LAST WEEK! The Dream gets taken out as Finn Balor and Tomasso Ciampa send messages to the Undisputed Era. Tonight, a Triple Threat for the North American Title and Balor speaks live in Full Sail Arena.
Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair
This is a tale of two women moving in seemingly opposite directions. Rhea is being built up as a megaforce while Belair is losing the steam she had a few months ago. I imagine the WWE 2K20 developers are watching this tonight and wondering how in the world Bianca’s hair moves like that.
Dueling chants from the crowd as these tough women lock up, facing off in a test of strength. This match starts rather smartly as the combatants engage in a well paced feeling out process, which makes sense as these two wouldn’t know each other very well in the ring. Mauro talks about Belair’s former flavoring sales career, which leads logically into a Craig Mack “Flava in Your Ear” reference.
Bianca is doing a great job of playing the cautious controller here, avoiding too many risky spots and working on wearing out the stronger and bigger Ripley. She even subdues some of her brashness to show her uncertainty. Bianca starts to show a little frustration which allows Ripley to catch some solid kicks including a wicked boot when Belair is in midair.
After a huge ring apron cannonball on Belair, Ripley is trying to recover on the outside. Enter Io Shirai with a kick, allowing Bianca to nearly pull off a win. Shirai screams at the official and Candice LeRae attacks her to even the numbers. A Pumphandle Bomb allows Ripley to get the three count.
This solid match is hurt a little by the outside activity at the end, but gives Belair a strong outing and some saved face for the future.
Cathy Kelley finds Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate outside Full Sail and Pete says he’s cool with Damian Priest’s actions, and he doesn’t care about Killian Dane. Welcome to the club, Pete.
Tomasso Ciampa’s story is told via video package. He questioned himself and decided he is in control of his legacy. The neck surgery is testing him to see if he can do it again. Ciampa vs. Cole could be very special.
Tyler went from walking in with Pete Dunne to watching the show in the crowd. Seems like a bit of a letdown. But no time to ponder, as Matt Riddle is here, Bro! He gives Tyler Bate a friendly fistbump then kicks off the flip flops.
Matt Riddle vs. Cameron Grimes
Wrestling’s Lynyrd Skynyrd enters and I’m intrigued by this matchup. Both men look to end the match early with big moves, but neither can connect. Lovely Bobby Heenan reference from Mauro. Riddle gets the advantage with some heavy strikes and an Exploder Suplex. Lots of talk about Riddle’s bare feet here so either Nigel is a Wikifeet subscriber or Grimes is going to wisely use those bare feet to his benefit.
The crowd chanting Rid-dle quite similarly to a classic chant for a certain bald gentleman. JACKHAMMER from Riddle! Message sent!
The Bro moves to a ground game with some submission moves, but Grimes expertly turns the tables with a backflip into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Mama Mia indeed, Mauro!
Back from commercial and Riddle is back in control. GTS into German Suplex only gets a two count. After some back and forth, Grimes nails a variation of the Spanish Fly and hooks Riddle by grabbing the foot. I’m a freaking psychic, y’all. Several high impact exchanges lead to Matt Riddle catching Grimes with the Bro Derek for the win. More Rid-dle chants.
Grimes is recovering at ringside and Tyler Bate offers a fistbump, which is answered with a shove from Grimes. Tyler responds with a left hand, laying out the southern gentleman.
Next, Breezango brings a mystery partner to tangle with the Forgotten Sons. Later, Dominik Dijakovic is ready to defeat his rival and take the North American Title at the same time.
William Regal announces Nox and Kai will take on Duke and Shafir for a chance to face the Kabuki Warriors on NXT. I like most of this!
Breezango and ??? vs. The Forgotten Sons
The Fashion Construction Workers are doing Top Gun cosplay this week. Beth Phoenix shares a gross cockpit joke Breezango shared with her earlier. Edgy stuff, folks.
With Kushida out of action, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott is the mystery man. He is impressive. Let’s see how he works here.
Typical six man tag action with plenty of tags to keep everyone fresh. Beth keeps making odd comments. I like her, I really do, but she’s being super weird in this match. Tyler eventually becomes the face-in-peril and the Sons take control. Mauro gets into the act with some Top Gun references. We get it guys. Top Gun is a thing.
Dango eventually gets the hot tag and when the Sons start to take over again, Swerve makes something resembling a tag. The Sons triple team Scott for a while until Swerve is able to fight off all three of them and they end up outside the ring. He climbs the turnbuckle before Ryker catches him. Swerve fights him away then uses Ryker as a springboard to moonsault the other Sons. MAMA MIA!
Breezango gets back into the fray for a moment, before Swerve returns to the ring and delivers a back kick to the neck of…somebody (I honestly can’t tell the difference between Cutler and Blake). The ref counts three and Swerve wins it! Then he does the Fandango dance. Okay. Nice outing for the newcomer.
Roderick Strong has some words for his challengers tonight. He is going to prove himself to be Undisputed TONIGHT!
