By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Aired February 7, 2018 on WWE Network
Taped February 1 in Atlanta, Georgia at Center Stage
No intro teaser this week, the NXT intro theme aired. Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary from ringside. Mauro advertised a Johnny Gargano promo where he will address his third loss in a row to Andrade Almas. Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Adam Cole made their way to the ring for the opening Tag Team Championship match. All three members of Sanity, Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain ran in to beat up on The Undisputed Era guys. The performance center “security” ran out to break things up. Adam Cole called his boys together to retreat up the ramp.
William Regal walked out and said it will all end tonight. Regal rebooked the advertised matches into a Tornado Trios Match between Undisputed Era and Sanity. Mauro noted that it will be one fall to the finish. Mauro also noted that we will now see NXT’s “biggest” tag team in action…
1. Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic vs. Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli. Heavy Machinery quickly dominated Riddick Moss with their powerhouse style. Moss showed off some aggression by shoulder tackling Knight in their corner. The crowd chanted “Tino Sucks” when he tagged in. Tino hit a dropkick on Moss (which is essentially his only move). Knight regained control when Moss tagged in. Moss and Sabbatelli gave each other aggressive tags to show that there may be trouble in paradise. The lack of focus allowed Otis Dozovic to tag in and initiate his fun offense. Otis hit Tino with the Caterpillar (the Worm). Moss broke up the tag. Tino tried to steal the win with the legs on the ropes again but referee Drake Younger caught it. After Moss tossed away Moss, Heavy Machinery hit Sabbatlli with the Compactor for the win.
Heavy Machinery defeated Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss via pinfall in 3:55.
The camera stuck on Sabbatelli and Moss after the match. Sabbatelli beckoned Moss to help him up but Moss walked out on his tag partner which drew “Yes” and “Tino Sucks” chants… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Solid fun work by Heavy Machinery, but I’m not sure why they gave Moss and Sabbatelli the win only to have them fall victim to parity booking. I’ll give this one a chance though since it looks like they are leading to some sort of story or breakup with the heel duo.
Johnny Gargano came out to the ring for his advertised promo. He soaked up a huge Johnny Wrestling chant. Gargano talked about how this was a hell of a month where he went into Philly with the most confidence of his life. Gargano talked about being there with his family and almost being sure was was going to be champion. Gargano said it didn’t go his way. Gargano was going to thank the fans for their reaction but was overwhelmed by Johnny Wrestling chants. Gargano said he won something more than the championship, the fan’s respect. Gargano said they brought him up when he was down. Gargano said they make him feel like Johnny Freakin’ Wrestling. Gargano said Philadelphia will be a night he will never forget.
Gargano said he also won’t forget the crutch shot. Gargano yelled “Tomasso Ciampa! I’m coming for you!”. Gargano called out Ciampa but got Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega instead. Almas soaked up boos while slowly strutting around the ring. Vega mocked Gargano for trying to claim the fans’ respect. Vega said Gargano’s just complaining. Vega said all Gargano proved was that he’s a loser. Vega said Ciampa had nothing to do with the match because Almas beat him over and over again. Gargano talked about how his second favorite part of Takeover was his wife beating the hell out of Vega. This pissed off Vega. The crowd chanted for Candice and got what they wanted in Candice LeRae running in the ring to run off Vega. Vega said she’s sick of both of them and wants to get rid of them. Gargano said if she wants him gone, give him another shot at the belt. Vega said if they give Gargano a championship match, if Gargano loses he’s gone from NXT for good. Gargano said he’d take that bet and will leave NXT for good if he loses…
John’s Thoughts: Johnny Gargano is not the most affluent of speakers but he’s one hell of a babyface. Gargano vs. Almas 4? They keep raising the bar every time they meet. The last one was match of the year so is this one going to be a match of the decade contender? I’m be hyperbolic, but I’m looking forward to this. Of course I know the spoilers but that only enhances my anticipation. The stipulation is also more believable here because of the NXT Callup dynamic so I can see Almas or Gargano leaving as a result of a loss depending on when their main roster time is due.
Shayna Baszler was interviewed in a trashy alley area in Atlanta. Baszler bragged about beating up Ember Moon and talked about how people just break, tap, or snap against her. Baszler said Moon is scared now because of her arm getting ripped out of the socket. Baszler said Moon is not a real champion and she wants to make sure Moon knows she said that about Moon… [C]
Mauro advertised Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong for the UK Championship next week where Strong will try to be the first American to win the UK Championship. Tyler Bate was interviewed at the performance center where he talked about being disappointed in his loss. He said he was looking forward to 2018 and hopes to have more Matches of the Year…
2. Bianca BelAir vs. Jessie Hill . Percy Watson informed us that Hill was trained by Dory Funk. BelAir showed off her strength by doing deadlift squats on Hill. BelAir hit her reverse bomb for the victory.
