By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Live Review
Taped April 10, 2019 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Streamed May 8, 2019 on WWE Network
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson were on commentary. Nigel hyped Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle as the main event of this episode…
1. Mia Yim vs. Bianca Belair. Mauro noted that Belair beat Yim before in a fatal four way match. Yim dominated the early lockup but Belair countered quickly. Yim and Belair had a stalemate in the chain wrestling. Both of them were about to high five due to the stalemate but Belair used it as a ploy. Yim and Belair then kicked each other and traded trash talk. Yim hit Belair with a dropkick and martial arts combo. Yim hit Belair with a low Pele Kick. Belair dodged Yim’s cannonball. Belair put the boots to Yim in the corner. Belair then locked Yim in a cravate.
Belair hit a running splash on Yim for a two count. Nigel said that Yim might be a bit jealous of Belair due to Belair’s natural ability and accolades outside of wrestling. Belair hit Yim with a Reverse Bucklebomb for a two count. Belair yelled “You want my spot! Fight me!” as she taunted and toyed with Yim. Belair slapped her ass in Yim’s face and Yim kicked the butt telling Belair to get that out of her face. Yim locked Belair in a guillotine choke. Belair reversed the guillotine into a snap suplex. Belair started to wrench on Yim with an aggressive cravate. Yim used the knees to block Belair’s running splash.
Yim rallied at Belair with strikes to block Belair’s hair whip. Yim hit Belair with a shotgun dropkick and cannonball in the corner. Yim locked Belair in a tarantula. Belair got a rollup on Yim. The referee caught Belair initially trying to get leverage on the ropes. Belair then tied her hair on the second rope for leverage for the dirty (?) win.
Bianca Belair defeated Mia Yim via pinfall in 7:34.
Mauro sent things over to security can footage. The Viking Raiders were trying to leave a garage but they were blocked by a pickup truck and mugged by The Forgotten Sons. Nigel called this a “calculated military style attack”. Mauro advertised the Viking Experience showing up next week to address the tag title situation… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A good opening match that the crowd wasn’t fully behind because they don’t seem to be really into Mia Yim yet. It’s going to take some work, but hopefully they allow her to have back and forth promos with an opponent because that’s where she shined in Impact Wrestling in her feud against Rosemary. After the match, I like the Sons finally getting to do something other than win a squash match to express a little character. I still don’t think the combination of players they have in that faction works at this moment and they need some sort of freshening up.
Mauro cut over to Performance Center footage of a Baszler, Shafir, and Duke training session. Io Shirai interrupted their training by attacking Baszler from behind. Other people in the PC broke things up including Robbie Brookside and ACH…
Hey, Raul Mendoza’s back, probably to lose. He now has pre-match ring attire. Also returning is Riddick Moss who wore gear that said Riddick Regimen. Riddick took a sip of his Riddick Regimen canteen and showed off his Riddick Regimen merchandise…
John’s Thoughts: Are they trying to bring back the Simon Dean gimmick from the grave? (complete with the gimmick alliteration)
2. Riddick Moss vs. Raul Mendoza. Moss worked out using a resistance band before the match. Riddick smothered Mendoza in the corner. The referee tried to break things up but Moss talked about how he’s on the regimen. Raul taunted Moss a bit. Moss called for a time out and then started to use a massager on his shoulder. Mauro said he thought it was a hair dryer. Mendoza attacked Moss with rapid fire kicks. Mendoza then hit Moss with a springboard huracanrana. Mendoza hit Moss with a Standing Shooting Star for a nearfall. Moss caught a flying Mendoza and did bicep curls with Mendoza’s body into a fallaway slam.
Moss started to do pushups. Moss hit Mendoza with a spear in the corner. Moss hit Mendoza with a jackknife spinebuster. Moss got a two count and the Moss told the referee to start to follow the regimen. Moss tried to give Mendoza a sip of his canteen but Mendoza slapped it away and dropkicked Moss in the calf. Mendoza hit Moss with a headscissors into the corner. After hitting a running kick on Moss, Mendoza hit Moss with a slingshot corkscrew plancha for probably his first win in WWE.
Raul Mendoza defeated Riddick Moss via pinfall in 4:39.
