NXT Recap: Episode 498

Last week on NXT: HHH announced that Ciampa was stripped of the title due to neck surgery. A match was announced, the winner will go on to Takeover to face Johnny Gargano in a two-out-of-three falls match for the vacant NXT Championship. Adam Cole defeated Matt Riddle, Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black and Ricochet to advance to the championship match. The episode featured one match, I wasn’t that big of a fan.

Cold Open

A voiceover with the movie trailer guy voice. “Tonight… The Dusty Rhodes Classic… Comes to it’s conclusion.”

  • I still don’t have the timing of the “boom” part of the Undisputed Era entrance. Adam Cole seems to not have it perfected yet either. It reminds me of when Finn Balor was just starting in NXT and he was still trying to time his entrance with the entrance movements.
  • Adam Cole says he beat four dudes and he will beat Johnny Gargano. Then Cole calls Gargano out.
  • Johnny comes out smiling and pointing to the fans. Now that Ciampa has been vanquished, Johnny’ heelish nature has subsided.
  • “Johnny Wrestling/Adam Cole” dueling chants. Gargano takes in the moment and looks at the fans while Adam’s stare doesn’t move from Johnny.
  • This chant duel has gone on for over two minutes now… It’s crazy, no one is giving up!! Adam and Johnny are letting the fans duke it out! After a few minutes I started laughing. The crowd was starting to applaud the moment, Adam tells everyone to shut up. Great heel work. Johnny says he loves the chants and the CROWD STARTS BACK UP! This is cool shit.
  • Johnny says Adam Cole can’t beat him and that’s why people call him “Johnny Takeover” cue the “Johnny Takeover” chants.
  • Cole reminds Johnny that he usually loses at Takeover. Cole said it shouldn’t be “Johnny Takeover” it should be “Johnny Participation”.
  • Cole runs down his list of accomplishments. First North American champion, winner of the first War Games and debuting by taking out Drew McIntyre, all at Takeover.
  • Gargano says he wasn’t handed a top spot like Adam Cole. Johnny said he went to a try out in 2015 and was told no. He talks about how he was always told no, but Johnny didn’t take no for an answer. He had one shot, at the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Two unsigned indie guys, him and Tommaso Ciampa. They were told to prove themselves, even though they barely knew each other. They fought for their lives. They were invited back repeatedly. Johnny says they were invited back because Gargano poured his heart out in the ring. Johnny fought so hard that the crowd chanted “Johnny Wrestling”. The crowd chants “Johnny Wrestling”. This is a great promo. Johnny fights for the fans. Damn, this is really fucking good.
  • If Johnny wins at Takeover he will be the first ever NXT Triple Crown champion.
  • Johnny drops the mic and Adam has nothing to say.

And I’m Like… Whooooo boy, that was hot fire. They had ONE segment to build this match. ONE! Adam grabbed the mic on the way out and made fun of Johnny for telling us hi Lifetime life story. “You can fight, scratch, claw all that you want. When we leave the Barclay’s Center, Adam Cole will be the NXT Champion. And here’s why.” Undisputed Era shows up behind him. Cole says he has three dudes backing him up and Johnny has no one. MAN THIS IS SOO GOOD! Great writing, great promo, great emotion. Love it!

Replay of the Forgotten Sons attacking Black and Ricochet after their match last week.

Aliyah and Vanessa Borne vs. Lacey Lane and Kacy Catanzaro

  • Vanessa Borne used to have a 90’s rock video chick but Aliyah kind of ruins that aesthetic
  • Lacey Lane is like a Mortal Kombat Ember Moon, if Ember Moon wasn’t already a Mortal Kombat gimmick. Lacey has some epic horror music as entrance music.
  • Kacy is a star, she has an it factor and her facials can garner a lot of sympathy.
  • Lacey starts the match off and goes toe to toe with Vanessa Borne. All the girls are getting their shit in early, meaning this will be a quick match.
  • Aliyah and Vanessa have teamed together for a while now, and are able to really pick apart Lane. Lots of rope assisted double tea moves.
  • Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir show up. Borne and Aliyah powder and leave. They look upset but they know they are defenseless. Jessamyn takes out Kacy and Shayna takes out Lacey.
  • Baszler then hits the Kirifuda Clutch on Kacy, which we know works like a charm.
  • The horsewomen don’t even say a word. They tell Percy Watson that this will keep happening as long as Shayna isn’t respected.

And I’m Like… Shayna interfered during a triple threat match and got booked into a fatal four way because of it. That probably means that Duke and Shafir will face off against Lane and Catanzaro during Takeover:Hangover. I liked what I saw out of the bit of the match. It was a nice little segment that continued the Horsewomen story and let some new talent show their face as well.

