NXT – May 23, 2018

Date: May 23, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Mauro Ranallo

The build to Chicago is slowly taking form with Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch looking likely to challenge for the Tag Team Titles. Other than that, we really don’t have anything set up yet. That being said, NXT has an amazing track record of being able to catch up in a hurry so it’s not like they’re in any real trouble. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Jonathan Coachman is in the front row.

Heavy Machinery vs. TM61

Dozovic goes with the power to start and runs Thorn over with a shoulder, followed by a double shoulder to give Knight two. Everything breaks down for a few seconds with Miller being run over as well while Thorn is put in the Tree of Woe. That allows Miller to be driven into his partner’s ribs as this is one sided so far. A shot to the back cuts Knight off though and the fans stay completely behind Heavy Machinery.

Mauro makes a rare mistake by saying TM61 made it to the finals of the first Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic (it was the second) as the beating continues, including a clothesline to the back of Knight’s head. A double suplex takes both Miller and Thorn down in an impressive power display and it’s back to Dozovic to speed things up. The Caterpillar Elbow gets two on Miller but Dozovic takes WAY too long going up, even stopping to wipe himself down. The delay allows Thorn to kick him in the face so Miller can get a rollup with feet on the ropes for the pin at 7:23.

Rating: D+. Cheating wins are better than boring matches where I can’t remember what happened so this is an upgrade for TM61. I still like Heavy Machinery but they’ve hit their ceiling and are falling back to earth. To be fair, it’s not like the team had much of a chance to go very far in the first place. At least they’re still fun and the fans seem to like them quite a bit.

Video on Bianca Belair. Next week, we get a special sitdown interview.

Video on EC3. He brags about taking over NXT in just three matches, so imagine what he can do in number four.

Kairi Sane vs. Lacey Evans

Sane dropkicks her in the face at the bell so Evans hits one of the loudest chops in recent memory. A reverse DDT gets two on Evans but she kicks Sane down and grabs a chinlock. Evans starts in on the arm and keeps being aggressive with a bunch of stomping in the corner. We hit a neck crank for a bit before Sane fights up for a running ax kick. There’s the Interceptor spear and the sliding forearm in the corner, sending Lacey outside. Sane goes up but dives into the Woman’s Right for the big upset pin at 5:03.

Rating: C. Evans getting a win is a major boost for her and that’s what the women’s division needs right now. Sane continues to wait for the big push off but it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. You would think her challenging Shayna Baszler for the Women’s Title would make sense but at the moment, we’re still waiting for it to take off.

The injured Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae arrive and have an announcement on his future. They’ll make that in the ring in front of the people though.

We look at the end of last week’s show with the Undisputed Era losing to Pete Dunne/Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch.

Lorcan and Burch want a title shot.

The Undisputed Era blow the loss off as the luckiest night of the British guys’ lives. There’s no reason to give them a title shot but Strong wants to face Burch next week.

Lars Sullivan vs. Velveteen Dream/Ricochet

Fallout from Sullivan interfering Dream vs. Ricochet last week. Ricochet can’t do anything with the power to start so Dream comes in for some alternating right hands and a double dropkick. That’s not enough to put the big guy down so Ricochet goes up for a springboard missile dropkick to finally get Sullivan off his feet.

They stay on him with the running forearms in the corner and a kick to the head gets Ricochet out of trouble. Superkicks put Sullivan down for a double two but he won’t stand for a double suplex. One heck of a clothesline puts Ricochet on the floor and Dream gets tossed away. We hit the chinlock with Sullivan throwing in some crossface shots for good measure.

Dream fights up and tries for the tag, only to be thrown right back down. A top rope headbutt gets two on Dream with Ricochet making a save. That doesn’t sit well with Sullivan and the distraction lets Dream kick him down and make the hot tag. More kicks to the head set up a standing shooting star for two. Ricochet nails a springboard 450 but Dream turns on him with the Death Valley Bomb. Dream walks away and the Freak Accident gives Sullivan the pin at 9:47.

Rating: B-. That’s a smart way to end the match and really, there’s not much of an excuse for Sullivan to not be #1 contender. Seeing Aleister Black trying to kick him in the head could be interesting and the drama could be awesome. Dream vs. Ricochet in Chicago should get quite the reaction and give one of them a big win.

Next week, Dakota Kai gets a Women’s Title match.

Kai is worried but ready to fight because this is what means so much to her. Baszler comes in and says Kai has no chance. She makes fun of Kai for being scared and leaves with Kai almost cowering in fear.

Here are Gargano and LeRae for their big announcement. Gargano talks about being here last time and everything that happened to him while he was here. After the attack by Tommaso Ciampa, he sat down with Candice and started to think about his future. With everything that’s happened and after talking to Candice, he knows it’s worth it and wants Ciampa out here RIGHT NOW.

Candice tries to talk him out of this but the neck brace is off. Cue Ciampa on the stage as LeRae runs through the crowd. Ciampa comes to the ring and here’s LeRae again with referees to get between them before anything can happen. Candice gets him away but Ciampa says be a good little boy and listen to your wife. Gargano charges the ring but gets knocked off the apron, right into Candice, who is slammed onto the ramp. Even Ciampa looks like that was too far and everyone checks on Candice to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. Some good wrestling and even better storyline development makes it another solid hour of NXT. Chicago should be a lot of fun and the card is starting to come together. You can get to five matches without much trouble and the crowd is going to more than carry any issues the show might have. Another good outing this week, as expected.


TM61 b Heavy Machinery – Rollup with feet on the ropes

Lacey Evans b. Kairi Sane – Woman’s Right

Lars Sullivan b. Ricochet/Velveteen Dream – Freak Accident to Ricochet

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