NXT – January 23, 2019

Date: January 23, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson

It’s the go home show for Takeover: Phoenix and that means it’s time for the big final push. That’s one of the places where NXT excels and that should be the case tonight. The card is all but set and we get to see the last touches they put on the matches. I’m sure there will be some good wrestling to go with that so let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Velveteen Dream for a chat. He has a sparkle in his eye tonight and that sparkle is championship gold. It’s the North American Title but here are Bobby Fish and Adam Cole to cut him off. Since Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly are defending the Tag Team Titles, it’s time for the two of them to get some singles gold because this is Undisputed Era’s year. Fish says something similar but Dream says he’ll dispute that, if it’s ok with Adam. The Era rushes the ring but Dream slips out in a hurry.

Video on Shayna Baszler vs. Bianca Belair. Both of them do the confident thing really well.

We look back at Kassius Ohno cheating to beat Keith Lee last week.

Kassius Ohno vs. Matt Riddle is set for Takeover.

Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan vs. Marcel Barthel/Fabian Aichner

Oh yay. Barthel. Lorcan and Barthel start things off with an exchange of hard shots to the face. Aichner comes in so Lorcan punches them both down and brings Danny in to clean house. A middle rope dropkick puts Aichner down as the pace stays fast. Barthel takes Burch down and Aichner clotheslines Lorcan inside out (Nigel: “Achtung baby! That’s German but he’s Italian.”) and Barthel dives onto Danny, leaving Aichner to hit the double springboard moonsault for two on Lorcan.

Oney pops up with a rolling half crab but Aichner makes the save with an enziguri. They stop to breathe (and soak in some applause) for half a second until Lorcan starts slugging away and dives onto Burch and Barthel. Aichner dives onto all three but Lorcan rolls him up for the sudden pin at 4:50.

Rating: B. Sweet goodness they didn’t stop in that span. That was one of the most action packed matches I can remember seeing in a long time and it was awesome to see so much energy. Burch and Lorcan are great in these sprint style matches and it’s always nice to see Barthel lose. This was a lot of fun and worth seeing as it’s not even five minutes long.

Video on Tommaso Ciampa vs. Aleister Black. Back in July, Ciampa had said that the title made Black instead of vice versa. Since then Ciampa has made the title and he’s going to prove that Black never was that good. Johnny Gargano has been dragged into it as well but all that matters is day 184 coming and going as Aleister fades to black. Another awesome video here, as you knew was coming.

Io Shirai/Kairi Sane vs. Tanea Brooks/Amber Nova

Nova was a semi regular in Impact Wrestling for a few months. Shirai cartwheels and backflips away from Nova before dropkicking her into the corner. Sane comes in for a running Blockbuster and the sliding elbow in the corner makes it even worse. Brooks gets in a cheap shot from the apron and comes in, only to be speared down. A 619 from Shirai sets up a springboard dropkick to both villains. With Nova on the floor, Brooks takes a pop up Insane Elbow into an assisted moonsault for the pin at 2:50. That was a heck of a performance and the finishing sequence looked awesome.

Post break Sane and Shirai promise to take care of business. Marina Shafir (who towers over both of them) and Jessamyn Duke come in and make threats.

Velveteen Dream vs. Bobby Fish

Fish hits a hard shoulder to start and has to slip out of the Dream Valley Bomb. A clothesline sends Fish rolling outside and they come back inside for an exchange of forearms. Fish starts in on the leg though and a dragon screw legwhip sends Dream outside. Back in and a slingshot hilo to the knee gives Fish one and it’s off to a half crab.

Dream gets out and uses the good knee for some shots to the head. A spinebuster sets up the Purple Rainmaker but Fish grabs a kneebar after the landing bangs up the knee again. Dream rolls out and manages a fireman’s carry until the knee gives out. The second attempt works just fine and now the Purple Rainmaker is good for the pin at 8:35.

Rating: C+. This was a nice win for Dream as he came from behind and won in the end while Fish even had Cole there as a bonus. Fish is a perfect choice to lose over and over again for the Era as he looks impressive just by association. He can more than hold his own in the ring too and that makes him a rather valuable asset.

We look back at the Forgotten Sons laying out the Street Profits last week. They meet next week.

Duke/Shafir vs. Sane/Shirai next week as well.

Here’s Ricochet for a chat. He knows Johnny Gargano and has seen everything that Gargano has done lately. At Takeover, Ricochet will show him the meaning of One and Only. Gargano comes in and the fight is on but Ciampa comes in and decks Ricochet (the pop in New York if Ricochet beats Ciampa for the title would be insane), allowing Gargano to hammer away.

That allows Black to run in and kick away at Ciampa but Gargano comes in to help him. Gargano gives Ricochet the slingshot DDT and Ciampa hits the Fairy Tale Ending on Black as the fans chant for DIY. Gargano and Ciampa go up to the stage and Ciampa extends his hand but Candice LeRae comes out and says this isn’t happening. Gargano leaves with her to end the show. If I have to watch a dream tag match between these four with Candice being all nervous, I guess I can force myself through it.

Overall Rating: A-. Some snappy matches and all the angle advancement you could need is more than enough to make this a great show. I want to see where the main event scene is going as you know this isn’t wrapping up in Phoenix. The rest of the show covered everything about Takeover and the card looks great, as you knew it would. Just deliver the whole thing and be another incredible Takeover.


Oney Lorcan/Danny Burch b. Marcel Barthel/Fabian Aichner – Rollup to Aichner

Kairi Sane/Io Shirai b. Tanea Brooks/Amber Nova – Assisted moonsault to Nova

Velveteen Dream b. Bobby Fish – Purple Rainmaker

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