Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: Keith Lee vs. Kassius Ohno, Johnny Gargano vs. Humberto Carrillo, Bianca Belair appearance, The Street Profits and Dominik Dijakovic in action


By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

Aired January 16, 2019 on WWE Network
Taped January 3, 2019 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson were on commentary. They hyped up some upcoming segments on the show…

1. “The Street Profits” Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford vs. “The Metro Brothers” Chris aand JC. I believe we’ve seen the Metro Brothers before. They look like they just came out of the 2000s with a rehash of the Deuce and Domino gimmick. Ford towered over a Metro and took him down after a double leapfrog dodge. Dawkins tagged in and threw Ford on the Metro guy. Dawkins pumped up Ford so much that he accidentally shoved him down, in a playful way. A Metro brother tried to take advantage of this but Ford just clocked him with right hands which cracked up Ford. Ford tagged in and hit the Metro brother with a frog splash for the win.

The Street Profits defeated The Metro Brothers via pinfall in 1:48. 

During the Profit’s celebration, Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler of the Forgotten Sons blindsided the Street Profits. The Profits gained the advantage. The Sons turned the momentum over after Jaxson Ryker came in and took down both Profits. The Sons stood tall in the ring. The crowd booed and even chanted “we forgot you”. The crowd also added some “you suck” chants.

John’s Thoughts: Good squash. It looks like we’re getting both a reset of the Street Profits (now that they have more indie seasoning) and a Profits vs. Sons feud. This might be fun and it’ll be interesting to see who goes over because both teams need to build credibility. We learned recently that Cutler and Blake can be very good in the ring. The two are still very bland as characters.

Cathy Kelley interviewed Matt Riddle backstage. Lee was getting ready behind Riddle. Riddle said that he’s not cleared to compete and can’t be at ringside. Riddle said Lee’s about to show Ohno why Lee’s limitless and he hopes Lee leaves Riddle some of Ohno to beat up later on… bro… [c]

Mauro Ranallo thanked the band Alien Weaponry for providing the song “Holding My Breath” for the next takeover…

Aleister Black was cutting a promo in a dark smokey room. Black talked about how Ciampa got a false sense of security and that Black is going to take back the NXT Title. Black said that he’s going to start the fight early next week when he returns to Full Sail.

John’s Thoughts: Good promo from Black. The segment was a bit strange though because they had dramatic music playing loudly to make it hard to focus on what Black was talking about.

Bianca Belair entered the ring for an in-ring promo. Belair talked about how she sent Nikki Cross packing last week and no one is topping her climb. Belair said in the new year she has 20-20 vision on the future of the NXT Championship. Belair mocked Baszler for having cronies. Belair was about to force in her “undefeated” catchphrase but was interrupted by the entrance of Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir, and Jessamyn Duke.

Baszler said she doesn’t see what all the hype about Belair is all about. Baszler said she understands that Belair has a bunch of Performance Center records. Baszler said Belair may be the strongest and fastest, but not the smartest. Baszler said it’s not about how strong Baszler’s arms are because Baszler is going to rip them off. Belair said the only thing she’s going to do is use her arms to hold the title over her head at Phoenix. Baszler said Belair is like everyone else who doesn’t put their money where their mouth is. Baszler said Belair is afraid at getting a broken arm and end the hype. Baszler said she was going to change the vocabulary that Belair uses from “Undefeated” to “Overrated”.

Baszler told Belair not to worry about Shafir and Duke. Baszler turned her back. This allowed Belair to get a cheap slap shot in and avoid the numbers advantage by ducking away and taunting the horsewomen… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Interesting promo segment to pick apart. I think Belair showed good confidence, but she was exaggerating her character a bit too much. The same criticism I had for Lacey Evans when she used to over exaggerate her southern accent. Baszler was really good as a character and speech. She might have been too good because she turned the crowd against Belair by sounding badass and more authentic.

Adrian Jaoude made his entrance. He did an Eddy Gordo like Capoeira stance in the ring…

2. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Adrian Jaoude. Jaoude went at Dijakovic’s legs to no success. Jaoude managed to take Dijakovic to the ground with a spinebuster. Mauro noted that Jaoude is Brazilian and knows ground submissions. Jaoude got another takedown on Dijak. The commentators were having a hard time with Dijakovic’s name. Dijakovic turned the tables and gave Jaoude clubbing blows. Dijak yelled “time to fly” and gave Jaoude a release vertical suplex. Jaoude went for a combo, but Dijakovic came back with a lariat.

Dijakovic was caught off guard by a Jaoude heel hook. Dijakovic caught Jaoude off guard with a thrust kick. Dijak hit the Feast Your Eyes (Burning Hammer GTS) on Jaoude for the win.

Dominik Dijakovic defeated Adrian Jaoude via pinfall in 4:21. 

Mauro noted that this was a good lesson for Dijakovic in overcoming a Jaoude’s ground advantage…

John’s Thoughts: I get a kick out of Adrian Jaoude coming off like every video game fighting character rolled into one. It is a bit confusing. He should pick one style, Brazillian Jujitsu or Capoeira. It was odd to see Dijak dominated for most of the match though.

The show cut to an outdoors War Raiders promo from what I’m assuming is Ray Rowe’s Viking compound. Rowe and Hanson talked about how they respect the Undisputed Era but will take every thing from them. They talked about how kingdoms fall. Hanson and Rowe were carrying torches. They talked about how the Era will end at Takeover Phoenix and that is Undisputed. Hanson and Rowe burned a stack of hay and chairs in effigy because the chairs had the Undisputed Era logo on it… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Really cool. If you check out the WWE Performance Center YouTube page they posted Ray Rowe’s wedding and you will find out that Rowe takes this Viking thing really seriously. Hopefully we see more cinematic vignettes like this down the road and good promo from War Raiders.

