NXT – April 18, 2018

Date: April 18, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson

We’re out of New Orleans and back home now, albeit without a few names. Over the last week and a half, the Iconics, Ember Moon, Sanity and Andrade Cien Almas/Zelina Vega have moved up to the main roster, meaning it’s time to start rebuilding things. It’s also time for the fallout from Takeover so let’s get to it.

In memory of Bruno Sammartino. I’d expect to hear that a lot in the next week and I’d be angry if I didn’t.

Opening sequence.

Here are Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae to open things up. Johnny talks about dreaming of being here because for the longest time, he was defined by the words Tommaso Ciampa. Then after thirty seven of the most intense minutes he’s ever spent inside a wrestling ring, he stands here with his life back. Johnny thanks the fans for sticking those signs in Ciampa’s face for months and now Johnny Wrestling is back.

That brings him to Candice because he couldn’t have done this without her. Enough of the mushy stuff though, because they have something left to do. That would be Candice fighting Zelina Vega tonight, and if Almas interferes, Johnny will drop him like his name is Tommaso Ciampa. After that, there’s one place left for him to go: the NXT Title. If they do the story right, Gargano going after the title could be insane.

Killian Dain, looking off camera, says that Lars Sullivan took something from him in New Orleans. Tonight, in a No DQ match, he’s taking everything from Sullivan.

Ricochet vs. Fabian Aichner

Ricochet is very popular here, just like he was in New Orleans. An early headscissors takes Aichner down but he grabs a fireman’s carry gutbuster to slow things way down. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker stays on Ricochet’s ribs and we hit a waistlock. That’s broken up as well and Ricochet rolls forward into a dropkick. Ricochet is right back with a springboard European uppercut and a standing shooting star for two. After Aichner gets knocked off the top, the 630 puts him away at 4:35.

Rating: C. This was just a way to get Ricochet his first win and there’s nothing wrong with that. He wrestles like a superhero and that’s going to work very well as long as you have the high flying skills to back it up. Ricochet looked good here, though I could go for some more Aichner. You don’t waste that kind of look, size and skill.

Post match Ricochet talks about watching people become stars in NXT and now it’s his turn to crank it up a notch.

We look at the War Raiders debuting last week.

Video on EC3. He’s at 97% charisma and 3% body fat.

Sullivan is ready to do whatever he wants to Dain.

War Raiders vs. Chris/J.C.

Chris and J.C. don’t get last names but they’re dressed like Deuce N Domino. Rowe knees one of them down before handing it off to Hanson for a cartwheel dropkick. Whatever they’re calling Fallout is good for the pin on Chris at 1:50.

Shayna Baszler addressed the locker room at the Performance Center where she ripped the name off of Ember Moon’s locker. Everyone here needs to get in line or get out. Dakota Kai gets up and leaves.

Kona Reeves, now saying he has the finest everything (hair, clothes, etc) is back in two weeks.

Pete Dunne leaves but first says he’ll be back with his thoughts about Roderick Strong.

Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dain

No DQ and the fans greet it with a HOSS FIGHT chant. They waste no time in hammering on each other with Dain getting the better of it by putting Sullivan on the floor. A suicide dive is caught though and Dain sends him into the steps. Back in and Sullivan muscles him up for a German suplex to put Dain outside again. A top rope clothesline drops Dain again and let’s hit those NXT chants. Dain is bleeding from the nose as Sullivan drops a middle rope headbutt for two.

Sullivan brings in a chair but eats a shotgun dropkick as the blood is starting tso flow a little more freely. The Belfast Blitz gets two and it’s time for a table. The table is set in the corner but Dain is smart enough to chair him in the back a few times. Sullivan is right back with the World’s Strongest Slam for one but Dain bicycle kicks him in the face. A running crossbody puts Sullivan through the table….and Dain loads up Coast to Coast? Sullivan gets up though and chairs him down again, setting up the Freak Accident onto the chairs for the pin at 10:50.

Rating: B. Now that was more like it with both guys looking like major monsters who gave each other a run for their money. Sullivan has more potential on his own and Dain is on his way up to the main roster anyway. The best thing here: when Dain loaded up Coast to Coast, I was thinking he could actually do it. That’s not normal but it’s also kind of amazing.

We recap Candice LeRae vs. Zelina Vega, which is an offshoot of Almas vs. Gargano.

Undisputed Era is very proud of what they’ve done.

Candice LeRae vs. Zelina Vega

Zelina talks a bunch of trash to start and gets shoved down, allowing Almas to come onto the apron for a distraction. With Vega pulling Candice down, here’s Johnny to even things out. Things settle down with Candice being sent into the corner and kicked in the head. Vega hits the running knees in the corner for two but the hammerlock DDT is reversed into a small package. Candice gets all fired up and hammers away in the corner, setting up a missile dropkick for two. The Gargano Escape goes on and Johnny grabs one on an invading Almas as Zelina taps at 3:29.

Rating: C. This was a quick way to wrap up the feud between these four as Vega and Almas are main roster bound. It helps having Vega able to work a match in a situation like this as she can be another kind of threat. LeRae was fine in the ring here and the image at the end of the double submission was pretty definitive. Good stuff, especially for a short match.

Post match Candice and Johnny celebrate with Gargano officially challenging Aleister Black for the title. Cue Aleister to say the title match is on for next week.

Overall Rating: B-. This felt more like a wrapping things up episode as some stories had a finish put on them before things move towards the next Takeover. Black vs. Gargano should be fun until Ciampa (likely) interferes to set up the rematch. The rest of the show was a lot of fun with Sullivan vs. Dain as a fun hoss battle and War Raiders/Ricochet looking good in short bursts. It’s a positive sign for the future, and I don’t expect NXT to botch things.


Ricochet b. Fabian Aichner – 630 splash

War Raiders b. Chris/J.C. – Fallout to Chris

Lars Sullivan b. Killian Dain – Freak Accident onto chairs

Candice LeRae b. Zelina Vega – Gargano Escape

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