Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler vs. Mia Yim, Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic, Johnny Gargano appearance, Xia Li and Taynara Conti vs. Vanessa Borne and Aliyah


By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

Aired February 27, 2019 on WWE Network
Taped February 20, 2019 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

The NXT theme aired…

Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson were on commentary…

Johnny Gargano made his entrance to start off NXT. Mauro recapped Johnny having success on Raw and Smackdown last week while having some failure due to losing the NXT North American Championship on last week’s NXT. Gargano said the last few weeks has been interesting. Gargano talked about how he showed the world what NXT was all about by becoming a member of Raw and Smackdown Live. Gargano talked about how he showed people at the last takeover that Johnny Wrestling was back. Gargano talked about how he became “Johnny Champion” but he failed his first test. A “Johnny Failure” chant ensued, which Gargano agreed with. Gargano said he failed himself and the fans.

Gargano said he still feels like Johnny Champion today, but the harsh reality is he doesn’t have a championship. Gargano teased saying that his success was related to Tommaso Ciampa, but Ciampa’s entrance cut Gargano’s promo off. Ciampa said Gargano is at his best when Ciampa is in Gargano’s life. Ciampa brought up how they won as a  tag team which was shown on Raw and Smackdown. Ciampa brought up how Gargano refused Ciampa’s help last week and lost. Ciampa went back to his manipulated ways and then tried to tempt Johnny by proposing a tag team reunion (presumably to continue to push Gargano away from his world title). Ciampa talked about how Gargano and Ciampa can stand tall at the next Takeover as champions. The crowd chanted DIY. Gargano was slow to do so, but he ultimately shook Ciampa’s hand to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: While Gargano’s title win was short, this was a logical step forward to get Gargano in the trejectory with Ciampa. This would have been a better segment to air last week (I know this was taped after. I’m moreso blaming the main roster) because DIY was running around on Raw and Smackdown on the same page for no reason where here they explained it.

Cathy Kelley interviewed Ricochet about his unfinished business with Undisputed Era. Ricochet talked about making waves on Smackdown and Raw with Aleister Black. Ricochet talked about how the Undisputed Era always has a numbers advantage but Ricochet feels a bit more confident with Aleister on his side. Ricochet talked about how he was going to ask William Regal to let him and Black into the Dusty Classic. Nigel said Black and Ricochet should be considered as the favorites of the tournament…

Mia Yim was shown shadow boxing backstage… [c]

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa were leaving Full Sail together and Candice LeRae was out there to give them the death stare. Ciampa went past here and Johnny argued with his wife a bit. Johnny said to trust him. Candice didn’t like what she was seeing…

2. Vanessa Borne and Aliyah vs. Taynara Conti and Xia Li. Borne and Conti started off the match. Conti got a hip toss takedown. Conti then caught Borne with a bicycle kick. Conti then did a monkey flip into a pin. Conti locked Borne into an innovative kneebar with the second rope as leverage. Aliyah kicked Conti in the face to allow Borne to get the advantage and put the boots to Conti. Conti tried to make a comeback but Borne gave a stiff slap to Conti. Borne hit conti with a bronco buster into a legscissors. Aliyah tagged in and hit Conti with a Northern Lights for a two count.

Aliyah locked Conti in a straitjacket submission. Conti escaped and tagged in Xia Li. Xia hit Aliyah with a few kick variations. Nigel noted that Li knows Wushu. Li also showed some agility in dodging Aliyah. Borne got the blind tag in to blindside Li and Conti. Borne and Aliyah hit Li with a backbreaker blockbuster, that looked a bit rough, for the win.

Vanessa Borne and Aliyah defeated Taynara Conti and Xia Li via pinfall in 4:53. 

John’s Thoughts: A decent developmental showcase that was a bit rough around the edges. Conti was the latest developmental prospect to step up her game here as she looked better than she has in the past. To make an aside, maybe WWE should consider using women tag teams to get more talented women on TV. With a logjam of talent on the developmental live events like Deonna Purrazzo, Rachael Ellering, Mia Yim (sometimes), and Chelsea Green, this problem needs to be addressed to some extent.

Velveteen Dream was interviewed outside of Full Sail. Dream said that the interviewer should be asking about the fans’ experience. Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era interrupted Dream’s interview. Adam Cole interrupted Dream’s promo and said he was coming after the North American Championship. Cole also said that Fish and O’Reilly should be interviewed about being in the Dusty Classic. Dream called Cole a little man with a big mouth who’s nothing without is group. Dream said he doesn’t have time for this. Dream left and Cole yelled “Everybody has time for me!!!” several times… [c]

Cathy Kelly was standing outside of William Regal’s office. Kelly said Regal was finalizing the brackets for the dusty Classic. The camera was lured to commotion. This week the commotion was involving Bianca Belair and Io Shiri. Serena Deeb and the referees broke things up with Belair yelling “Un-de-feat-ted”…

2. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee. Keith Lee has new theme music (which includes a him singing it). Nigel noted that Dijakovic doesn’t have the size advantage he usually has since Lee is a bigger guy. Lee escaped a headlock and the two giants faced off after a Lee shoulder block. Lee and Dijakovic then fired up the crowd with a big man agility sequence. Lee asked for a handshake but Dijakovic returned with a shove. Lee went for a Spirit Bomb but Dijakovic countered with a monkey flip. Lee landed on his feet to fire  up the crowd.

