NXT – December 5, 2018

NXT
Date: December 5, 2018
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson

We’re back to Full Sail this week after taking last week’s show off for the sake of a week in San Jose, California. You could get some fun stuff this time around as well and a lot of that is due to starting the build towards Takeover: Phoenix. There are a bunch of ways the card could go and each one of them could be a lot of fun. Let’s get to it.

In memory of Dynamite Kid.

Opening sequence.

Matt Riddle vs. Punishment Martinez

This is Martinez’s, a former ROH TV Champion, debut after signing not too long ago. They fight over a lockup to start and Riddle goes straight for the rear naked choke. That’s broken up with raw power so Riddle kicks away in the corner (with a BRO after each one). A Flying Burrito of all things rocks Martinez so he nails a spinwheel kick to the face. One heck of a clothesline has Riddle in more trouble so he comes back with some strikes to the ribs. A kick to the head has Martinez down and the Bromission makes him tap at 3:09.

Rating: C. Martinez looked awesome here (as tends to be the case) but this was an important test for Riddle. After being tested for the first time, he turned it o and beat the monster, which makes him look even better than usual. That’s the kind of thing you need to do with Riddle: show what he can do when he needs to, which makes him seem all the more dangerous.

Post match Kassius Ohno jumps Riddle.

Video on Ricochet.

Ricochet says he came here to win and that seems to be doing well since he has the North American Title. Now he wants to defend it and he’s going to do that next week. He’s off to find out who William Regal has in mind for him.

Heavy Machinery training video. They want the Tag Team Titles and have been on a roll in recent months. It’s been all steaks and weights and their journey isn’t complete until they win the titles. I’m very impressed that they’ve managed to keep this team going as it’s not the most in-depth concept but they’re still entertaining.

Three weeks from tonight, there will be a four way match to crown a new #1 contender to the Women’s Title. Bianca Belair qualified over the weekend.

Humberto Carrillo/Raul Mendoza vs. Forgotten Sons

Carrillo and Mendoza impressed me last time around. Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake for the Sons here. Mendoza slips between Cutler’s legs to start and dropkicks him down, followed by a wheelbarrow splash from Carrillo (stolen from the Lucha Bros). Blake comes in for a hard chop but Carrillo backflips away in a rather impressive looking sequence. Everything breaks down and Carrillo goes outside, leaving Blake run blast Mendoza in the face.

The Sons start in on Mendoza’s back with Blake stomping away and Cutler coming back in for a reverse chinlock. Mendoza flips away though and the hot tag brings in Carrillo to speed things back up. Cutler gets sent outside and a heck of a missile dropkick puts Blake down. A backflip into a moonsault gets two but Mendoza gets dropped again, leaving Blake to send Carrillo into the corner. The stomp/Scorpion Death Drop combination finishes Carrillo at 4:49.

Rating: C-. The Sons are an idea that should be better than they are. Maybe it’s the lack of Ryker in the ring but what we’re getting just isn’t doing anything for me. Carrillo and Mendoza on the other hand are an awesome team and two guys who are becoming a lot of fun to watch. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them, which is about as nice of a thing as can be said.

Velveteen Dream, after turning on his music, says people are still talking about him after Takeover: WarGames II. The fans are still asking about him and he’s even heard HHH asking about him. Therefore, he won and Dream over.

The Undisputed Era doesn’t like EC3 and Bobby Fish says these waters are infested with sharks. While slapping a chair, Fish says they’ve bit him before and promises to do it again. They laugh off the tag division (Strong: “The Mighty. More like the Weakey.”) because this is their division, and that is undisputed.

Hanson is recovering from a host of injuries in WarGames.

Shayna Baszler vs. Dakota Kai

Non-title and Baszler has Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke with her. Kai goes straight at her to start and hits an early kick, sending Baszler rolling outside. She’s a little more comfortable out there though and sends Kai into the post to take over. Back in and Baszler loads up the stomp to the arm but Kai rolls away this time.

Baszler snaps the arm back anyway, making the referee ask if Kai can continue. Kai is fine enough to hit a rolling kick to the head and more kicks have Baszler in trouble. There are the running kicks in the corner but Baszler knees her in the face. Another kick drops Baszler and a top rope double stomp gets two. Baszler grabs the arm again and Kai has to climb the ropes for the break. A gutwrench superplex sends Kai flying but Baszler can’t follow up. Kai snaps off more kicks but gets pulled down into the Kirifuda Clutch for the tap at 6:07.

Rating: B. For the time they had, this was an awesome match with Kai giving it everything she had before falling in the end. I’ve been a fan of Kai’s since she debuted as there’s that special charm to her that makes you want to see her win. Baszler is a monster though and it’s hard to imagine her not being on the main roster early in the new year.

Post match Baszler and company beat Kai down until Io Shirai runs in for the save.

Dijakovic is still coming.

Next week: Bobby Fish vs. EC3 and Ricochet defends the North American Title.

Here’s Tommaso Ciampa for a chat. He’s proven himself to be a man of his word time after time. First he ended the fairy tale and then he turned the dream into a nightmare. The fans still don’t believe in him though and neither do the voices of NXT. But MAMA MIA here he stands! This title reign will go down in history as the greatest of all time and one day children will study his greatness. He was the best in the world in 2018 and 2019 will be no different, but here’s Aleister Black to disagree.

Black talks about finishing Johnny Gargano after Ciampa pulled Johnny’s puppet strings. The original sin must be destroyed though, and that’s why Black is getting his rematch at Takeover: Phoenix. This brings out Gargano to say he and Black aren’t finished yet. It’s over when Gargano says it’s over but Ciampa is impressed by Johnny suddenly growing a spine and becoming Johnny bada**. Fans: “JOHNNY BADA**!”

In Ciampa’s opinion, it should have been the two of them inside the cage at WarGames so maybe they need to finish their business. Maybe they need to finish it….say inside of a steel cage? Gargano is in but Black says that Johnny Wrestling is dead. He’ll fight Gargano anywhere, even in the parking lot. Gargano: “How did that go for you last time?”

The threat of Black Mass sends Gargano running so Black hits it on Ciampa to end the show. The mileage they’ve gotten out of this feud and story is remarkable. It doesn’t feel like they’re dragging it out and I want to see where it goes. Great stuff here and a very solid segment to set up a big match.

Overall Rating: C+. I watched this directly after the two NXT UK shows this week and it’s such a remarkable difference. It’s not a fair comparison to make as NXT UK hasn’t even had fifteen episodes yet, but the character development and pure variety you get around here is so much stronger. In the four major segments tonight you have an MMA fighter, luchadors, a women’s match, and a three way feud built entirely on hatred. There’s something for everyone and that’s just not the case over in the UK. I know they’re at two very different stages, but my goodness there are some lessons to be learned at Full Sail.

Results

Matt Riddle b. Punishment Martinez – Bromission

Forgotten Sons b. Humberto Carrillo/Raul Mendoza – Scorpion Death Drop/middle rope stomp combination to Carrillo

Shayna Baszler b. Dakota Kai – Kirifuda Clutch

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