Date: December 4, 2019
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Beth Phoenix, Nigel McGuinness
Things got more interesting last week with Finn Balor going after Adam Cole, though it isn’t clear if they’re going to be alone, as Tommaso Ciampa was in the mix too. They have something interesting with the NXT Title picture and that is going to make for some fun shows as we get ready for Portland. Granted that’s a long way off though and a lot could change by then. Let’s get to it.
Mauro Ranallo previews the show.
Killian Dain is in the ring to call out an opponent to replace the injured Damian Priest.
Killian Dain vs. Pete Dunne
They go straight to the fight with Dunne kicking him down and working on the arm. The fingers are bent back but a clothesline doesn’t put Dunne on the floor. Instead Dain hits a crossbody and crushes Dunne for two. The reverse chinlock goes on, followed by a running elbow to give Dain two more.
The second chinlock goes on, this time with Dain hammering away at the chest at the same time. Dunne fights up and hits a German suplex, only to get caught going up top. Dain pulls him to the apron, only to get stomped on the hand. A moonsault jams Dunne’s knee though and Dain hits a dive, with the camera missing most of it.
Back from a break with Dunne hitting a tornado DDT and stomping on the fingers again. A kick to the head gives Dunne two and now the moonsault to the floor connects. Dain drops him onto the apron though and a Cannonball against the steps makes it even worse. Back in and Dunne tries to catch him on top, only to get dropped backwards for the big crash to give Dain the pin at 14:46 (the same thing Dain did to Dunne at Takeover to accidentally give Dunne the pin on Priest).
Rating: B-. Nice match here with a good callback to the previous match at Takeover. Dunne losing is still something I’m not used to after watching him destroy people for so long but it’s what happens when you move up in competition. He jumped into NXT when the talent pool was crazy deep and it’s going to take some time for him to adjust himself.
Dakota Kai thinks Tegan Nox isn’t worth her time and now Rhea Ripley wants to play hero. Tonight, Dakota is taking her out, just like she did to Mia Yim.
Here’s the Undisputed Era, minus Bobby Fish, for a chat. They’ve been on a roll lately and the greatness is just beginning. However, they don’t like the way they were treated last week, as NXT allowed Bobby Fish to get hurt and then Keith Lee knocked Adam Cole around like a rag doll. Cole is NOT a rag doll and wants Lee out here right now for an explanation. Cole dubs him Mr. Moment Maker so the fans sing about basking in his glory.
Strong brings up Roman Reigns beating Lee at Survivor Series, because he’s a loser you see. Lee gets to the point and looks at all the gold. Cole: “My eyes are up here.” Lee: “I’m just deciding which of these championships I should take first.” The fight is on with Lee cleaning house. Tommaso Ciampa runs down to send Cole back in, but Strong saves him from the Spirit Bomb.
Xia Li wants revenge on Shayna Baszler.
Kushida is back from his broken wrist.
Xia Li vs. Shayna Baszler
Non-title. Li wins an early strike off and Baszler isn’t sure what to do. They go to the mat with Baszler not being able to hang in the striking. Instead she flips Li over, only to get kicked in the head. Baszler takes her down by the arm though and hits the big stomp to put Li in trouble. More strikes give Li a breather but she can only do so much with one arm. Li heads up top and strikes her way out of a superplex attempt. A powerbomb out of the corner gets two but Baszler pulls her into the Kirifuda Clutch for the tap at 4:06.
Rating: C+. Li was giving it everything she had here and got in some big shots that made her look good. It wasn’t like the ending was ever in doubt here as Baszler just won the main event of Survivor Series and isn’t going to lose something like this. Li got to show off a lot and I could see her being something in a few months.
Kassius Ohno is back from the UK and wants to be ready for Worlds Collide, when NXT meets NXT UK. That could be good if they treat it like something special, and it seems that they might.
Forgotten Sons vs. Adrian Alanis/Leon Ruff
Ruff and Alanis are from Evolve. Blake wastes no time in clotheslining Ruff in the back of the head and there’s the buckle bomb to make it worse. Alanis comes in and gets taken down by a running knee to the head. A release German suplex sets up the reverse DDT/middle rope stomp finishes Alanis at 1:21.
Post match Jaxson Ryker chokeslams Ruff onto the apron for a heck of a nasty crash.
Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley
Kai’s new Titantron is the attack on Tegan Nox for an outstanding addition. Hold on though as Ripley has a mic and says not so fast. It was a great setup at Takeover, and now we have another one. Cue Mia Yim to run Kai over and the fight is on. Yim destroys Kai, sending her into the barricade over and over again. They eventually go into the crowd with Kai crawling away. No match of course.
With Ripley still at ringside, cue the Horsewomen for the other brawl. Ripley fights them off as well as she can but the numbers game eventually gets the better of her, allowing Baszler to choke her out. Ripley is out so Baszler talks trash about how Ripley can’t win when anything is on the line. Now Ripley wants a title shot, and so does Baszler. They’ll fight for the title in two weeks. Best thing about this: flowing from one story into another without having to go to the back and set things up. It feels MUCH more natural and that is the best thing that they could have done here.
Ciampa and Lee are ready to face the Undisputed Era. Dominick Dijakovic shows up and seems to be joining them tonight.
Video on Finn Balor, who wants the NXT Title back. He’s playing chess while Cole is playing checkers, so checkmate.
