By John Moore
NXT TV on the WWE Network
Taped November 18, 2017 in Houston, Texas at the Toyota Center
A NXT Takeover: WarGames highlight video package aired which showed clips from the entire show. The NXT intro theme played…
Mauro Ranallo welcomed the viewers to NXT Takeover: Aftermath. Nigel McGuinness promised exclusive footage from the WarGames match. Mauro hyped up Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano for the WWE UK Championship. Percy Watson was also on commentary. Ruby Riot made her entrance. A Nigel McGuinness voiceover cut in as he recapped Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan’s main roster debut. They did the same thing for Sonya Deville…
1. Ruby Riot vs. Sonya Deville. Nigel talked about this being “unfinished business” between the two before going to the main roster. Riot dominated with a takedown. Riot and Deville traded smooth chain wrestling on the ground. Deville teased an ankle lock but Riot was quick to roll away. Ruby Riot gave Deville some shoulder tackles in the corner. Deville was staggered by a plethora of kicks. Deville targeted Riot’s injured leg with a chop block. [C]
Deville continued to attack Riot’s leg which Deville injured a few weeks ago. Deville gave Riot a strong spinebuster. Deville gave Riot a hopping roundhouse. Deville worked on Riot with a legbar. Riot used her other leg to shrug off Deville. Riot caught Deville with a back elbow. Riot hit Deville with a clunky springboard cutter. Riot fired up with chops and lariats. Riot grounded Deville with a STO. Riot did a one-legged springboard senton. Deville came back with a jumping knee press and running knee. Deville locked in a triangle armbar. Deville converted the hold into an ankle lock. Riot crawled for a while and made it to the bottom rope. The referee broke up the hold with the rope break which caused Deville to get distracted complaining with the referee. Riot surprised Deville with a shortarm Pele kick.
Ruby Riot defeated Sonya Deville via pinfall in 7:05 of TV Time.
Riot was limping around the ring selling the injury. They then cut to an Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream recap video package. Mauro talked about how Velveteen Dream got the attention he was asking for. They also showed highlights from Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan…
John’s Thoughts: A solid TV match and I like how they are trying to make Sonya Deville out to be a submission specialist. She’s starting to come into her own as far as ring style is concerned and those submission transitions looked great. Riot is a consummate babyface and her selling was on point. As complementary as I am, we all know this is not going to lead to anything (or will it?) since both women made main roster debuts. Deville is Paige’s minion and Riot is Smackdown’s Paige. Let’s see were they go. I’m glad that the NXT main event women scene was left mostly in tact with only Riot being extricated but I felt that Deville could have developed into a strong badass heel that the division is surely lacking. Maybe this is where Shayna Baszler pivots in?
They cut to a YouTube interview. Kayla Braxton interviewed Lars Sullivan. Sullivan didn’t respond at first with a blank stare. Sullivan talked about taking stiff shots to the head from Ohno and surviving. Sullivan said he took it like a man. He said he told everybody that when he steps in the Performance Center, he’s the guy to mess with. Sullivan said he persevered in his first takeover match. Sullivan said he dominated emphatically, unequivocally, and uncategorical. Sullivan said if anyone steps in his way they will be destroyed by his hands only. They then showed Johnny Gargano psyching himself up in front of a Houston Rockets logo…[C]
The commentators were shown in their commentary room. The next highlight package was the fatal four-way match at Takeover. Kayla Braxton gave Ember Moon a hug backstage and interviewed her. Moon talked about how this being a dream come true. Moon talked about putting in work in the independent scene and the performance center. She said that work has made her NXT Women’s Champion. Moon said now that she has the title it’s going to be much harder to take it off her. She said the title is her fire and passion. They cut to a Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade Cien Almas highlight video…
Kayla Braxton interviewed Drew McIntyre. Drew had his bicep in ice. Drew talked about feeling something go in his bicep and elbow area. Drew said he didn’t think it was good based on past experience. Drew said he’s not making excuses. He said he’ll come back for his NXT title but he has to get through this first. Mauro said there is no update on Drew McIntyre’s injury and they will keep the viewers updated when more news comes along… [C]
They showed the clip from last week where the Street Profits were dancing on top of the car of Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli. Nigel advertised a rematch between the Street Profits and Moss/Sabbatelli. Mauro hyped up Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce. They then cut to the WarGames video package. The “Exclusive footage” included subtitled crowd reactions…
John’s Thoughts: I’m not a fan of putting Royce up against Sane this soon because it’s almost guaranteed that Sane is going to beat Royce. Royce was starting to carve out a niche for herself and I feel putting her back in the loss column will just impede her assent. Maybe they’ll surprise me.
