Moore’s NXT TV Live Review: Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. The Forgotten Sons in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole meet face to face, Matt Riddle vs. Kona Reeves, Vanessa Borne and Aliyah vs. Lacey Lane and Kacy Catanzaro


By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

Aired March 27, 2019 on WWE Network
Taped March 13, 2019 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University

The NXT intro theme aired…

Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary…

Adam Cole made his entrance to start the show. There was a pedestal inside of the ring which held the vacant NXT Championship. Cole took his spot next the belt and recapped his path to the NXT Takeover New York main event. Cole said before he gloats and explains how it’s a lock he’s going to be next NXT Champion he wants to have Johnny Gargano come out first. Johnny Gargano made his entrance, now back to using his babyface video wall.

Mauro reminded viewers that the takeover match is a best of three falls match. Cole and Gargano had dueling chants inside of the ring. Gargano sat on the top rope with a mic in hand for his promo. Gargano and Cole took their time to soak in the dueling chants for a good minute or two. Cole was the first person to jump in as he told the crowd to shut up because he doesn’t need their support. Gargano said he loves the Johnny Wrestling chants. Johnny’s agreeing caused the dueling chants to fire back up. Gargano told Cole to list off these supposed million reasons why Cole is about to beat Gargano.

Gargano said history has just been made because Cole is at a loss for words for the first time in his career. Gargano recapped how Gargano’s patch ends with the NXT Championship. Gargano said that path goes through Cole now that Ciampa is gone. Gargano said he’s going to show why he’s Johnny Takeover bay bay. Cole shrugged off Gargano’s promo. Cole talked about how Johnny Gargano loses at more takeovers than he wins. Cole said that Johnny can change his name to Johnny “Participation”. Cole moved his attention to the actual match. Cole listed off his Takeover acoclades like winning the NA Championshp, beating up Drew McIntyre in his debut, and winning the Dusty Classic. Cole talked about how Cole reached the pinnacle in Barclays and that’s where he’ll win the NXT Championship.

Cole asked Gargano what exactly has Gargano done to earn the title shot at Takeover. Gargano recapped his career in retrospect. Gargano talked about how Gargano was rejected in his WWE tryout while Cole had the red carpet rolled out for him. Gargano talked about fighting for one chance and that one chance came in the first Dusty Classic. Gargano talked about being put in a makeshift tag team with Tommaso Ciampa. Gargano talked about how he and Ciampa were two unsigned indie guys who fought for their lives. Gargano talked about how they ended that Dusty Classic without a contract. Gargano said things looked up when he was called back every month after being sent home without a contract. Gargano talked about being proud to wrestle in the ring and how the fans chant Johnny Wrestling.

Johnny said their chants caused him to fight harder to get here. Johnny said he wasn’t fighting for himself but he fights for them. Johnny said he fights for everyone who wants to make their dream come true. Johnny ran through more things he fights for and talked about how he earned every success he had in his NXT career. Johnny said “this place is my life”. Johnny reiterated how Cole was handed a top spot and even has his own group of cronies. Johnny he doesn’t regret the last few years and will fight his way to takeover. Johnny said he’ll become NXT Champion. Cole and Gargano faced off as Gargano’s music played and the commentators added some comments.

Before leaving, Cole stopped up the ramp and patronized Johnny’s promo by saying it sounded like a lifetime movie. Cole said fired up and said no matter what Gargano does, Adam Cole will be NXT Champion. Cole said “here’s why” as the Undisputed Era walked to the top of the steps. Cole said that Triple H mentioned how the best of three falls match was definitive, but rather according to Cole it will be “undisputed”…

The commentators hyped up Black and Ricochet vs. Forgotten Sons as the main event of this show…

John’s Thoughts: A bit exposition heavy, but a good promo by both men. Gargano’s long winded recap of his career was good especially since he just went through a tweener/heel run. Another reason why this exposition heavy promo was good was because they only have two weeks to build towards the next Takeover. Cole was especially good in turning the switch into serious mode.

