By John Moore
NXT TV on WWE Network
Taped August 25, 2017 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
No teaser this week and it was straight to the NXT opening video. Mauro Ranallo, Percy Watson, and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary. Mauro started things off by talking about Asuka’s announcement from last week where she relinquished the Championship. Nigel then hyped up Pete Dunne vs. Wolfgang as the main event of this show…
1. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce vs. Ruby Riot. Female referee Jessika Carr was the referee for the match (Lavar Ball would be pissed… just kidding!). Ruby Riot started the match with takedowns. The bell rang with Riot in the handicap position. Kay and Royce traded quick tags and worked on Riot. Nikki Cross snuck in from the crowd with the camera catching her. Riot caught Royce with a back elbow. Royce locked in a unique rope assisted chickenwing.
Royce and Kay gave Riot a double front suplex. After a pin attempt, Royce and Kay traded quick tags. Riot managed to bundle the heels in the corner. Nikki Cross blind tagged herself in as Riot was recovering in the corner. Nikki went crazy on the heels. Nikki then tossed off her jacket to hype up the crowd. After hitting the Paige Turner, Cross cutely tagged herself out and left the arena. Nikki Cross picked up the win after a jumping senton.
Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot defeated Billie Kay and Peyton Royce via pinfall in 4:05.
Ruby Riot had a confused look on her face throughout the post-match as Mauro and crew recapped the match. Mauro then cut to the setup of the Johnny Gargano vs. Tino Sabbatelli or Riddick Moss from last week…
John’s Thoughts: There were logic holes all over the place here because the set up to this match was that Regal wouldn’t allow a handicap match, yet the referee rang the bell to start a handicap match. This was such a TNA thing. It was odd to see because WWE usually does a good job not starting a match before they are allowed to via “rules”. That aside, it was a good match. I’m still high on Royce as a singles wrestler and hope she breaks away from the stank of the loser-iconic duo. Kay is good too! Riot is the new Becky Lynch of NXT in a good way and people just love Crazy Nikki Cross. Another added bonus, thumbs up for women’s wrestling with Jessika Carr now reffing on the bigger stage.
After some hype for Connor’s Cure, Christy St. Cloud interviewed No Way Jose. No Way talked about Lars Sullivan being a monster. Jose said he just tried to have a conga line but he got attacked. No Way said the three on one win last week was impressive but the post-match thing wasn’t cool. No Way said he wants to be the guy that teaches Lars Sullivan a lesson so he was challenging Sullivan to a match for next week…
John’s Thoughts: One thing that NXT does very efficiently within their one hour allotted time is hype up matches for next week. It’s not that hard! And WWE can still get all the Rocket League advertisements they want as well!
2. Johnny Gargano vs. Riddick Moss (w/ Tino Sabbatelli). Moss kinda has this deer-in-the-headlights look in his face. Moss started the match dragging Gargano down with a wristlock takedown. Gargano put himself in a hammerlock to turn the tide with a headlock of his own. Moss regained the advantage with a tackle. Moss hit Gargano with a body slam. Moss then manhandled Gargano all across the ring. Moss blocked the headscissors into fireman carry. Gargano escaped but Moss hit Gargano with a running axe handle.
Moss took down Gargano with knees to the gut. Mauro talked about wrestlers/linebackers who hail from the University of Minnesota being very successful in wrestling like Riddick Moss or Brock Lesnar. [C]
Moss had the abdominal stretch locked in on Gargano back from the break. Moss shoulder tackled Gargano into the corner. Moss pummeled Gargano in the corner. Moss yelled that Gargano was nothing without DIY. Gargano came back with some stiff forearm shots. Gargano flipped out of the corner and hit his signature basement roundhouse kick. Moss ate a baseball slide on the outside. Tino Sabbatelli tried for the distraction. Gargano hit Moss with a cannonball from the apron. Tino grabbed the leg of Gargano. Gargano countered a Razor’s Edge into a Gargano Escape.
