Last week on NXT: Bianca Belair stole the show in her fatal four way victory to earn the right to face NXT Woman’s champion Shayna Baszler. Jaxon Ryker had a match that the commentary team forgot happened so it had a real Riptide Wrestling feel to it except for the camera work and crowd support. Heavy Machinery and Undistputed Era tore the house down. What I love about NXT is that the talent is used right. I fear for Heavy Machinery because they won’t be able to have these matches on the main roster.
There wasn’t one this week.
Johnny Gargano Promo
- Johnny comes out with a cocky pep in his step. He walks us through his 2018 and what Johnny has reflected on.
- Success is measured by wins and championships. Being a good person doesn’t matter. Winning and having championships matter.
- Johnny says the moment in the cage with Tommaso meant nothing. It will never happen again. Johnny says Ciampa is still a piece of trash.
- Johnny quoted Ricochet “If Johnny wants the smoke, I’m right here.” That made Gargano upset and now his sights are set on Ricochet.
- “That’s a champion” chant at Ricochet after he enters the ring.
- Ricochet has grown a bit on the mic but he still has some squeak in his voice.
- Ricochet says because Johnny’s nickname is “Johnny Takeover” so Ricochet challenges Johnny at Takeover Phoenix.
- Ciampa shows up and Johnny tells Tommaso to shut up and that it’s not about Ciampa. That brings out Aleister Black on the video screen.
- Black says he will make Ciampa fade to black at NXT Takeover. Then the lights go out and Black appears behind Ciampa. Black whoops the hell out of Ciampa and chases him to the backstage area. That leaves Ricochet distracted for Gargano to kick him right in the face.
And I’m Like… It’s weird to have NXT start off like the Main Roster shows where there is a promo at the beginning. This really started off with a bang though setting up two Takeover championship matches. Now all but the tag title match is set for January 26th.
Nikki Cross vs. Bianca Belair
- No way Bianca loses tonight, she is undefeated and has a championship match on the horizon.
- Nikki is beloved by Full Sail. I really am gonna miss how Nikki is presented as a star. You can always hope that the call-up’s do well on the main roster but it’s really hard to look forward to based on past call-ups.
- Both Nikki and Bianca start off the match rather seriously for their characters.
- Bianca shoves Nikki and Cross laughs asking for more. The mind games continue with Nikki seeming to have control of the psychological aspect of the match.
- Bianca’s usual tactics of strength don’t work on Nikki. She is so unconventional that Bianca doesn’t know how to handle Cross.
- This match doesn’t feel fluid. Kind of like they are waiting for spots to happen. It really shows that Bianca is still new to this and has the need for growth.
- They got to the part in the match where they hit signature moves for nearfalls and the match just feels off. The crowd is trying to be involved too but the emotion just isn’t there.
- Nikki hit her swinging fisherman suplex and Bianca rolls to the outside. It also looks like Bianca has cupping marks on her back.
- As the women fight on the outside. Nikki jumps on Bianca’s back and Belair is able to drop Nikki on the entrance ramp in a spot reminiscent of their first meeting that ended in a double countout.
- This time both women got in the ring at the same time. The crowd is firmly behind Nikki. This match turned into a FIGHT.
- Bianca doesn’t have cupping marks. They are kissing lip tattoos.
- Nikki missed a crossbody and Bianca hit the KOD for the win.
And I’m Like… For as awkward as the first half of the match felt, it really made up for it during the finish. These girls worked hard and this may be Nikki’s last appearance in NXT. She will be sorrowfully missed, but give credit where credit is due. This division is in great hands with Belair leading the way.
Street Profits get some promo time with Angelo beatboxing while Montez Ford freestyling. These men are amazing, they are really killing it as Evolve Tag Team Champions. Montez has a good program with Eddie Kingston coming up. Dawkins has some spit on the side of his lip, it’s distracting.
Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel vs. Enhancement Talent
- Aichner and Barthel made their debut on NXT:UK. Marcel has really left and impression on me and is becoming one of my favorites to watch. WWE YouTube didn’t put this match up so I was looking for their UK match but I couldn’t find it either. I hope these two get some character cause the can GO!
- Barthel already getting “Nien” chants.
- The crowd seems rather chatty while enjoying the bout. Marcel does some limb work and then does a Mongolian chop to the “Aaah” of the crowd.
- Aichner is tagged in and wows the crowd with his ability to toss his opponent around. This match has really picked up the pace.
- Barthel and Aichner tag really well together and both add a layer of intensity to their work.
- The enhancement team even got a hot tag with plenty of offense but then dude played to the crowd and got caught by Marcel and Fabian. A Powerbomb into a German suplex for the finish and Aichner and Barthel pick up the win.
And I’m Like… This team is fantastic and while the match was happening I kept thinking about teams that could face Aichner and Barthel. The Revival, Undisputed Era and Oney and Lorcan really stand out. Super excited to watch this team in the future.
Matt Riddle and Kassius Ohno feud recap bleeds into a Keith Lee promo. Keith says Matt Riddle is his friend and Ohno’s attack was unsettling. Lee invites Kassius to have a match next week.
EC3 vs. Adam Cole w/ Undisputed Era
- EC3’s pop isn’t what it once was in Full Sail. The crowd has tons of signs for EC3 but aren’t really vocal about it. Don’t even sing his theme song anymore.
- The match starts off with some chain wrestling. The crowd is trying to start a dueling chant as Adam Cole is attempting his “Adam Cole Bay-Bay” and neither one works.
- Adam and EC3 are both trying to gain an advantage and Cole finally gets it by being sneaky like an opossum and throwing EC3 shoulder first into the steps.
- Cole is now focusing his attack on EC3’s shoulder. Nigel is putting the strategy over because of how powerful EC3 is. Taking out the shoulder will help Adam immensely.
- EC3 starts walloping on Cole. He tries for his EC3 elbow drop but he yells “Bay-Bay” before doing it and the crowd was already doing the “E-C-3” bit.
- Cole keeps getting opportunities to take EC3 out but EC3 has these little spurts of energy to combat it.
- Once EC3 is able to gain control, Undisputed Era interferes behind the refs back leaving EC3 susceptible to Cole’s knee to the back of the head. Adam Cole is able to pick up the victory.
- Undisputed Era starts beating on EC3 until the War Raiders show up to save the day.
And I’m Like… This match was weird and this episode was weird. It’s like the crowd wanted to be excited but they didn’t react how the wrestlers thought they would. This is definitely a turning point in NXT with six of their roster members leaving. Hanson and Rowe got the crowd excited with their double team moves so that was nice. I don’t think this episode will go down as anything special though.
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