Last week on NXT: Roderick Strong dominated a match against Aleister Black until Aleister hit The Black Mass for the win. Mia Yim beat Xia Li, then The Horsewomen came down to beat up Mia Yim until four NXT rookies came out to make the save. Velveteen Dream was crowned the new North American Champion after a MOTY contender against Johnny Gargano.
- I know people throw out the term “call-up” when someone leaves NXT to go to the main roster. I was listening to Wade Keller today and he used the term “call-over”. I like that better because it helps cement the fact that NXT is a third brand, not a developmental. The Performance Center is developmental. You can’t say NXT is developmental for another reason, NXT:UK. Some of those dudes are forever going to be on NXT:UK and possibly NXT but never over to the main roster. That doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of going to the main roster, the rosters are just too damn deep now.
- Anyways, Johnny is talking about how he still feels like a champion without a championship. Johnny was going to explain the reason for his recent success but then Tommaso Ciampa came out.
- Tommaso says that together they are better. On Raw and Smackdown they win. The crowd chants “DIY”. Ciampa said he offered to help in Gargano’s match with Velveteen Dream, but Johnny wanted to do it alone and lost.
- Ciampa and Johnny agree that they need each other. This what three years now? This three year feud is STILL GOING and is NOT STALE! If we were playing GM mode this would have had three thumbs up a year ago. Still has the three thumbs up now too.
- Ciampa wants to team with Gargano in the Dusty Classic because the winners get a tag title shot. Gargano loves championships and is very vulnerable right now. He listens to Ciampa. They shake hands.
And I’m Like… F’n Tommaso Ciampa. He knows Johnny can beat him, so Ciampa is doing everything in his power to keep Johnny away. The best way to do that is to keep Johnny distracted. Since Johnny lost the North American championship, he needs a new focus. Before Johnny can turn his attention to the NXT championship, Ciampa is there to distract. Having Ciampa hold “Goldie” close to his chest while smiling and walking to the back, and Johnny looking somber and keeping a distance is beautiful. This is nuanced storytelling at it’s finest. We are in the fourth season of this feud. I don’t want this series to end!
Ricochet and Aleister Black enter the Dusty Classic
Ciampa and Gargano leave the building together and Candice is standing outside… angry. She won’t even talk to Johnny but Gargano says “don’t worry I got it”. Which is very telling!!! He might know the game Ciampa is playing and waiting until Ciampa gets comfortable! They are gonna win the damn Dusty Classic, lose the NXT Tag Team championship and Johnny is going to throw Tommaso into the damn LED board. THIS WILL COME FULL CIRCLE! This is the payoff, the season finale. Then we will get season five, Johnny Full Form vs. a no longer confident Ciampa. Johnny will win and become the first NXT Grand Slam champion, just like his mentor HBK was the first WWE Grand Slam champion.
Aliyah and Vanessa Borne vs. Taynara Conti and Xia Li
- Taynara’s theme song and energy are amazing. She is slowly becoming a favorite of mine. Her teaming with Xia Li is unexpected but welcomed. I get kind of giddy at the idea of this team.
- Vanessa and Taynara start the match. I still don’t get Aliyah, but I know I don’t like her. Which means she is good at her job, maybe not at wrestling, but at being a heel part.
- Conti has some of the most innovative offense, she can turn on a dime and get very very fierce. It makes her feel dangerous.
- Borne has a nostalgia mid-00’s Diva feel. It’s fresh in a division that tries to stay away from that era. Vanessa is vicious though and feels like a future star.
- Aliyah is if Daivari and Carmella had a daughter.
- Aliyah has a straight jacket rest hold on Taynara. She does a good job at keeping it interesting by showing struggle and making different facial expressions. Surprising.
- The crowd is super excited when Xia Li tags in and so am I. She is a martial arts striker and Conti is a martial arts submission specialist. They make a really good team, especially paired against the Diva team.
- Borne and Aliyah hit a weird double team move on Xia Li and get the victory. The women’s tag division is heating up.
And I’m Like… This is the foundation to the NXT Women’s tag division. Any team that is formed in the coming months could be the top girls of this division. It’s gonna be fun watching it be built and to see who rises to the top. This match showed that there is a lot of promise, and the roster is deeeeep.
Velveteen Dream is interviewed about how he feels as champion. Dream doesn’t even have the belt with him. Undisputed Era shows up to say that Adam Cole is gonna win the North American championship. Dream makes height jokes. Don’t tell Austin Aries.
