Previously on NXT: It was NXT Takeover: The Hangover which in actuality was filmed before NXT Takeover. Bianca Belair made her return with a victory over Deonna Purrazzo and Pete Dunne held onto the U.K. Championship with a defense over Zack Gibson. Also some recap videos from Takeover.
William Regal is interviewed about how he is officially starting an investigation on who attacked Aleister Black.
The commentary team welcomes us to the show and Johnny Gargano walks out to the ring without a theme song. The fans chant “Johnny Wrestling” as Johnny uses a crutch to get to the ring. Johnny dislocated his kneecap and needs some help walking. Johnny starts with “you guys have always had my back.” Johnny says he doesn’t deserve chants of his name. Gargano says he broke a promise to us fans. Some fans in Full Sail are trying to make it about themselves and not about the storyline. Full Sail can be the dirt worst sometimes.
Gargano says he doesn’t know where he goes from here. “I lost more than a match in Brooklyn. I lost myself. I’ve done a lot of stupid things lately. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I don’t know how to fix them. I don’t know how to make things right.” This is some deep shit for the Gargano character. Johnny admits that he has become Tomasso Ciampa. Gargano had Carnage style gear at Takeover and he seems to be the embodiment of Carnage.
William Regal makes his way to confront Johnny. Regal cuts to the chase and asks Johnny if he was the one to attack Aleister Black. Gargano says “you tell me.” Which sounds pretty dang guilty. Gargano won’t give a yes or no.
Velveteen Dream interrupts to a huge “Velveteen” chant. Dream says tonight should be about The Experience. Dream says tonight should be about the Dream and not Johnny Failure. Johnny keeps hitting his own head to show he is losing his sanity. Gargano threw a crutch at Dream and Regal told Dream to “get to my office” and the crowd responded like a bunch of middle schoolers in class, which had me dying.
Dakota Kai vs. Aliyah
As Dakota makes her entrance I’m still miffed at Apple Music for not having this theme song for streaming.
Aliyah is “The Cats Meow” but as she comes down the aisle you can tell she is acting. She comes off like my 19 year old niece who is the most dramatic and unrealistic. Aliyah does get booed by Izzy’s parents. Lately Izzy’s parents are like real life heels and that alone makes me not hate on Aliyah as much.
One guy is chanting “Aliyah” and the rest of Full Sail is chanting “Sucks” except for Anita Smith. Anita is the grandma you see in the audience at NXT and some Florida indie shows.
Dakota is the face in peril during this match. Kai is great because she has believable offense where you could see Dakota being a top girl. She also can sell so much and she is scrawnier than most so she can believably be in trouble in matches as well. That’s a rare trait.
Aliyah does have some great facial expressions, she just doesn’t know how to harness them. As she has Dakota on Kai’s face Aliyah screams some insults and that is enough to give Dakota the energy to hit her finish. The code red into an inverted back cracker. Dakota looks beat and worn down but still happy, fantastic performance.
Backstage Dream is leaving Regal’s office. Side note, Regal has brass knucks on a velvet stand on his table. Now Regal has The Forgotten Sons to question. The Forgotten Sons are Wesley Blake, Steve Cutler and Chad Lail. They say that the video clearly shows it isn’t them.
Camera cuts to backstage where EC3 was attacked in the hallway by Lars Sullivan.
Nikki Cross is being questioned next. Regal asks Nikki to tell her anything about what she saw. She was on the roof and was able to see everything. Nikki knows who did it but she is out of control and is no sane position to tell Regal. Nikki does such a good time that Regal almost corpses. Bianca comes in and starts complaining about how the focus isn’t on her. Belair is annoyed by Nikki and trying to assert her dominance. Nikki says she wants to play with Bianca. So they got a match starting.
Raul Mendoza vs. Lars Sullivan
Raul has a low key great theme song as well. Not much in way of a gimmick or character.
Lars Sullivan comes out with a mic and not his bad ass shadow entrance. Lars admits to attacking EC3 and Aleister Black then says Raul is in “Lars Sullivan Territory”. The humongous humanoid simply destroys poor Mendoza.
