NXT – August 1, 2018

Date: August 1, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Mauro Ranallo

Last week, evil won. Tommaso Ciampa defeated Aleister Black to become the new NXT Champion, thanks to an accidental belt shot to Black’s head at the hands of Johnny Gargano. That is Gargano’s, as well as a lot of other people’s, worst nightmare and it’s going to make for an interesting future. Let’s get to it.

In Memory Of Nikolai Volkoff and Brian Christopher.

Long recap of last week’s title change. The crowd energy really did make that so much better, as is normally the case around here.

Opening sequence.

Heavy Machinery vs. The Mighty

The Mighty have new black coats and throw them at Heavy Machinery’s faces. Those coats are thrown back at them and followed by right hands before the bell even rings. Otis spins Miller around before planting him with a slam but Thorn is right back with a high dropkick (to a not very high Otis) to take over. A double belly to back suplex gets two and Thorn starts in on the arm.

They switch to the more traditional route with a chinlock, along with the traditional comeback via a belly to back suplex. That’s enough to bring in Knight to throw the Aussies around, followed by a Cannonball off the apron to take them both down. Back in and a chop block cuts Knight off…and we’ve got the Street Profits in the crowd. The Mighty are distracted enough to allow the hot ta to Otis and the Compactor finishes Miller at 5:15.

Rating: C-. Very formula based tag match here until the main roster style finish, which isn’t the best sign in the world. The good thing is that it doesn’t happen around here very often so maybe it’s just a one off thing instead of the crutch that it has become on the main roster. I like the Profits too so this is a positive sign, especially with the division getting some more depth.

Moustache Mountain vs. Matt Knotts/???

Bate starts with the bigger Knotts, who mocks the wave. That means one heck of a left hand to Knotts’ jaw and Seven comes in for the chops. The unnamed jobber (Mauro: “His opponent.”) comes in and gets chopped as well, setting up a dragon suplex. Bate’s t-bone suplex drops Opponent and the top rope knee/Burning Hammer combination is good for the pin on Opponent at 2:21. Mountain looked great.

Post match Moustache Mountain apologizes to the fans for losing the titles. Bate apologizes for throwing in the towel but they’re invoking their rematch clause for Takeover: Brooklyn. That’s going to be a VERY interesting crowd reaction.

EC3 vs. Kona Reeves

I don’t have to say this very often around here, but please make it short. Reeves can’t get out of a headlock to start as Nigel actually tries to compare him to Barry Windham. Thankfully EC3 hits a good looking elbow to make me forget about how ridiculous that statement was.

A cobra clutch (the Kona Clutch) has EC3 in trouble for all of a few moments before coming back up with left hands. EC3’s running flip neckbreaker but here’s the Velveteen Dream (DON’T START DOING THIS NXT!) who says someone still can’t get over Royal Albert Hall. Dream points behind EC3 and the Hawaiian Drop gives Reeves two. Reeves yells a lot and the One Percent finishes him off at 5:32.

Rating: D+. EC3 looked good but my goodness Reeves is just lame. He doesn’t have a great look (it’s fine), his offense is really dull and his character feels like he’s ripping off a few other wrestlers. Hopefully this is it for him, as his finisher couldn’t get a win and Reeves didn’t look good otherwise. Dream on the other hand is one of the best things about NXT at the moment but PLEASE tell me these distractions aren’t going to become a thing. At least it didn’t lead to a loss.

In the back, EC3 says he’d love to join Dream’s experience because he knows it’s going to turn into a fight. He is the best here, he is the best there, he is the best anywhere.

Shayna Baszler vs. Candice LeRae

Non-title. Baszler offers LeRae a chance to leave and gets dropkicked for her efforts. LeRae goes for the arm but gets tossed outside, setting up a whip into the steps. That means Baszler can start in on the arm, bending it all over the place and stomping on it to bend it in rather painful directions. An enziguri gives LeRae a bit of relief and she takes Baszler down with a one armed snapmare.

Baszler staggers up and walks into a spinning middle rope Downward Spiral for one. A suicide dive has Baszler in even more trouble and the jumping tornado DDT gets two. Ms. LeRae’s Wild Ride is pulled down into the Kirifuda Clutch (the same way Baszler beat her in the Mae Young Classic) but this time LeRae grabs the rope. An Unprettier sets up a Lionsault but LeRae only hits mat. Baszler kicks her in the arm and the Clutch is good for the tap at 7:57.

Rating: B. They were working here and that made for a very good match. LeRae is similar to her husband: it’s so easy to get sucked into her matches because she plays a great underdog and that’s what happened here. I was wanting to see her get the win here and that’s a great sign for a regular TV match.

Baszler goes after her again after the match but Kairi Sane makes the save. Sane checks on LeRae and Baszler kicks at her again, meaning referees have to hold Sane back as Baszler leaves.

Moustache Mountain is ready to beat the Undisputed Era again. They run into the War Raiders, who says they’re coming for whoever leaves Brooklyn with the titles.

Regal makes EC3 vs. Dream and Adam Cole vs. Ricochet for the North American Championship for Brooklyn.

Next week: Ricochet is back and Keith Lee makes his in-ring debut.

Here’s Ciampa for his first comments as champion. Mauro says Ciampa makes Thanos look like the Wizard of Oz. Now that’s a great line. Ciampa is reveling in being the champion and points at individual fans, laughing about his win and saying he told us so. Once he’s in the ring, Ciampa says he and the title make a beautiful couple. He’s a man of his word and won’t be listening to the fans telling him to shut up.

This is what happens when the most dangerous man in NXT takes his place at the head of the table. The fans chant at him even more so Ciampa complains about how heavy the title is on his shoulder. The icing on the cake was Gargano proving himself to be a failure because Ciampa won again. Ciampa was the magic answer to Black and now Black and Gargano can bicker about who is 2A and 2B. It doesn’t really matter because the gap between 1 and 2 has never been stronger. NXT will forever be the A show because he is the greatest sports entertainer (erg) of all time.

Ciampa sits in the ring and here’s Black to interrupt. Gargano sprints past him though and the fight is on with Ciampa being knocked to the floor. The champ bails through the crowd (that can’t be safe) and Gargano says he’s the reason Ciampa is champion. Black superkicks Gargano and the fans think Gargano deserved it. Well yeah he pretty much did. Black agrees with Gargano being to blame to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. Good main event and a hot ending to the show make this the kind of show I look forward to from NXT. The opening matches weren’t the best but they were short enough to not really hurt things. On top of that we had matches made for both next week and Takeover, as the card comes together in a hurry, as it only seems to do around here. This was a very easy show to watch as the time continues to fly by.


Heavy Machinery b. The Mighty – Compactor to Miller

Moustache Mountain b. Matt Knotts/??? – Top rope knee/Burning Hammer combination to ???

EC3 b. Kona Reeves – One Percent

Shayna Baszler b. Candice LeRae – Kirifuda Clutch

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