By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Live Review
Taped May 1, 2019 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Streamed May 15, 2019 on WWE Network
Mauro Ranallo and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary. Mauro noted that Percy Watson has left the commentary table to pursue other career interests. Mauro and Nigel gave Percy a warm farewell. Mauro introduced Beth Phoenix as the new third announcer…
The now named Erik and Ivar, The Viking Raiders, made their entrance. The crowd chanted “War” of course. Ivar said they have raided Raw and brutalized the tag team division. Erik said they are far from invading Raw. Erik noted that they still have the NXT Tag Team belts. Erik asked William Regal to join the them in the ring. William Regal made his entrance to join the Experience in the ring. Erik said they know that no one can take the titles from the Raiders. Erik said the Raiders are out here to relinquish the tag titles. This drew massive boos and “no” chants from crowd.
Before Regal could speak, Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford, the Street Profits, made their entrance. Ford and Dawkins joked about the Raiders saying nobody can defeat the Raiders. Ford brought up how they brought the fight to The Raiders a few weeks ago. Ford said they lost the match but everyone realized something, that the Street Profits can beat the Viking Raiders. The crowd chanted “ring the bell”. Ford mocked the Raiders for being on Raw. Ford said that deep down, the Raiders know that the Profits can beat the Raiders. Dawkins joked “if that’s your real name” in reference to the hilarious Viking Experience name. Hanson yelled at Regal to make the match. The Raiders walked to the back as William Regal booked Viking Raiders vs. Street Profits as the main event of this episode… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A really good opening segment with the crowd eating out of the Profits hands. Ford’s always good and Dawkins threw in some good jabs himself. Full Sail was great with that “ring the bell” line and it was one of their clever chants in recent memory.
The show cut to highlights form last week’s Matt Riddle vs. Adam Cole match. Nigel noted that Cole got a window of opportuity after Roderick Strong’s interference, but Riddle overcame the interference by making Cole tap out to the Bromission reversal. They also recapped the post match argument between strong. Adam Cole yelled “I’m sick of this S–t”. He also called Roddy “a little bi–h”…
Cathy Kelley interviewed Undisputed Era this week. Cathy noted that Roderick Strong wasn’t here. Cole said he doesn’t know why Roddy isn’t here. Cole said it’s undisputed that Adam Cole is the leader of Undisputed Era. Roderick Strong interrupted the interview. Strong said he thought a lot about this and that UE is stronger when they’re on the same page. Roderick Strong handed Cole a bloody flip flop (?) and said that he took care of the Matt Riddle problem. Cole, O’Reilly, and Fish looked happy at this as the segment closed…
John’s Thoughts: So are we to assume that Roderick Strong beat up Matt Riddle with a flip flop? I’m just curious as to why there was blood on Riddle’s flip flop?
Cezar Bononi made his entrance to some generic rock music…
1. Keith lee vs. Cezar Bononi. Full Sail gave Lee a “Bask in his Glory” chant to the White Stripes Seven Nation Army cadence. Lee avoided Bononi’s rushes with quick agility. Lee got Bononi in the corner with his signature double chest chops. Bononi landed a high knee on Lee. Lee held on to Bononi’s wrist to keep him from running around. Lee then assaulted Bononi with shortarm punches. Lee then gave Bononi the Monty Brown Pounce. Lee hit the Spirit Bomb on Bononi for the pinfall win.
Keith Lee defeated Cezar Bononi via pinfall in 2:27.
The show cut to commercial after the Lee Celebration… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Good to see Lee back on TV. Where has the guy been? Injured? Odd that they never gave us the Lee vs. Dijak match (which now won’t happen due to Dijak getting injured at a recent live event and getting subsequent surgery). Bonus points to bringing back the Dragon Ball Z finisher. Bononi has been enhancement for years, but I’m hoping they do something with him because he has a good look and hasn’t looked bad in the ring.
Mauro recapped Io Shirai’s attack on Baszler, Shafir, and Duke last week…
Cathy Kelley was outside of Regal’s office. Kelley announced that Shayna Baszler was announced for Takeover. The Forgotten Sons were about to enter Regal’s office. Blake talked about how the Profits were handed a title shot. Cutler said that Regal forgot about them. Ryker said he’s going to show why you won’t forget about the Sons.
John’s Thoughts: Instead of “badass” I sadly see the Forgotten Sons gimmick as the most metta thing ever. Their gimmick is people keep forgetting about them which isn’t hard to do with such dry characters. Hell, TNA did a better job with Ryker by focusing on his military background.
Kushida is still Pro Wrestling’s biggest Marty McFly fan and cosplayer. This of course led to Mauro and Nigel making a bunch of random Back of the Future references.
2. Kushida vs. Kona Reeves. Kona Reeves took down Kushida with a Belly to Back Suplex. Kushida took down Reeves with a waistlock takedown. Kushida toyed around with Reeves with chain wrestling and a pat to the back. Kushida countered Reeve’s next chain wrestling with a wristlock and armdrag to an armbar. Suddenly, 205 Live’s Drew Gulak walked to the top of the ramp which caught Kushida’s attention. Reeves took advantage of the distraction as he body slammed Kushida in the turnbuckle. Reeves hit Kushida with a driveby knee. Reeves got a two count after a float over suplex.
Kushida ended Reeves’ advantage with a body run. Kushida gave Reeves a back elbow after a few roundhouse kicks. Kushida went for the Hoverboard Lock but Reeves countered. Kushida caught a running Reeves with a handspring double boot. Kushida gave Reeves a top rope cannonball to ringside. Kushida got Reeves on the ground and in the hoverboard lock for the tapout win.