Matt Riddle vs. Kona Reeves

  • It’s funny that Matt Riddle fits in NXT but also does not. He is made for the main roster. That’s where the star will really be made. I just feel like the bigger arena’s and presentation will really accentuate it.
  • Kona Reeves comes out with all the energy and is getting all the boos. He is one of my favorites on NXT. There is just something about him that you love to hate, and I enjoy it so much.
  • I love that Reeves is “fit” but isn’t ripped. So his “Finest” gimmick shows that Reeves thinks very highly of himself, like he is the best thing going. Only his hair and body type disagrees.
  • Velveteen Dream interferes by coming out on the stage on a couch that two women push through smoke. Riddle is distracted but not long enough for Kona to get the win.
  • Dream is lounging while drinking out of a chalice. The belt is draped over his lap. This is one of the greatest images ever in NXT.
  • Stoner Von Erich is taking Kona to the limit with pins, kicks, palm strikes and submissions.
  • Bromission after a ton of elbows and that is all she wrote.

And I’m Like… Before Riddle can celebrate, Dream grabs the mic and announces that Matt Riddle wins. Dream says he gets the pleasure of taking the journey to Takeover with Velveteen Dream. Riddle is usually super laid back, but Dream looks like he was starting to get in Matt’s head a bit. Riddle walks to the back, grabs Dream’s chalice drinks and tosses it. “I’ll see you in New York, bro”. Dream stands angrily in his crop top. Kona got to make an appearance which is nice. It’s just weird that all the matches on NXT and 205 Live are ending the same exact way. Lots of interference lately.

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals

The Forgotten Sons vs. Ricochet and Aleister Black

  • Ricochet and Aleister Black have a synchronized entrance, they still come out separate, but they have a center of the ring pose.
  • Don’t know where else to put this but some boys down in NXT known as the Insiderz got me cracking up with this.
  • The match starts and Forgotten Sons are quick to powder out of the ring. They know they are out matched and have to outsmart Black and Ricochet to win this match.
  • Forgotten Sons do not have a chance at the moment. Not even 5 minutes in and Ricochet already Fosbury Flopping onto two members of the Sons.
  • Forgotten Sons just both get in the ring to fight Ricochet, the ref is telling them that they are breaking the rules. When the ref has his back turned, Jaxon Ryker double ax handles Ricochet mid-flip to give the Sons an advantage.
  • Aleister Black and Ricochet are two of the most entertaining wrestlers on the NXT roster. The Forgotten Sons are bland as hell, most of the time. They wrestle that way because it’s their characters I know, but this is really the polar opposites of the tag team division.
  • Once Black gets the hot tag, he is able to light up both Cutler and Blake. Cutler seems to be the Buddy Rogers of this threesome, he is usually in the ring when the good wrestling happens. The match is breaking down and it’s Black and Ricochet against Cutler.
  • Then Blake comes in and lariat’s the hell out of Ricochet, then gets caught by a meteora from Black. It’s like the typical finisher fest but instead they just hit high impact moves. I liked it a lot.
  • Usually in the third act, there is a strike battle. It is the third act, and there is a strike battle that leads to a suplex battle. The suplex battle got the yay/boo treatment. What’s crazy is the crowd reacted more to the suplex battle than any flip, dive, or crazy move all match. A “Ricochet” chant even started.
  • Ricochet does a flippy counter and the reaction is minimal. DO MORE SUPLEXES RICOCHET!!
  • Black blind tags Ricochet and they hit some tandem offense. These two look like they have been tagging for years! Cutler breaks up the pin.
  • Ricochet then saves a nearfall on Black.
  • Aleister gets fired up and just starts kicking the crap out of The Forgotten Sons. Black gets caught in a powerbomb lung blower. Gets a foot on the rope but Ryker pushes it off. The ref throws Jaxon out to the second loudest pop of the night.
  • Blake went for the lung blower again, Aleister gets out of it, hits Black Mass, tags Ricochet, Black triangle moonsaults onto Cutler while Ricochet 630’s Blake…. JESUS! Ricochet and Aleister Black win.

And I’m Like… That finish was hot shit. I still can’t get over how much the crowd popped for the dueling suplexes. Wrestling is a spectacle but it is more about making the fans want something, and delivering. The suplex was teased about 10 times, meaning we now wanted to see it. A babyface spot would mean hitting the suplex, ala Ricochet, resulting in genuine emotion and appreciation. A heel spot would take that suplex away, taking away our gratification. This was a great tournament and a really fun match. Hats off to everyone involved.

Ricochet and Black celebrate in a bunch of confetti and smoke. Aleister Black looks genuinely emotional. This tournament is beginning to mean so much to this roster. I love watching history be made. War Raiders show up with the straps, looking ready to throw hands. I really hope that the War Raiders win, because they haven’t done much as champions. Either way, Takeover will be a hell of a show.

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