A highlight video aired of NXT Takeover: Blackpool which ended in the big staredown between Pete Dunne and Big Daddy Walter…

Johnny Gargano made his entrance and was acting babyface to the fans in the front row…

3. Johnny Gargano vs. Humberto Carrillo. Gargano dominated the early collar and elbow. Watson went over how Carrillo is a generational wrestler being the nephew of the late Hector Garza. Carrillo used his lucha libre to escape a wristlock. Gargano escaped with chain wrestling. Carrillo showboated with a blip. Carrillo and Gargano had a great exchange which ended in dodges and Carrillo hitting Gargano with a nice enzuigiri. Carrillo hit Gargano with a sweet delayed armdrag. Gargano retaliated with his signature slingshot spear.

Gargano twisted Carrillo in a modified abdominal stretch. Carrillo escaped and hit a few shortarm punches on Gargano. Carrillo then hit a rally of punches on Gargano. Carrillo hit Gargano with handspring back elbow and then a Fosbury Flop. Carrillo hit Gargano with a missile dropkick into a standing moonsault for the nearfall. Carrillo went for a moonsault but Gargano got the boots up. Gargano hit Carrillo with a second rope snake eyes. Gargano hit Carrillo with the slingshot DDT for the victory.

Johnny Gargano defeated Humberto Carrillo via pinfall in 4:43.

Gargano walked to the camera and called out Ricochet saying that if Ricochet wants respect then he should show up next week so Gargano can give Ricochet all the respect Ricochet needs…

John’s Thoughts: Night and day for Carrillo. Carrillo had a pretty bad match with Buddy Murphy on last night’s 205 Live which was odd because Carrillo has done nothing but impress in NXT and Murphy doesn’t have bad matches. This was more of the Carrillo that was turning heads in NXT. Good showing for him and good tune-up for Gargano. I continue to like it when wrestlers pick up wins with their signature moves instead of their finisher to build up more drama for the big match nearfalls.

Tommasso Ciampa was shown hanging around some dark alley area. Ciampa acknowledged that he’s a puppet master and that Black is the most gullible puppet. Ciampa said Black wants a fight next week, but the champ only wrestles on the biggest stage. Ciampa said he will wait until Takeover. Ciampa said he was giving Black a piece of advice: “Be careful of what you wish for”… [c]

A Velveteen Dream vignette aired. I believe it was the same vignette that aired a few weeks ago. Either that or it’s very similar and it was Dream stylistically recapping his 2018…

Mauro noted that Velveteen Dream was returning next week…

Percy Watson hyped Ricochet confronting Johnny Gargano next week…

Kassius Ohno made his entrance wearing his Duke Blue Devil themed gear…

4. Kassius Ohno vs. Keith Lee. The crowd chanted “come bask in my glory” in the tune of Seven Nation Army. Lee dominated Ohno early on and even deadlifted Ohno. Lee then showed off his agility by leapfrogging over Ohno and giving him a crossbody. Ohno teased running the ropes but put the brakes on and went to ringside to rest. Lee went for a Tope but had to stop because Ohno saw it coming. Mauro and the commentators were putting over Ohno’s high wrestling IQ. Ohno tried to get a punch in on lee by moving around alot but Lee landed all of Lee’s punches and then gave Ohno a backdrop. Lee tripped because Ohno ducked an incoming Lee.

John’s Thoughts: I digress, but with Trevor Lee coming into NXT I wonder if he’s getting a name change or if we’re getting two Lee’s in NXT.

Ohno hit Lee with his running senton combo. Mauro stressed that Riddle was not out here because he doesn’t have medical clearance (which makes me think he’s running out). Lee blocked an Irish Whip but Ono responded with a right hand combination. Ohno reverse another whip and gave Lee a Northern Forearm. Lee powered out of a shoulder stretch but Ohno took down Lee with kicks. Lee saw the running Senton coming and hurt Ohno by getting his knees up. Lee tossed Ohno around like he was a volleyball. Lee caught Ohno with a slingshot crossbody for a nearfall. Lee tried to catch Ohno off guard with a punch by pleading for mercy. Lee blocked the punch and gave Ohno a CQC combo.

Lee ran the ropes and hit Ohno with the Monty Brown Pounce. Lee went for the Jackhammer. Ohno shoved Lee into the referee. REF BUMP!!! Kassius Ohno hit Keith Lee with a low blow and rolling elbow for the dirty victory.

Kassius Ohno defeated Keith Lee via pinfall in 8:11. 

Percy Watson noted that Ohno has become the person he hated. Watson noted that Ohno talked about hating this evil character trait back in his feud with Hideo Itami. Matt Riddle ran out to try to attack Ohno and check on Lee. The referees held Riddle back enough to allow Ohno to escape. Riddle went in the ring to check on Lee to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Not the best we’ve seen from Riddle and Ohno. If you’ve watched both guys in the indies you know they’re capable of much more. I did like the finish though because it give Kassius Ohno the rare win over a credible opponent. They’ve been telegraphing for months that Ohno was going to lose to Matt Riddle and Keith Lee because Ohno is the designated “gatekeeper” (a term they’ve used). Lee’s protected because of the dirty win and Ohno gets some heat for once. Ohno is still losing at the next Takeover, unless they give that 5th match slot to Velveteen Dream?

While not the hottest of NXT episodes, this was still a good NXT episode because there was nothing necessarily wrong. Kassius Ohno beat a real opponent for once, so that’s notable. Hanson and Rowe also burned steel chairs in effigy at Rowe’s Viking Compound. Rowe having a Viking Compund is always a highlight. I’ll be by tomorrow with my Hit List and Member’s Exclusive Audio Review…


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