Moss powered his way to the corner. Gargano oversold a look of confusion. The commentators pointed out that something was wrong with Gargano, possibly self-doubt. Gargano was backtossed to the apron. Gargano sidestepped Sabbatelli and booted him. Gargano hit the Slingshot Spear on Moss to pick up the win.
Johnny Gargano defeated Riddick Moss via pinfall in 6:46.
After the highlights, Nigel questioned whether Moss had a good showing or if Johnny Gargano was struggling mentally. Nigel hyped up Pete Dunne vs. Wolfgang as the main event… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This was a good match. It wasn’t a pure enhancement because it took about seven minutes for Gargano to beat the rookie. Moss looked really good. Some would say everyone looks good against Gargano’s selling, which is true, but Moss held his end of the bargain with solid power moves and showing a mean streak. He just has to look less dopey in the face. The match also forwarded the story with Gargano suffering from DIY PTSD. Hmmm… PTSD might be a good name for Ciampa’s finisher?
There was a Street Profits vignette during the commercial which led to a Street Profits match. By the way, Street Profits’ entrance music was originally used by Team BAD before they broke up…
3. Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford vs. Gabriel and Uriel Ealy. Mauro brought up successful wrestling twins like the Usos or the Bellas. Mauro said you can tell these guys apart from their tattoos (which are faded so that isn’t helping). Dawkins started off the match against Uriel. Uriel smothered Dawkins in the corner. Watson said Street Profits means learning from the streets. Dawkins gave Uriel a strong right hand after Uriel snatched his headband.
Ford tagged in as the profits hit a basement dropkick splash combo. They then hit both twins with hanging leapfrog strikes. The twins used their twin magic to confuse Ford. The twins then did some isolation offense in their corner. Ford dodged a corner splash and Ford tagged in Dawkins for the hot tag sequence. Dawkins hit a few corkscrew splashes on the twins. Montez Ford defeated a twin via pinfall after a frog splash.
The Street Profits defeated The Ealy Brothers via pinfall in 2:49.
Dawkins and Ford celebrated with the fans. The fans got really hyped up and started recording things for Snapchat I would assume. Mauro then cut to Asuka’s farewell from last week. Highlights from Asuka’s various interviews were also shown…
John’s Thoughts: A good tag match between two budding teams to help bolster the WWE tag division. The Ealys will always have a chance in the future due to their unique look in being identical twins. The Profits continue to build themselves up in the eyes of Full Sail and the fans. Dawkins didn’t come off as dorky as he usually does, but that’s only in comparison to Montez Ford who’s very athletic and exudes a lot of natural swag. Dawkins is solid in the ring though. Ford might be green since they are limiting his in-ring time, but he’s overcoming that with nice swag/charisma.
Christy St. Cloud interviewed William Regal about the future of the NXT Women’s Championship. The sound was really low here. Regal said he would make an announcement on the Women’s Championship next week. Nigel’s voiceover then hyped up Pete Dunne vs. Wolfgang for the main event… [C]
Hyped up for next week, Aleister Black will be speaking for the first time next week. Christy St. Cloud interviewed Wolfgang from the Gorilla Position. Nigel said this was the biggest match of Wolfgang’s career. Wolfgang said he’s never been more prepared for a match in his entire life. He said he will walk away with the UK Championship after pinning former champion Tyler Bate. Pete Dunne was also interviewed from Gorilla. Dunne wouldn’t offer his thoughts and instead headed to the ring with the belt in his mouth.
John’s Thoughts: More good hype for next week. Black talking is a big event, just like Prince Puma talking for the first time. I also like NXT’s approach of having their world title level matches prelude with interviews from Gorilla. Dunne was especially good in staying in character and not offering an interview. As for another question. I like Wolfgang’s character and ability, but what I don’t get, is it a common thing in Scotland to come off as an American southerner?
