Date: June 25, 2020
Host: Andy Shepard
Things have changed a lot since last time around but this week’s show is another Superstar Picks, which probably takes about ten minutes to put together in the first place. These things have had some very nice surprises in there and it’s great to open up the memory banks every now and then. Let’s get to it.
No opening sequence this week, likely due to various images.
Jinny goes first, with this one from NXT, June 28, 2017.
Women’s Title: Asuka vs. Nikki Cross
Asuka is defending and this is Last Woman Standing. Nikki gets beaten up against the ropes and out to the floor but Asuka’s baseball slide gets caught in the ring skirt. She hammers on the champ and builds up a pile of chairs as we take a break. Back with Asuka not being able to suplex Nikki onto said pile but getting sent into the steps instead. Nikki goes into the steps again but Asuka sends her into them as well.
It’s trashcan time and that means an ECW chant. Asuka puts the can over Nikki’s head and kicks away, followed by a missile dropkick for good measure. They fight over a chair with Asuka being sent outside, only to have Nikki dive into a knee to the head. Another pile of chairs is stacked up in the ring and Nikki is slammed off the top onto the pile for a seven count.
We take another break and come back with Asuka kicking her in the chest, drawing laughter from Nikki. Cross grabs four straight fisherman’s neckbreakers (because she’s a bit crazy and actually acts like it for a change) but Asuka is up at nine. Nikki grabs the belt but gets it kicked back into her own face.
She’s up at eight and laughing even more before blocking a suplex to the floor. A powerbomb onto the pile of chairs on the floor gets nine on the champ. They stagger up the ramp with Asuka hitting the hip attack off the stage for nine. Nikki picks her up and hits a hanging swinging neckbreaker off the barricade for a sick thud. She’s up at nine again and Nikki is looking crazier than usual. A spinning backfist sends Nikki staggering into the back and it’s table time.
Nikki sets one up near the announcers’ table and grabs a ladder to make things worse. They both climb the ladder and Asuka superplexes her through the announcers’ table for a huge crash and the HOLY S*** chant. Nikki is DONE and Asuka beats the count at nine to retain at 26:00.
Rating: B+. It takes something special to know the ending to a match (if nothing else it’s hard to believe that anyone other than Ember Moon is taking the title) and still get completely sucked into it. These two beat the heck out of each other in one of the longest women’s matches in WWE history and it was all good stuff from start to finish. They kept building up to bigger and bigger spots until the last one finally put the psycho away. I had a blast with this one and it was a heck of a match. Check this out if you get the chance.
Medics come out to check on a smiling Nikki to end the show.
Oliver Carter and Ashton Smith pick their gear colors. They’re ready to dominate the division.
Nina Samuels goes with this, from Wrestlemania II.
Tag Team Titles: British Bulldogs vs. Dream Team
The Dream Team is Brutus Beefcake/Greg Valentine and are defending. The Bulldogs are Davey Boy Smith (also known as the British Bulldog) and Dynamite Kid, who are managed by Lou Albano and have Ozzy Osbourne in their corner for no apparent reason. Even Gorilla doesn’t seem to know why he’s out there. Smith and Valentine start things off with Davey cranking on the arm.
It’s quickly off to Dynamite as things speed up, including a big shoulder to knock Valentine into the corner. Greg comes back with a suplex but Smith comes in to scare Valentine out to the floor. Back in and Valentin gets in a headbutt to the ribs and tags out to Beefcake for the first time. Beefcake is quickly press slammed and it’s back to Dynamite for a hard clothesline.
Brutus finally drags Davey off to the corner and makes the tag off to Greg, who comes in off the top with a forearm to the back. That’s some good heel tag team work and it’s as successful as always. Dynamite comes in anyway though and it’s time for some hard forearms and shoulders in the corner. A backbreaker gets two on Valentine with Brutus having to make the save. It’s not often that you see a tag match stay even this long but this was before the Rock and Roll Express vs. Midnight Express had created the classic tag team formula.