Percy Watson thanked Billie Eilish for providing the song “You should see me in a crown” for NXT Takeover New York…

1. Vanessa Borne and Aliyah vs. Lacey Lane and Kacy Catanzaro. Lacey Lane had some odd movie trailer music as she came out dressed looking like Tanya from Mortal Kombat.  Aliyah and Borne quickly took control early on. Lacey turned the tide by doing the Rey Fenix tightrope armdrag on Borne. Borne ran around the ring to tag in Aliyah. This allowed Borne and Aliyah to isolate and double team Lane. Mauro and Person mocked Nigel for being impartial. Borne trapped Lane in the ropes and hit her with a few roundhouses. Borne and Aliyah continued to do double team moves. “The [Three] Horsewomen” of Baszler, Shafir, and Duke entered the ring and the heel team of Borne and Aliyah bailed up the ramp. The ref called for a no contest once Baszler and crew attacked the babyfaces.

Borne and Aliyah vs. Lane and Catanzaro ended in a no contest in 2:51.

Lane was cleared first. Baszler went for a Kirafuda Clutch on Catanzaro, but Catanzaro showed some agility in eluding Baszler. Baszler didn’t relent and made Catanzaro pass out via the Kirafuda Clutch. Before leaving, Baszler walked up to the commentators and said that this interference will keep happening as long as the champion keeps getting mistreated…

Aleister Black and Ricochet were shown stretching backstage… [c]

John’s Thoughts: I was less impressed by this run-in as her past run ins. One part is they’re getting a bit repetitive. I liked that she explained her consistency, but I preferred the approach they took a few weeks ago where she beat up all three of her Takeover opponents single handedly. I’m also less excited that they’re bringing back Shafir and Duke into the picture. Shavir and Duke are progressing fine, but they are dead weight to the potential of Shayna Baszler. This could use a William Regal “restoring order” segment, but he’s been MIA in recent months.

2. Matt Riddle vs. “The Finest” Kona Reeves. Reeves wore different attire to the ring, a thin sweater and Beats head phones. Reeves used the ropes to fend off Riddle early on. Riddle reversed a Samoan Drop and hit a low kick on Reeves. Riddle did a back flip and hit Reeve’s back with a senton. Riddle followed up with a gutwrench. Velveteen Dream’s entrance music interrupted the match. Velveteen Dream was rolled to the stage by two women on a silken couch (YES!!!). Reeves took advantage of the distraction and even hit Riddle with an Olympic Slam for a nearfall.

The camera showed that Dream was taking sips from his goblet. Riddle reversed a Million Dollar Dream into a unique rollup. Riddle hit rapid fire palm strikes followed by a Pele kick. Riddle rolled around and hit Reeves with a V-Trigger. Riddle glared at Dream a bit and hit rapid fire elbows on the neck of Reeves. Riddle then locked in the Bromission on reeves for the submission win.

Matt Riddle defeated Kona Reeves via submission in 3:52. 

Velveteen Dream who will cut off Kayla Braxton and introduced “Matthew” Riddle as the man who will face the Dream at Takeover New York. Riddle walked to the top of the stage and took a sip of Dream’s goblet. Riddle tossed the goblet to disgust the two girls and Dream. Riddle said he’ll see Dream at Takeover. Bro…

The Forgotten Sons were shown backstage trying not to get forgotten and stretching… [c]

John’s Thoughts: That was great! The best Velveteen Dream segment in months in my opinion. I like it when Dream resorts to pagentry and mind games and this was a good combination of all of that. It sucks that they had to take a break one week to find out Gargano’s opponent because it would have been fun to see more of this. I hope Dream continues to keep up the stuff that made him so fun in his feud with Aleister Black and Riddles a good foil with his personality. As for the match, I’m hoping that WWE gives Kona a second shot because I’ve been impressed by his work on the Live Events. Reeves reminds me of a young EC3 with the promos he was cutting on the live events.

Mauro Ranallo thanked Disturbed for providing the song “Are you ready?” for NXT Takeover New York…

Kayla Braxton handled the formal ring introductions for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals. Kayla also reminded the fans that the winner of this match will face War Raiders at NXT Takeover New York for the NXT Tag Team Championship…

John’s Thoughts: Oh yeah. The War Raiders are a thing. They need to get to giving them a segment next week because they’ve become forgotten in their own right.

