NXT – November 7, 2018

NXT
Date: November 7, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Vic Joseph

There are two shows left before Takeover and after last week’s show, we now have the big namesake match set up. There should be some interesting things before we get there as the card needs to be pushed hard as we head towards Los Angeles. Tonight we have Lars Sullivan wanting to destroy Velveteen Dream for daring to take a step towards the NXT Title. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Heavy Machinery vs. Forgotten Sons

Cutler and Blake for the Sons here. Blake armbars Knight to start before it’s off to Cutler, who gets taken down by a double crossbody. That means a tag to Dozovic so some people can be thrown around. The Worm hits Blake but a blind tag brings in Cutler for a shot to the arm to take over. The stomping on the arm begins and Dozovic’s arm is wrapped around the rope.

Blake grabs a triangle choke but gets powerbombed down, allowing the hot tag off to Knight. A Backstabber/top rope elbow combination gets two on Knight so it’s a PowerPlex of all things for the same. Dozovic makes the save but the Compactor is broken up with a low bridge. Blake gets shoved off the top though and it’s a pop up World’s Strongest Slam to finish Cutler at 8:25.

Rating: C+. This was a match that had no business being anything but they worked hard and turned it into something pretty entertaining. Heavy Machinery is a really fun team and that’s the kind of team that you can throw on almost any show for a good time. I’m surprised they got the win here, but at least they had some fun.

We look back at Candice LeRae yelling at Nikki Cross last week and Aleister Black coming out to yell at her.

Candice isn’t talking about what happened.

Shayna Baszler is with her fellow Horsewomen when William Regal comes in to announce Baszler defending against Kairi Sane at Takeover in a 2/3 falls match. An annoyed Shayna throws out the interviewer.

Dakota Kai vs. Taynara Conti

Kai blocks an early kick attempt and throws Conti down. Conti misses a charge into the corner and gets rolled up for two as they’re starting fast. A kick to the wrist slows Dakota down and another kick to the face gets two. Conti goes after the wrist but misses a charge in the corner so Kai can start in with the kicks. The Facewash sets up the running kick to the face, followed by the sunset flip Backstabber (the Kairopractor) to finish Conti at 4:49.

Rating: C-. Both of these two feel like they should be bigger stars than they are but neither has really clicked just yet. Kai is adorable and Conti has some great ability but it’s just not working yet. Their matches aren’t too bad either and they had something here with the strikes vs. the judo stuff.

Mia Yim is glad to be here but Bianca Belair comes in, wondering why a newcomer is getting this kind of attention when Bianca still hasn’t gotten her title shot.

We look back at Matt Riddle debuting last week.

Riddle and Keith Lee were celebrating the win but ran into Kassius Ohno, who didn’t seem impressed at all.

Video on WarGames, focusing on last year’s edition with the Undisputed Era winning and how we got to this point.

Johnny Gargano has sent in a video to respond to the questions of why Johnny why. Black has talked about being on a path but Johnny is on one too. He’s walking on the same path he was on the night Black was attacked. Johnny is on the path to defeating Tommaso Ciampa and winning the NXT Title. Black got in his way and he was just collateral damage. One evil thing doesn’t mean Johnny isn’t the hero at the end of this story. He still fights for what’s right, but NXT has taught him to fight a little dirty.

Now Black wants to kick his face off and that’s fine. He’s not afraid of the dark anymore and now he’s starting to like it. Johnny goes to the place where Black was found and promises to leave him laying again. Awesome stuff here, as Gargano has become so obsessed with Ciampa that he’s gone insane and abandoned himself to get there. The key to a heel is their actions have to be logical to themselves and themselves alone, because from Johnny’s perspective, he’s still the good guy. This was great and makes a lot of sense.

Velveteen Dream vs. Lars Sullivan

Dream gyrates a bit and then goes straight at him in a bit of a surprise. Lars throws him down but a running knee sends the monster outside. We get a little lucha Dream (totally could have been a hilarious Dusty Rhodes gimmick) with a dive to the floor and Sullivan gets sent into the steps. A belly to back toss sends Dream into the apron though and a running splash inside crushes him again. Dream gets tossed around and a HARD shot to the side of the head almost flips him over. Lars throws him to the floor and Dream is knocked silly.

Back in and Lars throws him into the air but gets dropkicked down twice in a row for two. Another slam cuts Dream off but he superkicks Lars on top. A superplex is broken up and Lars misses a Swan Dive, allowing Dream to hit the Dream Valley Driver. It’s time for the Purple Rainmaker but here’s Ciampa for the distraction. Back in and the Freak Accident finishes Dream at 8:59.

Rating: B. This was the David vs. Goliath story and they nailed it up and down. Dream knows how to play this role far better than I would have expected and they told a heck of a story with Dream surviving the whole way through. The ending keeps both guys looking strong too as the elbow might not have been enough to finish Black. Really good one here with the drama rolling.

Post match Lars leaves and Ciampa comes in to lay Dream out, saying he’s not in the champ’s league. Dream fights back though and hits a superkick, followed by the twisting DDT onto the title. The Purple Rainmaker is loaded up and, after pausing due to referees, Dream crushes Ciampa to end the show. Dream looked like a star here and that’s exactly the idea.

Overall Rating: B. Well, they’re definitely in Takeover mode and gave the focus to everything but WarGames tonight in a smart move. That match is going to be ready just due to the cages alone so setting up everything else was the right way to go. This was a heck of a show and Gargano’s explanation was a big highlight. He has some serious long term potential with that and I’m glad we’re getting to see the story unfold instead of rushing to the next idea in a month. More solid work this week, as Takeover is sounding great.

Results

Heavy Machinery b. Forgotten Sons – Pop up World’s Strongest Slam to Cutler

Dakota Kai b. Taynara Conti – Kairopractor

Lars Sullivan b. Velveteen Dream – Freak Accident

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