Valentine comes back with a piledriver (where he picked him up for a traditional version but kneeled forward like a tombstone) for two but he crotches himself on the Kid’s knees. Everything breaks down and the powerslam plants Valentine for two. Davey misses a charge into the post though and the champs start in on the arm.
A hammerlock slam and a top rope elbow onto the shoulder have Davey in even more trouble and Valentine gets two off a shoulder breaker. For some reason he pulls Smith up at two and Okerlund thinks it’s going to come back and haunt him. As he says this, Dynamite gets on the middle rope and sticks his head out. Smith rams Valentine head first into the Kid’s head, knocking Dynamite down onto the floor but knocking Greg out cold for the pin and the titles at 12:03.
Rating: B. Match of the night by far here with Dynamite taking one heck of a bump to end the match. The Bulldogs were a great team and they definitely deserved the titles and they did it in a tag match that went completely against the common tag team formula. Unfortunately it felt like it was much more about a way to get Osbourne on screen, which is only going to get worse.
Albano and Osbourne celebrate as the Bulldogs remember what planet they’re on. Kid can’t talk or stand as he’s still recovering from having being knocked off the middle rope and down onto the floor with no one to catch him. That’s a scary bump and it’s no shock that his body gave out on him so soon after this.
Ridge Holland is ready to take NXT by storm.
Next week: more Superstar Picks.
Aoife Valkyrie goes around the world for her pick, from Beast In The East.
NXT Title: Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens
Owens is defending. Both of them are presented with flowers according to Japanese custom but Owens throws his to the floor because he’s just that much of a villain. Balor hits a running dropkick at the bell and scores with a top rope plancha to the outside as an NXT chant starts up. Owens goes outside again and eats a baseball slide through the ropes.
Back in and Balor wins a slugout but gets caught in something like White Noise for two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Owens breaks up a springboard with a right hand to the face. Back in again and Owens gets two off a backsplash and sends Finn outside a second time. Owens counts along with the referee before hitting the ropes twice, only to drop into a chinlock for a signature spot. Owens: “Are you not impressed? I don’t care. I hate this stupid country and everyone in it.”
Owens starts doing John Cena’s signature sequence as we’re two weeks away from Owens vs. Cena II at Battleground 2015. Balor slips out of the AA and Peles Owens out to the floor. That means it’s time for a flip dive over the top, followed by a reverse Bloody Sunday (inverted lifting DDT) for his first near fall. The Coup de Grace (top rope double stomp) misses though and Owens hits his corner Cannonball for two. Balor comes back with the Sling Blade (running spinning clothesline) and the Coup de Grace but Owens kicks out, the first time anyone has ever survived that move.
Balor puts him on the top rope but has to escape Owens’ swinging superplex. That’s fine with Owens who grabs a super Regal Roll for two and now it’s Kevin’s turn to be shocked. Owens’ Swanton hits knees and another Sling Blade gets another two. Balor gets thrown over with a sleeper suplex as these two are just beating the heck out of each other. Finn escapes the Pop Up Powerbomb and dropkicks Owens into the corner, setting up the second Coup de Grace for the pin and the title at 19:25.
Rating: A-. These guys were beating the heck out of each other and actually got over the hump of a fairly obvious ending. Balor winning was the only possible option here but it was a really cool moment to have him win the title in Japan. If nothing else this makes the NXT Title seem like a big deal as this was one of the featured matches on the show and the real main event. Owens leaving NXT on such a strong match isn’t surprising as he had been an outstanding talker but a great in ring performer as well, which is often overlooked.
Post match Itami and Japanese legend Tatsumi Fujinami come in to honor Balor but Owens refuses to shake hands. Balor gets a bit ovation as he celebrates.
Overall Rating: A. Yeah this worked, mainly as due to the worst match being the best match from that year’s Wrestlemania. The good thing is they could do this kind of show for months (just like they could do on 205 Live) and never repeat material, which is a good place to go for something like this. The profile shows and Hidden Gems are fine, but how many can they do? Open up the vault and have some fun. It’s not like you have anything else to offer right now.
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