By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
Aired September 26, 2018 on WWE Network
Taped September 20 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
NXT started off with WWE’s new introductory signature. The NXT intro theme then aired…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson were on commentary. William Regal’s entrance and theme opened up the show as he made his entrance in Full Sail. Mauro noted how hard Regal has been working on the Aleister Black case. Regal was about to give an update on his investigation but was quickly cut off by the Undisputed Era of Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong. Cole talked about how William Regal isn’t doing his job and acting like Sherlock Holmes. Roderick Strong said he loves that show. Cole said that Regal should be making sure that other attacks don’t happen. Strong brought up the War Raiders as Cosplay Vikings that attacked them and should be taken care of. Kyle O’Reilly said he doesn’t feel safe.
Regal was about to bring up how Undisputed Era does sneak attacks themselves. Cole cut Regal off and said “how dare you”. Cole accused Regal of changing the subject. Cole then changed the subject and talked about Ricochet ducking Cole. Cole said he wants his championship rematch and he wants it right freakin’ now. Regal brought up how Cole never brought up the title rematch in the first place and it came off as Cole trying to soften up Ricochet by having Pete Dunne beat him up. Regal then booked Adam Cole in a triple threat against Ricochet and Pete Dunne for the North American Championship while Strong and O’Reilly will face war raiders in two weeks.
John’s Thoughts: Great exchange between Cole and Regal with Regal trying to do his job while Cole was being his usual charismatic and wormy self. Cole really got his heel persona off well here.
Johnny Gargano was interviewed outside where the interviewer noted that Gargano will be wrestling Tony Nese next week. The interviewer asked Gargano what Gargano was apologizing for after his match against Velveteen Dream. Gargano said he was apologizing for not being himself. He said he went home and now his mind is clear. Gargano said he can’t be Johnny Wrestling sitting at home. Johnny was then cut off by Lacey Evans. Candice LeRae was also around. Evans accused LeRae of not standing up for her man. This fired up LeRae a bit but Gargano held her back… [c]
John’s Thoughts: By the way, standing next to Gargano made Evans look tall and ripped as hell! As for Tony Nese, I wouldn’t mind the guy sticking around in NXT>
A Lars Sullivan vignette aired during the break…
Velveteen Dream was finishing up a photoshoot by twirling. “Queen Cathy” (Dream’s name for Cathy Kelley) tried to interview Dream. Dream cut off Cathy and said he wasn’t going to talk about Gargano or anyone not the Dream. Cathy wondered if Dream was insinuating that Tommaso Ciampa was culprit. Dream said that he was not a snitch and that Cathy needs to go out there and do her job…
1. Lars Sullivan vs.Victor Orchant. Victor Orchant had the name “Walker” on his tights. Lars Sullivan destroyed the enhancement guy easily. He hit him with a impressive power slam and then tossed him like a volley ball. EC3 ran in from behind and gave Sullivan a high knee.
Lars Sullivan defeated Victor Orchant via apparent DQ in 1:28.
EC3 beat up Sullivan and took him to the outside. Sullivan didn’t get off his feet. Sullivan tried to reenter the ring with brute force but then was taken out by EC3’s Dwayne Johnson punches. Sullivan retreated with a smile while EC3 paced around in the ring.
John’s Thoughts: Basic WWE main roster method of spinning the wheels of a feud, but we don’t see it overused in NXT so it worked out here. EC3 does excel at in-ring and backstage promos so it would be cool to see the guy given mic time to get over the babyface Ethan Carter III character.
The interviewer tried to interview Regal about an update but Regal was cut off by Nikki Cross creeping around in his office. Nikki said she needs to play with Bianca again. Regal said he’ll take the rematch under consideration. Cross kept saying “I know”. The interviewer wondered if Nikki Cross knows who attacked Aleister Black. Regal said Cross would say she knows about the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot so no body knows if Cross knows…
The Mighty made their entrance wearing Montez Ford’s bling while carrying his solo cup…
John’s Thoughts: Those solo cups are expensive. Regular solo cups go for about 10 cents a piece while those WWE branded ones go for about $8 on WWEShop.
2. “The Mighty” Shane Thorne and Nick Miller vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. Dawkins powered down The Mighty while Ford followed up with a Tope Con Hilo on the Mighty. Ford sidestepped Miller like a matador and then got a two count on Miller. Thorne hit a very impressive dropkick on Dawkins. Miller tagged in and continued the isolation game on Dawkins. Dawkins used forearms to fight out and give Ford the hot tag. Ford came in with some lariats. Fords took out Thorne with a lariat and took down Miller with a spinning heel kick. Ford’s leg slipped in between the steps and the ring which allowed Thorne to capitalize by hitting a dropkick on the steel steps to hammer Ford’s knee.
Miller took advantage of this by continuing to focus the attack on Ford’s injured leg. Miller took on the same gameplan. They also hit Ford with a double side Russian Legsweep. Miller continued to attack the injured knee with a side Figure Four Leglock. Mauro noted how they got this technique from wrestling in Japan (Pro Wrestling Noah). Ford took his time and took down Thorne with a clothesline to get a window of opportunity at the tag. Miller pulled Dawkins’ leg to prevent the tag. Shane Thorne got a figure four Jack Knife pin for the clean win.
The Mighty defeated The Street Profits via pinfall in 7:40.
The commentators hyped up Otis Dozovic vs. Tommaso Ciampa in a non-title match… [c]
John’s Thoughts: I was about to argue that both of these teams wrestling each other does nothing for both teams because they have been built up the wrong way. While I still feel like both of these teams need more stepping stones to work against I thought that this was the best The Mighty has looked in a long while. The best part was the clean win by The Mighty for once. It would be cool if this division had a “gatekeeper” to launch teams to the next level.
