Date: November 28, 2018
Location: San Jose State University Event Center, San Jose, California
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Mauro Ranallo
It’s a special show this week as the talent was given a week off from tapings with this show filmed before Takeover: WarGames II. As usual, NXT knows how to set things up in advance and odds are we’ll have a good night of wrestling, even if we don’t have a lot of angle advancement to look forward to. Let’s get to it.
The Mighty vs. Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan
Burch and Thorn start things off with Danny starting in on Thorn’s taped up shoulder. Lorcan comes in but gets dragged into the corner for the tag off to Miller. Lorcan is fine enough to slap on a half crab with Burch coming in for a Crossface on Thorn. The Mighty bail to the floor for a bit until Miller comes back in for a shot to Lorcan’s face. A rake to the eyes keeps him in trouble and we hit the chinlock. That lasts as long as the average chinlock but Lorcan’s comeback is cut off with an uppercut.
Thorn cranks on the neck until Lorcan fights up and makes the hot tag, allowing Burch to clean house. The elevated swinging neckbreaker is broken up and Thorn hits a hard dropkick to put Lorcan down. Lorcan is right back up with a half and half suplex, setting up a big dive over the top to take both of them down. Back in and Thorn gets out of something that looked like a Doomsday Device and Thunder Valley is loaded up. Burch tackles Miller though and Lorcan gets a sunset flip for the pin at 7:49.
Rating: C+. This was perfect for a show like this as neither team has anything going on at the moment so having the four of them get out there and do something is a nice break for them. Burch and Lorcan are a good tough team and the Mighty…well they have a good name at least. Yeah they never clicked for me and that’s still the case. They’re better as heels though.
Post match the Mighty jump them from behind and send them into the steps.
We look back at EC3 upsetting Adam Cole a few weeks ago, only to have the Undisputed Era lay him out, including a chair to the knee.
Still of Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler at Takeover: WarGames II with the other Four Horsewomen costing Sane her chance to get the title back.
Kairi Sane, Dakota Kai and Io Shirai aren’t done with Baszler, Maria Shafir and Jessamyn Duke. How about a six woman tag?
EC3 vs. Marcel Barthel
EC3 is looking especially fired up. Barthel shouts a lot so EC3 grabs a headlock early on. That’s driven into the corner and the break lets Barthel hit an enziguri to really take over. White Noise gives Barthel two and, of course, it’s off to the chinlock. EC3 pops up with right hands and an elbow to the jaw, followed by the 1%er for the pin at 4:07.
Rating: D+. Not much to this one but Barthel continues to be a good jobber to the stars with great intensity. It makes people who beat him look more important and that’s the right idea for something like this. EC3 continues to be in that weird place where he looks ready for the main roster and doesn’t have much going on down here, but he’s stuck waiting for the callup. At least he’s winning though.
Post match EC3 says he wants Bobby Fish for attacking his knee. He’s coming for Fish’s head, knees, and everything in between.
Donovan Dijak, now known as Dijakovic, is coming and looks like an MMA fighter.
Candice LeRae won’t answer questions.
Mia Yim vs. Vanessa Borne
Vanessa shakes her hand and slaps her face, sending Mia up to the next level early on. The early armbar sends Vanessa scrambling but she gets pulled back in, despite grabbing the ring skirt. That’s enough for her to get in a shot to the face though and Yim is in some trouble.
Borne hammers away in the corner and gets two off a swinging suplex, which the announcers call creative. That’s not exactly creative, and neither is the chinlock that follows. Yim’s armbar cuts off Borne’s momentum and a Tarantula keeps her in trouble. There’s a running dropkick into the corner, followed by a running big boot. Eat Defeat finishes Borne at 4:18.
Rating: C-. Borne is another good example of someone who can make others look good and doesn’t need to get a big win to stay over. She can win some smaller matches and use that capital to lose to others, as has been the case for years. Yim isn’t likely to get pushed towards the top of the division, but she could be fine as someone who gets an occasional house show title shot and has good matches with people on their way up the card.
Tommaso Ciampa talks to the title, saying about how he only needed one chance to show that he’s the best of all time. Next week, he and Goldie are coming to the ring and the NXT fans better follow his lead. That’s better than the cliched “give me the respect I deserve”.
Lars Sullivan vs. Keith Lee
They stare each other down to start and Sullivan powers him into the corner. Lee blocks a shot to the face and takes it back to the middle, only to be run over by a charge. A slam is broken up though and Lee gets one off a crossbody. Lee tries a slingshot but gets kicked out of the air, followed by a belly to back throw for one. Sullivan hits a middle rope headbutt for two more and it’s off to the big chinlock.
Some rams into the corner can’t keep Sullivan’s grip broken as he grabs Lee all over again. Lars misses a charge into the post though and Lee slugs away, including a slingshot crossbody for two. A clubbing shot to the head just gets a glare from Lee and the Pounce sends Sullivan all the way outside. That means the big dive for two back inside as the fans are way into these near falls. Lee’s middle rope moonsault misses and a good looking Freak Accident gives Lars the pin at 8:00.
Rating: B. This was a heck of a hoss fight with both guys beating the heck out of each other for a few minutes and just having a good time with the whole thing. Lee losing is fine as Sullivan is either done with NXT or just about to be gone to the main roster so it’s not like the loss hurts Lee all that much. Almost no one has been able to hang with Sullivan but Lee had him in trouble. That’s how you make him look good, which was the entire point here.
Overall Rating: C+. We can add this to the show that NXT knows how to pull off: the kind that means nothing but still has some entertaining stuff. There wasn’t much going on that is going to matter long term here, but they made it an entertaining fifty two minutes of wrestling anyway. That takes talent, and is the kind of thing that the main roster hasn’t shown the ability to pull off in a long time. Well done again, as usual.
Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan b. The Mighty – Sunset flip to Miller
EC3 b. Marcel Barthel – 1%er
Mia Yim b. Vanessa Borne – Eat Defeat
Lars Sullivan b. Keith Lee – Freak Accident
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