Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: Pete Dunne vs. Zack Gibson for the WWE UK Championship, Deonna Purrazzo vs. Bianca Belair in matches taped at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV

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

NXT TV 
Aired August 22, 2018 on WWE Network
Taped August 18 in Brooklyn, New York at Barclays Center

The opening teaser was a music highlight package of NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV. The NXT theme aired…

Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary from the Barclays Center. Mauro ran through the advertised segments on this episode…

1. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Bianca Belair. Deonna had a coat/corset themed pre-match jacket. Belair started off the match with a side headlock takedown and Purrazzo returned the favor. Purrazzo escaped a headscissors submission with a handstand. Belair showed off some impressive lucha libre flips and took down Purrazzo. Purrazzo went for La Mistica but Belair reversed into a gutbuster. Belair worked on Purrazzo’s back with a hip smash. Belair locked Purrazzo in a modified Camel Clutch with a Full Nelson. Belair used the ropes to block a rollup and she continued her onslaught.

Belair hit a series of elbow drops on Purrazzo. Belair body slammed Purrazzo. Belair did the Hunter Heasrt Helmsley bow and missed a standing moonsault. Purrazzo took down Belair with a pump kick and then a backflip into a basement dropkick. Purrazzo tried to go for her finisher, the fujiwara armbar, but Belair countered into her finisher, the (WWE) Burning Hammer for the win.

Bianca Belair defeated Deonna Purrazzo via pinfall in 5:38

Belair smiled after the match and then changed her expression to brag about being the best. The show moved to EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream highlights.

John’s Thoughts: A solid return match for Belair and Purrazzo did her usual job of making her opponent look very good. Belair still has a ways to go in longer matches but she’s a step above the Lacey Evans or Alliyah’s of the world. I wonder if NXT is going to utilize Deonna as a credible women’s championship challenger or if she’ll spend time as a gatekeeper since that’s how she’s been utilized in the past?

Cathy Kelley interviewed Velveteen Dream. Dream put the crown on Cathy’s head and teased asking her on a date (via the tone). Dream told Kelley to tune in on Wednesday to find out an update on his future. Mike Rome interviewed EC3 who acknowledged his loses in NXT. EC3 talked about how it’s not over yet until he wins because that’s the top one percent mindset. Mike Rome asked EC3 about the Aleister Black attack. EC3 laid out the scene. EC3 said he feels like a detective and feels like Lars Sullivan was standing right there in a lime green tapout shirt at the scene of the crime. EC3 said it was logical given how Black shattered Sullivan’s jaw… [c]

Mauro Ranallo thanked the band Grandson for providing the song “Blood//Water” for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn IV. Mauro cut to a Takeover Undisputed Era vs. Moustache Mountain highlight video package. This was followed by an Adam Cole vs. Ricochet package to round out the Era’s night. Strong and O’Reilly retained and Cole lost his belt…

Ricochet was interviewed by the unseen interviewer. Ricochet talked about how years of experienced payed off. Strong and O’Reilly tried to interrupt to defend Adam Cole’s honor. Pete Dunne walked in and The Era walked away in minor fear. Dunne acknowledged that he doesn’t like the Era too but he see’s that thing on Ricochet’s shoulder as a piece of gold that he wants…

Mauro Ranallo cut to the surveillance camera footage and said that the footage got digitally enhanced partially and the viewers can see that Nikki Cross was on a rooftop right after the attack making her a suspect. The show cut to “Liverpool’s Number One” Zack Gibson’s debut vignette… [c]

NXT cut to a Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane highlight package…

Shayna Baszler was interviewed by Cathy Kelley after her match. Marina Shafir, Jessamyn Duke, and Ronda Rousey were next to her. Baszler cut Kelley off and talked about how Sane was not a good fighter. Baszler led the Horsewomen out of the scene. Ronda had her usual scowl on her face most likely in disgust of her friend losing the match…

A Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano highlight packaged aired…

Percy Watson introduced a Summerslam weekend recap package. They also aired a NXT UK “Coming Soon” video ad… [c]

