Date: October 24, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
It’s a big night this time around as Aleister Black now knows who attacked him. Therefore, it’s highly likely that we find out tonight too, which should be a heck of a moment. There are several suspects out there and a lot of them are strong possibilities. Other than that though, it’s time to get ready for the next Takeover. Let’s get to it.
Earlier today, William Regal assigned security to have Black see him before getting inside.
Here’s the Undisputed Era to get things going. Bobby Fish is officially back and that’s something everyone should fear. Just as the War Raiders. The Undisputed Era is NXT, which brings Cole to Ricochet, who still has his property. A few weeks back, Ricochet beat Pete Dunne to retain the North American Title in a triple threat match but didn’t pin Cole, because Ricochet can’t do it. Cue EC3 to interrupt because he sees Cole as trying to sound impressive because the team is scared. Cole cuts off the catchphrase with a SHUT UP EC3 and a match is made.
Adam Cole vs. EC3
Cole gets aggressive to start and hammers away in the corner but EC3 punches him outside without too much effort. A superkick slows EC3 down on the way back in though and a swinging neckbreaker keeps him down. Cole grabs a front facelock and gets two off the fireman’s carry neckbreaker. The facelock goes on again as Fish orders the referee to ask him. EC3 finally fights up and snaps off a German suplex but the Era offers a distraction. Cole’s superkick looks to set up the Last Shot but EC3 is up with a clothesline. That’s not enough or Cole though as EC3 grabs a rollup for the pin at 6:56.
Rating: C-. Kind of a dull match here but that’s been the case for a lot of EC3’s stuff. He looks and talks well but once the bell rings, he’s only so interesting. Cole can have a great match with the right opponent, though it’s clear that EC3 doesn’t fit in there. It also doesn’t help that EC3 was kind of thrown into this match, as the Era already has enough enemies.
Post match the beatdown is on, with a High/Low to EC3 setting up the Last Shot. Fish crushes the leg with a chair. Fans: “THANK YOU BOBBY!”
Nikki Cross warns security, telling them that he’s coming. Vic: “Who does she mean?” Do they write these lines to try and sound as dumb as possible?
Aaliyah vs. Mia Yim
This is Mia’s first NXT match in four years and first as a member of the roster. Aaliyah snaps her throat first across the top and puts on an early chinlock, followed by the right hands to the head. The second chinlock goes on so Mia drives her back first into the corner for the break. Some clotheslines and a dropkick put Aaliyah in the corner for a Cannonball. Soul Food is good for the pin on Aaliyah at 3:39.
Rating: D+. I’m not as big on Yim as some people but it makes sense to bring her in. She was one of the most popular stars in the Mae Young Classic and she has more than enough of a resume outside of WWE. Aaliyah is a good first win for her as it gets her feet wet, which I’m sure will set her up for something down the road.
Bianca Belair demands that Regal give her a title shot. With Bianca gone, Regal says he doesn’t know what Nikki said to Black last week but….here’s the Era to interrupt. With Kyle O’Reilly talking to himself, Cole tells Regal to get his act together. Regal says it’s the other way around, because next week the War Raiders will face Fish and Cole.
We see the Roman Reigns segment from Raw.
Video on Lacey Evans.
Video on Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler. I’d assume they had to cut something for the sake of that Reigns segment and it’s throwing things off a bit. This is a lot of videos in a row.
Justin Xavier vs. Kassius Ohno
Xavier’s shoulder bounces off of Ohno but an elbow works a bit better. That’s fine with Ohno, who hits a heck of a big boot. A fireman’s carry slam sets up a running legdrop and another running boot cuts Xavier off. Back to back backsplashes set up the rolling elbow for the pin at 3:05.
Rating: D. Just a squash to set up Ohno to face Matt Riddle at the next Takeover. Ohno is the perfect choice for something like that as Ohno is one of the few guys guaranteed to have at least a passable match. He’s also still enough of a name that beating him means something and they’ve set up a nice little story for the debut.
Post match Nikki comes out to say he’s coming. Nigel says it’s clearly Black (meaning it’s not) and wonders who he’s coming for.
Matt Riddle makes his in-ring debut next week.
Here’s Regal to announce the NXT Title match at Takeover. This brings out Tommaso Ciampa, who tells Regal not to stare at the title. If Regal has some announcement, go ahead with it so here’s Velveteen Dream to interrupt. Dream says the WarGames fans want an experience so Regal needs to say his name. Now it’s Lars Sullivan interrupting, saying they need to be mindful of where they are. He recommends they leave his territory because the NXT Title belongs to them.
Dream understands that Lars thinks of himself as a nightmare, but when you speak to the Dream, wear some pants. Lars grabs him but here’s Cross to point to the back. We cut to said back where Black is kicking everyone he can find. Black comes into the arena and kicks Sullivan but want to know where HE is. Regal doesn’t know but Johnny Gargano comes in and lays Black out. Gargano: “I’m right here.”
It wasn’t the biggest secret in the world, but that was a really effective reveal. The fans got very quiet when Gargano attacked and that’s the entire point. Gargano was a prime suspect due to never actually denying what happened and suddenly being his old self again, which felt rather out of place for NXT storytelling. This can set him up for a long heel run, possibly even teaming with Ciampa again, before he finally becomes NXT Champion at some point down the line. Very well done here.
Overall Rating: C+. The wrestling wasn’t great here but really, none of that means much of anything as this was ALL about the big ending. Black vs. Gargano, especially a freshly heel Gargano, should be a heck of a fight as Takeover starts to look even better. This show took some steps towards the show and I’m looking forward to seeing how we get there. The reveal was the best part of the show and it’s all that really mattered.
EC3 b. Adam Cole – Rollup
Mia Yim b. Aaliyah – Soul Food
Kassius Ohno b. Justin Xavier – Rolling elbow
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