Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: Ricochet calls out Johnny Gargano, Velveteen Dream vs. Bobby Fish, Io Shirai and Kairi Sane vs. Amber Nova and Tanea Brooks, Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner vs. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch

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

NXT TV 
Aired January 23, 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. Mauro hyped up NXT Takeover: Phoenix. Ricochet was shown looking serious and walking slowly right outside of Full Sail…

Velveteen Dream made his entrance to the Full Sail Crowd. Dream was in a skin tight black sweater and casual gym pants. Dream grabbed the mic for the opening promo segment. The crowd showered him with “Velveteen” chants. Dream said he has a sparkle in his eye and his eyes set on something. Dream said that sparkle is Championship gold. Dream said he was coming after the North American Championship. Adam Cole and Bobby Fish walked up and interrupted Dream’s promo.

Cole said 2019 will be the year of the Undisputed Era because the Era are going to hold all of the championship belts on NXT. Cole talked about how he and Bobby don’t have gold. Cole proclaimed that he and Fish will have gold on their waist soon. Cole said Dream can “Dream on”. Fish started to rant but the crowd showered him with “shut up Bobby” chants. Fish ended his promo by saying the UE’s catchphrase of it being their era and that is Undisputed. Dream said he’ll dispute that claim if it’s okay with Adam. Fish stormed the ring but Dream eluded both UE members. The commentators noted that Fish looked pissed for Dream insinuating that Fish is Cole’s lackey…

Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. They ran through the Takeover: Phoenix card…

John’s Thoughts: Paint by numbers segment, but an acceptable segment in that it brings Velveteen Dream back into the light. It’s good to have padding segments like this to establish the motivations of the wrestlers. This segment established that Dream, Fish, and Cole are all coming for gold (therefore you care about their story). It also established that Fish can get hot headed if belittled.

A sit-down hype video played for the Shayna Baszler vs. Bianca Belair match at NXT Takeover: Phoenix. Belair talked about how Baszler had a good 2018 but she lost and Belair didn’t. Belair said she’ll walk out of Phoenix as Championship. Baszler said during 2018 she made people fear the NXT Women’s Championship and that’s how a championship should be. Baszler brought up how Shafir and Duke have her back. Baszler said it doesn’t matter how fast or strong Belair is, but she needs air to breathe. Belair talked about succeeding all her life and she’ll shine bright light a diamond on Sunday…

The commentators ran through some upcoming segments… [c]

John’s Thoughts: Great segment. The sitdown nature of this video made it so Baszler’s badass-ness couldn’t turn the crowd against Belair. Belair was also better in this segment than she was in the ring in the face-to-face. A great segment to lead into their title match.

A highlight recap aired of Kassius Ohno vs. Keith Lee, which Ohno won after a low blow…

Mauro announced Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno for NXT Takeover: Phoenix…

John’s Thoughts: There you have it. A deserved match. I still think Riddle’s going over 95%, but that’s 5% that Ohno gained from this feud more than we all expected since NXT has hammered it down that Ohno is a “gatekeeper” player-coach. A potential show stealer now that the match isn’t going to be seven seconds and Ohno has won some doubt in the outcome so well done.

1. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner. The European Union guys used quick tags early on to cut the ring in half on the lone American in the match. Lorcan managed to sidestep a double team attempt. Burch tagged in and gave both oponents rapid punches. Burch held on to the hot tag for longer than expected, which was great. Lorcan and Burch went for their finisher early but Barthel broke it up. Barthel hit Burch with an Air Raid Crash. Barthel was taken out of the ring. Aichner almost killed Lorcan with a lariat.

Barthel threw Lorcan into Aichner’s delayed vertical suplex. Aichner hit a sweet Fenix-like tightrope moonsault. So much action happened that my jaw was dropped and great tag team stuff ensued. Lorcan hit Aichner with his signature nosebleed b-slaps. Aichner did more Fenix stuff by hitting the pile of people on the outside with a tightrope, high springboard high fly flow. Lorcan snuck in a win after a rollup and Burch holding Barthel away.

Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeated Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner via pinfall in 4:50. 

John’s Thoughts: What the F— ya’ll. That caught me off guard. That was an amazing match. Lorcan and Burch are something special. Lorcan is special in particular and Burch has somehow gained Lorcan’s Daniel Bryan offense via osmosis. You already heard me say that Aichner is main roster ready (if he stops saying “nein” after every move). Aichner was on fire here. Somehow he summoned the cruiserweight ability of Rey Fenix and was doing some amazing tightrope moves. Plus, the guy’s a heavyweight (Mauro noted Aichner gained about 40 pounds to become a heavyweight). Give these men a Takeover match somehow, please.