Nigel McGuinness recapped the wwe.com article of WWE officially signing Matt Riddle. Percy Watson announced Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong vs. Pete Dunne and Ricochet in a non-title battle of champions for next week. Zack Gibson came out first to a mild negative reaction…

John’s Thoughts: Gibson is a really strong heel in PROGRESS, but his whole gimmick is British cheap heat involving Liverpool. That doesn’t work in the US and he comes off as a generic heel. It’s kinda like Sami Callihan bragging about Ohio and no one really caring (until he adds that other layer). Gibson has it in him but he needs to add a layer to his character in the US.

2. Pete Dunne vs. Zack Gibson for the WWE UK Championship. The crowd gave Pete Dunne a huge pop. Dunne dominated the early chain wrestling. Gibson snuck in a throat chop on Dunne. Dunne twisted Gibson in joint manipulation by bending his fingers. Dunne went for a kimura but Gibson escaped. Somehow, both men got into a handstand and started slapping each other. Dunne stomped on the right arm of Gibson. Gibson countered and locked Dunne in a triangle. Gibson hit a back suplex on Dunne and then went into his own joint manipulation.  Gibson hit an armbar suplex on Dunne. Dunne recovered and clocked Gibson with a right hand.

Dunne caught Gibson with a running enzuigiri. Dunne caught Gibson with an X-Plex into an armbar. Dunne hit Gibson on the outside with a triangle moonsault. Gibson begged for mercy in the ring and Dunne floated over Gibson with a double footstomp. Dunne got a nearfall after a sitout power bomb with the arms trapped. Dunne went for another moonsault but he was kicked out of the air by Gibson. Gibson hit a modified codebreaker for a nearfall. Dunne trapped Gibson’s hands and then stompped on them. Gibson came back with the codebreaker but couldn’t get all of it due to injured hands. Both men took each other out with enzuigiris.

Dunne staggered Gibson on the top rope with an enzuigiri. Gibson reversed the Superplex attempt into a top rope Final Cut suplex (helter skelter). Gibson locked in the Shankley Gates. Dunne broke the hold by using his teeth on the top rope. Gibson curb stomped Dunne’s head on the top rope. Dunne’s mouthguard fell out. Gibson hit Dunne with a Clothesline from Hell. Gibson analyzed the mouth guard a bit and teased throwing it in the crowd. Dunne stopped it and snapped Gibson’s fingers. Dunne hit the Bitter End on Gibson for the win.

Pete Dunne defeated Zack Gibson via pinfall in 13:34 to retain the WWE UK Championship.  

Dunne’s bloody mouth showed the residual effects of the (real) curb stomp. Dunne celebrated his defense to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: The match started off a bit slow and Gibson did come off a bit like Pete Dunne lite, but he really kicked in some credible offense in the end. The nice added touch was the residual effects of the Gibson curb stomp to the bottom rope which was violent and may invoke memories of American History X. This was a fun battle but I don’t think the outcome was in question due to Gibson’s lack of character development. To Gibson’s credit, he’s working a lot more memorable matches than I remember of him in PROGRESS. The only downside of the match was the end where Gibson looked like a dope for doing whatever he was going to do with the mouth guard. I think he did something similar in the UK Tournament?

I like these like weeks off after Takeover as they offer me as a reviewer and everyone else as a viewer to come down after a Takeover show and reset things before the new set of story arcs. These last few anime-esque recap episodes have had the added touch of having top quality matches involved in it so the show of packages and youtube clips isn’t totally a waste of time. I’ll be by tomorrow with my Hit List and audio review.




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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Belair is really, really good- but I favor Lacey Evans over her a bit still. Offensively, I feel like Lacey’s moves fit her character more. Plus, although she didn’t use it tonight, I hate that hair whip Belair does. That is the weakest looking “move” in wrestling. Again though, not disagreeing at all about Belair’s talent.

    Pete Dunne is a star. He just has a presence. Awesome, awesome match.

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