Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: Lars Sullivan vs. Keith Lee, Mia Yim vs. Vanessa Borne, EC3 vs. Marcel Barthel, The Mighty vs. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan


By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

Aired November 28, 2018 on WWE Network
Taped November 15 in San Jose, California at San Jose State University Event Center

The NXT theme aired…

Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary (via a separate location since there was no commentary team at San Jose). Vic Joseph noted that Percy Watson and Mauro Ranallo were “on assignment”…

1. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. “The Mighty” Shane Thorne and Nick Miller. Burch and Lorcan traded quick tags to isolate Shane Thorne in the face corner. Thorne managed to land an uppercut on Lorcan to tag in Miller. Lorcan and Burch managed to get double submission moves on The Mighty. Thorne made it to the bottom rope to break the submission. Thorne’s submission allowed Miller to hit Lorcan with a belly to back suplex. The Mighty hit Lorcan with a wishbone stretch. Miller went into a resthold.  Lorcan tried to hulk up to no avail. The Mighty hit Lorcan with a double legsweep.

The mighty initiated more tandem isolation offense on Lorcan. Lorcan landed a few of his stiff chops on Thorne but THorne fought Lorcan back to the ground and went back into the resthold. Lorcan flipped away Thorne to tag in Burch for a hot tag. Burch hit Miller with a nice carry leg takedown. Burch hit Thorne with a missile dropkick. Lorcan and Burch went for their finisher but Miller broke it up and took out Burch from the ring. Thorne and Lorcan traded strikes and took each other to the ground. Lorcan hit Thorne with a half-and-half suplex and then took out the mighty with an ugly but effective corkscrew plancha. Thorne escaped a Doomsday Device attempt. The mighty threw Lorcan at Burch. Burch prevented The Mighty from hitting Thunder Valley on Lorcan. They both got spears on The Mighty and picked up the surprise pinfall.

Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeated The Mighty via pinfall in 7:49. 

The Mighty attacked Lorcan and Burch after the match. Lorcan landed a few of his signature stiff slaps on the Mighty but the numbers advantage got to him. The Mighty tossed Lorcan into the turnbuckle. The San Jose crowd showered The Mighty with “You Still Suck” chants…

Vic Joseph hyped Mia Yim vs. Vanessa Borne for later in the show…

John’s Thoughts: A good tag team match. I still question piling up losses for the Mighty. Thorne and Lorcan have something in terms of singles potential so I wouldn’t mind keeping them around for that purpose but there needs to be something done with The Mighty in order to redefine them other than just being enhancement heels.

Vic Joseph plugged League of Legends. Nigel McGuinness went into a recap on the Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane match at Takeover…

The show cut to Kairi Sane, Dakota Kai, and Io Shirai being interviewed “earlier today”. Kairi Sane said even though the referee’s call was final, she’s not done with Shayna. Dakota Kai talked about how she doesn’t like Shayna due to past history. Io said Kairi is her best friend and she’s here to protect Kairi. Io then gave Kairi a comical hug…

The artist formerly known as Derrick Bateman and Ethan Carter III, EC3, made his entrance wearing a fur coat…

2. EC3 vs. Marcel Barthel. The match started off with a collar and elbow stalemate which EC3 acknowledged. Barthel waved his finger and yelled “Nein!” for some heat. EC3 responded with “one!”. EC3 locked in a side headlock on Barthel. Barthel tried to stomp on EC3’s foot but EC3 held on. Barthel escaped with the rope break. Barthel caught EC3 with a step up enzuigiri and then put a beating on EC3 in the corner. Barthel hit a nice running dropkick over an EC3 draped on the 2nd rope. A “USA” chant ensued. Marcel Barthel hit a nice looking twisting Air Raid Crash on EC3 for a nearfall. EC3 escaped a sleeper by giving Barthel a whip into the second turnbuckle.

EC3 hit a rally of strikes on Barthel. EC3 hit the EC3 elbow on Barthel. EC3 hit Marcel Barthel with the TK3 for the victory.

EC3 defeated Marcel Barthel via pinfall in 4:07.

EC3 cut a promo after the match and said he was calling out Bobby Fish. He said he was coming for Bobby’s arms, legs, and everything in between. He talked about how he’s the top one percent and EC3… [c]

John’s Thoughts: A good tune up match. EC3 doesn’t get enough credit for being solid in the ring since his return, but he’s solid and better than he was in Impact. Marcel Barthel on the other side is money. He was money since he got into developmental. Barthel’s tag partner Big Daddy WALTER gets all of the hype but I’ve always been more impressed by Barthel’s overall look and charisma (when he was known as Axel Dieter Jr.). In all seriousness, Marcel Barthel is main roster ready and if they need a foreign menace heel, they got a gem here. The only thing I’d recommend he stop doing is always yelling “Nein” becauxe he comes off as a cartoon heel.