Vanessa Bourne made her entrance wearing some boujee looking lingerie. Her opponent was the NXT women’s champion…
3. Kairi Sane vs. Vanessa Bourne in a non title match. Bourne started off the match by punting Sane’s pirate hat out of the ring which brought out Sane’s mean face. Sane no sold Bourne’s early attacks and chopped down Bourne with an axe kick. Bourne managed to land a Final Cut suplex on Sane for a two count. Bourne put the boots to Sane. Sane fought out of a Cravate. Sane spiked Bourne with a hanging DDT. A crawler ad aired on the bottom of the screen for NXT Takeover Los Angeles. Sane hit Bourne with a spear and her signature sliding forearm. Sane hit the InSane Elbow on Bourne for the win.
Kairi Sane defeated Vanessa Bourne via pinfall in 3:05.
Shayna Baszler interrupted Sane’s celebration. Baszler said the clock was about to run out on Sane celebrating with her title. Baszler said she admits it hurt to lose the title in Brooklyn. Baszler said she isn’t going to take it out on Sane right now. Baszler said she’s invoking her rematch clause by drowning Sane and laying anchor. Baszler said she’s taking the title back. Sane said Baszler can have the rematch, at WWE Evolution. A “yes” chant ensued. Baszler made her exit but not before Sane said “I will beat you again”…
Otis Dozovic was shown getting hyped up while Tucky fanned him down. Tommaso Ciampa was more serious in his match preparation… [c]
John’s Thoughts: The match was not much other than a warmup. Warmups aren’t bad and Bourne continues to look improved every time she wrestles on TV. This was basic setup for the WWE Evolution title match and basic isn’t bad when it’s not overdone.
Keith Lee was interviewed about an impressive 2-0 start in NXT. Lee said everyone wants an opportunity. Lee said people need gold to get to where Lee is, limitless. Lee interrupted Kona Reeves who was shooing people away from a photoshoot. Kona tried to act condescending in a dorky way. Lee made fun of Reeves and said that Reeves has the finest set of losses in NXT. Lee said he was going to give Reeves an opportunity to bask in Lee’s glory. Reeves called the hair lady over to fix up his hair…
John’s Thoughts: WWE really has to stop having their wrestlers hamfist their catchphrases in every promo. It makes their wrestlers come off less like human beings and more like cartoons. Everything else was good in that segment and Lee has a really good affluent voice. Reeves’s gimmick may suck but they are leaning in to that now by having him come off as a pretty dork. Maybe there is something to people calling him an Asian John Hennigan?
4. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Otis Dozovic in a non-title match. Otis shoved Ciampa down early on. Nigel noted that Dozovic has the size advantage while Ciampa has the experience advantage. Dozovic took down Ciampa early on by running through him with shoulder blocks. Dozovic caught Ciampa with a helicopter spin body slam. Dozovic dominated 99% of the match by this point. After backdropping Ciampa to the outside, Dozovic did the Scotty 2 Hotty worm in the ring. Dozovic stood on Ciampa’s back to stop his entry into the ring. Ciampa managed to earn himself some breathing room by slamming Dozovic’s head on the steel ramp at ringside. Ciampa pummeled Dozovic with forearms to the back of the neck on the rear mount.
Ciampa hit a signature knee strike for a two count. Ciampa hit another one of his signature knees for another two count. Ciampa hit Dozovic with a neckbreaker. Ciampa tried to take down Dozovic with a sleeper but Dozovic slammed Ciampa to the mat by falling on his back. Dozovic tossed around Ciampa but Ciampa hit Dozovic with a knee but Dozovic followed up with a lariat. Dozovic got a two count and Nigel noted that Dozovic should have hooked the leg. Ciampa took the title belt and tried to walk away. Tucker Knight blocked the top of the stage so Dozovic could tak him back to the ring. Dozovic tossed around Ciampa in the ring.
Ciampa tried to go for his draping DDT but Dozovic hit Ciampa with a Belly to Belly suplex at ringside. Ciampa hid behind female referee Jessika Carr to get the advantage. Dozovic blocked a Project Ciampa attempt and hit Ciampa with a sitout power bomb for a two count. Ciampa escaped a Vader Bomb attempt. Ciampa snuck in a draping DDT on the apron on Dozovic. Ciampa hit a clean draping DDT on the ring for the win.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Otis Dozovic via pinfall in 9:38.
Highlights from the match aired. Mauro noted that Otis Dozovic’s stock just skyrocketed as NXT closed…
John’s Thoughts: A bit surprising that Otis Dozovic dominated about 70% of that match. What’s funny, is that I saw a very similar version of this match two weeks ago on Impact Wrestling in Austin Aries vs. Fallah Bahh. If I were to compare things, Impact Wrestling pulled off this story a lot better than NXT did. What helped there was Impact spent the entire episode building up the comedy figure for the main event. Another thing that made that Impact match better was the title being on the line. It’s not that every match the champ has to have all their matches be title matches, but that Aries vs. Bahh match had a lot of fun drama from the nearfalls and it helped build up Aries as a cocky heel with overconfidence. Sorry for all of the Impact allusions but it’s easy to do when there was a recent parallel match to compare this between a World Champion and a comedy figure.
Taking away my comparisons, Ciampa was great in his selling but given the non-title nature he might have sold too much. Credit to the commentators though for telling a good story on the size vs. intelligence. A solid episode as usual of NXT with some solid development of matches in following weeks and development of the Aleister Black storyline. Last week’s detective segments were a bit dull but this week they were back to adding intrigue. I’ll be by tomorrow with a Hit List and Members Exclusive audio review of NXT.