Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: Aleister Black vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Championship, Adam Cole responds to Ricochet

By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

Aired July 25, 2018 on WWE Network
Taped July 18 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

The intro teaser consisted of hype for the Aleister Black vs. Tommaso Ciampa NXT Championship main event. The NXT theme aired…

Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson were on commentary. The Undisputed Era’s theme played as Adam Cole made his entrance to Full Sail…

1. Adam Cole vs. Sean Maluta in a non-title match. Percy Watson noted that Sean Maluta was trained by Afa the wild Samoan. Cole toyed with Maluta early on in the match. Mauro noted that Cole hasn’t defended the title on NXT shows. Nigel said Regal is the guy that books the matches and Cole has defended at other non-NXT shows. Maluta went for a few quick pin attempts but was yanked off the top rope and dominated by Cole again. Maluta gave Cole a headbutt to get him off the top rope. Cole caught a flying Maluta with a superkick. Cole hit the Last Shot Shining Wizard on Maluta for the win.

Adam Cole defeated Sean Maluta via pinfall in 2:09. 

Cole said he’s the most buzzworthy superstar on any brand because of what he gets done in the ring. He bragged about defending the title all over the world. He mentioned that he even defended in the UK. Cole said he gave a young upstart like Sean Maluta an opportunity. Cole was about to ask for a challenger but was interrupted by Ricochet’s music.

Ricochet said he’ll give Cole credit for not running from competition despite not knowing his opponent’s name. Ricochet said that’s cool, homie. Ricochet then turned and said that Cole is a coward. Ricochet said to prove how Cole really is he wants a match for the NXT North American Championship between Ricochet and Adam Cole at Takeover: Brooklyn. Ricochet mocked Cole’s bay-bay. Cole said Ricochet is right in that Cole is so, so good. Adam Cole said he wasn’t going to lower himself to defend at Brooklyn. Ricochet said that’s cool, Cole can leave like the coward he thought he is. A “coward” chant ensued. Cole ran back to the ring but stopped due to Ricochet doing his signature fakeout superhero landing. Cole then retreated to Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly.

War Raiders made their entrance to pincer formation Undisputed Era. The Era tried to retreat in the crowd area but were blindsided by Moustashe Mountain. Tyler Bate and Trent Seven got a few shots in and the UE retreated. Mauro recapped the segment and hyped Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane for Takeover…

John’s Thoughts: A good test for Ricochet here. Ricochet has gotten a lot better on the mic and managed to turn the crowd against Adam Cole for a bit despite Cole’s cool heel persona. This also did a simple and sold job of setting up Cole vs. Ricochet as well as contenders for the NXT Tag Team Championship.

William Regal is physically back!!! He conducted the backstage contract signing. Shayna Baszler talked about being better than she was at the Mae Young Classic. Shayna said she’s at the top while Kairi is living off past success because Kairi didn’t do anything since. Baszler signed the contract. Kairi signed the contract. Kairi said Shayna knows it and Kairi knows it, Kairi can beat Shayna Baszler. Baszler said Kairi is just like everyone in the locker room pretending that they have what it takes. Baszler threw in another jab at Candice LeRae. Kairi repeated her earlier point (with a bit of broken English). Baszler stormed off saying she will leave as NXT Women’s Champion. Kairi repeated her sentence again. Tommaso Ciampa was shown getting ready inside one of the WWE Semi Trucks…

John’s Thoughts: Good mic work from Baszler. Kairi said the same sentence one too many times though to where it went from her looking focused to looking like she was just repeating a scripted line. Hopefully she’s working on her English speaking while in the PC. A side note, It’s great to see Regal back!!! He’s great in his Jack Tunney role.

The commentators hyped up EC3 vs. Kona Reeves for next week…

2. Lacey Evans vs. Tenilla Price. Evans womanhandled the smaller Price. Evans smashed Price with the hanging Bronco Buster. Evans tied Price’s hair into the top rope and then pummeled her against it. Evans hit her signature slingshot elbow and then a swinging neckbreaker. Price managed to get the knees up to block Price. Price then walked right into the Women’s Right to give Evans the victory.

Lacey Evans defeated Tenilla Price via pinfall in 2:02. 

Bianca Belair was interviewed by the new NXT interviewer. Belair said she doesn’t have to explain herself due to being hurt. Belair mocked everyone else and talked about being better than everyone else. Belair reiterated the point several times that she’s undefeated. Belair walked off saying “girl gonna learn today”.

John’s Thoughts: A good squash. Tenilla Price has a good look and it’ll be good to see her back down the road. Evans continues to look impressive after reinventing herself and NXT is doing an amazing job giving the push to a basic right hand finisher. Good promo from Belair to establish Belair as a heel while addressing her absence from the title scene.

Shayna Baszler was exiting the contract signing. Candice wanted to mix it up with Baszler for the comments she made. She was held back by a Performance Center coach (I think it was Sereena Deeb)…

Tommaso Ciampa made his usual entrance to no music and boos. Mike Rome handled the formal ring introductions for the main event after Aleister Black made his entrance…

3. Aleister Black vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Championship. Ciampa was looking extra ripped. Black struggled early on because of Ciampa’s good defense, but Black managed to get the single leg takedown on Ciampa. Ciampa got an Oklahoma Rollup in for a nearfall. Ciampa flashed a smirk after the nearfall. Dueling chants ensued with the women and children cheering for Aleister while male sounding voices cheered for Ciampa. Black got a series of rollups of his own. Black locked in an impressive armbar takedown. Nigel noted that it was odd that we weren’t seeing strikes from Aleister Black which is his wheelhouse. Ciampa avoided Black Mass and then baited Black into a draping DDT attempt. Black escaped and used his kickboxing kicks on the outside.

