By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
We are looking for reports on all WWE, NXT, ROH, Impact Wrestling, Evolve, and other notable live events. If you attend a show, you are encouraged to send a report or even basic results to firstname.lastname@example.org
NXT Live Event
Tampa, Florida. at University Community Development Center
Report by Dot Net reader Chris Hendricks
Rating system: Each match is rated on a 4 point Four Horsemen scale with 4 Horseman being an outrageously fantastic match. Different variations of the Horsemen may be used to downgrade or upgrade a match. For example, the Horsemen with a Luger or Roma will lower a specific numbered rating while the Arn, Flair, Tully and Ole Origanl tag raises it.
1. Heavy Machinery beat TM-61. Heavy Machinery won via a pinfall after Otis performed the worm and then did the team’s finisher with his partner, Tucker. Their finisher is really impressive live and is conducted when one of them goes for a power slam with the other crossbodying them at the same time to flatten the opposition. This match had a lot of comedy and action in it, making it extremely entertaining and a great opening match! TM-61 (Nick Miller and Shane Thorne) were great as cowardly heels and Thorne looks fully healed a year after knee surgery. This match had a lot of great spots with innovative tag team wrestling maneuvers. Heavy Machinery is very over in the Tampa Bay Area. Steak and Weights! Rating: 3 out of 4 Horsemen (Original: Flair, Arn & Tully – Great showmanship mixed with awesome tag team wrestling).
2. Reina González over Abbey Laith. Reina Gonzalex was Texellent (her gimmick with tight jeans, bull rope, and a cow bell) and won via a pinfall after a very impressive spinning Crucifix Powerbomb. Both are still improving but Laith does a great split that leads to many different strikes or maneuvers. Gonzalez is powerful and can be a strong presence in the ring. Surprised that González got the win but her finisher was Crucifying! Sorry… Rating: 3 out of 4 Horsemen (with Paul Roma- have potential but can they get over?).
3. Chad Lail beat Tian Bing. Lail (Gunner from TNA) won via a pinfall after reverse STO on Tian. This was another strong match from a night of them which matches the legacy NXT has established when it comes to this location in Tampa. When NXT comes to the University CDC in Tampa, you are going to see stronger matches than other Bay Area locations. Chad was a great heel constantly yelling at the crowd especially a local group of high school ROTC students that were heckling him. When he harshly told them to be quiet, a person beside me yelled, “they are just in high school!” To which he responded in a very tense voice, “like I care”. This is just a small example of his great crowd interaction which made the match better than it was. The match was short but had strong spots by both men. Tian has great striking ability and while he is definitely still learning, he brought his A-game tonight. Lail’s finisher, which was a Cool Shot or Reverse STO, looked awesome. Rating: 3 out of 4 Horsemen (with a Lex Lugar – Chad can be easily hated by the crowd and Tian needs to learn how to better interact with the audience).
4. Dan Matha beat Raul Mendoza. Matha won via pinfall after a running big boot on Raul continuing the trend of good matches. Yes, Dan beat Raul to the absolute surprise of many and he saved Raul many times over the match with his impressive strength. I debated giving this match a rating of a 3 or 4 due to the botched spots that were saved by Dan’s strength. While I gave it a 3 (as you’ll see below), it was impressive watching Matha pick-up Raul after one of them made a mistake with Raul’s crossbody moonsault off the second rope was going to plant him short in an awkward position. Dan scooped him up before Raul crashed down on his head and powerslammed him. This happened another three to four times with Matha using his strength to save a maneuver from Raul that could have ended up very badly for one of them. Rating: 3 out of 4 Horsemen (with Brian Pillman – please do not end in tragedy, you are absolutely amazing in the ring! I know this might be controversial and understand that Brian was one of my favorite wrestlers).
5. Roderick Strong beat Fabian Aichner. Strong won via his Stronghold, which is a high ankle Boston Crab, but both wrestlers were amazing in this match. Aichner and Strong put on an impressive show trading great maneuvers while also telling a great story in the ring. Roddy is a local hero from the Bay Area and Fabian is an old school Russian Heel who was constantly talking up Russian values, which was interesting to say the least. A fantastic sequence of backbreakers and suplexes by Roddy that led to his submission finisher to end the match was great. It can be seen in slow motion on the NXT Twitter page at this link: https://twitter.com/WWENXT/status/952356269343559680
Great ending to a great match! Rating: Four out of Four Horsemen (Original).
6. Aleister Black beat Tino Sabbatelli. Black won the match via his Black Mass that looked pretty impressive live and I thought the match lived up to a large amount of local hype that surrounded Aleister’s appearance. The place sold out after it was announced he would appear and even when they opened up extra seats, the venue was at capacity. Tino did a great job of playing a cowardly, cheating heel against a superior opponent. He kept running away from Aleister and when the crowd heckled him for it, he responded with an “I’m rich!” yell that was on point. Once Tino was able to cheat his way to getting Aleister down, he worked on his right arm hard throughout the match which made for some quality old school wrestling. Eventually, Aleister responded by reversing an Irish whip to the ropes into a moonsault crossbody that led to a Black Mass. I was impressed with both, Aleister lived up to the hype and Tino lived up to the spot he was put in. Rating: Four out of Four Horsemen (with Steve McMichael – Will Tino, a former good football player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, be able to hang with the greats? He did tonight.).
7. Jesse pinned Sage Beckett. The Jesse Show scored a surprise victory over a strong heel opponent after executing a surprise Oklahoma roll. This was a short match between two women with a lot of potential. Much like John Cena was once “wacky roll up guy”, Jesse is quickly becoming “wacky roll up girl”, but she has great potential even though her nerd gimmick may be a little too similar to Bayley’s gimmick. Sage can be a strong heel with her black dyed fingers and mysterious persona, but I can really see Jesse getting over on the main roster. Why? The little kids at the show loved her and so did some of the adults while others rejected her gimmick. She really reminded me of a female John Cena and I can see her getting over on the main roster if she meets her potential. Rating: 2 out of 4 Horsemen (with John Cena? He was never a Horsemen!?!?!?! Blasphemy! How dare I?!?!?!?!?! See what I wrote above and if you hate this, that is fine too!).
8. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly defeated Street Profits to retain the NXT Tag Team Titles. This was a strong tag team match that was highly competitive and very entertaining. I wondered how they could top Aleister and Roderick in the main event, but they somehow pulled it off with this match. The Undisputed Era won via sneaky quick schoolboy after the Street Profits came very close to winning. Both teams were over with the crowd but the Street Profits were really entertaining during their match with how they made fun of the Undisputed Era’s arrogance while also having a fun time during the match. Fish and O’Reilly played great heels during the match with Fish constantly heckling the Profits and Montez then sarcastically heckling them back. Fish reminded me of Daniel Day Lewis’s character from There Will Be Blood with how he talked and I wonder if that is what he is going for. Both teams hit great spots that built towards a surprise roll-up finish when Montez threw O’Reilly out of the ring only to then be caught with a schoolboy. It was fun. Rating: 4 out of 4 Horsemen (Original mainly featuring Arn and Tully due to great tag team wrestling).
Overall: Another great NXT show at the CDC! If you catch one of these local shows in Tampa, this is the place to come, just watch out for crazy Florida drivers.
NEW: Help support Prowrestling.net when you shop Amazon by starting your online Amazon shopping at Prowrestling.net/amazon. You are not charged extra, but we receive a small and very helpful commission on everything you purchase. Thanks for thinking of us every time you shop at Amazon.