Mauro Ranallo thanked YouTube star Poppy for providing the song “X” for the next NXT Takeover…

An Aleister Black and Tommasso Ciampa highlight and hype package aired. Tommasso’s promo said the same thing he’s been saying over the past few months. Solid stuff. Black talked about spiraling into an abyss via Ciampa and Gargano’s feud. Black told Ciampa to hold his loved ones dear. Black said the title is Black’s on Saturday. Black said Ciampa having a successful title reign bust be eating at Black. Black said he’s going to cut the strings off the puppetmaster. Ciampa focused on the number of days he had as champion and how it will still be counting. Blakc ended the promo by saying that Ciampa will fade to black…

Mauro transitioned over to ricochet and Johnny Gargano hype. Watson said that Ricochet will confront each other on this episode…

Former Impact Wrestling Knockouts Rebel and Amber Nova were already in the ring…

2. Kairi Sane and Io Shirai vs. Rebel and Amber Nova. Watson threw in a plug for the NXT 2018 EOTY awards during the NXT Takeover pre-show. Shirai and Nova started off the match. Shirai showed off a few somersaults and a dropkick on nova. Shirai gave Nova a chop. Shirai then gave Nova a blockbuster. Sane hit Nova with her signature walk the plank forearm. Rebel distracted Sane from hitting the InSane elbow on Nova. Rebel tagged in and hit a high knee on Sane. Sane caught Rebel with a running spear. Shirai tagged in and hit Rebel with a hesitation shotgun dropkick. Shirai hit Rebel with a 619 and then hit both opponents with a slingshot dropkick. Sane and Shirai assisted each other in standing versions of their finishers (moonsault and elbow) on Rebel for the win.

Kairi Sane and Io Shirai defeated Rebel and Amber Nova via pinfall in 2:50. 

Nigel noted that it was smart to go for standing versions of their finishers as to not take up time and fall for the same mistake that Sane did earlier in the match…

Mauro hyped Dream vs. Fish coming up next… [c]

John’s Thoughts: A solid enhancement match with no real purpose other than keep Sane and Shirai on television, which isn’t a bad thing. Cool to see Rebel get a match on WWE television after all her years in Impact. I don’t think she’ll end up in NXT anytime soon, in-ring isn’t her strong suit, but it’ll be cool to see her get something down the road because she has put in hard work.

Kairi and Io were interviewed in the parking lot. Sane said her and her best friend will take care of business. Io said there is noone that can stop Io and Kairi. They shaered a cheesy hug. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir walked up in high school bully mode. Duke welcomed Sane back. Shafir said it was good to see Sane back after Sane’s “adventures” (she air quoted this for some reason, and it along with the delivery was bad). Duke said “enjoy your time” as the duo left…

3. Velveteen Dream vs. Bobby Fish (w/Adam Cole). Before the match, Dream wore a tribute to Prince’s third eye sunglasses. Watson reiterated Dream’s earlier claim of Fish being Cole’s stooge. McGuinness talked about the UE being equals. Dream caught Fish’s kick and then thrusted his hip at Fish in a very uncomfortable way. Dream hit Fish with a dropkick and then a high risk punch. Fish rolled to ringside for a time out. Dream showed some agility on the springboard and caught Fish off the apron with a springboard dropkick. Dream then hit Fish with a double axe handle.

Nigel noted that a lot of WWE legends are talking about Velveteen Dream. Dream hit Fish iwth stiff strikes. Cole got on the apron for the distraction. Fish took advantage with a catch chop block into a dragon screw leg whip into the ringside barricade. Fish hit some Muay Thai clinch moves on Dream and then hit a slingshot Swanton on Dream. Dream used the boots to fend off Fish. Fish came right back with a chop block. Dream kicked out of a pin but punched his own leg to try to wake it up. Fish locked in a single leg crab. Dream used his uninjured leg to fight off Fish.

Dream chopped down Fish with a few knees. Dream hit Fish with a missile dropkick (that looked a bit like a top rope Yakuza kick). Dream trapped Fish in the corner and pounded on him with punches. Fish got some separation with his boot and the referee. Dream came back at fish with a spinebuster. Mauro was laying it on thick with the legend references. Dream went for the Purple Rainmaker but Fish rolled Dream over into a heel hook. Dream went for the ropes but Cole pulled the ropes back an inch to prevent the tapout. The referee caught Cole a Fish got distracted. Dream rolled into DVD position, but sold the injured knee. Dream threw Fish at Cole to dispatch Cole for a bit. Dream hit Fish with the Dream Valley Driver and Purple Rainmaker for the victory.

