NXT TV Live Review: WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong in a non-title match, Candice LeRae vs. Bianca Belair, The Street Profits vs. TM61


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

Aired May 2, 2018 on WWE Network
Taped April 11 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

The show started off with an Undisputed Era backstage promo. Adam Cole talked about “making Oney Lorcan famous” and how Lorcan has a story to tell his kids about getting beat by Adam Cole bay-bay. Kyle O’Reilly dared Danny Burch to try to challenge them again. Roderick Strong joked about Pete Dunne being his “old best friend”. Strong said what he did at Takeover is going to pale in comparison to what he’s going to do to Dunne tonight. Cole said they were “undisputed”. The NXT theme aired. The callups were removed from the intro. Nikki Cross is still in the intro…

Mauro Ranallo and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. Mauro talked about Nigel McGuinness still being at home (because this taping is outdated, Nigel has been back on the Road).

1. Kairi Sane vs. Shazza McKenzie. Shazza got an entrance theme. Muuro framed this as Australia vs. Japan. Shazza tossed a kiss at Sane and Sane pantomimed it in the air. After an exchange, Sane gave a few axe handles and then a spear. Sane hit her signature plank walk forearm and flying elbow. Sane hit an Alabama Slam and InSane Elbow on Shazza for the victory.

Kairi Sane defeated Shazza McKenzie via pinfall in 1:49.

Replays of the ending part of the match aired. Sane was interrupted by Lacey Evans who now wears military themed garb and has a different hair style. Evans entered the ring and said a true lady with class has the courage to admit when she’s wrong. Sane gave what sounded like an insincere apology, but the crowd bought it. Evans said Sane belongs in NXT. Evans wanted a handshake and the crowd agreed that it was a trap. It was a trap because Evans gave a cheap shot to Sane. Replays of the Ciampa attack from last week aired…

John’s Thoughts: Standard and good stuff from Sane in her enhancement match. Sane falls for the same trap that a lot of foreign babyfaces and enhancement babyfaces do in pandering too much to the crowd with “come on” stuff. Even Kalisto did that a bit too much at one point. I like the change in look for Evans. She still needs to tone down on the fake exaggerated accent (she has an accent, but it’s not that exaggerated according to the Breaking Ground show).

Cathy Kelly interviewed Candice LeRae in another one of Kelly’s sad interviews. Kelly wanted a Gargano update. LeRae was emotional and talked about how excited she was at first. LeRae talked about how a family member like Ciampa has ruined a friendship. LeRae talked about being sad over seeing her husband stretchered out. LeRae bailed on the interview because she has a match with Bianca BelAir to get ready for… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Good emotion from LeRae, but I got a chuckle out of Cathy Kelly having to have two somber interviews. One this week with LeRae and a sad one last week with Dakota Kai.

During the commercial, a Lars Sullivan promo vignette aired where he talked about being the man in NXT. Sullivan exhibited his strong vocabulary and said that his North American Championship challengers from ladder match are now marked for destruction. Street Profits made their entrance and they were as excited as ever…

2. “Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. “TM-61” Shane Thorne and Nick Miller. Mauro noted that TM61 want to get to the same success that they had in Japan (Via Pro wrestling Noah) after a rough start in NXT. Ford hit a nice spinning wheel kick on Miller and had the advantage. Dawkins tagged in and launched Ford into a double missile dropkick. Thorn tagged in and hit Dawkins with a tandem slingshot senton. TM61 hit their moonsault-fist combo. There was a dueling chant for Dawkins and TM61.

Dawkins and Miller took each other out with a lariat. Both men made tags with Ford being on fire. Ford hit a flying back elbow on Thorne. Ford took down Miller with a apron punt. Shane Thorne stole the win via a pinfall with Thorne’s feet assisted on the rope with Miller holding it down.

TM-61 defeated Street Profits via pinfall in 3:11. 

Mauro tried to rationalize the TM-61 cheating as them trying to finally get success. Thorne and Miller tried to play it low key up the ramp as Angelo Dawkins was livid in the ring. A “tale of the tape” for War Raiders and Heavy Machinery flashed on the screen and led to a video package for both teams. After that, the Kona Reeves vignette from the last two weeks aired which hyped his return on this episode… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Interesting development here and I’m looking forward to see what TM61 can do with an edge. This might be a way for Nick Miller to show more personality and grow. As for the match, it was simple and effective in the heelish development in the TM61 team. I really liked that it looks like Montez Ford is progressing in-ring.

Cathy Kelley conducted yet another somber interview with Kassius Ohno over the Ciampa situation. Ohno called Ciampa a coward. Ohno talked about how Johnny Gargano was helpless and like family. Ohno said Ciampa has to feel helpless and Ohno has to be the guy to make Ciampa helpless…

Enhancement Wrestler Patrick Scott was in the ring and got entrance music. The New “Finest” Kona Reeves made his entrance to a tepid reaction…

3. “The Finest” Kona Reeves vs. Patrick Scott. Mauro noted that the new Kona Reeves was inspired by Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Kona Reeves pressured Scott into the corner. Reeves showed some good aggression by beating up Scott. Reeves yelled that he was the finest. Scott managed to dodge a few moves but was taken down by an elbow. The ref had to break up the striking by Reeves in the corner. Reeves hit a trust fall elbow on Scott and then a modified Samoan Drop called “The Hawaiian Drop”.

Kona Reeves defeated Patrick Scott via pinfall in 2:01.

