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Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream, NXT Women’s Champion Kairi Sane vs. Trish Adora, Street Profits vs. The Forgotten Sons, Kassius Ohno vs. Kona Reeves

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

Aired September 5, 2018 on WWE Network
Taped August 23 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

The NXT intro theme aired…

Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson were on commentary. Kassius Ohno made his entrance to Full Sail. The commentators noted that Ohno was racking up wins recently. His opponent was “The Finest” Kona Reeves who actually came out with a pretty fine suit  as opposed to his usual cheap suit…

1. Kassius Ohno vs. “The Finest” Kona Reeves. Ohno started the mathc with a cravate on Reeves. Reeves got the rope break by corner Ohno. Reeves kept yelling about being “the finest” which taunted Ohno into giving him a simple punch and knee drop. Reeves came back with a forearm and top rope elbow strike for a two count. Reeves lifted the larger Ohno but couldn’t execute the Hawaiian Drop. Onno hit Reeves with the Roaring Elbow for the win.

Kassius  Ohno defeated Kona Reeves via pinfall in 1:44.

Ohno grabbed a microphone and said when he came back to NXT there was so much buzz around his return until there wasn’t. Ohno said Kassius Ohno became an afterthought. Ohno said that realization tore him up at one point. He said he gets it now. “There’s always someone new”. Ohno said to whoever who is the next guy with buzz, Kassius Ohno isn’t going anywhere. Ohno said he’s the first to meet the new person and knock them to the back of the line… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Well… That’s a little bit on the nose as to how Ohno is utilized. Now they’re acknowledging that he’s here to lose to the new hotness of NXT which has me wondering if Ohno will finally get a run in NXT that doesn’t involve being a gate keeper. Seeing is believing on that one but it’s not an urgent issue that they push Ohno, but it will be a delightful twist. As for Reeves, that match proves that Paul Levesque isn’t as stubborn as Vince McMahon and we won’t get a Roman Reigns problem in NXT. I would like to see if we can get a Dashing Cody Rhodes like reinvention of Reeves.

The Forgotten Sons made their entrance and the commentators noted that the new NXT member is Jaxson Ryker (f.k.a. Gunner from Impact Wrestling). The commentators noted Ryker’s military past, where he was a Marine gunner…

2. “The Forgotten Sons” Steve Cutler and Wesley Brake (w/Jaxson Ryker) vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. The profits kept up the pace of the match. Ford took a sip of his drank which powered him enough for a Tope Con Hilo on The Sons. Dawkins and Ford then traded tags to isolate Steve Cutler from his partner. The camera showed Ryker looming from ringside. Blake tagged in and turned Ford inside out with an assisted lariat. The Sons planted Ford with a straitjacket takedown. Cutler used a straitjacket neckbreaker on Ford. Blake and Cutler cut the ring in half on Ford. Ford slipped under the legs of Blake to tag in Dawkins for the hot tag.

Dawkins treated Blake like a punching bag in the corner. Dawkins flapjacked Black while disposing of Cutler. Cutler separated Dawkins from his partner after the tag. Dawkins hit Blake with a flowing DDT. Suddenly, two skinny ninjas ran in and stole the Profits’ bling. Ford unmasked the ninja to reveal Shane Thorne. Ryker gave Ford a Lariat. The Sons then hit Ford with a Stomp and Scorpion Death Drop combo for the win.

The Forgotten Sons defeated The Street Profits via pinfall in 6:33.

The commentators recapped the match. Cutler had a bloody nose…

John’s Thoughts: A decent debut for the Sons and I like how they are treating Ryker as a looming mysterious figure. I’ve always been high on him in Impact and he has the potential to be high on the card. This was a logical finish given the Profits feuding with the Profits.

William Regal and his lawyer interrogated Heavy Machinery. Otis Dozovic admitted that “I did it”. He admit that he broke the toilet in the Performance Center. Otis said that when he gets some of that warm brew coffee in him it becomes a battle royal in his intestines. He said then the intestines start shaking and Otis can’t stop it “From Coming!!!!”. Regal said he wanted thank Heavy Machinery for providing additional cell phone footage. Tucker Knight said the only thing not accounted for was Tommaso Ciampa in the video…

John’s Thoughts: Otis is great! I wouldn’t mind seeing him form a tag team with Big E of two big and quirky dudes.

