NXT – March 13, 2019

Date: March 13, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson

We’re less than a month away from Takeover: New York and the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic is already off to a fast start. Last week’s show was almost entirely devoted to the tournament, meaning tonight should have a little more variety to it. You can imagine a lot of the Takeover card already but some of the matches will be probably be confirmed this week. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s first round.

Opening sequence.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: Moustache Mountain vs. Forgotten Sons

Jaxson Ryker is at ringside as it’s Cutler and Black for the Sons again. Bate and Cutler take turns working on the arm to start but it’s off to Black for a slam and chinlock. That doesn’t last long as Bate fights up and brings in Seven to suplex Blake for two. Cutler starts in on the knee to continue a formula that has worked, including the spinning toehold to make Seven scream. The Figure Four goes on but is reversed in record time with Blake not just letting go for some reason.

Since the knee got a break in the Figure Four, Seven is able to bring in Bate for the airplane spin to Blake and since he’s that strong, he does it to Cutler at the same time (Nigel: “It’s a biplane spin!”). The Sons are sent outside where Bate misses the shooting star off the apron but is right back with the corkscrew dive back inside. The running clothesline/dragon suplex gets two on Blake with Ryker making the save. Back in and Seven loads up the Burning Hammer but Bate gets shoved off the top. That’s enough for Seven to take the top rope double stomp/reverse DDT for the pin at 9:40.

Rating: B. I would have bet on this one getting more time but I also would have bet on the Brits going to the finals so I was wrong all around here. The Sons haven’t been the most thrilling team in the world so far but they’re getting a nice push here and that’s the kind of thing you have to do at some point. Good match, which was the one thing I did expect.

Matt Riddle says he’s here to win titles so he checked to see if the North American Title came in Bro Size. Adam Cole comes up to say the title is coming back around his waist so a challenge is made.

Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair

The winner gets a Women’s Title shot against Shayna Baszler, on commentary here, at Takeover. Feeling out process to start with Belair picking up the pace and taking her outside for a drop onto the steps. Back in Shirai rolls up the cocky Belair for two but gets caught in a double chickenwing. Shirai fights up and scores with a kick to the face but walks into the hair whip to put her in trouble again.

It’s louder than effective though as Shirai catches her on top with a super hurricanrana. The moonsault hits raised knees and Belair hits a spear to stay on the ribs. That’s enough for Baszler who goes to the ring and pulls Shirai to the floor for what will be a no contest but should be a DQ at 5:27.

Rating: C. Belair continues to just be there in this story as she’s not ready to hang with this level of talent. I’m sure we’ll get a four way at Takeover as Baszler needs better competition than but Belair isn’t at that level. Let it be a three way with the Sky Pirates in there instead as the match will be better and Belair won’t annoy me.

Post match Kairi Sane comes in for the save but gets choked out as well. Shirai makes the save and takes a choke of her own.

We look back at Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic from two weeks ago, followed by a near fight the following week. Their rematch is next week.

The four way for the Women’s Title is confirmed and Baszler isn’t happy. Why does this continue to surprise heels in this situation?

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals: DIY vs. Aleister Black/Ricochet

DIY has the matching shirts again. Black knees Ciampa down for less than a one to start and it’s off to the early armbar. Ricochet and Gargano come in and it’s time for Ricochet to flip around and dropkick Johnny outside. A springboard dropkick has Ciampa in trouble as well and it’s Black moonsaulting into the seated position with Ricochet sitting down next to him. Gargano comes back in with the slingshot spear to take over on Ricochet and it’s Ciampa coming in as the fans aren’t sure who they like more.

Back to back neckbreakers keep Ricochet in trouble, followed by Gargano coming in to stomp on the arm. The chinlock goes on for a bit until Ricochet makes the comeback, including sending Gargano into Ciampa who DDTs his partner by mistake. Black comes in and moonsaults onto both of them as everything breaks down. Ricochet and Gargano are sent outside but Ciampa hits an elbow to set up Meet in the Middle.

Gargano gets pulled back outside though and Black knees Ciampa in the head. Black takes too long going after Gargano though and gets caught in a Tower of London on the apron. The slingshot DDT gets two and DIY slaps on the stereo arm holds (with Nigel bringing up the Takeover: Toronto finish because he’s good at his job).

Black is in more trouble but Ricochet powers up and Death Valley Drivers Ciampa onto the other two for the save. The crash landed on Gargano’s knee so he bails to the floor, leaving Ciampa to trade forearms with Ricochet. They both get knocked down but since there’s no Gargano to tag, Ciampa has to try the Fairy Tale Ending on Black. That’s broken up and it’s Black Mass into the 630 to finish Ciampa at 13:15.

Rating: A-. This was well done storytelling as you can see something coming at the end that should be great stuff. Ricochet and Black teaming up to take out Ciampa doesn’t hurt the champ at all and gives them a path to Takeover, which should go very well for them. It might not be as good as some of the matches last week but what we got here was a more enjoyable story.

Post match Candice LeRae comes out to check on Gargano with Ciampa helping him up. Gargano needs help walking up the ramp as the fans applaud him. They get to the stage where Ciampa tries to throw him into the screen but Gargano’s knee is just fine and he sends Ciampa in instead. Candice has the biggest smile on her face as Gargano is back and suckered Ciampa in this time around. The JOHNNY WRESTLING chant ends the show as I get sad over how great this could have been in New York. It was a perfect setup for these two and Gargano could have finally conquered him if not for Ciampa’s neck.

Overall Rating: B+. While not quite up to last week’s nearly perfect show (which isn’t a fair comparison), this was another great week with an incredible angle to finish the night. They could have been heading for an all time feud blowoff in New York but the injury stopped everything in its track. What we got was very good here though and I’m not sure what to expect in the finals. Awesome show and Takeover, of course, is looking great.


Forgotten Sons b. Moustache Mountain – Top rope double stomp/reverse DDT combination to Seven

Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair went to a no contest when Shayna Baszler interfered

Aleister Black/Ricochet b. DIY – 630 to Ciampa

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