Date: May 1, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, Nigel McGuinness
Things are staying interesting around here and tonight we have the latest import in the form of Kushida, who makes his in-ring debut. As usual he gets to face Kassius Ohno, which should work out well for everyone involved. Throw in the Undisputed Era having some issues and we could be in for a good night. Let’s get to it.
We open with a quick video on Kushida and how important he is.
Forgotten Sons vs. Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan/Humberto Carrillo
Fallout from last week’s brawl. Cutler and Lorcan strike it out to start until a running Blockbuster takes Cutler down. Blake comes in instead and gets uppercutted out to the floor. That means the big dive onto all three Sons and it’s off to Carrillo for a standing moonsault to the legs. The sky high springboard armdrag sends Cutler outside but it’s Ryker coming in off a blind tag to unload on Carrillo. The Sons take turns on Carrillo in the corner with various combinations of stomping.
Ryker’s cobra clutch doesn’t last long and a missed headbutt allows the tag off to Burch. Cutler gets pulled down into the Crossface with Ryker making a save. Everything breaks down and Carrillo’s suicide dive hits Lorcan by mistake. That leaves Burch on his own against all three Sons, which works as well as you would expect. A Polish Hammer drops Burch and Carrillo gets buckle bombed into Cutler’s raised knees. Ryder holds both Carrillo and Burch in a double reverse DDT for top rope knees to the chest (with Ryker dropping them instead of DDTing them) for the pin at 7:33.
Rating: C. Here’s where NXT is so many steps ahead of Raw and Smackdown: the Forgotten Sons weren’t working as they were, so NXT changed things up a bit and turned them into something that did work. They actually fixed the characters instead of throwing up their hands because their first half baked not completely developed idea wasn’t a runaway success. That’s how wrestling is supposed to work, but the biggest wrestling shows don’t get that.
Shanyna Baszler and company don’t like being asked about Io Shirai pinning Baszler so the microphone is slapped away.
Earlier this week, Bianca Belair and Mia Yim yelled at each other at the Performance Center. They’ll fight next week.
Mansoor vs. Dominik Dijakovic
Mansoor is smart enough to duck the cyclone boot and hurricanranas Dijakovic into the corner. A high crossbody is countered into the standing backbreaker and Mansoor is tossed outside, thankfully not breaking his leg as it awkwardly crashes into the barricade. Dijakovic gets two off a splash but Mansoor is right back with a sleeper. That doesn’t work very well so Mansoor goes with a kick to the head. With Dijakovic kneeling, Mansoor jumps onto the leg and uses it as a springboard for another kick. Dijakovic has had it and knocks Mansoor silly, setting up Feast Your Eyes for the pin at 5:12.
Rating: C+. This was a lot better than I was expecting and Mansoor looked good here with a lot of offense. Much like the Sons though, Dijakovic has gotten far better as he’s now just an athletic monster who has said what he wants. You don’t need to go into some huge development. Just feature them and give them impressive wins so people think something of him. It worked with Dijakovic and it would work with pretty much anyone else.
Post match here’s Velveteen Dream on a purple couch, accompanied by some good looking women. He’s heard that Dijakovic had words for him, so Dream has his own….in the form of a personalized version of the Star Spangled Banner, promising to steal the show like he does with his big elbow. Of all the Velveteen Dream things, this was the Velveteen Dreamiest.
We look back at the end of last week’s show with Matt Riddle helping Johnny Gargano against the Undisputed Era.
The Undisputed Era promise to take care of Riddle but bring up Strong’s loss last week. Strong walks away and Bobby Fish follows him, saying Cole’s timing was terrible.
Kassius Ohno vs. Kushida
Kushida gets the big debut entrance and looks just like he did in New Japan, which is a good move as the Back to the Future look is a signature for him. Ohno kicks away a handshake offer and throws the much smaller Kushida into the corner. Kushida’s wristlock is countered into a quickly broken chinlock as the fans are firmly on Kushida’s side. A takedown goes to Kushida, who rides Ohno’s back to mess with him a little bit.
The cartwheel into a basement dropkick rocks Ohno again but he’s right back with the cravate. That’s reversed as well and we have a standoff. The wrestling isn’t working so Ohno kicks him in the face but Kushida is fine enough to come back with a springboard missile dropkick. Ohno’s sitout facebuster gets two and Kushida’s nose is busted open.
The bloody nose doesn’t stop Kushida from coming right back up with a springboard hurricanrana for two. The handspring elbow is cut off with a hard forearm to the back of the head to give Ohno two more. There’s the pump kick to Kushida, who is right back with a running shot to the face. With Ohno rocked, Kushida grabs the Hoverboard Lock (not named) for the tap at 8:07.
Rating: B. Given that Kushida was my favorite New Japan name, I was kind of expecting to like this one and then it lived up to the hype. It was a very good, hard hitting match with Kushida taking everything Ohno could throw at him at and winning in the end. He’s going to be just fine around here and he looked great in his first performance.
Overall Rating: B-. A strong debut, stuff set for next week, no bad matches and angle advancement make the show the usual awesome evening. After watching two mostly bad major TV’s this week, NXT continues to be the big saving grace that fixes so many of my problems in about forty five minutes. Another good show here, and I would expect nothing less.
Forgotten Sons b. Humberto Carrillo/Danny Burch/Oney Lorcan – Top rope knee to Burch
Dominik Dijakovic b. Mansoor – Feast Your Eyes
Kushida b. Kassius Ohno – Hoverboard Lock
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