Video on Isaiah Scott.
Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno
The fans chant for Riddle in the Goldberg cadence for a fun moment. They go with the grappling to start until Riddle takes him down by the (right) arm. The cravate has Riddle in more trouble but he’s back out with a German suplex as the eyes get a bit more serious. Ohno gets sent outside for a kick to the chest and we take a break.
Back with Riddle kicking at the chest as the announcers keep hyping up When Worlds Collide. Ohno gets in a shot to the throat and a big boot to drop Riddle as he is willing to cheat to finally beat him. Or he’s just a villain in general. The cravate goes back on and is switched into a crossarm choke to keep Riddle in trouble.
That’s broken up as well and Riddle hits a Broton but has to bail out of a standing moonsault. The Bro To Sleep sets up a powerbomb to plant Ohno, and the Final Flash knocks him silly. Riddle’s Floating Bro gets two but Ohno is right back with a suplex. Ohno tries a cradle piledriver but gets reversed into a knee to the face and the Bro Derek to give Riddle the pin at 12:33.
Rating: B-. Yeah of course these two have good matches against each other because they work well together and have similar styles. At the end of the day though, Ohno exists to put Riddle over and that’s a great role for him. What matters more than anything else here though is the hype for When Worlds Collide, meaning it might actually be important for once. They have been watchable before, but it would be great to see the show have some meaning.
We look back at Baszler beating Ripley down. The title match is official for the 18th.
Kushida vs. Raul Mendoza
Or not as here’s Cameron Grimes to jump Mendoza and take his place. This stuns Kushida for some reason.
Kushida vs. Cameron Grimes
As stunned as he is, Kushida is fine enough to hit a handspring kick to the face to put Grimes on the floor to start, setting up a big flip dive off the top to take Grimes down again. Back in and Kushida grabs something like the Black Widow and bends the arm WAY back for a nearly terrifying visual. Another handspring is countered into a German suplex to put Kushida down for the first time and the Superman forearm connects. Grimes tries his backflip into a German suplex but Kushida reverses into a rollup for the pin at 4:16.
Rating: C. This was a weird one as Grimes has been getting a pretty big push in recent weeks but then loses here to the returning Kushida. I get why Kushida gets the win to put himself back on track but why have him beat Grimes and not, say, Mendoza like you had planned? Just a weird moment but it came at the end of a fine match.
We recap Lio Rush vs. Angel Garza. They meet for Rush’s Cruiserweight Title next week.
Also next week: Yim vs. Kai.
Undisputed Era vs. Dominick Dijakovic/Tommaso Ciampa/Keith Lee
Strong gets taken into the corner for the early beating and Ciampa already has to give himself some applause. O’Reilly comes in for a standing guillotine on Dijakovic and is quickly tossed out of a suplex. A middle rope splash gives Dijakovic two and the standing knees to the back make it even worse. The Era is sent outside and we take a break. Back with Dijakovic fighting out of O’Reilly’s abdominal stretch and hitting one heck of a clothesline.
That’s not enough to get over for the tag though as O’Reilly grabs the leg. It takes all three members of the Era to pull Dijakovic back into the corner for a unique visual. Dijakovic fights up and makes the tag off to Ciampa so house can be cleaned. A jumping knee to the back of O’Reilly’s head sets up Project Ciampa for two.
The Fairy Tale Ending is broken up and it’s High/Low to give Strong two with Lee and Dijakovic making a double save. Strong drops Ciampa again as things settle into the normal structure again. Cole and Lee get the hot tags and it’s time for the real house cleaning. The threat of a big dive sends the Era scattering so Lee runs over O’Reilly and Strong.
Dijakovic hits a spinning springboard dive but Cole breaks up a superplex to put O’Reilly on the pile outside. Cue Finn Balor to dropkick Cole into the referee in the corner. 1916 plants Ciampa but Lee rises up behind Balor for a great visual. Lee hits the Spirit Bomb on Balor and, after avoiding the Last Shot, hits the Limit Breaker for the pin on Cole at 11:48.
Rating: B. This was the kind of match that NXT knows how to do very well as they had the interference but then gave us the big moment to end things as well. These guys beat the heck out of each other and had the big spots in there, with Lee continuing to get the rocket push. That being said, there are other people involved who could get the title shot as well, which makes for a lot of great possibilities.
Post match here’s William Regal to make Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor vs. Tommaso Ciampa for next week with the winner getting a title shot the following week. That really could go any of the three ways and that’s not something you see every day.
Overall Rating: B. Another night with the wrestling being good throughout, as well as setting up multiple things that I want to see later on. You don’t get that very often and they made it work here, which almost no one else can do. The future is crazy bright with Lee and Ripley getting the monster pushes, but what makes it so much better is you could see them winning, which is almost unthinkable. More good stuff here though, as NXT’s roll continues (for years now).
Killian Dain b. Pete Dunne – Middle rope belly to back slam
Shayna Baszler b. Xia Li – Kirifuda Clutch
Forgotten Sons b. Adrian Alanis/Leon Ruff – Reverse DDT/middle rope stomp to Alanis
Matt Riddle b. Kassius Ohno – Bro Derek
Kushida b. Cameron Grimes – Cradle
Keith Lee/Tommaso Ciampa/Dominick Dijakovic b. Undisputed Era – Limit Breaker to Cole
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