A Donovan Dijakovic vignette aired showing him kickboxing. He ended the vignette by saying “feast your eyes”…

The press tried to interview Candice LeRae outside of Full Sail but she walked past them…

3. Mia Yim vs. Vanessa Borne. Nigel McGuinness noted that Mia Yim’s hometown isn’t far from San Jose (actually it is, she’s from Fontana which is about 400 miles away). Yim started the match with quick armdrags. Borne reversed and hit a reverse bronco buster on Yim in the corner. Borne hit Yim with a Final Cut Suplex for a two count. Borne hit Yim with a back hip attack. Yim reversed Borne’s slap into a cross armbreaker. Yim locked Borne in a reverse Tarantula. Yim hit Borne wit a stiff roundhouse. Yim then followed up with a Shotgun dropkick. Yim hit Borne with a Facewash into the Eat Defeat for the victory.

Mia Yim defeated Vanessa Borne via pinfall in 4:16.

Vic Joseph noted that the War Raiders were banged up from the War Games Match…

Joseph then hyped Keith Lee vs. Lars Sullivan as Sullivan was shown punching a garage door… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Yim was really over with the live crowd when I was there, especially the kids in the audience who resonated with her badassness. Borne is progressing well on her end. She was horrible at one point but has developed smooth offense and some unique moves. Compared to other former NBA cheerleaders in WWE, I like that Bourne is harder hitting.

Tommaso Ciampa was cutting a promo from the back of a Semi. Ciampa talked about all of the things he’s promised people in past weeks like defending the title and being the best sports entertainer in history. Ciampa said when he makes his next entrance he wants the NXT fans to “follow my lead”. Joseph said that Ciampa will be “live” next week…

4. Keith Lee vs. Lars Sullivan. Sullivan’s entrance didn’t included the usual eclipse entrance but they did manage to still get a cool entrance out of him. Both men no sold each other’s shoves to start the match. Then they started to run into each other like crashing trucks. Sullivan managed to get Lee in the corner. Lee fought out and went for the pounce but Sullivan hit Lee with a tackle. Lee escaped Sullivan’s grasp and caught Sullivan with a flying crossbody. Lee went for a slingshot move but Sullivan used his knee to block it. Sullivan trapped Lee in the corners and ran at him. Sullivan picked up Lee and tossed the big man like a basketball.

Sullivan went for the top rope and hit his signature diving headbutt. That got Sullivan a two count. Sullivan got on Lee’s back and gave Lee clubbing forearms. Sullivan then went into a sleeper. Lee escaped but looked out of it which allowed Sullivan to go into a half nelson. Lee got to a vertical base and tackled Sullivan into the turnbuckle but Sullivan didn’t let go of the hold. Sullivan put Lee in the corner and gave him a corner splash. Lee sidestepped Sullivan to send Sullivan into the ringpost. Lee came back at Sullivan with gut punches and a left hand.

Lee staggered Sullivan and then hit Sullivan with a slingshot crossbody. Lee laid some punches into Sullivan but Sullivan got to his feet and responded with a standing lariat. Lee responded with a loud double chest chop. Both men then traded blows. Lee hit Sullivan with the Monty Brown pounce and then followed up on Sullivan with an impressive corkscrew plancha which fired up the crowd. This got Lee a nearfall. Sullivan dodged Lee’s moonsault. Sullivan hit Lee with the Freak Accident for the victory.

Lars Sullivan defeated Keith Lee via pinfall in 8:07. 

Vic Joseph noted the welts on the body of Lars Sullivan after the match. NXT ended without showing the post match run in by Kona Reeves (in San Jose, Kona Reeves walked out, cut a really good promo by his standards, and then got beat up by Keith Lee)…

John’s Thoughts: A good big man match with the added aspect of Lee’s agility. It’s rare to see Lee in a match with a big man who can keep up with him, but Sullivan managed to keep up and implement his solid big man moveset. At the time, I thought it was a bit strange to see Keith Lee lose one of his early matches, but Sullivan’s a credible opponent in the main event tier of NXT. What does make it strange is Lars Sullivan is main roster bound. With Sullivan’s win here and Sullivan’s promo on going for the NXT Championship the next day, I wonder if the Sullivan callup was a last minute thing on Sunday that weekend? It’s also very unlike NXT to not advertise a segment for next week aside from saying that Tommaso Ciampa will be around.

Overall, a solid episode of NXT that managed to get a lot of in-ring matches in about 45 minutes of TV time. I wonder if they’re going to end up showing some more San Jose material because there was some really good Takeover card worthy matches taped in San Jose that involved Velveteen Dream, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, War Raiders, Undisputed Era, and more. The matches weren’t at the Takeover workrate, but they were damn good. I’ll be by tomorrow with my NXT Hit List and Members Exclusive Audio Review where I’ll be able to offer some in-person perspective for this episode.


Readers Comments (3)

  1. “In all seriousness, Marcel Barthel is main roster ready and if they need a foreign menace heel, they got a gem here.”

    The obvious response to that is that nobody needs a foreign menace heel, because it’s not 1983. However, this is Vince McMahon we are talking about, so I guess we’ll see.

    • True, but some might argue that Vince’s mind is stuck in the 1980s. So that might be Barthel’s best bet to be protected on the main roster might be to take the lame outdated gimmick.

      While I also think it’s outdated, I was in the crowd for this show and for some reason people still chant “USA! USA!” in the cheap heat kind of way, so people still react to xenophobia

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