4. Pete Dunne vs. Wolfgang for the WWE UK Championship. Mike Rome handled the formal ring introductions (and bonus points to Rome for not doing the “one fall” pause). Both wrestlers got solid crowd reactions. Dunne got the larger one. Nigel talked about how a generation of UK wrestlers who watch WWE during the attitude era are now emerging. Dunne did his usual joint manipulation to start off the match. Nigel said Regal has compared Dunne to Fit Finlay.
Dunne dominated by flexing the fingers of Wolfgang. Wolfgang had a hard time countering the finger manipulation. Wolfgang gained the upper hand with a headlock which caused Dunne to reach for a rope break. Dunne gave Wolfgang a stiff strike and a few shortarm boots. Wolfgang hit a few gutwrench suplexes on Dunne. Wolfgang hit Dunne with a running crossbody. Dunne came back with an interesting finger snap and DDT to the apron. [C]
Dunne had Wolfgang locked in a body scissors chickenwing. Wolfgang escaped with a suplex. Wolfgang came and Dune with a corner splash. Dunne came back with a running enziguri. Wolfgang came right back with a gore. Dunne retreated to ringside. Wolfgang hit Dunne with a flip dive to the outside. Wolfgang followed up with a springboard moonsault. Dunne hit Wolfgang with his X-Plex release Suplex.
Wolfgang hit a delayed vertical superplex. Dunne reversed the Swanton Bomb from Wolfgang with a cross armbreaker. Wolfgang used his power to lift Dunne out of hit. Wolfgang planted Dunne with a nice running powerslam. After a nearfall from Wolfang, Wolfgang hit a strong lariat on Dunne. Dunne countered with a strong elbow shot. Pete Dunne hit the Bitter End on Wolfgang to pick up the win.
Pete Dunne defeated Wolfgang via pinfall in 7:55 to retain the WWE UK Championship.
Mauro Ranallo reminded the viewers that Dunne is only 23 Years Old. Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly ran in to surround the UK Champion. Dunne tried to fight his way out by giving O’Reilly a strong forearm but Fish and Cole put the boots to Dunne in the corner. Cole and crew had the numbers advantage. As Cole’s team was focused on Wolfgang Dunne cowered to the ramp. Dunne left Wolfgang to be picked apart. Dunne teased running back to save his fellow UK wrestler but then ran back to get save his belt which got a nice chuckle and applause from Full Sail. Cole finished off Wolfgang with a slicing Shining Wizard. The trio stood tall over Wolfgang and soon left. Moustache Mountain, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven ran in to check up on Wolfgang. O’Reilly mocked the Moustache Mountain moustache thing (which is funny since Fish is the one with the actual stache). Cole and his trio left NXT to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: The UK Matches still don’t disappoint. Wolfgang looks to be having a bit of a hard time acclimating himself to the audience, him being the Scottish Southerner, but he does come off well with his nice mix of high flying and power. Dunne is simply great. He should, right now, be a person who’s educating people in NXT about how to be a proper heel. He doesn’t rely on high spots. He works a majority of his matches with finger twists and wristlocks, yet none of his sequences drag into boredom. Him fighting off the heel trio was logical and he reaffirmed his bad guy persona by leaving Wolfgang to get chewed up. Dunne put the sprinkle on top with the nice tease into him saving his UK belt from the beatdown rather than Wolfgang.
As for Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly, I’m liking the slow Shield-like build of the trio where they are doing the Shield formula of interjecting themselves into main events. Also, like The Shield, they are subtly setting up a Trios Division in these interferences. This is just like how the story of The Shield was how Ryback, Hell No, or Dusty Rhodes would find partners to try to topple the dominant invading trio. This has the potential to set up some fun matches while not overexposing the viewers to world title matches too often. This week’s NXT was a good one. What I like here compared to 205 Live is everything has a purpose and every segment is utilized to maximum efficiency. They also do a great job providing hooks for next week. I’ll have more thoughts to say in my NXT Audio Review.