Date: May 9, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Percy Watson, Mauro Ranallo
We’re in that odd period of NXT as we’re too far away from the next Takeover to really start building there but too far from the previous Takeover to deal with fallout. NXT is capable of pulling off something in the meantime though and that should be more than enough to bridge the gap. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Ricochet to get things going. Everywhere he’s gone in his career, he’s tried to have people talking about him. Over Wrestlemania weekend, his goal was to leave people talking. You can call it confidence or cockiness but it’s who he is. Now the only thing on his mind is the NXT Championship but here’s Velveteen Dream to interrupt. Dream says no no no and wants to know who gave Ricochet the authority to come out here and ask for title shots. He needs Ricochet to take a step back and asks about the One and Only nickname.
Dream questions if Ricochet makes things look good because Ricochet is looking at the one experience. Ricochet can jump around all he wants but remember he’ll land in the back of the line behind the Dream. Ricochet says Dream is a lot, but he’s not Ricochet so enjoy the spotlight while you can. That’s fine with Dream, because anything Ricochet can do, Dream can do better. Ricochet: “Prove it.” Dream teases throwing a punch but drops to the mat instead, leaving after Ricochet winks at him. I could go for this feud, but I’m not sure where Dream goes if he loses another big match.
Raul Mendoza vs. EC3
Mendoza grabs a headlock to start, followed by a missile dropkick. EC3 is right back with a reverse bulldog driver (I’m not sure how much that would hurt) and sends him face first into a buckle. A TKO is good for the pin (with two hands on the chest for the cover) at 2:44.
Post match EC3 says he doesn’t care about losing at Takeover because adversity makes a man. The only thing you’ll see out of him going forward is victory after victory. Then this place will be NX3.
Last week Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch told Pete Dunne that they don’t like him but they’ll have his back because they don’t like Undisputed Era either. Dunne leaves without saying anything. That’s about what I expected.
Dakota Kai vs. Vanessa Bourne
Kai hits a running dropkick but misses a running version in the corner. Bourne is right back with a kick to the ribs and a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker for two. We hit the double arm crank for a bit before Kai is back up with more kicks. Now the running kick in the corner rocks Bourne, followed by a running sunset flip into a Backstabber (cool) for the pin on Bourne at 2:36.
Post match Shayna Baszler comes out and Kai is terrified. Shayna drops the title and chokes Bourne off as Kai leaves in fear (with Baszler staring her down) instead of making a save. When Kai stands up for herself, many months from now, the pop is going to be crazy.
Back from a break with Kai being unsure what just happened. Baszler comes in and tells her to do something about it. Kai still can’t move so Shayna laughs and leaves. Kai hears more laughter and Nikki Cross is hanging from piece of metal and laughing at her too. Now that’s kind of interesting.
Heavy Machinery vs. War Raiders
Rowe and Dozovic start things off and it breaks down into a four way forearm slugout in no time. Knight gets sent outside and Dozovic gets kneed in the ribs. He’s still able to suplex Hanson down so it’s off to Knight vs. Rowe. Hanson is right back in with a suicide dive to Dozovic, leaving Knight to take Fallout for the pin at 2:52. That’s all this needed to be.
We look back at TM61 cheating to defeat the Street Profits.
The Profits are training because this is serious.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Kassius Ohno
Still no music for Ciampa. Ohno takes it to the floor early on and sends Ciampa into the barricade. One heck of a right hand sends Ciampa back into the ring but he snaps Ohno’s throat across the top rope. A running knee to the head rocks Ohno again and a kick to the side of the head puts him down as Ciampa asks if Ohno is Gargano’s big brother. Ohno blocks a chop and hits a bicycle kick. It’s time to go simple as Ohno stands on Ciampa’s head and then drops an exposed knee onto Ciampa’s damaged eye.
A shot to the face knocks something out of Ciampa’s mouth and puts on a cravate choke into something like a Bubba Bomb (with a cravate instead of a full nelson) for two. Ciampa is right back and pulls at Ohno’s eye, setting up a running knee to the back of the head for a near fall of his own (I thought that was it). A clothesline sets up a neckbreaker into a faceplant to put Ohno away at 9:32. Mauro is LIVID that Ciampa won.
Rating: C+. I can appreciate the idea of Ciampa as a violent guy who wants to injure people but sweet goodness he needs to switch those last two big moves up. A neckbreaker faceplant is a move that anyone could use and doesn’t look nearly as good as the running knee. It doesn’t fit the violent nature that Ciampa had been going for all match and didn’t feel like the end of the match. The rest was the right call with Ohno out for blood to avenge his friend and Ciampa not caring because he wanted to hurt someone. Just fix that finish.
Post match Ciampa hits Ohno in the back of the head with his knee brace and chokes him with it. Ciampa shouts that he broke Johnny’s spirit and broke Candace’s heart so the Gargano fairy tale is over.
Overall Rating: B. What more could you ask for? They covered about six stories in less than an hour and didn’t even touch the Undisputed Era or Aleister Black. As I’ve said before, if there’s one thing NXT knows how to do, it’s make everything feel like the most important thing in the world. This show flies by and that’s far more than you get anywhere else. Another very good show here that makes me want to see what they have in store.
EC3 b. Raul Mendoza – TKO
Dakota Kai b. Vanessa Bourne – Sunset Backstabber
War Raiders b. Heavy Machinery – Fallout to Knight
Tommaso Ciampa b. Kassius Ohno – Neckbreaker into a faceplant
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