John’s Thoughts: A good win for Mendoza because as I noted in my initial thoughts, I thought Mendoza was going to continue his enhancement ways. Mendoza is great and now has a chance to shine without Humberto Carrillo overshadowing him. The Moss gimmick is campy AF, but this week it got a chuckle out of me. I really liked Moss’s cheesy small talk (but I tend to find humor out of bad gimmicks). It’s not great, but it worked this week. Let’s see how Moss does with this gimmick in future weeks to come up with a final assessment. I mean, he’s no Eric Bugenhagen and I think I like Kona Reeves better at this point…
Adam Cole and Matt Riddle were shown warming up in separate locations backstage… [c]
Highlights aired of Kushida’s NXT debut. Mauro Ranallo advertised Kushida “in action” next week…
3. Matt Riddle vs. Adam Cole. Adam Cole came out by himself. There was about 35 minutes left in the top of the hour. Nigel noted that Riddle’s unorthodox look can lull his opponents into a false sense of security. Riddle dominated early on with waist locks and MMA holds. Cole rolled to ringside for a reset. Cole dominated a bit with punches. Riddle regained control on the ground into a side headlock. Riddle hit Cole with a running senton for a two count. Riddle hit Cole with Kurt Angle style triple gutwrench suplexes. Cole escaped the corner and hit Riddle with a pump kick.
Cole and Riddle had dueling chants. Cole locked Riddle into a headscissors triangle. Riddle escaped by putting Cole’s shoulders on the mat. Riddle landed a chop on Cole but Cole came back with punches in retaliation. Cole hit Riddle with a front facelock neckbreaker. Cole then locked Riddle in a dragon sleeper. Riddle used a knee to Cole’s head to escape. Cole said “I’m the uncrowned champion! You’re a joke!”. This trash talk fired up Riddle who came at Cole with fighting spirit and chest chops. Riddle hit Cole with a release German Suplex. Riddle hit Cole with a palm strike combo and Pele Kick.
Riddle hit Cole in the corner with a series of forearms and an Exploder Suplex. Riddle adjusted off the standing moonsault into a running senton. Riddle hit Cole with a PK to lead to a nearfall. Riddle dodged Cole’s enzuigiri and hit Cole with a deadlift German Suplex. Cole fought back Riddle with a pump kick to set up and hit Riddle with the Ushigoroshi Last Shot to get a nearfall. Riddle hit Cole with a V Trigger. Cole reversed the GTS with a cool looking one legged backstabber to Riddle.
Cole and Riddle traded right hands. Riddle had Cole by the throat but Cole escaped by stomping Riddle on his barefeet. Riddle fought through the pain and locked Cole in an Ankle Lock. Cole fought out. Cole countered a Bromission into a rollup. Riddle hit Cole with double fisherman busters. Cole countered a third buster with a Ushigoroshi Last Shot for a nearfall. Cole countered Riddle with a nice fakeout low kick. Riddle blocked Cole’s Canadian Destroyer attempt. Counters ensued. Cole hit Riddle with a cross kick and then the Last Shot Shining Wizard. Riddle kicked out of Cole’s finisher at two.
Mauro noted that Riddle is the second person after Gargano to kick out of Cole’s finisher in WWE. Riddle hit Cole with a GTS, power bomb, and high knee. Cole rolled to ringside. Roderick Strong ran out to check on Cole and help him to his feet. Riddle got on the apron and gave Strong a PK. Cole caught Riddle off a slingshot with a superkick. Riddle countered the the pin into the Bromission. Cole tapped out.
Matt Riddle defeated Adam Cole via submission in 13:53.
Mauro called this Riddle’s biggest NXT win. Mauro also noted that there seems to be trouble within the Undisputed Era. Highlights aired. Strong tried to help Cole to his feet but Cole was aggressive in shrugging off Strong. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish got in between them to cool them down. I believe the crowd was chanting “hug it out” during the prolonged cooldown sequence. Mauro said Cole promised that UE would be draped in gold, but now they’re draped in dysfunction. Fish walked Strong up the ramp while O’Reilly walked Cole up the ramp. Cole tried to explain to O’Reilly that Roderick Strong is involved in all of Cole’s big losses. Cole and O’Reilly walked to the back to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: A good match. As usual with Riddle matches, it was a nice clash of styles between WWE and MMA/Strong-Style. Cole’s unique reversals down the stretch were particularly cool to see. Of course, the bigger story here is a teased Undisputed Era breakup. I think I might know where this is headed (since I peeked at the spoilers to see if NXT Takeover was coming to San Jose. Unfortunately for me it’s not). I do like that they’re trying to tell a story with these guys. What is a bit odd is they’re treating Undisputed Era as the centerpiece of NXT while their champion Johnny Gargano is barely getting TV time.
A solid episode of NXT that ended with ten minutes left at the top of the hour (But on traditional TV that time would be given to traditional commercials). Both the opening and closing matches look like a chapter in a feud. I have a feeling we’ll get Riddle vs. Cole and especially Belair vs. Yim again in the near future.