My WWE watching has really plummeted over the last couple months and I’m barely watching the weekly shows these days, so I really didn’t know what was fully on this card or have much excitement for it. But NXT tend to succeed in delivering something good. So let’s see what they got as Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole main event yet again.
Match 1 – WWE Tag Team Title Match: the Undisputed Era vs. Street Profits (c)
Great opener. Profits start out doing pretty well for themselves, then era managed to isolate Dawkins and take control for a bit before they get into some real good back and forth, which includes a couple nice close finishes.
In the end though Dawkins takes out both of Era with spears and then Montez Ford flies off top with a splash to win. Good stuff.
Winners: Street Profits (via splash) ****
Match 2 – Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae
Excellent match-up. They waste no time going right for it, with Shirai even suplexing Candice onto the announce table within the first minute to get a bit of control. She does a great job picking at Candice but then she misses a missile dropkick, allowing Candice to get back into things. And from there they really go for it and start busting out some big moves all executed nicely with a good flow.
There’s a couple good nearfalls in there too with Candace even kicking out of the moonsault. But right after she does, Io locks her in a brand new submission that looks like a modified Koji Clutch which makes Candice pass out.
Really like this dark agressive side of Io, really works with her. Great work from both.
Winner: Shirai (via submission) ****1/4
– Riddle comes out from the crowd with a mic and calls out Killian Dain. They end up having a nice little brawl on the outside with everyone trying to break them up and ends with them going off the stage through two tables along with a security guard.
Match 3 – North American Title Match – Velveteen Dream (c) vs. Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne
This was awesome. They kept the action constant and flowing and unlike the usual triple threat where most of the match consists of one person being thrown out and the other two going at it, in this one they really packed it out with some lovely three man spots which was great to see and made for a highly enjoyable watch.
At the end Dream and Strong keep taking each other out and throwing about Dunne until Strong finally hits End of Heartache but during his pin attempt Dream takes him out and covers Dunne instead to steal the victory.
It’s a nice little finish that give Strong and Dream a reason to continue feuding.
Winner: Dream (via pinfall steal) ****1/4
Match 4 – NXT Women’s Title Match: Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Mia Yim
Thought this was very solid, but crowd didn’t seem to care much for a lot of it.
Early on Yim takes out Baszler’s arm utilising the steps, but Baszler manages to turn things around and gain a fair amount of control targeting Mia’s arm. Throughout it though Shayna does keep up the selling of the arm which was good to see.
Mia’s soon back in the fight and things sort of get a bit clunky, but it all leads into a real nice finish, where Shayna locks in the Kirifuda Clutch, but because her right arm is hurt, Mia is able to easily able to start breaking from it. So Shayna instead transfers it into a triangle choke with her legs, which leads to Mia submitting. really like how the hurt arm factored into the finish and enjoyed most of the work they did, despite some of it not geling quite well.
Winner: Shayna (via Triangle Choke) ***1/4
Main Event – NXT title two out of three falls match: Adam Cole (c) vs. Johnny Gargano
Hope you’re ready for another epic. Match goes 46 minutes and is more akin to a three stages of hell with each fall being different. And even though I didn’t need this feud to go on, I still found this to be really great in the end.
The first fall is a normal match and goes as you’d expect, very even, with both guys getting bits of control and then some big back and forth with big moves, counters and some throwaway near falls.
At the end of it Cole grabs a chair and ref stops him, so he gets a nearfall from a low blow instead. He goes for the chair again, but ends up arguing with the ref, so Gargano grabs the chair instead and uses it, making disqualified for the first fall.
This is to Gargano’s advantage though as the second fall is a street fight, so they do some fighting on the outside through the crowd and do an announce table spot before getting back in the ring, where Gargano Lawn Darts Cole into a chair and locks him in the Gargano Escape to make him submit straight away and even the score.
In the final fall a cage is lowered covered in weapons and with barbwire wrapped around the top.
So in this there’s basically alot of weapon usage inlcuding chairs, kendo sticks, a sledgehammer and a fire extinguisher, some of which are sued quite creatively.
They also chuck in some big nearfalls, two of which involve the Panama Sunrise (with Cole jumping off a ladder for the second one, because apparently that makes it more effective?) and a destroyer off the top by Gargano.
Towards the end Gargano grabs a bag from the cage, which I think everyone thought was thumbtacks, as the crowd got really excited but then bummed out when it turned out to be a bunch of other stuff inlcuding wire clippers which Gargano decides to use to cut off some barbwire from the cage.
It all culminate with them both ending up on a platform that set up on a top corner of the cage and Gargano tries to use the barbwire, but they both fall off Voldermort/Harry Potter style (which I’ve decided to refer to now as the Potter-Mort Plunge) through a table below, with Cole getting his arm on Gargano to make the cover and win the match.
Certainly another epic from these two with them trying to go all out, and while it’s still a bit excessive and bits that were a little goofy, it’s still a very commendable and terrific effort by both that I really enjoyed. Now can Cole move onto another challenger please.
Winner: Cole (via Potter-Mort Plunge) ****1/4
As expected, with very little hype from me, I still found this to be a really good show overall, with four of the five matches being great and worth a watch. Think Candace/Io and Triple threat were my favourite matches of the night, and I’m sure Cole/Gargano has once again everyone split on it.
Thanks for reading.