Date: December 20, 2017
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness
It’s a big night for NXT as we have a pair of title matches this week. Pete Dunne will be defending the UK Title against former champion Tyler Bate and Sanity defends the Tag Team Titles against the Undisputed Era. That’s not bad for a one two punch (Bop and Bang perhaps?) so let’s get to it.
Tag Team Titles: Sanity vs. Undisputed Era
Eric Young/Killian Dain (defending) vs. Bobby Fish/Kyle O’Reilly here. Dain and Fish start things off with Bobby’s sleeper doing as well as any sleeper works on a monster. The challengers bail to the floor as the fans are behind Sanity. A gutbuster drops Kyle and Young drops a middle rope elbow for two. Young gets in a shot tot he head but Fish trips him up to send us to a break.
Back with Young in more trouble and getting suplexed into the corner. We hit the armbar for a bit until Young knees O’Reilly in the ribs. A neckbreaker gives us the double knockdown but Fish is smart enough to draw Dain in to prevent the hot tag. Young low bridges Kyle outside though and now the tag brings in Dain for the house cleaning.
Dain drops Kyle with a Michinoku Driver for two and it’s already back to Young for a powerbomb. Cue Adam Cole to crotch Young though, drawing in Nikki Cross to dive onto Adam. Young gets two more off a neckbreaker to Kyle but Cole posts Dain. A suicide dive takes Cole down but Young walks into a High/Low for the pin and the titles at 14:58.
Rating: B. Sanity feels like transitional champions and that’s ok. The Undisputed Era are the guys who will be getting the big matches and big title defenses, meaning whoever takes them down them will look like world beaters. It’s an entertaining match with all four moving quite well, along with making Dain look like more of a monster as O’Reilly and Fish were running scared of him for a long chunk of the match.
Cole celebrates with the new champs, showing off near elation to really sell the moment.
Video on Roderick Strong before his Fatal Four Way Qualifying Match later.
Shayna Baszler is coming.
Heavy Machinery admires Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss’ car until the owners show up. Trash is talked but the rich guys drive away. I can approve of more of Tino on TV.
We look back at Sonya Deville beating Ruby Riott a few weeks ago.
Sonya challenges Ember Moon for next week. The title match is confirmed.
Video on Lars Sullivan.
We look back at Aleister Black kicking Adam Cole’s head off last week.
Fatal Four Way Qualifying Match: Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan
Strong goes right at him to start but gets taken down with a hard shot to the face. The Angle Slam doesn’t work either and Lars forearms him in the back. We hit the bearhug until Strong strikes his way to freedom. Some running forearms stagger the big man but he blasts Strong in the head. For some reason Lars goes up top but gets superplexed down for two with the near fall barely getting one. Some jumping knees give Strong two but a pop up powerslam cuts him off again. The Freak Accident sends Sullivan to the #1 contenders match at 5:43.
Rating: C+. They’re pushing the heck out of Sullivan and that’s exactly what they should be doing. The guy looks like a monster and he’s being treated like one as well. If there’s one thing NXT knows how to do (and there are more than one), it’s make build up the next big thing in short order. Sullivan was barely a name months ago and now he’s looking like the biggest monster around here since…..Bray Wyatt maybe?
The Street Profits talked to some fans earlier this week. The fans seemed to like them.
The four way is next week with Aleister Black vs. Killian Dane vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Lars Sullivan.
Tyler Bate is ready to take his title back.
United Kingdom Title: Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne
Dunne is defending. The fans are split to start as Dunne takes Bate down into an armbar. Bate reverses into one of his own but has to jump out of a headscissors (with a wave to Dunne for a nice bonus). They fight over a test of strength on the mat with Bate getting powered down but bridging out in an impressive power display. A left handed sucker punch drops Dunne for two but Pete gets in a hard forearm outside to take over.
Bate stomps Pete’s hand into the steps, only to get suplexed off the steps for a cool visual. Back in and Dunne stomps on the hand to pop a finger out of joint. Tyler pops it back in so Pete stomps on it AGAIN like a true villain should. Back up and Tyler tells him to bring it before countering a kick into a t-bone suplex. A rolling kick to the head looks to set up the Tyler Driver 97 but Dunne reverses into a triangle.
Bate’s powerbomb counter doesn’t work so he picks Dunne up AGAIN, drapes him onto the middle rope and catapults him into the top for the break. Not bad at all. The airplane spin into the reverse airplane spin is followed by a THIRD spin but Bate’s delayed cover only gets two. Dunne crawls over to the ropes so Bate climbs the ropes for another superplex and two more. They trade hard kicks with Bate getting the better of it as Dunne looks out. Dunne grabs the arm for a quick Bitter End but Bate is up again.
They trade clotheslines before heading to the apron to slug it out again. Back in and Dunne punches him in the face and gets two off an X-Plex into a sitout powerbomb. Bate knocks him outside for a big dive, followed by the Tyler Driver 97 for an even closer near fall. Back up and Bate tried a German superplex but Dunne lands on his feet, setting up the Bitter End to retain the title at 22:54.
Rating: A-. I was thinking this would be a downgrade from their previous match and while that was the case, it was still one heck of a slugout with both guys hitting each other as hard as they can. There’s a poise between these two and it makes for some outstanding matches. They need to find Dunne some new challengers now as you don’t want to burn the fans out on something like this, no matter how good the matches are.
We’re off the air thirteen minutes after the hour. That might be the third or fourth time that this show has ever run long.
Overall Rating: A+. And that’s why NXT is the best wrestling TV show in years. In an hour and fifteen minutes we had an instant classic, a #1 contenders qualifying match and a title change. That’s some of the tightest TV you’ll see anywhere and it was outstanding stuff. The build to Takeover should start soon and that could be an incredible show given where some of the pieces seem to be setting up. Incredible TV here and one of the best NXT’s ever.
Undisputed Era b. Sanity – High/Low to Young
Lars Sullivan b. Roderick Strong – Freak Accident
Pete Dunne b. Tyler Bate – Bitter End
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