Velveteen Dream defeated Bobby Fish via pinfall in 8:29.

Cole went to check on Fish after the match…

John’ s Thoughts: A good storytelling match between Fish and Dream built around the story of Dream’s injured knee. I liked the match and the build to the outcome was solid. Personally, I would have given Fish the victory during the heel hook. Dream would have been protected and Fish hasn’t done much in NXT to stand out so he could have used a big win. That said, great match.  (even though it’s not building to anything at Takeover)

Johnny Gargano was shown approaching Full Sail University… [c]

Percy Watson thanked the band Alien Weaponry for providing the song “Holding My Breath” for NXT Takeover: Phoenix…

Nigel recapped the Forgotten Sons attacking the Street Profits after the last match the Profits had on NXT…

The commentators advertised Forgotten Sons vs. Street Profits and Io and Kairi vs. Duke and Shafir for next week’s Takeover fallout show…

Ricochet made his entrance first. Ricochet was in ring gear. Ricochet grabbed a mic. He said that Johnny talked a lot of crap two weeks ago about being better, yet he blindsided Ricochet with a superkick. Ricochet said 2019 Gargano is the same as 2018 Gargano. Ricochet said Gargano showed his true colors in 2018, that Gargano is actually selfish. Ricochet said Ricochet showed his true colors by winning the NA Championship. Ricochet said he showed he was the one and only and that he’s something that Gargano isn’t, a champion.

Gargano interrupted and said that he isn’t rushing the ring because he has a plan. Gargano then tried to catch Ricochet off guard again. Tommaso Ciampa blindsided Ricochet with a Northern Lariat and sent Ricochet to the outside for Gargano to beat up. The crowd chanted for “DIY”. Aleister Black ran in and then kicked down Ciampa. After Gargano was done, Gargano looked conflicted on helping Ciampa. Gargano then made his decision and then saved Ciampa. Gargano hit Black with a superkick. Gargano and Ciampa stared at each other. Ciampa then attacked Black while Gargano went back at Ricochet. Gargano hit Ricochet with a slingshot DDT while Ciampa hit Black with Project Ciampa. The crowd chanted “DIY” at this with some sprinkled boos.

Gargano and Ciampa then had a faceoff at ringside. Full Sail chanted “Hug it out” at them. Ciampa then backtracked slowly while Gargano followed and glared at him. At the stage, Ciampa slowly held out his hand and looked like he was going to shake Gargano’s hand. Candice LeRae ran in between them and then berated Gargano off mic for considering the offer. Ciampa then pulled Gargano to the back to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: At first that segment may have seemed like a standard PPV go-home segment, but the story layers unfolded when the DIY stuff got involved. While some may decry the heel loving crowd at times, it was good to see a loud but mixed reaction regarding what they’re doing with a potential DIY reunion. Ciampa and Gargano played their roles perfectly and the surprise run-in by LeRae made sense and added more intrigue on the segment. On top of all that, the heels got their heat by hitting their finishers on their Takeover opponents.

Going into this episode, I didn’t think that this upcoming Takeover build was the greatest, and in fact, they ran a few segments in this show that have nothing to do with Takeover. That said, they ran some really good sitdown hype package and the advertised Ricochet and Gargano confrontation was jam packed and delivered in terms of build for two of the big matches at Phoenix. Great job. To make matters better, this was a great show overall. The Fish vs. Dream match may be forgotten in the end of it, but it was good and I hope it leads to a bigger feud between Dream and Fish. The tag team match should not be forgotten because it was five minutes of great stuff. Go out of your way to see this episode. I’ll be by tomorrow with a hit list and member’s exclusive Audio Review. I’ll also by by on Dot Net this Saturday with coverage for Takeover: Phoenix…

 



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Readers Comments (1)

  1. I could watch Oney Lorcan hit people all day, he is so fun to watch.

    DIY were a fantastic team, but this is ridiculous. We were told repeatedly that no two men have ever hated each other as much as Ciampa and Gargano just a couple of months ago. NXT only has an hour of TV a week, which means that unlike the main roster it has the opportunity to let stories breathe and grow organically instead of constantly rushing into things and back to things. They need to let Gargano and Ciampa have their only separate storylines for a while if they want this “will they/won’t they” story to have the impact it could have. I think Candice spoke for the grown-up viewers of NXT when she said “Again? Seriously?”

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