Ricochet and Pete Dunne were shown arguing after their loss last week. Ricochet said that Dunne is probably jealous. Dunne said Ricochet can’t do his high flying moves without broken fingers. Ricochet said he was going to take the UK title off of Dunne’s hands homeboy. Nigel McGuinness noted that Pete Dunne vs. Ricochet was going to happen in two weeks… [c]

A War Raiders vignette aired during the break where they called out Undisputed Era. They told people to “Join the Raid” and that the Era of Undisputed is about to end…

3. Kairi Sane vs. Trish Adora. Trish wore heavy African themed attire. Sane dominated early on with a tight locked waistlock. Sane was dominated for a bit but she took down Adora and hit Adora with an axe kick. Sane hit a series of Blockbusters and then a Stretch Muffler. Adora got to the bottom rope. Sane hit a rebound stomp on Adora for a nearfall. Sane escaped a chokebomb attempt and hit Adora with a spinning backfist. Sane hit Adora with he signature walk the plank forearm. Sane hit the InSane Elbow for the win.

Kairi Sane defeated Trish Adora via pinfall in 2:24.

Shayna Baszler interrupted Sane’s celebration and knocked down Sane’s Treasure Box which had a bunch of gold coins in it. Baszler talked about how she’s planning to eventually cash in her rematch clause. She said she wants to see if the Pirate can swim tonight. Baszler brawled with Sane in the ring and dominated her. Sane got up with her glare and showing off her fighting spirit. Sane struck back at Baszler with haymakers and her signature spear. This sent Baszler into retreat.

John’s Thoughts: A nice tune up for Sane. Sane going bubbly to vicious was a nice tonal change for the Sane personality and that fire made the Baszler retreat acceptable because Baszler didn’t expect such fire.

Tommaso Ciampa cut a darkened camcorder promo from his lair (the back of a semi truck). Ciampa said he was going to address the elephant in the room, why he hasn’t appeared on NXT since Takeover. Ciampa said it was simple, Gargano and Black are gone and there are no contenders. Ciampa bragged about being the main event and the Greatest Sports Entertainer of All Time. Ciampa said he’s filming this because he’s sick of people’s opinions. Ciampa said he doesn’t want to lead sheep he wants to lead wars. Ciampa said he knows that everyone in the world is listening to every word that Ciampa says. Ciampa then said “follow the lead of Tommaso Ciampa”… [c]

William Regal and his lawyer interrogated Lars Sullivan. Sullivan talked eloquently and said he was medically cleared despite showing up by surprise. Regal said that Sullivan had the biggest motive to attack Black. Sullivan said he was there that night to meet Aleister Black but someone got to him before him. Sullivan said he just saw Regal and the Undisputed Era around the area after hearing a scream. Sullivan said he would have simply stayed after the attack just like he did to EC3. Regal booked Sullivan in a match against Raul Mendoza next week…

Velveteen Dream wore a “Johnny [Failure]” Version of Johnny Gargano’s Johnny Wrestling shirt. Dream also had a sad face emoji drawn on his arm tape…

4. Velveteen Dream vs. Johnny Gargano. Dream won the early lockup and did his Dream pose. Gargano came right back with a stiff left elbow. Gargano locked Dream in an alligator roll. Dream made it to the bottom rope for the break. Gargano caught Dream with another stiff elbow. Gargano stomped a mudhole into Dream. The commentators noted that Gargano was wrestling different than usual (an aggressive style similar to how he destroyed EC3).  Gargano kicked around Dream at ringside. Gargano gave Dream a knife edge chop into his throat.

Dream managed to get some breathing room after a snake eyes on the top rope. Dream followed up with a running boot and series of strikes. Gargano turned the table in the corner with knife edge chops. Dream reversed an Irish Whip and hit Gargano with a neckbreaker. Watson and Ranallo talked about how both men in the ring are suspects to Aleister Black’s assault. Dream hit a delayed reverse bronco buster on Gargano. Dream caught Gargano with a shortarm fan kick. Dream locked in a headlock on Gargano with a wide ground base. Gargano fought out.

