NXT – August 22, 2018

Date: August 22, 2018
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness

This is another one of the special post-Takeover shows and that means we’ll be seeing a lot of Takeover instead of what we usually see around here. We do however have Pete Dunne defending the United Kingdom Title, which is a pretty good backup plan instead of a regular show. Let’s get to it.

We open with the traditional long Takeover recap.

Opening sequence.

Bianca Belair vs. Deonna Purrazzo

Purrazzo has wrestled all over the indies and had a few appearances with NXT a few years back. The fans seem very pleased to see her as some early headlock takeovers are escaped with a nipup and a handstand. A headscissors into a Fujiwara armbar doesn’t work so Purrazzo tries it again, only to get caught in a gutbuster to put her in trouble. Belair crashes down onto Purrazzo’s back and we hit the full nelson.

Back up and some elbows to the ribs have Purrazzo in more trouble as the EST chants begin. Belair’s standing moonsault misses and a basement dropkick connects. The Fujiwara armbar goes on but Belair fights up and hits a torture rack into the faceplant (kind of a reverse Samoan driver) for the pin at 5:40.

Rating: C-. This was exactly what it needed to be with the fans getting a little taste of Purrazzo as Belair goes over strong in the end. Purrazzo is going to be fine around here with her skill level (at 24 years old) and charisma so everything is going to be fine. Belair is likely coming for the title sooner rather than later.

Video on EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream.

Velveteen Dream puts a crown on Cathy Kelly and asks what she’s doing on Wednesday. She can find out what he’s up to next on this week’s show.

EC3 says he and Dream are yin and yang but Dream was the better man tonight. He’s here for victory after victory, not victory after loss. All of the matches where he’s lost before are not over because they don’t end until he wins. That’s the top 1% mindset. When asked about the Aleister Black attack, he remembers the chaos but wants to know why no one is noticing Lars Sullivan standing around. Oh and he’s not Keyser Soze.

Video on the Undisputed Era retaining the Tag Team Titles on Saturday.

Video on Adam Cole losing the North American Title to Ricochet.

Ricochet talks about Cole running out of places to hide when Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly come in. Violence is teased but Pete Dunne scares them off. Dunne says he’s not Ricochet’s friend, but Ricochet has something he wants. That sounds fine to Ricochet. This feels like the groundwork for WarGames.

There is some new footage of Black’s attack. It’s not clear who did it, but Nikki Cross was watching from the roof.

Video on Zack Gibson, who is quite the talented brawler.

Video on Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler. The more I think about that match the more I like it.

Baszler, with the Four Horsewomen, says she beat herself and Kairi didn’t win anything.

Long video on Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa.

United Kingdom Title: Zack Gibson vs. Pete Dunne

Dunne is defending and gets a roar from the crowd. The fans chant for the UK as Gibson works an armbar to start. Dunne flips him down to break a wristlock but Gibson hits him hard in the throat to take over. That just earns Gibson a hammerlock and Dunne cranks back on the fingers to make it worse. With that not working, they lock legs and stand on their heads to slap each other in the face. British wrestling is weird at times.

Dunne gets the better of it and kicks the arm but Gibson hits a hammerlock faceplant to take over. A belly to back suplex sets up another armbar as Gibson really isn’t hiding his style here. The cobra clutch goes on for a few moments until Dunne has had enough and forearms him in the face. A moonsault over Gibson sets up an enziguri and the X Plex sets up a quickly escaped cross armbreaker.

With Gibson bailing to the floor, Dunne moonsaults down onto him for the big crash and a double knockdown. Back in and a sitout powerbomb gets two, only to have Gibson kick a moonsault out of the air for the same. Dunne blocks another chop though and stomps on the hands. Stereo enziguris give us a double knockdown though and let’s pause for the standing ovation.

Dunne is up first and tries a superplex but Gibson twists it into one of his own. The Shankly Gates seated armbar goes on so Dunne lunges for the rope. Gibson pulls him back so Dunne bites the rope for the break. Dunne’s mouthpiece gets knocked out so Gibson goes to throw it out, only to have his finger snapped. The Bitter End retains the title at 13:38.

Rating: B. So uh….who is supposed to beat Dunne? He’s been champion longer than CM Punk was and while people give him a run for his money, you could see him holding the title indefinitely. I mean, other than Cole (if they’re coming up on the WarGames match that seems to be the case), is there anyone who seems likely to do it? Anyway the match was more good stuff from these two, though it would be nice to have the NXT UK people beat someone other than themselves.

Overall Rating: C+. The main event is more than watchable and carries enough of the show but these things are always hard to rate. It basically comes down to the strength of what is being recapped and since Saturday’s show rocked, it’s kind of hard to find something to complain about. We’ll be back to normal next week and that’s perfectly fine.


Bianca Belair b. Deonna Purrazzo – Torture rack faceplant

Pete Dunne b. Zack Gibson – Bitter End

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