Date: December 6, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
Things are about to get interesting around here again as we start the process of crowning a new #1 contender to challenge Andrade Cien Almas for the NXT Title. That process will take place over the next several weeks as we’ll have four qualifying matches to set up a four way match with the winner getting the title shot. Let’s get to it.
We open with William Regal announcing the competition to establish a new #1 contender. Velveteen Dream was scheduled to face Kassius Ohno but is being held out due to an injury. A replacement will be named.
Here are Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega for the big championship celebration. Vega tells us to get on our feet while Almas says he told us all so. He laughs at the idea of injuring Drew McIntyre and says WE ARE NXT to wrap things up in a hurry.
Earlier today, Lars Sullivan called Roderick Strong a handsome guy, which Sullivan certainly isn’t. All Lars cares about is getting his hands on Strong so he can become the NXT Champion.
Fatal Four Way Qualifying Match: Trent Seven vs. Killian Dane
Seven charges straight into a forearm and a running dropkick sends him into the corner. We hit the neck crank on Seven for a bit before he kicks Dane in the knee and grabs a DDT. The Seven Stars lariat is cut off with a crossbody for two more. A second attempt at the lariat gets two but Dane is right back up with a backsplash into a Vader Bomb to end Seven at 3:13.
Rating: C. Now that is how you make Dane look like an unstoppable monster. He beat the heck out of Seven here, nearly no sold his finisher, and ended him in short order. Dane looked awesome out there and someone pinning him later will look like a bigger deal as a result. Seven will be fine of course as he just needs a promo about his mustache to get him back on track.
The Undisputed Era talks about awesome they are with Adam Cole promising to take out Aleister Black next week. The week after that, Fish and O’Reilly will take the Tag Team Titles from Sanity.
Ruby Riott vs. Sonya Deville
No holds barred. Sonya wastes no time in throwing her down, only to get rolled up for one. A snap suplex gives Ruby one but the Riot Kick is countered into an ankle lock. Ruby grabs a rope but realizes it doesn’t matter, meaning it’s a kick to the head for the break instead. Back from a break with Sonya breaking up a dragon suplex and driving a hard knee into the ribs for two.
A jumping lariat gets the same and we hit the chinlock. Riott fights up with some forearms to the jaw, followed by a springboard faceplant for two of her own. Sonya is smart enough to head out to the floor and Ruby’s ankle is fine enough for a suicide dive. Back in and Sonya kicks her in the face, followed by a triangle choke (in the ropes, which doesn’t matter) for the knockout at 11:15.
Rating: C+. This was hard hitting stuff and a good way to wrap up the feud. They made a big point out of Riott not tapping, which keeps her looking strong in defeat. That’s the right call when you have two people who recently made their debuts on Raw. Good fight here and the ending worked well.
Ember Moon is answering questions when the Iconic Duo comes up. Moon didn’t pin Peyton Royce so she should get a title shot. The match is quickly granted for next week.
Pete Dunne defends the UK Title against Tyler Bate in two weeks.
Video recapping the history between Bate and Dunne.
Fatal Four Way Qualifying Match: Kassius Ohno vs. Johnny Gargano
They circle each other for a bit with a handshake being the only contact in the first minute. Some early cradles give both of them two each until Gargano kicks him in the face to take over. The slingshot spear is countered though and Ohno blasts him in the face to send us to a break.
Back with Ohno dropping a knee to the face with the knee pad pulled down. Gargano tries to fight back so Ohno kicks him square in the jaw for two instead. The backsplash hits knees though and Johnny scores with some clotheslines of his own. A hurricanrana out of the corner sets up an enziguri to send Ohno outside.
Now the slingshot spear connects for two but Johnny misses his rolling kick to the head. Ohno has to bail out of his own dive to the floor and it’s a suicide dive into a tornado DDT to drive Ohno into the ramp. That should probably kill him but he’s right back up without too much energy.
Back in and Ohno’s Cyclone Kick gets two and frustration sets in. Gargano gets two off a victory roll but Ohno hits a great looking flying forearm to the back of the head for the same. Mauro: “What is Johnny Gargano made of??? SOMEONE TEST THAT MAN’S DNA!!!” A series of kicks has Kassius reeling though and the Gargano Escape makes him tap at 14:40.
Rating: B+. This was a heck of a beating with the two guys hitting each other as hard as they could for a long time. Gargano surviving to win in the end was the right call and tells a much better story. Ohno is the kind of guy who can lose over and over again and still come out just fine, which is what will happen here. Really great fight though with the right ending.
Gargano calls Ohno back to the ring for a fist bump of respect to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. The main event more than carries this show but it’s clear that we’re in for the long form build on a lot of these stories. The best thing continues to be building up more than one week’s worth of matches, which gives you ample reason to come back. You get the feeling that this is a very well planned out show and that’s such a nice change of pace over Raw and Smackdown, which feel like they’re made up that day (likely because that’s probably true).
Killian Dane b. Trent Seven – Vader Bomb
Sonya Deville b. Ruby Riott – Triangle choke
Johnny Gargano b. Kassius Ohno – Gargano Escape
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