Dijakovic gave Lee a chop and Lee returned the favor with a bigger chop. Dijakovic gave Lee a elbow drop and then had the upper hand over Lee. Dijak had the advantage with a few strikes but Lee got in some strong right hands. Lee hit Dijakovic with The Pounce. Dijak came back with CQC and a superkick. Dijakovic then hit Lee with a sitout chokeslam for a two count. Lee caught a flying Dijakovic with a double chest chop and then slammed him with an impressive spinebuster for a two count.

Dijak hit Lee with a few shortarm strikes and then took Lee off the apron with a tornado kick. Dijakovic hit Lee with an Asai Moonsault. The referee was counting despite the crowd and Mauro being distracted by the big moment. (It seemed a bit fast) both men got counted out.

Dominik Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee ended in a double countout in 6:52.

Replays aired of the match as the crowd chanted “We Want Regal”. Referees ran in to break up Lee and Dijakovic…

John’s Thoughts: A fun indie spotfest type match. Lee is a good person to showcase Dijakovic’s size because Dijakovic does tower over the big man. I still question NXT not making Dijakovic look the strongest in his matches when it looks like he’s getting the monster push. Other than that, this was a smart move to pull out the cute finish so they can go back to this down the road.

Shayna Baszler vs. Mia Yim was hyped for after the break… [c]

Percy Watson announced that Ricochet and Aleister black, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, DIY, and Moustache Mountain were the last for teams announced for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. A bracket aired for the Tag Team Classic which will begin next week…

William Regal’s twitter announced Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair in a number one contenders match for two weeks. (By the way, where’s the real Regal?)…

In a surprising moment, Sasha Banks made her entrance followed by her tag team partner Bayley. Bayley gave Izzy (her biggest fan) a hug and the camera showed that Izzy was crying afterward. Full Sail gave Sasha and Bayley a huge “Welcome Back” chant. Sasha said it’s good to be home and this is why you never forget where you came from. Sasha talked about how the success of the first WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions started in NXT. Bayley tried to cut a promo but was cut off by the crowd chanting “You Deserve It”. Bayley talked about being in the first ever women’s ironwomen match against Banks. Bayley had some fun banter with Izzy.

Bayley said she wants to make the women’s tag team championships the most sought after championships in all of WWE. Sasha said they were going to defend the title everywere from Raw, Smackdown, to NXT. Bayley teased that the next time her and Sasha show up on NXT, they will defend their tag team titles. Sasha ended the promo by saying you can bank on that…

John’s Thoughts: It’s always cool to see NXT’s success stories “come home” (I’m not saying that leads to main roster success). This was a fun moment and made even more fun with Bayley interacting with Izzy. You can’t tease a Women’s Tag Team Championship match and not deliver (I know Vince can always screw that up). I hope this leads to more of the live event circuit women showing up on TV to create a mini tag team division on the weekly NXT show.

3. Shayna Baszler vs. Mia Yim in a non-title match. Baszler took down Yim with a leg trip. Baszler tried to ground and pound Yim but accidently punched mat. Yim gave Baszler some of her ground and pound. Yim followed up on the outside with a Suicide Dive on Baszler. Yim took down Baszler with a running boot. Yim then threw Baszler into the steel steps. Baszler got a moment of respite after Yim kicked the steel stairs. Yim sold the leg while Baszler sold the injured hand. Baszler rubbed salt on the wound by stomping on Yim’s kicking foot.

Nigel noted that Yim had a foot injury a year ago on that said leg. Baszler hit Yim with some leg submissions. Baszler then did what she usually does to people’s elbows by stomping on Yim’s foot in aggressive fashion. Baszler went for the Kirafuda Clutch but didn’t get the move locked. Yim escaped and Baszler countered into a heel hook. Yim made it to the bottom rope for the rope break. Yim hit Baszler with a slingshot Tornado DDT but also writhed in pain due to the injured knee.

Yim teased a Shotgun Dropkick but then slipped when her knee gave way. Yim called Baszler to come at her and used that to trip up Baszler who rushed at her. Yim and Baszler struggled to land strikes. Yim hit Baszler with a Pele Kick (which Nigel miscalled Eat Defeat). Yim got a nearfall. Baszler hit  Gutwrench Suplex on Yim for a nearfall. Baszler hit Yim with a few roundhouse kicks but Yim powered through with a power bomb of her own for a nearfall. Baszler rushed at Yim with a high knee. Baszler locked in the Kirafuda Clutch on Yim. Mauro noted that Yim was going after Baszler’s injured hand but this time Baszler adjusted and got Yim to tap out.

Shayna Baszler defeated Mia Yim via submission in 8:01. 

Replays of the match aired to close the show. Nigel called the Pele Kick the Eat Defeat again (Maybe Gail Kim should call Nigel about this since they were co-workers once)…

John’s Thoughts: A good match that can get better once they work some of the rough patches and cheesy parts out. This was a good match and you can tell these two are familiar with each other (I believe they are real life roommates?). I think the common trend on this episode persists here in that we need to get these women like Mia Yim, Chelsea Green, Candice LeRae, Deonna Purrazzo, and others on TV because they can freshen up what was once the cornerstone of NXT. Anyway strong main event to close NXT and a good show. Not the greatest thing in the world, but a good hour of weekly television.



Readers Comments (1)

  1. Does Candice LeRae even wrestle anymore?

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