Cathy Kelly was outside Regal’s office to tell us about the Dusty Classic brackets when an argument between Bianca Belair and Io Shirai.
‘Limitless’ Keith Lee vs. ‘Gimmickless’ Dominik Dijakovic
- KEITH LEE HAS A NEW THEME SONG!!!!!! Well it’s kind of the same theme song but there is a choir and some Keith Lee vocals!!! This is some fire.
- Keith Lee’s theme song is if the God of War soundtrack got into hip-hop music.
- Now these two have wrestled countless times on the indies, mainly Beyond Wrestling and Evolve. This, I believe is their first time wrestling on WWE TV.
- Needless to say, these two have more chemistry then a high school science class and the spots they are doing look effortless. The crowd is losing their shit for a monkey flip reversal. These men are peanut butter and chocolate.
- Keith Lee is shining in this match showing his strength. Dijakovic can’t match the power but he can handle it. Both men are big in their own way, agile in their own way, strong in their own way and can strike in their own way. Very well rounded and very good at what they do. These two feel like the next Zayn/Owens, Gargano/Ciampa fight forever type.
- Dijakovic hits a huge boot to Keith Lee, knocking Lee out of the ring. Then Dijakovic hits an Asai moonsault and SLAMS the back of his head on the metal ramp. Keith is knocked senseless and Dijakovic fucked his own shit up.
- Match ends in a double count out.
And I’m Like… That was a great call. Neither men could afford a loss in their first meeting. This establishes a pecking order and these two are on the come up. They should stay even. I am so very excited for the future between these two and where these matches will take us. Hopefully Dijakovic will develop some type of character and we can start to get invested. Keith Lee is so damn charismatic, we are already invested in him just for existing.
Dusty Classic Brackets
Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair winner goes to face Shayna at Takeover.
- Welcome home…
- I really missed seeing these two in the black and yellow. Izzy is even crying again! Man this really brings me back. Flood of emotions over here, these two gave me some of my all time favorite moments in wrestling.
- Sasha is still Jenny from the block and she hasn’t forgotten where she came from. “NXT” chants and everyone is fired up.
- Sasha and Bayley bring up the last time they were at Full Sail was the Ironwoman match. They then point to Izzy and tell us that she remembers. Man that little girl made that match so much more memorable. Sasha and Bayley said they will defend these championships on any brand.
And I’m Like… Emotional. That return was long over due. It’s nostalgia in the now. I love NXT so much sometimes.
Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler
- Ooooh Weee , Mia’s theme song is good shit. Same with Shayna’s. Jim Johnston was very talented, but when he says that CFO$ have homogenized the music in WWE, I’d have to respectfully disagree. Their music draws out just as much emotion as his songs. A lot more diversity.
- Shayna came out alone, but that doesn’t mean that she will be alone all night.
- Shayna and Mia are roomates IRL and when the crowd cheers for Mia you can see a genuine smile on Baszler’s face. She is happy for her friend and it’s adorable.
- That adorableness faded away fast after each woman hit a takedown and ground and pound punches. This is a fight y’all.
- Mia has begun to target Shayna’s hand, but then went to kick Shaya’s hand against the stairs. Baszler moved and Mia ruined her own leg on the steps. In the span of 30 seconds, both women have an injured limb.
- As Shayna sadistically applies submissions to Yim. Mia is screaming in agony which adds a lot to the realness of the situation. It’s wince inducing and churns my stomach. They are really good at this.
- Yim is able to finally target Shayna’s hand and the crowd is all for it. That didn’t last long though and Shayna back to wrenching on the leg. I AM UNCOMFORTABLE.
- The selling in this match is top notch. They are selling on offense and defense, they make their injuries matter and effect how the match plays out. This is so good.
- There have only been a few nearfalls, the one after Shayna hit a gutwrench facebuster to Yim even got a round of applause by Full Sail.
- Shayna gets the Kirafuda clutch on on Yim and grapevines Yim’s whole body so Mia had no choice but to tap.
And I’m Like… Fantastic work by these women. It’s nice to see Shayna can still get shit done without her cronies. Mia Yim is more of a star after the match than before. Really good wrestling on a very good wrestling show. I enjoyed this thing all the way through and am already ready for next week!You can follow me on Twitter here. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @BodySlamNet @BodySlamDotNet and on Instagram @BodySlamDotNet Also check us out on Facebook and give us a like and share by clicking HERE.