Date: October 31, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph, Percy Watson
Things got cranked up in a hurry last week as we now have two major stories going on at once. First and foremost, Johnny Gargano revealed himself as the man who attacked Aleister Black a few months ago, ending a long whodunit mystery and likely setting up a war at Takeover. Other than that, we might be heading for a triple threat match for the NXT Title with Tommaso Ciampa defending against Lars Sullivan and Velveteen Dream. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the search for Black’s attacker, with Nikki Cross saying she knew who did it and Black showing up last week, only to be attacked by Gargano. The “I’M RIGHT HERE” line is great.
Nikki Cross vs. Mercedes Martinez
This could be interesting. The fans are behind Martinez as Nikki seems rather pleased to be shoved back into the corner. With that not working, Nikki takes her down by the arm instead. Back up and Martinez charges into a boot in the corner but blocks the tornado DDT without much effort. A guillotine choke with the leg hooked keeps Cross in trouble but Mercedes lets go, allowing Cross to make a comeback with a bulldog.
Nikki is bleeding from the cheek as Martinez counters the fisherman’s neckbreaker into a spinebuster for the double knockdown. A pair of backdrop drivers set up a release German suplex but the fisherman’s buster is countered into a Regal Cutter. Nikki plants her with a DDT and the fisherman’s neckbreaker is good for the pin at 6:20.
Rating: B-. Well you knew Martinez would be a few steps ahead of almost anyone else they brought in. Nikki wasn’t about to lose when she was in such a prominent role in the Black/Gargano story and we even got a good match out of the whole thing. I don’t know if Martinez is going to be staying around but WWE could get a lot out of having her in the division.
Post match Candice LeRae (now with bangs that made me barely recognize her) to ask what Nikki is doing, but she leaves without saying anything. Nikki runs into Black at the entrance though and leaves the other way. Black goes to the ring where Candice says Johnny isn’t here. Black says Johnny is gone.
We recap the Street Profits vs. the Mighty with Montez Ford’s knee being hurt to give the Mighty the win. They even stole the Profits’ cup.
The Mighty vs. Street Profits
Thorn and Dawkins start things off and it’s already time for Thorn to bail towards the ropes. Everything breaks down in a hurry and the Profits clear the ring in a hurry. Ford’s big flip dive takes both of them out but Miller busts up his spine back inside. The pace slows a good bit with Ford trying to fight out of the corner but getting caught in a Falcon Arrow for two.
Ford finally goes aerial by diving over Thorn and making the hot tag off to Dawkins to clean house. Dawkins’ powerbomb is countered with a hurricanrana so Thorn loads up Miller in a powerbomb as Miller superplexes Ford for a cool double team spot. That’s good for two with Dawkins making the save, leaving Ford to hit the frog splash for the pin on Thorn at 7:07.
Rating: C-. It’s very rare that a feud in NXT does nothing for me but that’s the case here. I don’t know if it’s the Mighty (though that seems to be a strong possibility) but this has been one of the most lifeless stories I can remember NXT putting on in a long time. It’s not that it’s terrible or even bad. Instead, it’s not interesting and that’s actually worse.
The Profits regain the cup.
William Regal makes Velveteen Dream vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the title at Takeover. Black comes in and wants Gargano, so Regal makes that match for Takeover as well.
Lars Sullivan is throwing a bunch of stuff because that was his title shot. If Dream is in that spot now, Sullivan will take him out and replace him.
Luke Menzies vs. Matt Riddle
Riddle’s theme music starts with BRO, he’s billed as the King of Bros, and he jumps into the air to kick his flip flops into different corners, meaning he’s wrestling barefoot. Riddle takes him by the leg to start and flips him into a quickly broken cross armbreaker. Menzies hits him with a running shoulder so Riddle starts snapping off the kicks to the chest. A running forearm in the corner misses and Menzies tosses him with a belly to belly.
Riddle is right back up with a kick to the head and another one to the chest as the fans are WAY into the BRO chants. A running knee to the chest sets up the hard elbows to the face, followed by something like a seated abdominal stretch (also called a Twister, or the Bromission here) for the tap at 3:22.
Rating: C. Well that worked. Riddle looked awesome (because he is awesome) and while Menzies got in some offense, Riddle shrugged all of it off and destroyed him for the win. You can pencil him in for a bigger match at Takeover against Kassius Ohno and that’s where we’ll get the real showcase. Good debut here though, with the match going as it should have and the submission finisher looking great.
Clip of Shayna Baszler regaining the Women’s Title at Evolution.
After the match, a still weakened Sane went after Baszler but just didn’t have the energy.
Next week: Sullivan vs. Dream.
Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch vs. Raul Mendoza/Humberto Carrillo
Mendoza and Burch start things off and we get a nice handshake. A headscissors takes Burch down and it’s off to Carrillo to work on the arm. Some European uppercuts get Burch out of trouble though and it’s already off to Lorcan. Humberto gets caught in a double top wristlock but backflips out with a double armdrag.
Lorcan and Burch are sent outside for stereo suicide dives but Humberto’s moonsault hits raised boots (with Lorcan shoving his feet up instead of just holding them up). Mendoza comes in and hits some running forearms, followed by an enziguri for each of them. Burch hiptosses him into the corner though and it’s the spike DDT for the pin at 3:17.
Rating: C+. That was WAY better than I was expecting, which is a nice relief as I was hoping they wouldn’t squash someone as talented as Mendoza. They had me thinking we might even see the big upset here, which is hard to pull off in a match this short. Both teams could go somewhere and I hope we see more from Mendoza and Carrillo.
The Undisputed Era is doing their usual promo in the back when the War Raiders run in and jump them ahead of their scheduled match. They fight outside with Cole being lawn darted into a production truck but Strong comes back with a trashcan. Some weapons shots have the War Raiders down but here’s Ricochet to dive off a table to take everyone down. Fish tries to get inside but Hanson shows up and throws him into a garage door.
With Ricochet and Cole fighting elsewhere, the other five come inside with the Raiders wrecking the three of them. Ricochet and Cole join them but a shot to Hanson’s knee cuts him down. The Era takes over but here’s Pete Dunne (POP) with a chair for the save. Cole’s hand is smashed as Ricochet and Rowe are back up. Cue Regal and the fans know what’s coming. WARGAMES is officially confirmed between the eight of them, sending the Era into a panic to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The ending announcement alone is cool to see and helps the show itself, which was already pretty good. This was the night where a lot of Takeover’s card was set up in one night and that often makes for some of the most entertaining shows they have. I’m fired up for the show now and that means they did their job here, as the perfect timing of these things continues.
Nikki Cross b. Mercedes Martinez – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
Street Profits b. The Mighty – Frog splash to Thorn
Matt Riddle b. Luke Menzies – Bromission
Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch b. Raul Mendoza/Humberto Carrillo – Spike DDT to Mendoza
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