Date: May 29, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
It’s time for a big fight here, though it might not be the definitive fight. The big match on the card this week will see Shayna Baszler defending her title against Dakota Kai. Dakota has been running scared of Baszler but Nikki Cross has been poking her head around things lately, which offers a very odd twist to the whole thing. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Johnny Gargano seemingly considering retirement last week when Tommaso Ciampa interrupted and another fight almost began. During the melee, Johnny’s wife Candice LeRae was knocked down by mistake, seemingly freaking Ciampa out in a rare occurrence. Both are banned from the arena tonight but are set for a street fight at Takeover: Chicago, provided they both sign contracts.
Here’s Aleister Black for a chat. He says all it takes is one shot for his opponents to fade to black and here’s Lars Sullivan to interrupt. William Regal has made Sullivan #1 contender to the NXT Title for Takeover: Chicago. For sixteen years, Black has made people fade to black but he’s never faced anyone like Sullivan. Black can ignore his emotions all he wants but he can’t ignore what’s going to happen to him in Chicago. The fight is almost on and Black Mass is casually blocked, followed by a Freak Accident to leave Black laying. For a one off title match (which this will likely be), this was fine.
War Raiders vs. George Hickson/Cody Vincent
Rowe headbutts Hickson down as the RAIDERS chants begin. It’s off to Vincent, who gets pummeled in the corner just as badly. Shotgun knees into the Bronco Buster crush Vincent and a springboard clothesline/German suplex combination knocks Hickson silly. Fallout ends Vincent at 2:49. Total squash.
We recap Kai vs. Baszler. Kai wants to be Women’s Champion but Baszler sees her as weak and toys with her like the bully that she is.
Lacey Evans is ready to win the rubber match with Kairi Sane next week.
EC3 vs. Fabian Aichner
EC3 takes him into the corner for what he calls the top 1% forearm. An elbow to the jaw into a gutwrench suplex gives Aichner two but his springboard is broken up pretty easily. EC3 goes out to get him but here’s Gargano through the crowd to grab a mic and say his contract is signed. The distraction lets Aichner hit a crazy high crossbody to the floor for two back inside. Not that it matters as EC3 grabs the One Percenter (TKO) for the pin at 2:41.
Video on Bianca Belair, who was a natural athlete from childhood. We see some clips of Belair’s athletic accomplishments, with her saying that she never tried because she was that much better than everyone else. After being an All American in college, she got into competitive CrossFit and that got her into NXT. She’s here to be the best because she always has been.
Ricochet vs. Chris Dijak
This is Dijak’s TV debut. The much bigger Dijak (stands about 6’9) takes Ricochet into the corner but gets kicked in the head for his efforts. Dijak bails to the floor and still catches the suicide dive with a chokeslam onto the apron. Back in and Dijak hits a springboard elbow but misses a moonsault, allowing Ricochet to roll some vertical suplexes. The 630 ends Dijak at 2:08. Dijak looked great while it lasted.
Post match Ricochet says Velveteen Dream wants the spotlight and really, he deserves it. The thing about spotlight is it shows your flaws and last week, Dream showed what he really was. Ricochet mentions Chicago but here’s Dream to interrupt. Dream says tonight was Ricochet’s spotlight but last week was their spotlight. Last week Dream showed that he can do anything Ricochet can do but better.
That sounds like a challenge to Ricochet so Dream says it’s on for Chicago. Dream says whatever Ricochet can do, he can do better so Ricochet gets a running start and flip dives (no hands of course), landing perfectly on his feet right in front of Dream. That’s a bit too much for Dream, who looks impressed. Fair enough as that looked awesome.
Women’s Title: Shayna Baszler vs. Dakota Kai
Kai is challenging. Baszler backs her into the corner to start and Kai is intimidated but still comes out ready to fight. That earns her a quick takedown and Baszler starts in on the leg. The ankle gets twisted around and stomped again as this is one sided so far. Baszler tells her to try some kicking so Kai tries a right hand, only to get pummeled even more. An ankle lock goes on but Kai actually makes a rope. The hold goes on again but Kai hits a quick kick for the break. More kicks, including a running kick in the corner have Baszler in trouble, only to have Kai get caught in the Kirifuda Clutch for the tap at 5:34.
Rating: C. This felt like another part of a bigger story, assuming they go with Kai as something important in the division. I’m not sure that’s where they’re going, but it’s certainly a story that has some potential. You let her grow up and come back later on for the big Takeover match and money can be made.
Post match Baszler puts the hold on again but Nikki Cross comes in to scare the heck out of Baszler, who backs off. That’s not it though as Cross runs up and steals the title, laying it on the mat as an offer for Baszler to come get it. Baszler comes to get it but Cross snatches it up again. Cross wants a title shot TONIGHT and seems to ask Kai for approval. She hands Kai the title so Baszler goes after it, earning herself the Purge with Kai counting a pin. Cross celebrates with the title in the crowd to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. They added two matches to Takeover and planted the seeds for a third with Baszler vs. Cross. I’m a lot more interested in Takeover than I was coming in and that’s a very nice thing to be able to say. The wrestling wasn’t the point here and that’s often the case around here. Let the stories be told and the whole thing will take care of itself. Another good show here and I want to see Cross vs. Baszler, among other things. Well done.
War Raiders b. George Hickson/Cody Vincent – Fallout to Vincent
EC3 b. Fabian Aichner – One Percenter
Ricochet b. Chris Dijak – 630
Shayna Baszler b. Dakota Kai – Kirifuda Clutch
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of the NXT The Full Sail Years Volume III (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:
And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at: