NXT – March 20, 2019

Date: March 20, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson

We’re on the final taping cycle with three shows left before Takeover: New York. Last week’s big story saw Johnny Gargano finally outsmart Tommaso Ciampa after DIY was eliminated from the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Unfortunately a neck injury is going to put Ciampa on the shelf for a long time so now we have to find out what is being done to replace the most obvious title change ever. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s HHH to get things going and he’s got the NXT Title. After a HHH chant, he talks about how this place is special because dreams can become a reality. For some, the dreams start here but for others it takes years. Sometimes, that dream gets derailed in the blink of an eye. He was supposed to be out here to announce Johnny Gargano challenging Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Title in the main event of Takeover: New York. The truth though is that reality has stepped in.

Ciampa has had neck surgery and has been forced to relinquish the NXT Title. That means there’s a spot open though as Gargano needs an opponent. Tonight, it’s Ricochet vs. Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle with the winner going on to New York to face Gargano for the vacant title in a 2/3 falls match. This was about all they could have done in the circumstances and that’s fine.

Cathy Kelly is in the back to talk to people about the fatal five way. Kona Reeves will watch but it won’t be the finest. The Forgotten Sons aren’t happy with next week’s main event being forgotten because they’re going to the finals of the Dusty Classic. They’re winning the tournament and will be forgotten no more. The Sons isn’t a great team name.

Video on Ricochet and Aleister Black. They’re a team and are going to win the Dusty Classic but after tonight, they’ll know which one of them will be working twice at Takeover.

Velveteen Dream likes the spotlight in New York and therefore tonight’s match is Dream over. At Takeover, he’s the first ever double champion.

We see Tommaso Ciampa heading into surgery in Montgomery, Alabama. The surgery was a complete success but it could take up to a year for him to heal. That is so rough to hear as the Gargano feud was coming up as an all timer and the title change could have sealed it.

Matt Riddle says he’s been here for a long time….well maybe not too long but long enough. He’s worked his ace off (yes ace) to get here and nothing is changing his undefeated streak. He’ll become champion in New York.

Adam Cole says he makes history around here and no one is winning the title other than him. He debuted in the Barclays Center when he attacked Drew McIntyre and held the title up. That’s going to happen again, but this time he’s going to be champion.

The Sky Pirates are excited for the main event but also ready for next week’s four way match. They’re friends but they’re ready to fight. Bianca Belair comes in and says they wouldn’t be involved if Kairi Sane hadn’t interfered. She’ll win in New York because her mindset is un-de-fea-ted.

Adam Cole vs. Ricochet vs. Aleister Black vs. Matt Riddle vs. Velveteen Dream

One fall to a finish. Everyone goes after everyone to start until Black and Dream are left alone in the ring. Black’s small package gets two but he has to go outside to kick Cole in the chest. Back in and Riddle rolls some gutwrench suplexes on Ricochet but gets enziguried by Cole. Black is back in and, after a handshake, squares off with Ricochet.

Cole breaks that up and sends Black outside so he can suplex Ricochet for two. It’s Dream back in to send Cole outside and drop a top rope ax handle to the head. Back in and Riddle blocks Black’s kick and reverses into the Bromission with Dream making a save. The Bromission goes onto Cole this time around with Dream making another save.

The three of them chop it out until everyone comes back in for an exchange of strikes and it’s a five way knockdown. Ricochet goes up top but gets met by Dream and Cole, but Riddle and Black join him for a quadruple suplex. Black and Dream are left alone in the ring until Riddle comes in with a fisherman’s buster to take Black down. Cole breaks it up at two and hits the brainbuster for two.

Now it’s Ricochet coming in with a reverse hurricanrana to send Cole outside and that means the Space Flying Tiger Drop to Cole. Back in and Riddle knees Dream in the face and the Bromission makes him tap but Cole pulls the referee just in time. Black Mass hits Riddle but Black walks into the Dream Valley Driver. Ricochet breaks up the Purple Rainmaker with a hurricanrana to the floor. There’s the shooting star to Riddle but Cole comes in with the Last Shot to finish Ricochet at 14:43.

Rating: B. This was exactly what you would expect from a match like this and that’s a good thing. There wasn’t much of a personal issue going on at the moment so going with all action was the right move. Let them just go out there and do their thing and get to the next big match. It worked fine and Cole is the best choice of the five names they had here. It’s actually a fresh match against Gargano, which hasn’t happened in NXT yet (televised at least).

Overall Rating: B+. You almost have to put an asterisk on this show as they had to throw a lot of things out for the sake of the main event. It’s annoying, but they got caught at the last second and there was nothing else that could have been done. They made it work with a good match and we have a replacement title match to set up in the next two weeks. It might not be great as a regular show, but it did everything it needed to do under some rough circumstances.


Adam Cole b. Ricochet, Matt Riddle, Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream – Last Shot to Ricochet

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