Cameras backstage showed Sanity limping backstage after the match. It was black and white filtered I assume to mask the blood color that Alexander Wolfe was drenched in. They cut to the Undisputed Era. Adam Cole talked about running this place now. Pete Dunne was shown getting ready backstage… [C]
2. Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano for the WWE UK Championship. Mauro said Dunne just became 24 nine days ago. The crowd traded “Bruiserweight” and “Johnny Wrestling” chants as the wrestlers had a chain wrestling sequence. Gargano escaped a front facelock. The two men then had a stalemate sequence. Dunne came back at Gargano with a forearm. Dunne worked on Gargano in the corner. Gargano came back with a huracanrana and dropkick. Gargano put the brakes on a plancha and hit a kick followed by a cannonball senton. Dunne blocked a tornado DDT and hit Gargano with an X-Plex on the apron. [C]
Dunne had his signature digit manipulation on Gargano back from the break. Dunne added a body scissors to block escape. Gargano escaped by suplexing Dunne into the turnbuckle. Gargano sold finger pain. Gargano hit his rolling kick. Gargano hit the slingshot spear on Dunne to get a nearfall. Dunne retreated to ringside. Gargano hit Dunne with a Tope into a DDT. Gargano went for a slingshot plancha but Dunne caught Gargano into a suplex. Gargano kicked out of the subsequent pin. Nigel pointed out that Dunne was going for the Bitter End but settled for a suplex.
Gargano reversed a Bitter End into a spike DDT. Gargano hit La Mistica into the GarganNo Escape. Dunne’s mouth guard fell out. Dunne did it on purpose so he could bit Gargano’s finger. Gargano escaped another Bitter End into a rollup. Dunne came back with an enziguri. Gargano responded with a rebound lariat. Gargano noticed Dunne’s mouth guard on the floor as he dragged it away. Gargano gave Dunne a superkick on the unprotected mouth. Dunne came back with a forearm. Gargano came back with rapid fire forearms and lariats. Gargano went for the slingshot spear but Dunne punched Gargano out of the air. Dunne hit the Bitter End for the victory.
Pete Dunne defeated Johnny Gargano via pinfall in 9:21 of TV Time to retain the WWE UK Championship.
Gargano sold the agony of defeat on the ground to continue his depression storyline. This closed NXT…
John’s Thoughts: It wasn’t a marathon, but it was a great match nonetheless given the talents involved. Gargano is a masterful storyteller in the ring and Dunne is a masterful wrestler. It was less than 10 minutes, but we got a nice story of Dunne trying several times to hit the Bitter End with Gargano beating Dunne to the punch every time. The mouth guard storyline is something we don’t usually see but it was creative because they built and milked out about two minutes of match time around a mouth guard. The only gripe I have is Pete Dunne hasn’t been able to do any character work in his last couple of appearances on WWE TV. Is he a babyface now? I know WWE doesn’t match their storylines with Progress or the independents so in their universe what is his motivation?
Go out of your way to see the main event match of this show. The Riot vs. Deville was fun too. What the two matches lacked in flash, they excelled in storytelling as both matches told very creative stories. The first one with the submissions and the main event with everything I just mentioned in the last paragraph. Skip through the rest of the episode since it was just video packages and YouTube video clips. I’ll be back tomorrow with an audio review for Dot Net members. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.