Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: Triple H addresses the status of the NXT Championship following Tommaso Ciampa’s neck surgery, Fatal 5 Way match to determine the opponent for Johnny Gargano at Takeover for the vacant NXT Championship

By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

Aired March 20, 2019 on WWE Network
Taped March 13, 2019 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

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

Triple H’s “King of Kings” promo entrance theme played as Paul “Triple H” Levesque made his entrance while holding the NXT Championship. Mauro noted that the NXT Founder was walking out to give an update on the injured NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa. Hunter paused to soak in “Triple H” chants and paused even longer to milk out an NXT chant. Triple H said those cheers remind him of how special this place is. Hunter said NXT is something special. Hunter said in NXT “dreams become possibilities”. Hunter mentioned how different people have different paths to this ring and they have different lengths of journeys. Hunter said the unfortunate reality is that sometime things “end” in this ring.

Hunter said he was scheduled to come out to announce a huge match between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship at the next Takeover. Ciampa actually got cheered. Hunter said reality has made that match an impossibility. Hunter said Ciampa’s dream is on hold due to reality and neck surgery. Hunter said that Ciampa had to relinquish the NXT Championship. Hunter said when one dream ends, another begins. Hunter said the Dream continues for Johnny Gargano as he’s still in the championship match (for the vacant title). Hunter said Gargano’s opponent will be decided in a five way on this episode including the following wrestlers: Ricochet, Adam Cole, Aleister Black, Velveteen Dream, and “the undefeated” Matt Riddle. Hunter said the Takeover match between Gargano and his opponent will be a best of three falls match…

Mauro recapped the segment and Triple H put the championship belt in front of Mauro to display…

John’s Thoughts: A strong promo by Papa H. Hunter is really good as the father of NXT and had the crowd eating at the palm of his hand. The Ciampa news was sad of course, but they didn’t have to pivot too much because last week’s show left them in an easy position. Nothing was really booked (and I even mentioned how last week’s angle felt rushed). Anyway, good segment. Side note, Hunter walking out to cut the “administrative” promos make William Regal’s long absense from TV more appearant.

Cathy Kelley was outside of the locker room. Kona Reeves emerged and joked about Cathy checking him out. He didn’t like not being in the championship match. Kona left and The Forgotten Sons trio walked out. Cathy asked them about the main event of this episode. They talked about being in next week’s main event. They also talked about how Ricochet and Aleister Black might get weakened in the main event of this show. They said some things and Ryker ended the promo by saying that they won’t be forgotten… [c]

Percy Watson thanked Billie Eilish for providing the song “You should see me in a crown” as one of the themes for the next Takeover show…

They sent things over to a video package spotlighting the wrestlers in the main event number one contender’s five way. Ricochet talked about understanding that it’s every man for himself in the main event. Black talked about competing for the most important title in NXT and everyone will fade to black. Ricochet talked about how the winner of tonight’s match might have to do double duty at Takeover due to the Dusty Classic. Velveteen Dream said the outcome of tonight’s match will be Dream Over. Dream talked about possibly being a double champion…

John’s Thoughts: A subtle, but smart attention to detail. I like how that small promo package addressed Ricochet/Black and Dream both being in different championship pictures and how they could stack titles (as opposed to having them involved in other programs making the main event predictable).

A video was shown of Tommaso Ciampa getting his neck surgery. Cameras were in the surgery room showing the procedure. One of the doctors mentioned how Ciampa has a lot of resolve and dedication since he had three major surgeries in a row…

The show cut to the Matt Riddle portion of the prior video package. Riddle talked about how he’s finally getting an opportunity at the NXT Championship. Riddle said he worked his “ace” (pun of ass) off to get here. Riddle said he will become the next NXT Champion at the next Takeover. Bro. The promo cut to Adam Cole who was flanked by Undisputed Era in Ciampa’s semi truck. Cole said it’s ironic that Cole debuted in the Barclay’s center when he held the NXT Championship over Drew McIntyre. Cole said he will stand tall at the next takeover with the Championship, and that’s undisputed.

Cathy Kelley cut in on an Io Shirai and Kairi Sane photo shoot for an interview. Kairi and Io talked about how they can wrestle each other and that won’t get in the way of their friendship. Bianca Belair cut in and talked about how she would have beat Io last week if not for Shayna. Belair also mocked “the pirate” Kairi. Belair said she’s running through both Io and Sane. Belair said her mindset is still “un-de-feat-ted”… [c]

Nigel McGuinness thanked Disturbed for providing the song “Are you Ready” for the next NXT Takeover…

John’s Thoughts: Is this the same Disturbed that did Stone Cold’s theme back in the day? That’s a throwback.