Lio Rush enters the arena and will be on commentary for the cruiserweight match after the break.
We’re back and Killian Dane is hanging out by a burning trash barrel. He’s going to pay Pete Dunne back for messing with his fingers. Scary stuff.
Angel Garza vs. Jack Gallagher
This blurring of the lines between NXT and 205 Live is going to be confusing, but I‘ll keep up the best I can.
Oh Jack. That robe needs to go. And why is Lio talking like Bill Shatner? “I’ve never faced…Jack…Gallagher. But I know he is a…tough…guy.”
A quick-ish exchange begins the match and Gallagher does some rolling crucifixes that get an ovation from the crowd. Garza rips his pants off to take advantage as Beth is advised to calm down. When did she become the Cougar of the company?
Gallagher just about gives himself a hernia with an arduous delayed suplex on Garza. They exchange shots, including a wicked looking head butt from Jack, before Garza nails a springboard moonsault to get the victory.
Angel stares at Lio as they say words no one can hear.
Dakota/Tegan and Shafir/Duke is NEXT!
Dakota Kai/Tegan Nox vs. Marina Shafir/Jessamin Duke
Nox and Kai have three industrial strength knee braces between them. Is this really a good idea for them to be in action?
Shayna Baszler leads Duke and Shafir to the ring. Bayzlers army takes control early with strikes and submission moves on Dakota. Nox gets a tag and the match starts to get a little sloppy. I feel like I have to pin the blame on a certain tall blonde friend of Shayna Baszler. Fortunately it ends quickly as Nox hits the Shiniest Wizard on Duke and wins the title shot for her team.
Asuka and Sane appear on the Tron and berate them in Japanese before telling them they have no chance to beat the Warriors next week. Can I say how much I love Asuka’s poison mist face paint? Well, I do.
Keith Lee is getting ready for his chance to win the North American Title and our main event is coming up after the commercial.
Cathy Kelley gives us a preview of next week. The women’s tag titles are on the line, Tyler Bate takes on Cameron Grimes and Io Shirai faces Candice LeRae.
Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Roderick Strong – NXT North American Championship match
Keith Lee enters first, followed by Dijakovic, and then the champ (sans Undisputed Era). After formal ring introductions, Strong is dispatched early as Lee and Dijakovic renew their heated rivalry going into the commercial break.
Strong attempts to interject himself after the break, and is thrown aside by Lee. The champ is finally able to catch Dijakovic with a superplex and tries to take over the match but Lee reenters and the three men start to exchange strikes. Dominik drops Strong and suplexes the large body of Keith Lee on top of the champion, bringing the crowd to their feet with an NXT chant.
Outside the ring, Dijakovic attempts a cannonball on Keith Lee, but Lee CATCHES HIM! A Strong dropkick takes Lee down momentarily but Keith Lee recovers to turn a Dijakovic/Strong superplex into a double powerbomb. This one deserves that Mama Mia from Mauro. Go to commercial!
Back from the break, everyone is exhausted in the ring. After a three way strike fest, Strong is able to remove Dijakovic with a back breaker then hit a huge Angle Slam on Lee for a two count. The crowd thinks this is awesome and I would agree. The three combatants find themselves outside the ring as Lee and Dijakovic knock out Strong before agreeing to return to the ring to fight.
Huge kicks from Dominik and he takes Keith Lee to the top rope to deliver a super choke slam for a two count. Lots of spot calling up there, but I’ll allow it for the physical feats these huge guys are pulling off. Dijakovic vaults himself over the ropes on top of Strong only to see Keith Lee fly over the top rope with a 300+ pound Tope Con Hilo! Lee takes Dijakovic up for a top rope sitout powerbomb only to eat a kick from Strong who sneaks the three count and keeps the title.
Seems like a disappointing finish, but it’s absolutely the right one. Strong is the right person to be champion, and Lee and Dijakovic have shown themselves to be more than worthy contenders for the future. I think eventually they will add a title to their rivalry and it will be huge.
The Undisputed Era hits the ring to celebrate with Strong and get a few shots in at the fallen competitors. But the celebration is cut short when Tomasso Ciampa approaches the ring, crutch in hand. Without hesitation he enters the ring to confront the NXT champ.
Just as Ciampa stares down the Era, Johnny Gargano enters the arena. Then Finn Balor makes it 3. Or does he? Finn nails Gargano with a back kick and the Era mobs Ciampa as the crowd loses it. The Era take turns attacking the neck of Ciampa and Balor kicks Gargano into a suspiciously placed group of NXT fans at ringside. A nasty looking brain buster sends Johnny Wrestling’s cranium into the steel ramp and the Era put up the UE as the crowd urges Finn to do the same. Instead he just walks away.
A very good show with an intriguing twist as Balor turns heel. I’m much more excited to see NXT next week rather than the other two WWE shows, and I don’t think that’s the trend they want, but here we are.
Until next week!
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