Dream fended off Gargano with boots. Gargano caught Dream and hit Gargano with strikes. Dream went for his swinging DDT but Gargano countered into a hold of his own. Gargano hit Dream with a huracanrana. Gargano surprised an incoming Dream with a slingshot spear. Gargano went back into the knife edge chops. Nigel noted that we were seeing Gargano’s regular offense now. Gargano hit Dream with a scary looking Blockbuster to the mat (two feet to the left and his career would be over). Gargano hit a corner forearm on Dream.

Dream ducked a Listo Kick and hit Gargano with a Fameasser for a nearfall. Dream countered a senton and then turned a Magistral into a DVD attempt. Rollups ensued. Dream hot Gargano with a boot which Gargano nosold into a rebound lariat. Both men tried to get pinfalls in the fatigue. A “this is awesome” chant ensued after the hot sequence. Gargano and Dream brawled on the apron. Dream dominated with a Pump Kick. Gargano escaped a Dream Valley Driver attempt. Gargano sold the knee and Dream took advantage by sending Gargano’s knee into the ring step. Dream hit his signature swinging DDT for a great nearfall.

Dream focused his attack on the injured leg of Gargano. Gargano hit Dream with a step up enzuigiri. Dream recovered and hit Gargano with a super kick to block the slingshot spear. Dream went for a Purple Rainmaker on the apron but ate ringside dirt because Gargano got out of the way. Gargano locked Dream in the GargaNo Escape. Gargano noticed the ref counting. Gargano got in at seven seconds and Dream made it in nine. Dream held on for dear life to block the draping DDT. Gargano settled for a superkick to knock out Dream. Gargano went crazy and tried to hit a Draping DDT on the ringside floor. Gargano was conflicted when the referee plead to Gargano to do it in the ring. Mauro noted that there is still humanity in Gargano. Dream got up saying “Johnny Failure”. Gargano took off the knee pad and went for the DIY finisher but he ran right into the Dream Valley Driver.

Velveteen Dream defeated Johnny Gargano via pinfall in 15:53.

Mauro Ranallo noted that Dream picked up the biggest win of his career (I totally agree). Dream celebrated the win and left the arena. The adult males chanted “Johnny Failure” while the children and women chanted “Johnny Wrestling”. There was some crossover fans that chanted both just because. The camera stuck on Gargano after the match and showed him walking to the backstage area in despair. A “na na na na” chant ensued by a large portion of the crowd. Gargano muttered to himself “I’m so sorry”. Gargano’s attention was drawn to a large contingent of people chanting “Johnny” favorably. This scene closed NXT…

John’s Thoughts: That was probably Velveteen Dream’s biggest and best win in NXT and this turned into a Takeover worthy main event type of match. This was great. The storytelling was on point. Gargano and Dream really set out to tell an epic story about Gargano being conflicted over doing the right or vicious thing. Dream was shown as a genus who took advantage of Gargano’s dilemma by exacerbating Gargano’s inner turmoil in his favor. The commentators told a wonderful story as well by relating this to Gargano’s beatdown on EC3 a few months ago.

This was an NXT episode that you need to go out of your way for in terms of an epic main event. The rest of the show was solid to in not wasting any moment. Otis Dozovic even gets an honorable mention for pulling out a funny poop joke. I’ll be by tomorrow with my NXT Hit List and member’s exclusive audio review…

Readers Comments (1)

  1. A couple of thoughts on the episode:

    1. Interesting split reaction to Gargano after the match, although maybe that shouldn’t be overanalysed as plenty of sheep will just chant whatever the latest cool chant is. Can’t help thinking this storyline, which is already great, would be even better if the whole crowd still got behind Gargano.

    2. Kairi Sane is great, but she needs to lose the weird pseudo-dancing in a hurry.

    3. I am hoping they don’t drag out the Black whodunnit for too long. We don’t need to see William Regal interview the entire roster.

    4. Ricochet vs. Dunne with both titles on the line sounds like the best match in history, until you factor in the 98% chance that it is 99% probably just an angle for the Undisputed Era to run in and attack both of them.

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