Mauro recapped that Ricochet and Aleister Black vs. Forgotten Sons will be next week’s main event for the Dusty Rhodes Classic Trophy…

The main event entrances took place. Mauro noted that other matches were supposed to take place but this was more important due to the circumstances…

1. Adam Cole vs. Ricochet vs. Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle for a chance to face Johnny Gargano at the next NXT Takeover event for the vacant NXT Championship. An “all these guys” chant started. Dream tossed Riddle into the guardrail to get him out of the picture. Madness then ensued. Nigel noted that there is no countout or DQ. Black and Dream were in the ring which Mauro said was a callback to their feud of the year. Dream had a cool fireman carry counter to Black but Black countered with a rollup. Black took down Cole with a roundhouse to the chest. Ricochet flipped around Dream and hit Dream with a huracanrana and dropkick. Riddle gave Ricochet Kurt Angle Style triple suplexes (with a gutwrench).

Cole gave Riddle some boots and did his Adam Cole Bay Bay thing. Black hit Cole with a roundhouse and Ricochet followed up with a moonsault. Mauro noted that Black and Ricochet are one of the hottest tag teams today. Ricochet and Black then shook hands and were about to fight honorably, but Cole interrupted and tossed Black out while dominating Ricochet. Nigel noted that the moment of respect might be a bad decision. Nigel also noted that this wasn’t an elimination match. Cole suplexed Ricochet and got a nearfall off him. Dream sent Ricochet outside and hit Cole with a series of good right hand punches. Dream cleared Cole and Black from the ring and hit Cole with an axe handle strike.

Riddle got in the way of a Purple Rainmaker and hit a German Suplex on Dream. Black went in for some kickboxing on Riddle but Riddle snuck in the Bro-mission on Black. Dream broke up the submission. Black hit a signature kick combo on Dream. Black then took down Dream and Cole with a lionsault. Black hit a hook kick on Dream for a two count. Black went for hit signature leg lift on Dream but Cole pulled Black away and threw him into the steel steps. Dream and Riddle milked a standoff. Riddle have Cole palm strikes. Cole stepped on Riddle’s bare foot. Riddle came back and locked in the Bromission on Cole. Dream broke up the submission again. Dream, Cole, and Riddle brawled from their knees which Mauro called a triangle of “truculence”. Black and Ricochet reentered the fray. Everyone took each other out including Black and Riddle hitting stereo high roundhouses against each other for the double knockdown.

Cole and Ricochet brawled to the top rope. Dream made his way to join them. Black and Riddle recovered and a five person Superplex occurred at around the ten minute mark. Black and Dream brawled to their feet. Black hit Dream with a meteora. Riddle broke up the subsequent pin with a senton. Riddle and Cole brawled. Cole hit Riddle with a Superkick and then a Last Call Ushigoroshi. Ricochet broke up the subsequent pin. Ricochet hit Cole with a crane and axe kick. Cole escaped a suplex by raking Ricochet’s eye. Ricochet countered the shining wizard with a reverse Frankendriver. Ricochet cleared the top rope form the ring with a somersault onto Cole.

Riddle and Dream were left in the ring. Dream countered a power bomb. Riddle hit Dream with a V Trigger. Riddle locked Dream in a Bro Mission. Cole pulled Drake Younger away. The commotion allowed Black to hit Riddle with Black Mass. Dream hit Black with a Dream Valley Driver. Ricochet gave Dream a frankensteiner on the pile of people outside. Ricochet hit Riddle with a Shooting Star. Ricochet thought he got the win but Cole came out of nowhere with a Last Shot Shining Wizard to the back of Ricochet to lead to a pinfall for Cole.

Adam Cole defeated Ricochet, Aleister Black, Matt Riddle, and Velveteen Dream via pinfall in 14:44 to earn a chance to wrestle for the vacant NXT Championship at the next NXT Takeover. 

Cole sold the win with shock. Cole scrambled to the top of the ramp and celebrated his win to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Amazing stuff. There were a lot of high spots here but the stories were off the charts good here. Everybody got a chance to shine. Matt Riddle had probably the best showing of the group and the match was built around him to protect him by not having him be the man to take the fall. Adam Cole get’s a huge credibility boost here. Unlike a few years ago where Cole was losing a lot of TV matches but on TV a lot, Cole hasn’t been on TV as much as you would expect. He loses a lot, but they turned that into a storyline for Cole. In this match, NXT proved that they have the perfect person to fill in the huge heel void left by the injured Tommaso Ciampa.

This show consisted of one promo and one match. It was one good promo and great match. We got a 90 minute NXT a few weeks ago and this one was little over 40 minutes. So it’s a nice little bit of time to invest in just a fun (less than an) hour of pro wrestling. I’ll be by tomorrow with my NXT Hit List and member’s exclusive audio review.

Readers Comments (1)

  1. Disturbed enjoyed a surge in popularity for their cover of Sound of Silence a couple years back.

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