Date: September 12, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Mauro Ranallo
We’re still in the hunt for Aleister Black’s attacker and that can make for some interesting television. Other than that though, the big story seems to be Johnny Gargano finally cracking and not being able to keep going as Johnny Wrestling due to losing everything that matters to him, including the fans’ support. Let’s get to it.
Tommaso Ciampa arrived earlier and had nothing to say.
Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch vs. Cezar Bononi/Adrian Jaoude
This is Lorcan’s first match back after suffering a broken orbital bone in June. Burch and Bononi start things off with Danny headbutting him into the corner for an uppercut. It’s already off to Lorcan for a double suplex but Bononi uses some trunks to pull Burch into the wrong corner. Jaoude cranks on both arms before tossing Burch down and handing it back to Bononi. That’s not enough to keep Burch away from Lorcan though and it’s time to clean house, including some hard shots to the face. Burch comes back in as Lorcan lifts Jaoude up for a hanging DDT and the pin at 3:41.
Rating: C-. There is nothing wrong with a solid face tag team who hit people in the face really hard. Burch and Lorcan aren’t likely to ever get the Tag Team Titles but they’re a great middle of the road team who can give you a very good match under the right circumstances. Not bad at all here and Lorcan looked good in his return.
Here’s Ciampa, now with music and a cool heart monitor sound during his entrance. You can also hear some pops for him, which you had to know were coming. Ciampa says that music is his personal way of telling the fans to shut up. He’s seen everyone pointing their finger at him for attacking Black, but what is that based on? Ciampa doesn’t play make believe and bases his opinions on facts. If he wants to confront someone, he comes out here and does it to their face.
The thing is, Black would have lost even if he had made it to Brooklyn because Black loses, Gargano loses, Ciampa wins. The title tells Ciampa that it felt really good to be back in the main event of Takeover and Ciampa is the greatest success story in the history of NXT. He is YOUR NXT Champion and to be a winner, follow his lead. Oh that sounds like it’s going somewhere.
Shayna Baszler vs. Violet Payne
Baszler wastes no time in taking her down and hammering away as this isn’t likely to last long. A kick to the chest sets up the arm cranking and egads that’s painful to watch. The stomp on the bent elbow into the Kirifuda Clutch makes Payne tap at 1:27. That was a massacre.
Post match Baszler comes back to the ring and chokes her out two more times.
Heavy Machinery thinks Ciampa attacked Black when Ciampa walks up to yell at them. Dozovic calls Ciampa dumplin and challenges him to a fight but William Regal comes in to demand Ciampa come to his office.
The Undisputed Era isn’t worried about the War Raiders because Roderick Strong always beats his son at hide and seek. The viking helmets are so seventh century and Kyle O’Reilly can’t go out and get groceries because he’s too famous. Adam Cole wants to talk about next week’s champion vs. champion match because the winner gets to lose to win. No one is on their level and that is undisputed.
Lars Sullivan vs. Raul Mendoza
That silhouette of Sullivan is a great visual. As for Mendoza, it might be time for him to get a new accolade besides being in the Cruiserweight Classic. Mendoza’s kicks to the leg have no effect but a Disaster kick works a bit better. That’s about it for the good though as Sullivan picks him up and tosses him from one corner to the other without much effort. The neck crank goes on, which isn’t a move you see in a squash, meaning they seem to see something in Mendoza (as they should).
Mendoza jawbreakers his way to freedom and avoids a charge to send Sullivan into the post. Another enziguri sets up a springboard missile dropkick but Sullivan catches him with a pop up powerslam. Some crossface shots to the face set up the Freak Accident for the pin at 4:12.
Rating: C. This wasn’t quite a squash and that’s a good sign for Mendoza. He might not do anything spectacularly but he’s got something to him and I could see him becoming a nice fixture in the midcard. Sullivan is going to be a big deal around here for a while though as pushing a monster like that is about as much of a layup as you can get.
We look back at Ricochet taking out Pete Dunne by mistake in their tag match two weeks ago.
Dunne is worried about his champion vs. champion match next week because he’ll have to figure out how to put two titles on his mantle.
Ricochet likes that Dunne doesn’t think he can handle these high pressure situations. He’s been in high pressure situations far longer than he’s been in NXT and next week, Dunne is just another hurdle to leap over. Ricochet might not be the best talker but he has the charisma to make whatever he says work.
Video on the Forgotten Sons, playing up the whole forgotten aspect for the first time. Now that is something I could get behind.
Last week, Aaliyah and Dakota Kai were arguing when Lacey Evans and Deonna Purrazzo came up to join the respective sides. Tag match next week.
Kairi Sane is investigated for the Black attack and seems to be cleared. Kassius Ohno (in a Cesaro/Kidd shirt) replaces her but Regal doesn’t need to talk to him. Sane just gave him an alibi but Ohno still isn’t happy. Maybe he needs to sit in the crowd at Takeover to get noticed. When Regal’s shiny new toy gets here, Ohno will take care of him. Bro.
Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross
Cross sits in the corner but Belair shoves her down. That seems to make Cross happy, so she waves and shouts HI BIANCA. A monkey flip puts Belair down and it’s off to a sleeper, with Belair reversing into a backbreaker in short in order. Belair puts on a bearhug and a gorilla press makes things even worse.
Cross avoids a splash though and it’s a Thesz press into the right hands. That’s enough to send Belair outside so Cross ties her up in the ring skirt and unloads with forearms to the chest. The hair whip to the ribs puts Nikki down but she chokes Belair onto the ramp. Bianca drops her down for the big crash though and it’s a double countout (or no contest as the ring announcer says) at 5:17.
Rating: C-. This was more of a “come back next time” match and that’s fine. You can only have Belair run through everyone before she runs into a different kind of animal in Cross. Belair is almost guaranteed to win the rematch but at least they gave her a little bit of a sweat. It’s still clear that she’s one of the big prospects in the division though and that’s going to be the case for a long time.
Post match the fans want to see them fight so Cross chases her into the crowd. A high crossbody off the announcers’ table leaves Belair laying and Cross smiling to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. There’s nothing wrong with a show designed to st things up for later and that’s what we had here. You can see some things being set up for later and that can make for some good television going forward. NXT has a great track record with stuff like this and they’re more than capable of taking all these things in some good directions.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2003 Monday Night Raw Reviews (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: