1/31 NXT TV Live Review: Tyler Bate vs. Roderick Strong for a future shot at the WWE UK Championship, Nikki Cross vs. Lacey Evans, TM-61 returns to face the Ealy Brothers

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

NXT TV 
Aired January 31, 2018 on WWE Network
Taped January 27 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Wells Fargo Center

NXT started off with a highlight video from NXT Takeover: Philadelphia. After the video, the NXT theme aired…

Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson checked in on commentary with Nigel McGuinness out this past Saturday. Nigel’s feeling much better since he was able to call 205 Live last night…

1. Nikki Cross vs. Lacey Evans. Cross quickly started off the match with a crossbody. Evans came back with a kick. Cross trapped Evans in the apron skirt and pummeled her. Evans countered a high hair pull with a yank from the top rope. Cross kicked out of several pin attempts with a smile on her face. Evans continued with the ground and pounds. Evans hit Cross with a delayed bronco buster. Evans missed with a moonsault. The crowd was fully behind Cross. Cross came at Evans with lariats and ground and pound. Cross beat on her chest like a gorilla and nailed Evans with a swinging neckbreaker to pick up the win.

Nikki Cross defeated Lacey Evans via pinfall in 2:28. 

Cross tried to get more punches in on Evans but Drake Younger pulled her away. Percy Watson cut to an Authors of Pain vs. Undisputed Era highlight package from Takeover… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Standard enhancement match for Nikki Cross and pretty one sided. I like the potential of the Lacey Evans heel turn but it seems like she is not quite seasoned in the ring yet to have extended matches with the high quality wrestlers of the women’s division.

Back from the break, Mauro thanked Asking Alexandria for on of their Takeover themes. Mauro and Percy then commented on the Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler match…

Kayla Braxton interviewed Shayna Baszler on her post match attack on Moon. Baszler said Moon didn’t beat her Moon survived. Baszler told Braxton to interview Moon and see who looks like the winner of the match. Mauro and Percy commented on Ember Moon’s royal rumble entry and staredown with Asuka. The commentators also gave their comments on the Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black highlights…

Fish and O’Reilly were shown backstage with Adam Cole on their shoulders. They were complaining about Cole losing. Adam Cole said “Sanity will pay!!!”. Mauro said that Sanity will finally get their rematch for the tag team championships on next week’s NXT. Roderick Strong was shown exercising on the stairs. Percy Watson then told everyone that TM-61 were making their return after the commercial… [C]

Mauro thanked Asking Alexandria for their “When the Lights Come on” song. Mauro used this as a segue for the Kassius Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream highlights. Kayla Braxton interviewed Dream after the match where she brought up Dream taking way more than 30 seconds to beat Ohno. Dream said Ohno and Dream knows what dream said. Dream noted that Ohno knocked the mouthpiece out of his mouth but he knows what everyone knows. Dream demanded that Braxton read off the words from his trunks. Braxton said “Dream Over”. Dream said now Braxton knows…

Back in the Wells Fargo Center, TM-61 made their entrance now wearing team jerseys. The Ealy Brothers also have more of a refined look with sunglasses and leather vests…

2. Shane Thorne and Nick Miller vs. Uriel and Gabriel Ealy. Uriel and Nick started off the match. Nick Miller dominated early on. Nick tagged in Shane for some tandem offense. Thorne knocked out both Ealy Brothers with a corkscrew Tope to the outside. The Ealy brothers gained the advantage by using Twin Magic. Gabriel used this to get a boot to the face of Nick Miller. The Ealys used their strength to dominate Nick Miller. Miller took down Gabriel with a lariat to bring in Thorne for the hot tag. Thorne was fired up and hit one of the Ealy brothers with a cannonball and the other with a Saito Suplex. Nick Miller hit a brother with a dropkick. TM-61 hit an Ealy with the Thunder Valley for the victory…

TM-61 defeated The Ealy Brothers via pinfall in 3:17. 

John’s Thoughts: Good return for TM-61 and I like their tweeks to their look. The colors and themed gear make them look more dynamic and like a tag team. Shane Thorne also continues to be the one with the most personality but Nick Miller is a great wrestler and not terrible in personality. The Ealy Brothers looked good in updating their look too and as identical twins these two have potential to stand out in the tag team division.