Kushida defeated Kona Reeves via submission in 5:04.
Highlights from the match aired…
John’s Thoughts: A much better showing from Kushida here than his debut match. Looking forward to Drew Gulak vs. Kushida in hopefully a decent length feud. Part of the benefit of this is Drew Gulak getting out of the 205 wasteland. Not to mention, Gulak’s good now. I hope they do something with Kona Reeves soon because the “Finest” gimmick was a flop initially, but after seeing him on TV and at a recent San Jose live event (where he cut a good EC3-like heel promo) I think Reeves might be finally be ready to elevate and put in a meaningful position.
Bianca Belair was about to walk to Regal’s office but Mia Yim came out of the office first. Yim said she wasn’t trying to face Baszler but she wanted to take care of her business by asking for another match against Belair. The segment ended with Belair entering Regal’s office and the door closing in front of Cathy Kelley’s face… [c]
Matt Riddle was shown with a trainer and Johnny Gargano. Riddle had rib tape and ice on his ribs. Gargano said the Bro is angry and the Era isn’t going to like the Bro when he’s angry. Gargano said he knows the Era is after him next. Gargano said he talked to Regal already and Regal booked Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole in another title match…
Borne and Boujee, Vanessa Borne and Aliyah, made their entrance. Borne came out in her usual S&M like gear. Aliyah came out in street clothes, but it was a black top and mini skirt, and it worked. Here opponent is Jessie Elaban who lost her last name. She’s also wearing Dakota Kai like gear as opposed to her geek gear…
3. Vanessa Borne (w/Aliyah) vs. Jessie. Borne took down Elaban early on. Borne put the boots to Jessie. Borne gave Jessie clubbing blows in the corner. Borne gave Jessie a dropkick. Aliyah teased a cheap shot with a bag but instead gave Jessie a slap while the referee was distracted. Borne wiped her booty on the face of Jessie for some disrespect. Jessie pulled off a few desperation rollups and even got a spinning heel hick on Borne. Borne recovered and hit a running neckbreaker on Jessie for the win.
Vanessa Borne defeated Jessie via pinfall in 2:49.
John’s Thoughts: Not the best looking of matches as should be expected with two of WWE’s developmental prospects. Borne has looked better when in the ring against more experienced wrestlers. I think the highlight of the segment was Aliyah finding a good look finally and hopefully they find a way to make that more of her in-ring gear. Not sure why they took away Jessie’s nerd gimmick? I thought that had something there. Her generic look didn’t work well here and I also thought her taller size did her no favors in making her sympathetic. Just an observation.
Nigel hyped War Raiders vs. Street Profits for after the break… [c]
Mauro Ranallo thanked Underoath for providing the song “On my teeth” for the next NXT Takeover. Mauro advertised Shayna Baszler vs. Io Shirai for the Women’s Championship and Gargano vs. Cole for the NXT Championship…
The Street Profits made their entrance and Mauro said he has verified that the contents of the Profits’ cup is “Num Num Juice”. I guess Mauro be all about that drank…
The unnamed new ring announcer handled the formal ring introductions for the tag title match (I’ll look up her name after this review for future reviews)…
4. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar vs. “The Street Profits” Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Erik nailed Dawkins with an early shotgun dropkick. Erik then gave Ford a hip toss. Erik threw Ivar into Dawkins. Dawkins gave a Raider a spear during a Thor’s Hammer attempt and got a nice nearfall on the Raiders. Dawkins and Ivar showed off cartwheels against each other. Ford tagged in and hit Ivar with a Frog Slash after Dawkins took him down for a great nearfall. Erik tagged in and gave Dawkins a few heavy strikes for a nearfall. The Forgotten Sons ran out and beat up Ivar for the apparent DQ or no contest.
The Viking Raiders vs. The Street Profits ended in an apparent no-contest in 2:14.
Madness ensued with Burch and Lorcan even running out. The raiders cleaned house. Ivar hit the Sons with a running cannonball from the apron. Ford went to the top rope but Erik was there to grab him. Ford let out a hilarious squeal. Dawkins recovered and lifted Erik so The Profits could nail Erik with a modified Street Sweeper. Ford covered Erik as Dawkins gave Ford an unofficial quick three count. Ford and Dawkins bolted to the back. The Raiders destroyed Burch.
They then threw Lorcan into the Sons at ringside. The Raiders nailed Wesley Blake with The Viking Experience to end their destruction. The War Raiders entrance theme played as Erik and Ivar held their titles in hand. Ivar led the crowd in a “war” chant. The Raiders then laid the title belts on the ground and bowed to the crowd to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: For about two minutes, that was a really fun as hell match. The Viking Raiders have been great but I’m surprised in a good way that The Street Profits have risen to the occasion to be one of their most fun opponents. They’ve been in the ring several times and every encounter they’ve had have been highly entertaining. Their pace is just so fast. I really like how their matches contain really convincing nearfalls in the opening moments with the story being that the only way the Profits can have a good shot against the Raiders is to catch them off guard early on (which is smart). I can’t help but feel that the viewers were screwed out of what could be a main event quality match and a career defining match for the Street Profits.
So are the Raiders done with NXT? I wouldn’t mind them just going with War Raiders vs. Street Profits at NXT Takeover Bridgeport? I know via the taping spoilers that the Raiders ended up leaving the titles in the ring after the show but this show ended with them just bowing over them without them acknowledging any sort of relinquishment (though I totally expect this to lead to them vacating the titles). Let’s see where this goes, but I feel that the Street Profits have earned a Takeover match by carrying these very fun opening sequences. Overall, a good episode of NXT.