Percy Watson talked about how Reeves has rage in his face. Watson then hyped up the upcoming matches on the show…

John’s Thoughts: The gimmick may be lame and fake as hell, but Reeves showed some really good in-ring aggression there. There is something there. I’m with a lot of other viewers who see bootleg Tyler Breeze and John Morrison in Reeves. I think Reeves has potential if he were more of a psychotic character. Maybe he should draw from some of the work Cody Rhodes did under a orbital bone mask as “undashing” Cody Rhodes…

An EC3 vignette aired where he hyped his NXT TV [re-]Debut next week. EC3 talked about making NXT into NX3. They cut to a Dakota Kai press conference where she was super happy about being in NXT and wrestling. Kai was excited for the Women’s Revolution and the callups to the main roster. She then lost her cool when asked about Shayna Baszler was mentioned. Dakota Kai was fearful. Vanessa Bourne walked in and tried to punk out Kai. Kai then turned confident and told the press that she can take down Vanessa Bourne…

4. Candice LeRae vs. Bianca BelAir. LeRae was really somber in the ring and before the match. BelAir womanhandled LeRae early on. LeRae gained a bit of control with a huracanrana and a rollup. The commentators were heavy handed in saying that LeRae was off. BelAir caught LeRae mid air and hit her with a body slam. BelAir showed off her immense strength with an amazing deadlift Gorilla Press snake eyes. BelAir then locked in the Torture Rack on LeRae. LeRae escaped and hit a flurry of fists on BelAir followed by a missile dropkick. BelAir blocked the tornado DDT and hit the Reverse Power Bomb for the win.

Bianca BelAir defeated Candice LeRae via pnfall in 3:30.

LeRae was crying in the center of the ring presumably for Johnny Gargano… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Good by WWE for giving BelAir the win while having the commentators protect the hell out of LeRae. Credit to Candice for playing the storyline in the ring. The key right now is to capitalize on BelAir’s huge win and make this both a story for BelAir and LeRae on different tangential paths.

Mauro Ranallo advertised EC3’s Full Sail return next week in his match against Raul Mendoza. Watson hyped up Kassius Ohno vs. Tommaso Ciampa for next week…

 Roderick Strong came out to his own theme music and now wore a undisputed era version of his sport jacket. Strong’s theme then cut to the Undisputed Era theme.

5. Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong (w/ Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly) in a non-title match. Dunne kicked off right after the bell with a strong right hand and flurry of punches on Strong. Dunne hit Strong with a running punt to send Strong into retreat. Dunne hit a flying forearm on Strong. Strong managed to get in one of his signature backbreakers to gain a bit of respite. Strong prevented Dunne from flying by holding his legs on the apron. Strong caught Dunne wtih a dropkick and then hit him with a backbreaker on the apron.

Strong hit a loud chest chop on Dunne (Daniel Bryan can attest to that). Strong worked on Dunne in the ring while Adam Cole taunted from the outside. Strong hit Dunne with a backbreaker in the center of the ring. Strong locked in a modified Liontamer on Dunne. Dunne blocked the End of Heartache with his weight and hit Strong with an X-Plex. Dunne dominated the next punch battle and hit a stepup enziguri on Strong. Dunne drove his boot into the elbow of Strong. Strong whipped Dunne away from the joint manipulation and hit a flying knee on Dunne. Strong hit Dunne with a draping backbreaker for a nearfall.

Dunne blocked the Angle Slam. Strong responded with a roundhouse. Dunne reversed Strong into a Rear Naked Choke and into a cross armbreaker. Strong and Dunne fought to the top rope with Strong hitting a Super Angle Slam on Dunne. Dunne caught one of Strong’s powerful chops and did his finger snap spot. Dunne hit a flurry of punches on Strong. Dunne hit a spinning roundhouse and Bitter End. Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole broke up the succeeding pin and called for the DQ.

Pete Dunne defeated Roderick Strong via DQ in 9:04. 

The Undisputed Era had the numbers advantage but Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch ran in for the save as the three babyfaces disposed of Undisputed Era to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: As expected, this was a really fun television match with some nice hard hitting action. Because they didn’t go to that next gear, we know that they can take it up a few notches for a PPV worthy main event level if they want to. The ending was fine and totally expected given how they probably want to stretch this feud out. It looks like we have a trios match-up set between Undisputed Era and Dunne, Lorcan, and Burch. Dunne, Lorcan, and Burch are great bruisers, but I’m a bit confused as to why they didn’t put together the British Strong Style stable together of Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, and Tyler Bate? They’ve been teasing it on Social Media and it would have made total sense.

This was a good episode of NXT again and they continue to maximize their one hour time allocation. As I mentioned in my 205 Live audio Review to the Dot Net Members earlier today, Paul Levesque run shows have a tendency to make every segment mean something. There were a lot of developmental prospects on this show and they all gained something positively. I’ll point out those positives in my NXT Hit List tomorrow but the Dot Net Members will also get a chance to hear me on audio with an Audio Review.



Readers Comments (3)

  1. Holy crap, how promising is Bianca BelAir! A good episode of NXT again, although the laziness of the Kona Reeves gimmick, especially when Velveteen Dream is on the roster, is astonishing.

    • BelAir is ready for that next level and she did have a good showing in The Mae Young. The only thing I would like to change with her is her finisher. Her finisher realistically looks like it hurts her more than the opponent. Another reason she should change her finisher is every single one of her other moves could qualify as someone else’s finisher (Torture Rack, 450, Gorilla Press, the unique hair whip, etc).

      To Kona’s credit, he looked great in-ring. Let’s not forget, Velveteen Dream sucked at one point when he was in Prince Cosplay mode and he suddenly clicked after three or so reboots. That’s the benefit of developmental. Just imagine this lame-ass gimmick debuting on the main roster and flopping.

      • “Just imagine this lame-ass gimmick debuting on the main roster and flopping.”

        That is no way to talk about Tyler Breeze.

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