Ciampa smashed Black with a double axe handle strike. Black hit an impressive series of left shoot kicks. Black then hit Ciampa with a pump kick. Ciampa retreated and Black taunted Ciampa with his meditation pose. Ciampa blocked a DDT attempt. Black continue to knock down Ciampa with kicks. Black went for a lionsault but was shoved to the outside. Ciampa slammed Black into the steps and mocked Black by doing his Indian sitdown pose on the steps. Ciampa gave Black a crossface in the center of the ring. Ciampa worked on Black’s back with a backbreaker. Ciampa inflicted more torture in with the abdominal stretch. Drake Wuertz counted Ciampa down when Ciampa held on to the ropes for leverage.

Black went for a German Suplex but couldn’t lift up Ciampa due to Ciampa attacking his back. Ciampa locked in a Texas Cloverleaf on Black. Black made it to the ropes for the rope break. Ciampa and Black brawled on the ring apron. Black dominated due to his kickboxing. Ciampa reversed Black into a Super Celtic Cross attempt. Black escaped. Black reversed a pile driver attempt. Both men traded nearfalls and then they crashed into each other. Black dominated a strike exchange. Black toyed with Ciampa by using his legs like arms and then hitting Ciampa with a moonsault. Ciampa managed to get a counter in and almost hit a draping DDT but Black came back with a roundhouse.

Black hit a few Muay Thai clinch kicks and then hit a basement dropkick for a nearfall. Ciampa started to beg for mercy. Black yelled “Tweet about this!!!” and then gave Ciampa a few loud kicks. Ciampa reversed a draping DDT attempt from Black and tripped Black off the apron. Ciampa hit an ugly looking top rope move and almost got the pinfall. Black blocked Ciampa’s knee finisher but Ciampa hit the Clothesline from Hell on Black. Ciampa went for his finisher again with an exposed knee but Black countered it with a high tiger knee. Black lifted Ciampa with his foot. Ciampa almost stole a pin by grabbing the tights. Black fired up with a flurry of offense that ended in a German Suplex. Ciapma threw Black into the camera man. [CAMERA MAN] BUMP!!! Ciampa hit Black with the crutch and almost stole the pin. Black ran outside and hit Ciampa with a Tope Con Hilo. Ciampa caught Black and got a great nearfall with a draping DDT. The crowd was finally on fire for this match.

Ciampa rolled to ringside to expose the floor. Mauro noted that this was similar to his match against Gargano from several Takeovers ago. Drake Wuertz argued with Ciampa over exposing the floor. Black took advantage of the distracted Ciampa by shoving him into the ropes and knocking Drake to the exposed floor. REF BUMP!!! Aleister Black hit Black Mass but the ref was bumpped. Ciampa blocked Black by clawing at the eye of Black. Ciampa brought the belt to the ring. Johnny Gargano gave Ciampa a superkick. The two played tug-o-war with the belt causing Ciampa to accidentally hit Black with the belt. Tommaso Ciampa threw Gargano out of the ring. Ciampa hit Black with a Tiger Pile Driver to pick up the win.

Tommaso Ciampa defeated Aleister Black via pinfall in 22:18 to become the new NXT Champion. 

Mauro noted that Gargano’s obsession cost Black the championship. Ciampa got his usual immense heat. Mauro dubbed Ciampa as the 14th NXT Champion…

John’s Thoughts: It took a while for the crowd to get into it. I’m assuming some of this is due to Black not being the hottest of champions. While we’ve seen hotter main events in recent weeks on NXT, but the end of this match the two men really picked things up and they told a great story in the second half of the match. With Ciampa there might be something to work with there as champ. This is obviously leading up to a triple threat encounter unless they want to do Gargano vs. Black for contendership (which wouldn’t make sense due to Black needing a rematch and Regal being a logical GM).

Another hot NXT with a hot finish. I like the title changing hands on regular TV for once in a long while. The downside is spoilers, but the downside of never having a title change on TV makes TV title matches foregone conclusions. The spoilers that this was a title change enhanced the match in that sense. I just looked it up, and the last regular NXT show at Full Sail to have a World Title change was Bo Dallas beating Big E Langston May 23, 2013. I’ll be by tomorrow with my NXT Hit List and members exclusive Audio Review.


Readers Comments (2)

  1. “It took a while for the crowd to get into it. I’m assuming some of this is due to Black not being the hottest of champions.”

    I rather assume it is because the crowd knew they were going to have to sit through a lot because there was no way the match was ending until Gargano showed up.

    • Good point, and I did bring that up a few weeks ago and forgot that might be the case.

      It’s probably a little of column A and B since Black’s title reign has been second fiddle to the Ciampa/Gargano feud. Even I had my attention focused on the ramp until those great nearfalls started to kick in (but the match as a whole was fun)

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