin at 1:50.
Post match Sullivan goes after Mendoza again but Kassius Ohno comes in for the save with no violence. Mauro makes a rare error by saying Takeover is one week from Saturday.
Johnny Gargano is in William Regal’s office to say he can turn it around. Regal knows he can and puts Gargano in a UK Title match against Pete Dunne next week.
Long recap of WarGames with a look back at how the Undisputed Era arrived and took out everyone in front of them. Sanity stood up to them and Roderick Strong/the Authors of Pain are out for revenge. It’s kind of a shame that British Strong Style can’t be the third trio but Strong and the Authors are a fine choice.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Ember Moon
Last week, Martinez said Moon can’t win the big one, which is pretty true so far. Martinez grabs a headlock to start and holds Moon down for a good while. Back up and a one footed dropkick has Martinez in trouble, followed by a double footed version to the side of the head for two. Martinez throws her outside though and we take a break. Back with Moon striking away but getting her skin chopped off for her efforts.
Three Amigos look to set up a fisherman’s buster but now the enziguri connects to get Moon out of trouble. That means a big suicide dive to the floor, only to have Martinez come back with a Tower of London, much to Nigel’s delight. Not that it matters as Ember kicks her down again and hits the Eclipse for the pin at 10:27.
Rating: C. This was a nice win for Moon as Martinez was turned into a big deal in the tournament but can put people over time and time again. The best thing about Saturday’s match is how any of the four could conceivably win, which is where NXT shines. It keeps you from being bored and waiting on the win as is so often the case on the main roster. Good tuneup for Ember here and I wouldn’t be surprised if she won the title.
Here’s McIntyre for the face to face meeting with Almas. Before Andrade comes out, Drew talks about how a plan came together. It was Zelina’s plan but it was still a plan indeed. When the pressure is on Andrade though, will be be able to rise to the occasion? Vega has been talking about mountains but for Almas, Drew is the mountain.
Drew wants Almas out here if Zelina will let him off the leash. Cue both Zelina and Almas and the brawl is on in a hurry. Zelina tries a crossbody but gets caught without much effort. A chop block takes out the champ’s knee though and Almas plants him with a hammerlock DDT. Zelina holds up the title to end the show. This was quick but it did its job.
Overall Rating: C+. Good episode that set up some stuff for Takeover, though most of the card was already set in stone anyway. It was nice to have the title match get some focus as, while it’s a simple story, it hasn’t gotten a ton of attention. Gargano vs. Dunne is a fine choice for an off week main event and then we can move on to the build towards Philadelphia in January. This show did its job though and that’s what matters most for a go home episode.
Street Profits b. Riddick Moss/Tino Sabbatelli – Right hand To Sabbatelli
Lars Sullivan b. Raul Mendoza – Freak Accident
Ember Moon b. Mercedes Martinez – Eclipse
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