Date: August 8, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness
It’s time for a big match this week with Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano. These two have a shared enemy in Tommaso Ciampa, who won the NXT Title thanks to Gargano accidentally knocking Black out. We’re very close to Takeover and that means we need a main event, which is likely to be announced tonight. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at Gargano costing Black the title, which really was a well done piece of business.
Nikki Cross vs. Amber Nova
Nikki drives her into the corner and laughs a lot so the spunky Nova tries a hurricanrana. That’s blocked without much effort so Nova uses the legs to pull Nikki face first into the top turnbuckle. A straitjacket choke has Nikki in trouble for a few moments but Nova gets thrown down with ease. The fisherman’s neckbreaker finishes Nova at 3:24.
Rating: D+. This was actually a few steps above a squash with Nova getting to shine a little bit. Cross is in a weird place as she’s no longer in the Women’s Title picture and doesn’t really have a story at the moment. That’s one of the good things about NXT though: they’re smart enough to put these people on TV, even in short matches like this, just to keep things fresh.
Video on Keith Lee, who debuts tonight.
Ricochet comes out for a match but gets jumped by the Undisputed Era. Adam Cole promises to mangle Ricochet at Takeover.
Vanessa Borne’s plan for tonight: win the match and qualify for the Mae Young Classic. Tonight the world is getting the vision that it deserves. She yells at the interviewers for taking up too much of her time.
Adrian Jauode vs. Kassius Ohno
Jauode, who looks a lot like Tommaso Ciampa, is in a sleeveless gi and has a martial arts background. Some cartwheels distract Ohno and Jauode takes him to the mat. That goes nowhere as Ohno kicks him in the face and drops the backsplash. Another big boot has Jauode in trouble but he comes back with a belly to back suplex. Ohno shrugs it off and hits the Dream Crusher for the pin at 2:56.
Earlier today, EC3 went to Velveteen Dream’s home for the Experience. They go for a walk around the pool with EC3 thinking he’s about to be shoved in. He came here to fight Dream but he’ll wait for Takeover. It’s going to be worth the wait when it’s the one (“allegedly”) vs. the top 1%. Dream doesn’t care for being disrespected like that but drops his sunglasses. EC3 picks them up and sends a charging Dream into the water. Dream seems to be drowning but EC3 points out that it’s three feet deep and everything is fine. This was as odd as you would expect a trip to Dream’s house to be.
Marcel Barthel vs. Keith Lee
Barthel is German and the h is silent. Lee is nicknamed Limitless and weighs 325lbs but can wrestle like a cruiserweight. The fans are way behind Lee as Barthel looks concerned. Barthel: “NEIN!” Lee pops him with a left hand and shouts the exact same thing. A leapfrog into a dropkick has Barthel down again but he’s back up with a corner enziguri. Lee misses a charge in the corner but easily blocks a suplex attempt. Barthel gets knocked away with something like a pounce, followed by a fireman’s carry into a Jackhammer for the pin at 4:24.
Rating: C+. You would have expected a squash here but Barthel didn’t look bad at all. He has a good look, he had a presence and his stuff looked good. That being said, this was all about Lee, who is an athletic freak and can do things that people his size just shouldn’t be able to do. His progress around here should be interesting to see.
The Street Profits are at an ATM for an episode of Street Talk, where they rip on the Mighty, both for being Australian and for talking weirdly. They meet next week.
Mae Young Classic Qualifying Match: Vanessa Borne vs. Taynara Conti
Conti is in a gi as well. Borne isn’t interested in fighting over a lockup to start and sends Conti face first into the buckle. With shouts of I DESERVE IT, Borne takes her to the mat for a dragon sleeper. That’s broken up and Conti kicks at the arm but gets smacked in the face. A right hand annoys Conti so she reverses a crucifix into a spinning slam for the pin at 4:05. That looked like it was edited as I don’t think Conti hit it very clean. I think it was supposed to end in a Rock Bottom or side slam but Conti just shoved her down instead.
Rating: D+. I’ll give them some points for the surprise ending there as Borne seemed like the big star and just got pinned clean. They like to go for the international picks in the Mae Young Classic so going with the Brazilian wrestler is a smarter way to go. Borne is already somewhat established so a win over here means a little something for Conti.
Quick look at Kairi Sane saving Candice LeRae from Shayna Bazler last week.
Next week: Sane vs. Aaliyah and Tyler Bate vs. Roderick Strong.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velazquez is here.
Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano
They go right at each other to start and Black scores first with a hard kick to the chest. Gargano rolls over for a kick to the head and that means the suicide dive. As one fan is VERY pro-Black, Johnny throws him back in for some stomps in the corner. The slingshot spear is countered with a knee to the face and Black wants Gargano to look at him. They trade clotheslines and kicks for a double knockdown but here’s Ciampa to throw Gargano outside for the DQ at 2:30. I’m glad they kept this very short as Gargano vs. Black is a match that should get the full on treatment instead of going long and then having interference.
Ciampa beats them both up as the fans chant for a triple threat. Gargano gets in a shot on him so Ciampa bails, leaving Black and Gargano to fight some more. Referees break it up but here’s William Regal to make a triple threat for the title in Brooklyn to end the show. Somehow that’s the first ever triple threat NXT Title match in Takeover history (assuming it happens due to Black’s injury).
Overall Rating: B-. This was a different kind of show as they touched on a bunch of stuff while also setting up the big main event. A bunch of wrestlers got some focus tonight and that’s a good thing, especially with so many people on the NXT roster. The wrestling was nothing great but the storytelling was there and that’s the more important thing. Good show here and a way to make me care about Takeover that much more.
Nikki Cross b. Amber Nova – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
Kassius Ohno b. Adrian Jauode – Dream Crusher
Keith Lee b. Marcel Barthel – Fireman’s carry Jackhammer
Taynara Conti b. Vanessa Borne – Spinning Slam
Johnny Gargano b. Aleister Black via DQ when Tommaso Ciampa interfered
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