Bianca BelAir defeated Jessie Hill in less than a minute.
BelAir danced around and tied her hair after the match. A Kairi Sane vignette aired which included her Royal Rumble highlights…
John’s Thoughts: BelAir seems to be the most ready out of the PC trainees to move to the next level due to her athleticism and strength. One thing I’d recommend is a new finisher. She’s a powerhouse so there are many options for her. While not as bad as my most hated finisher, MVP and Randy Orton’s “Overdrive”, but the reverse bomb is similar in that it looks like it hurts her more than her opponent due to them falling on her.
Mauro talked about how Ember Moon heard the comments made by Baszler and is now medically cleared to wrestle (a bit odd that she was allowed to wrestle in the Rumble). Moon said she was arriving next week to face-off with Baszler…
Sanity made their entrance first and no word by Mike Rome that this is a Tag Title match so for now I’m going to assume it is non-title…
3. Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Adam Cole vs. Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain in a non-title Tornado Tag Match. A brawl ensued. Watson noted that the x factor in this match may be Killian Dain. Eric Young has a bald head now (reminds me of “World Elite” Eric Young). [C]
The brawl continued with quick camera cuts. Eric Young pulled away the apron to pull out chairs and tables. Wolfe beat up O’Reilly with a chair while EY and Cole brawled near a table. O’Reilly dodged a chair shot and dominated Wolfe with Muay Thai knees. Dain was running through Fish in the ring. Young, Cole, O’Reilly, and Wolfe brawled to the backstage production area. Fish pulled out a Kendo Stick in the ring and mocked Dain with some Katas. Dain caught the stick and then chased Fish who ran in fear. Fish tried to punch Dain but Dain’s punch was stronger. Dain threw Fish from the stage on to the top of the other four wrestlers who found their way back to ringside. [C]
Dain singled out Adam Cole in the middle of the ring as everyone was laid out on the outside. Dain mocked Adam Cole’s bay bay catchphrase. Cole managed to get Dain outside with an enziguri. Wolfe entered the ring and planted Cole with a sitout power bomb. Fish and O’Reilly double teamed Wolfe with quick tandem offense. Dain broke up a pin attempt with a running Senton. Dain Michinoku Drivered Fish on top of O’Reilly. Cole broke up a pin attempt. Eric Young knocked out Cole with his signature elbow drop. Eric Young caught with a superkick. O’Reilly hit EY with an axe and smash. Everyone hit their signature moves in sequence with Dain ending up being the last one standing. Cole dodged Dain’s cannonball causing him to cannonball the table.
Adam Cole was the last man standing in the ring. Cole recovered the rest of the Era so they can put the boots to Wolfe. Wolfe dodged O’Reilly causing O’Reilly to accidentally kick fish. Cole gave Wolfe a superkick. Fish and O’Reilly hit Total Elimination on Wolfe. Eric Young ran in with a kendo stick. Adam Cole hit young with one of his finishers the Suplex into a backbreaker. Young kicked out at two. Dain was recovered and asked all three Era members to come at him. He tossed them all by himself. Dain hit a Dropkick Senton on Cole and Fish. Killian Dain hit the Ulster Plantation (One-Winged Angel) for the win.
Sanity defeated The Undisputed Era via pinfall in 12:43 of TV time.
Mauro noted that Killian Dain defeated all three members of The Undisputed Era in the closing minutes. Dain lifted up Young and Wolfe to celebrate their non-title win…
John’s Thoughts: A good brawl that seemed fun for the live crowd. There was a detractor here for me and that was how we already got WarGames so this “final” encounter seemed marginal compared to WarGames. This was also not the planned feud it seemed because via the promos in the last few months it looked like they were going with EY and Wolfe vs. only Fish and O’Reilly, somehow Cole and Nikki Cross, and the three way feud between Roderick Strong, Lars Sullivan, and Killian Dain. Sullivan has just been MIA the past few months probably due to injury. Moving along, that was a good brawl that took more steps in establishing Killian Dain as this ultimate force. Dain could use a win too since he has taken a handful of pinfall losses.
Not the hottest of shows which would have been hotter if we got the Fish and O’Reilly vs. Wolfe and Eric Young match that was advertised but NXT continues to do a good job at storyline development. It looks like they are building towards Sanity vs. Undisputed Era at the WrestleMania weekend shows based on Sanity constantly not getting their contractual rematch. The Gargano vs. Almas match should have viewers most excited. I’ll be by tomorrow morning with my Audio Review for the Dot Net Members.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...