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NXT Live Event
Report by Dot Net reader MightyHealthy
1. Gran Metalik defeated Noam Dar. The former Mascara Dorada showcased a variety of acrobatic tricks, including his staple middle rope spin, and got the crowd warmed up rather quick. Dar was deliberately drawing heat by milking holds, trying to slow down the pace to quiet the crowd. Ultimately, Gran Metalik proved too fast and resilient, delivering his signature driver for a victory in the opening proceedings. A smart way to get tour experience for the 205 LIVE guys.
2. Ember Moon defeated Mandy Rose. Mandy fared much better, and looked far smoother, than she did in their TV match. She actually pulled off a transition to an electric chair that was simply unexpected and impressive. Of course, the real star was Ember, and she delivered in spades. Athleticism and charisma were full on display, and the crowd focus and volume were certainly there, as well. I’ll be very surprised if she’s not champ when the tour comes back to town again.
3. Authors of Pain defeated Heavy Machinery. AOP won with The Last Chapter on Otis. The biggest surprise of my night was Heavy Machinery. I heard the buzz, but didn’t expect to like them as much as I did. They worked a very fun hoss style, reminiscent of the Natural Disasters. Authors of Pain continue to put the pieces together and grow, inadvertently looking stronger without Paul Ellering around, and continuing to convincingly steamroll the tag division. It was also fun to see AOP adapt to not having the size advantage.
4. Elias Samson defeated Oney Lorcan. Samson went over with a swinging neckbreaker. After a heat magnet of a segment with The Drifter singing about how the city sucked, Oney came out and told him he sucked, and they had a fun match. Lorcan played a great underdog in getting the crowd on his side, but Elias drifted away with a win, after (a stunning elbow drop and) a swinging neckbreaker. There was a fun little moment when The Drifter tried to sing on the apron, mid-match.
5. Asuka defeated Peyton Royce (w/Billie Kay) to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. The women’s champ received the biggest pop yet – lots of “Asuka’s gonna kill you!” chants – and delivered on the promises of the crowd. Great strikes permeated the match, which went longer with the assistance of a meddling Billie Kay, but the Saucy Aussies couldn’t avoid fate. After the first attempt was deterred, a second try at the Asuka Lock succeeded, and our Women’s champ kept her title.
DIY cut a promo backstage that referenced the Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali, and Lamar Jackson.
6. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa defeated Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain to retain the NXT Tag Titles. Coming out of the intermission, this one got everyone back to their seat. Sanity came out in full force, covered, and as off kilter as ever. The champs emerged and immediately got the crowd’s support, as expected. Tommaso and Johnny played off of Wolfe’s nuttiness, worked together to take down the large Dain, and send spit flying across the ring. Amidst the chaos, Nikki Cross tried to interfere in broad daylight and was emphatically sent to the back. After some intense near falls, the running knee/superkick combo got the pin and the win.
Eric Young was disgusted. He told the rest of Sanity to go to find a monitor in the back, saying he’d show them how it’s done.
7. Eric Young defeated Patrick Clark. Clark needs a REAL gimmick badly. Despite working the match compete babyface, he came out flamboyant and nonchalant…which makes it even more impressive that he turned some of those booers into fans. Young was nothing short of fantastic, getting the crowd involved and invested in his comeuppance…one that would never come. Just when the leader of Sanity seemed like he bit off more than he can chew, the crew came out to distract, enough to set up the finish. They posed over Clark.
8. Shinsuke Nakamura and Roderick Strong defeated Bobby Roode and Samoa Joe. The entrances delivered…Roderick was the odd man out as a relative unknown, but would eventually earn his share of cheers, as he held his own in the main event. Lots of fun back and forth with Roode and Nakamura. Strong knocked the spit out of Bobby’s mouth and a good 30 feet into the audience. Joe worked great with his partner, but the opposition was too much. Hot tag to Nakamura, and a Kinshasa to Joe sent the crowd home happy.