By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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NXT Live Event
Mississauga, Ontario at Hershey Centre
Report by Dot Net reader Mike Beauvais
The show was held at the Hershey Centre, home to Raptors 905 of the NBA’s G-League and the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga Steelheads. Capacity is approximately 7,000, but the arena was maybe 30 percent full. (Mississauga is Toronto’s largest suburb with a population of north of 700,000),
Kayla Braxton was the ring announcer for the evening and hyped up the crowd. Before the show began, they ran a welcome video from Triple H on the big screen.
1. Ricochet defeated Buddy Murphy. Huge pop and “Holy shit” chants for Ricochet, who was not advertised for the show. The crowd loved Ricochet and these two worked really well together, starting off with some impressive chain wrestling and followed by Ricochet’s signature offense. Ricochet eventually put Murphy away with the 630 senton. The two shook hands after the match and Braxton put it over as Ricochet’s NXT debut, even though he worked the last set of TV tapings in Atlanta.
2. Nikki Cross defeated Aliyah. Aliyah’s from Toronto, so she got a nice pop, but the crowd was into Cross more. The match saw Cross control offense and win with The Purge. Not much to this.
3. Killian Dain defeated Marcel Barthel. Barthel is going to get over as a heel with his cocky, methodical gimmick. He cut a promo before the match that kept getting interrupted by “Who are you?” chants, noting that Waldo von Erich was from Toronto, but he was so embarrassed by his heritage that he declared allegiance to Germany. Throughout the match as Dain tried to get on offense, Barthel would scream, “Nein!” and stop him. This caught on with the crowd. Dain got the win by hitting a couple of turnbuckle avalanches in quick succession and ending it with a Vader Bomb. Barthel was impressive here.
4. Roderick Strong defeated Fabian Aichner. Like with Barthel, the crowd wasn’t too familiar with Aichner, so he was just the generic-looking heel in this match. Roddy hit a bunch of signature backbreakers and Aichner tapped out to the Strong Hold.
5. “Sanity” Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe defeated “Authors of Pain” Akam and Rezar. Paul Ellering doesn’t normally do the house show circuit, so AOP came out alone. Big pop for Young, who is an Ontario native, and a “Welcome Home” chant. Wolfe played face in peril throughout, eventually tagging Young in to run wild. The finish came when Young came off the top with a diving neckbreaker as Wolfe had Rezar positioned for a belly-to-back suplex. After the match, Young stayed in the ring to thank the fans.
There was brief intermission here, but just before it, they played a Velveteen Dream video promo in which he expressed displeasure for having to wrestle in Mississauga (mispronouncing it as “Mississsaug-WAH”).
6. NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon defeated Bianca Belair. This ended poorly and Belair might have gotten hurt here. Belair looks like a star and carries herself like one. The two traded power moves and Belair impressed with her athleticism and her hair whip spot elicited an audible gasp from the crowd. The finish was botched. Moon hit a really ugly-looking Eclipse and Belair kicked out at two, but the ref made the three count anyway. Obviously, Belair wasn’t meant to kick out here, so I’m not sure what the story was, but Moon and the ref chatted following the match and Belair was helped to the back with what could have been a neck injury from the finish.
7. Aleister Black defeated The Velveteen Dream. This was a really well-worked, really fun match. The crowd loved both of these guys with both getting giant pops on their entrances and dueling chants to start the match. Hard to believe that Patrick Clark is only 22 because this guy is going to be a star. Dream stalled to open the match, by feigning throwing his Jerry Seinfeld puffy shirt into the crowd and just dropping it outside of the ring instead. He then got into it with a small child at ringside that drew laughs. The crowd started a “Mississaug-WAH” chant at Dream to mock his mispronunciation. The two started off with some early comedy and Dream demanded that Black do his signature sit pose with the crowd chanting “Sit” to get him to play along. When Black refused, Clark went ahead and sat down instead, so Black just hoofed a sitting Clark in the face. The two traded offense as the crowd continued to chant for both and Black hit a great-looking Asai moonsault to the outside. Later when Clark went back on offense, he hilariously pointed at the kid at ringside before drilling Black intimating that he’d do the same to him. Black hit the Black Mass out of nowhere to get the win. Both men got big hands on their way out of the ring.
8. Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae defeated NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega. Big pop for the Garganos. Vega grabbed the mic from Kayla after her introduction of Almas, saying that she wasn’t worthy of introducing the champion and introduced him again herself. Both teams played to the crowd to start with Almas pointing to a group of ringside fans chanting “You got fired” at Gargano as if to ask why he was even there. The story early was that Zelina wanted to avoid Candice at all costs with Johnny playing face in peril. Candice eventually got the hot tag from her husband and hit a nice-looking huracanrana from the top ropes on Almas before running wild on Vega. The Garganos got the win with stereo Garga-No-Escapes to which both Almas and Vega tapped, respectively. After the match, Johnny cut a promo to thank the fans for coming out.
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