3. “The Forgotten Sons” Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler (w/Jaxson Ryker) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet in the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. After entrances, the match got under way with about 13 minutes left at the top of the hour. All four men traded punches early on with the Sons going into retreat first. Black and Blake then started things off properly with a lockup. Blake had the upper hand with basic chain wrestling. Black fended off Cutler with a boot. Ricochet tagged in. Ricochet and Black then did a flip and meditation taunt to their opponents. Ricochet and Black cleared teh Sons from the ring. Ricochet and Black fended off the Sons with kick variations.

Black and Ricochet posed in the ring to soak up cheers. Black and Ricochet cut off Cutler and put him back in the ring. Ryker slapped Ricochet’s back to ground Ricochet from his handstand. This allowed Blake to gain the advantage and hit Ricochet with a backbreaker. Methodical heel isolation offense ensued for about two minutes or so. Ricochet got a window of opportunity by hitting Cutler with a rolling dropkick. Blake tripped up Black to prevent the hot tag. In a fun tag, Ricochet turned a catapult into a hot tag to Black. Black hit his three hit kick combo on Cutler. He hit both opponents with a lionsault.

Black used his foot to lift Cutler but Blake interfered to allow cutler to recover. Cutler hit Black with a shoulder breaker for a nearfall. Black and Ricochet regained control after Ricochet hit Blake with a huracanrana. Black almost kicked Ricochet but Black put the brakes on. After madness ensued, Black grounded Cutler with a springboard meteora on Cutler to leave everyone lying. Ricochet tagged in and he traded European Uppercuts with Blake. After a cute trade of suplex counters, Ricochet hit a Final Cut Suplex on Blake. The sons swarmed Ricochet to prevent him from high flying. Ricochet reversed a reverse frankensteiner by landing on his feet.

Ricochet hit Blake with a uppercut. Cutler reversed a Bennadryller attempt. Black kicked Cutler to allow Ricochet to hit him with a modified GTS. Blake snuck up and threw Ricochet into the steps. Blake and Cutler hit a backstabber elbow drop combo on Black. Ricochet broke up the near fall. Black took down both oppoents with knees. Black hit Cutler with a twisting Tiger Knee. Blake hit Black with a pop up codebreaker. The referee caught Ryker preventing the rope break. Ryker was ejected. Black hit Black hit Blake with Black Mass and followed up on Cutler with a Golden Triangle Moonsault. Ricochet hit Blake with a 630 for the victory.

Aleister Black and Ricochet defeated The Forgotten Sons via pinfall in 14:24 to win the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. 

The show is going into a bit of an overrun. Mauro talked about how Ricochet and Black punched their ticket to Takeover. Ricochet and Black hugged right after the pinfall. Kayla Braxton announced Black and Ricochet as the winners of the Dusty Classic. Confetti and fog machines went off. Hanson and Ray Rowe walked to the ring to size up their future opponents.

John’s Thoughts: The first half of the match was fairly underwhelming, but once Ricochet started to d his Ricochet things, things really picked up in a good way. The stuff in the end was really fun. I’m glad Black and Ricochet went over because that made the most sense if you want a quality match. Black and Ricochet vs. War Machine on paper looks like a top tier Wrestle Kingdom match on paper (Raiders and Ricochet give it that WK feel). Looking forward to see what these two talented teams can come up with especially given Ricochet’s ability to run up and off of everything. The Sons on the other hand need a makeover or maybe even swapping out a character. If my money were on things I would consider trying out Cutler and Shane Strickland on live events (whenever the hell he gets here). Blake and Cutler give off too much of a Blake and Murphy vibe in a bad way and Murphy has proven that it wasn’t his fault for the forgetfulness.

Business as usual episode of NXT to march on to Takeover. This match had several highlights from Gargano and Cole’s standoff, Velveteen Dream sipping out of a goblet, and Ricochet doing his Ricochet stuff. Good show. I’ll be by later with my Hit List and Members Exclusive Audio Review.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. I feel like the Dusty Rhodes tournament is a good idea that is being wasted. Out of four tournaments in total, two have been won by thrown-together singles wrestlers who don’t need the rub. One was basically a non-finish to the tournament due to outside interference in the final and only the AOP win really boosted a tag-team by giving them a definitive tournament victory, which should be the main aim of a tournament like this.

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