Tyler Bate was shown getting ready for his match heading into the commercial… [C]

Christy St. Cloud interviewed TM-61 where they both told Christy St. Cloud that they weren’t just TM-61, “We are Mighty and the Mighty Don’t Kneel” (In reference to their original tag team name TMDK). The Commentators then commented over the Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano highlight package. This highlight package was presented differently with background music, different camera angles, and different camera filters…Kayla Braxton and the interviewers found Tommaso Ciampa backstage and tried to interview him. Ciampa ignored them and walked out of the arena dragging his broken crutch with him. Mauro talked about Andrade Almas performing well in the Royal Rumble and even eliminating Kofi Kingston. Andrade Almas was interviewed by Cathy Kelley. Zelina Vega bragged about “The New Andrade” being unstoppable. Andrade Almas said Johnny Gargano is probably just at home watching TV. Vega laughed about Gargano just watching the Rumble on TV… [C]

Mauro talked about how the Philadelphia Eagles making the Super Bowl. Mauro also talked about how EC3 returned to WWE for the first time in five years. Mauro then talked over still shots from Adam Cole in the Royal Rumble. Mauro Ranallo advertised Adam Cole vs. Killian Dain next week to play into the Undisputed Era vs. Sanity theme with Fish and O’Reilly defending their titles against the other Sanity members…

Roderick Strong and Tyler Bate made their entrance for the UK Title Number One Contender match…

3. Roderick Strong vs. Tyler Bate for a WWE UK Championship Title Shot. Bate used all of his limbs to dominate the first lockup and chain wrestling sequence. Mauro talked about how Strong is one of the best technicians in [Sports Entertainment]. Bate landed a helicopter spin on Strong. Strong turned the table with one of his signature backbreakers. Strong and Bate had a chop battle but Strong gained the advantage by implementing one of his backbreakers. Strong used a can opener hold to target the back of Bate’s neck. Strong responded with a backbreaker and tossed Bate like a lawndart heading into commercial. [C]

Strong had Bate locked in a modified Gory Special on Tyler Bate.  Bate escaped and staggered Strong with a jawbreaker. Bate hit Strong with the Bop-Bang feint punch. Bate had a rally of offense with a deadlift German. Strong came back with strikes. Bate hit an Exploder, kip up, and standing shooting star for the nearfall. Strong and Bate met on the top rope with Bate shoving Strong off. Strong yanked off Bate from the top rope and hit a backbreaker on Bate for a nearfall. Bate blocked a Tiger Driver. Bate hit Strong with a Liger Kick. Bate blocked the gory special and took down Strong with a lariat after a nice flurry exchange of offense.

The crowd was fired up with “This is Awesome” chants. Tyler went for his signature Tiger Driver, the Tyler Driver. Bate showed pain in the hip. The two had a nearfall exchange. Strong hit several high knees and then a high flapjack on Bate. Roderick Strong hit the End of Heartache (Suplex backbreaker/Lumbar Check) to lead to his pinfall victory.

Roderick Strong defeated Tyler Bate via pinfall in 8:32 of TV Time to earn a future WWE UK Championship Title Shot.

Roderick Strong celebrated his match win to end the show…

John’s Thoughts: Just based off of reputation, you had to go into this match with high expectations and these two experts didn’t disappoint. Strong, as I mentioned in my 205 Live audio review last night for dot net members, is a guy who you can just randomly throw into random matches, even when they don’t make sense, and he’ll deliver with a main event quality match. Tyler Bate is something special and I’m surprised WWE hasn’t tried their hardest to lock in Bate and Pete Dunne (and bring in Mark Andrews for that matter) to more exclusive deals since the Main Roster could use a babyface and heel like them. I’m shocked I’m saying this too, but the Tyler Bate match from 20 F’n 5 Live was better than this one, mostly because this match had a commercial break and the Tyler Bate vs. TJP match from last night told a great story with Bate trying to fight through a leg injury with TJ Perkins playing the role of the shark that smelled blood. That said, this match was a great match too.

Go out of your way to check out the main event of this show and if you need a bit more wrestling, check out the TM-61 vs. Ealy Brothers match just to get reacquainted to TM-61 after their long layoff. I was never a huge fan of NXT taking a week off with highlight packages after Takeover, but ever since this show became the “New Era of NXT” they’ve packed these recap episodes with Takeover quality matches. I’ll be by later tomorrow with my NXT audio review for the Dot Net Members…

 

 


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