Tomasso Ciampa cuts a backstage promo in some dark corner of Full Sail. Ciampa calls the NXT Title the most prized possession in Sports Entertainment. NXT is his home and this is just the beginning. “No one will survive what is coming next.”
Keith Lee vs. Luke Menzies
Keith’s entrance song is different, it doesn’t fit him that well. Keith honestly needs to sing his own entrance song so hopefully they are working on that. “Oh bask in his glory.”
Luke Menzies has a more complete entrance song than Lee and Menzies theme song is just the same eight bars repeating followed by a different eight bars repeating. He is a former rugby player that commentary says is inexperienced. Menzies is trained by someone who had a hand in training William Regal.
The match starts a test of strength type match but then Keith Lee hits a hurricanrana. Keith has an aura too him that you cannot teach. After hitting the big move Keith just stood in the ring with the most proud face. He has a smile that is both humble and braggadocio.
What makes Menzies a good opponent is he is built like a brick house and so his offense works against Keith. Menzies is also put over as a rookie so it doesn’t hurt Luke at all to get trucked by Lee.
Keith Lee hits a sitdown last ride powerbomb called the Spirit Bomb. This man got a standing ovation for winning a match. Keith Lee isn’t a star he is THE star and the only thing that could hold him back or hinder his career is creative. Bask in his glory.
Pete Dunne (UK Champion) and Ricochet (North American Champion) vs. The Undisputed Era (Tag Team Champions)
Pete Dunne and Ricochet enter separately and as they walk out, I start to realize how amazing this generation of NXT is. If I thought about my favorite wrestlers, ones I care about, ones I am invested in. I am pretty sure the majority of the list is comprised of current NXT talent. There is a good number of main roster people, but I seem to lose interest in them as characters the longer they are on the main roster. On NXT I still feel like these wrestlers are special and are stars. On the main roster, I still feel like they are stars but everyone seems pretty cookie cutter.
“Everybody” chant to start the match. Kyle O’Reilly isn’t wrestling tonight because Adam Cole said he wanted a piece of Ricochet. Commentary tells us that Pete Dunne has had tag team partners before but most of them of turned on Dunne. That makes Pete somewhat weary of being on a team. It’s nice that commentary is planting the seeds of why Undisputed Era will win already. The near falls will be better because I will buy them more now.
Once Roddy is able to wear down Ricochet, he tags in Adam Cole. Cole doesn’t get a chance to do shit because Ricochet is able to fight both members of Undisputed Era off. UE is able to capitalize on their ability to be a team by doing a blind tag and taking Ricochet out.
Quick tags by Undisputed Era all while cutting the ring off. We have an established team vs. two singles stars and Undisputed Era shows why they are the dominate group in NXT. Nigel tells us that Undisputed Era are allowed to wrestle under the Freebird Rule, meaning any man in the group can defend the titles and wrestle as the two man team.
Roderick works over Ricochet as the crowd has dueling chants “One and only/Adam Cole.” That must not help Roddy’s ego at all. There are some more quick tags as the crowd begins chomping at the bit for Pete Dunne’s hot tag. Nigel breaks down the basics of the match. Undisputed Era have spent a lot of energy beating down Ricochet and Pete Dunne is relatively fresh. Dunne can’t get tagged in because the Undisputed Era don’t have the energy to contend.
Dunne gets tagged in because we all know how tag wrestling works. The hot tag sequence is creative as fuh but the crowd doesn’t react accordingly. Dunne does an X-plex on Cole onto Strong and no one bats an eye. Dunne finishes the sequence with a sitout powerbomb for the visual three count on Roderick but Cole breaks up the pin.
This match is full of amazing moves and stories being told, but the most amazing is how often I forget Pete Dunne doesn’t wear elbow or knee pads. As I was cringing at the thought of how messed up Dunne’s knees will be. Ricochet dives to the outside and hits Peter. That leaves Ricochet open to being knocked out and Dunne taking a finisher for the loss.
Undisputed Era destroys Ricochet after the match until the War Raiders music hits. At first I would think this is building to some sort of triple threat tag match but then
it looks like Ricochet and Pete Dunne are gonna start a feud. Next Takeover card is already starting to take shape.
Great show, went by very quickly. Lots of variety and everything that happened mattered. This is why NXT is the best show out there.
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