Date: March 27, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson, Mauro Ranallo
A lot of things changed last week and while that was the kind of thing that had to be done, NXT managed to do it very well, setting up what should be a heck of a match at Takeover. Tonight should be some of the hard selling for Takeover and that often makes for some of the best TV around here. Let’s get to it.
We open with a quick preview of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals.
With the NXT Title on a pedestal in the ring, here’s Adam Cole for an opening chat. Cole talks about outlasting four people last week to get to NXT New York against Johnny Gargano. Cue Gargano and the dueling chants have begun. Cole finally cuts them off saying he doesn’t need their support and can win the title on his own. Gargano says he loves the JOHNNY WRESTLING chants.
Johnny tells the fans to get their cameras out and take a picture because Cole is actually at a loss for words. He’s going to Takeover to end his story by becoming NXT Champion. Cole cuts off the JOHNNY TAKEOVER chants by saying that it should be JOHNNY PARTICIPATION chants because he doesn’t win at Takeover very much. Takeover has been a good place for Cole, with him winning the North American Title, winning the first WarGames match in WWE history and beating down Drew McIntyre.
Last week Cole beat four people at once, but what has Johnny done. Gargano goes into a great speech about being at a tryout and being told no. Then he came back and was told to keep going, when he was put in a tag team with someone he didn’t know named Tommaso Ciampa (I thought the story was they had known each other for years before coming here?) and told to fight for their lives.
Then came DIY and the Tag Team Titles and a war with Ciampa, plus the North American Title. He’ll fight until New York, when he becomes the NXT Champion. Gargano’s music plays but Cole goes to the ramp and says hang on a second. Cole says Johnny’s life is like a Lifetime movie playing right in front of his eyes. No matter what happens. Cole is leaving the Barclays Center as the NXT Champion. This brings out the Undisputed Era with Cole saying that the 2/3 falls match will be undisputed. The Era’s music plays them out. Outstanding stuff here as they built a match I want to see in a fifteen minute stretch.
We see a clip from after last week’s show with the Forgotten Sons beating down Ricochet and Aleister Black.
Vanessa Borne/Aliyah vs. Lacey Lane/Kacy Catanzaro
Lane grabs Borne by the wrist to start and takes it to the corner for a triple springboard wristdrag, sending a freaked out Borne to the floor. Back in and a double team gets Lane caught in the corner, allowing Borne to kick away. Aliyah comes in and stomps some more as the Horsewomen come in, meaning Aliyah and Borne make their exit. Shayna kicks Lane in the ribs for the DQ at 2:50.
Post match the beatdown is on with Catanzaro escaping the Kirifuda Clutch for a few seconds before getting choked out. Shayna comes to the announcers’ table to say that this is going to keep happening until she’s respected.
Matt Riddle vs. Kona Reeves
Man I thought Reeves had been a bad dream. Reeves has been training with Don Muraco for a name you haven’t heard in a long time. The more aggressive than usual Reeves knocks Riddle up against the ropes and knees him in the ribs but the Hawaiian Drop is countered. Instead it’s a backsplash to Reeves’ back and a gutwrench suplex for a bonus.
With Riddle in control, here’s Velveteen Dream, with two good looking women wheeling him out on a couch. Reeves uses the distraction to send Riddle throat first into the post and get two off a belly to back suplex. The cobra clutch goes on for a bit until Riddle pops up with a bunch of strikes to the chest. The ripcord knee to the face sets up the elbows to the face into the Bromission to make Reeves tap at 3:49.
Rating: C-. Better than I was expecting here with the more aggressive and serious Reeves being a better option than the old version. I mean, he’s still not worth the TV time but having him be a jobber to the stars instead of the…..whatever he was before is at least a step up.
Dream says that Riddle wins because he gets to go face Dream in New York, bringing Riddle up to the stage to wreck some of Dream’s stuff.
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Forgotten Sons vs. Aleister Black/Ricochet
The winners get the War Raiders for the Tag Team Titles at Takeover. The fight is on in a hurry with the Sons being knocked outside without much effort. Blake comes in for a headlock on Black before handing it off to Cutler, who gets kicked in the face. Everything breaks down again and it’s Ricochet and Black flipping over them into stereo poses. They head outside with Ricochet hitting the 619 from the apron, setting up the big Fosbury Flop onto both Sons.
Cutler tries to bail again but gets sent inside just as fast, allowing Jaxson Ryker to get in a cheap shot from the floor to take over. The reverse chinlock goes on to keep Ricochet down and a flip away isn’t enough to get him out of trouble. Instead it’s another chinlock and another flip away, though this time Black gets pulled off the apron. Ricochet kicks both of them away and rolls over for the hot tag though, meaning it’s time for the kicks. Black Mass is broken up and Cutler’s butterfly backbreaker gets two.
Ricochet comes back in with a jump over Black and Cutler into a hurricanrana on Blake, followed by a kick to the face. A springboard spinning Meteora drops Blake and we settle back down to Ricochet and Blake fighting over a suplex. Ricochet’s spinning version finally takes Blake down but the Phoenix splash misses.
That’s not enough for the tag though and it’s Black coming back in for a kick to the face and a near fall of his own. Ricochet gets sent into the steps, leaving Black to take the Backstabber into a top rope elbow for the big near fall. Black Mass hits Cutler but Blake gets in a powerbomb into a gutbuster. Ryker gets caught shoving the foot off the rope for an ejection, leaving Black Mass to knock Blake silly. The 630, with Black diving onto Cutler, is good for the pin and the tournament at 14:27.
Rating: B. This was rather good though it never hit that other level. I’m actually a bit surprised by the ending, but if Black and Ricochet don’t make it onto Wrestlemania, at least they have this as a consolation prize. If this is their last major match on the TV show, they went out on a rather good note for a team that has been together for all of three months. The Sons looked very good, but they still aren’t on that level that WWE wants them to be.
Post match Ricochet and Black get their trophy as the War Raiders come out for the staredown to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a storytelling/staredown show with a big main event and that’s a good way to go. The card for Friday is all set up and they should be able to have a heck of a card, with the main event looking like a nice surprise. The show itself should be a blast and there’s a real chance next week’s show is a good go home edition. This week was more NXT greatness though, which isn’t even a surprise these days.
Lacey Lane/Kacy Catanzaro b. Vanessa Borne/Aliyah via DQ when Shayna Baszler interfered
Matt Riddle b. Kona Reeves – Bromission
Ricochet/Aleister Black b. Forgotten Sons – 630 to Blake
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