By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Live Review
Taped August 15, 2019 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Streamed August 21, 2019 on WWE Network
The teaser hyped Matt Riddle vs. Killian Dain…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong all made their entrance to start off the show. Adam Cole got a favorable reaction as he bragged about keeping his promise at Takeover. Cole claimed to be the greatest NXT Champion that ever lived. Adam Cole brought up the possibility of a NXT Mt. Rushmore and said you won’t see people like Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Johnny Gargano, or Tommaso Ciampa. Cole said instead you will only see Adam Cole four times.
John’s Thoughts: Nice reference to Kevin Owens Mt. Rushmore promo, which also featured Adam Cole (NSFW language by Owens).
Roderick Strong said that all UE should be champions now, but all the other UE members got screwed. Strong brought up that he wasn’t pinned at Takeover and therefore Dream is on borrowed time with his NA title. Kyle O’Reilly cut in with video footage showing that Legal man Bobby Fish wasn’t tagged in and he got screwed too. Adam Cole called Fish and O’Reilly the greatest NXT Tag Team in history. Cole also buttered up Roderick Strong. Cole said the UE is two steps away from fulfilling their prophesy and making NXT Undisputed. UE were about to leave but were cut off at the top of the ramp by Jordan Myles.
Cole took a mic and laughed off Mylse cashing in his title shot on him. Cole said he’s seen Myles’s smile before and Cole will break the smile off his face. Cole proposed Myles cash in on Shayna Baszler or an NXT UK guy. Cole said those other guys aren’t at the level of Adam Cole. Cole said challenging Cole would be detrimental in a young wrestler’s career. Cole said if Myles challenges him he’ll make the career of Myles a undisputed failure. Cole handed the contract over for Cole’s signature and he dropped it to mock Cole. Myles struck his signature weeb peace pose to end the segment.
John’s Thoughts: Standard and solid promo. Interesting not milking out Myles’s contract holding a bit. I’m happy they didn’t go the illogical route of not having Myles go after an undercard title, but at the same time i’m not sure Myles is ready for a title match. Not sure if they pay this off at a Takeover. Maybe on the USA debut?
A segment aired between Bronson Reed and Shane Thorne setting up a match between the two later in the show…
1. Damien Priest vs. Mansoor. Priest dominated Mansoor in the corner and tripped Mansoor off the top rope when Mansaoor tried to go high risk. Priest nailed Mansoor with many strikes. Mansoor managed to nail Priest with a forearm but Priest no-sold it and returned the favor with a stronger forearm. Mansoor got a small package on Priest for a nearfall. Mansoor then nailed Priest with a dropkick and bicycle kick. Mansoor blocked a chokeslam with a flip and enzuigiri. Mansoor nailed Priest with a Tope Con Hilo. Mansoor hit Priest with a slingshot neckbreaker. Priest blocked a tornado ddt and gave Mansoor a lariat. Priest hit Mansoor with an Alabama Slam. Priest hit Mansoor with The Reckoning (Cross Rhodes) for the victory.
Damien Priest defeated Mansoor via pinfall in 3:14.
Priest did his arrow pose to end the segment… [c]
John’s Thoughts: After getting a little bit of a push a few months ago, the artist formerly known as Manny Faberino is back to the Raul Mendoza role of looking good in quick enhancement matches. He looked good and didn’t make Priest look bad. Mansoor does have a good gig in WWE though, he gets to play video games backstage, gets regular TV time, and he gets featured prominently when WWE goes to Saudi Arabia.
Nigel McGuinness hyped up NXT’s USA Network debut on September 18…
2. Mia Yim vs. Vanessa Borne (w/Aliyah). Yim hit Borne in the throat with a chop. Nigel continued to point out Yim’s dirty fighting. Borne slammed Yim to the mat after he was distracted by Aliyah. Borne got a sticker that said the word “lower” and slapped it on Yim’s ass. Ok? Yim came back with kicks and forearm smashes. Yim nailed Borne with a cannonball in the corner. Yim hit Borne with the “Protect Yo Neck” for the victory.
Mia Yim defeated Vanessa Borne via pinfall in 2:49.
After the match, Shayna Baszler made her entrance for a promo at the top of the stage. Dueling chants ensued with the men chanting for Baszler while the women chanted for Yim. Baszler said that Yim is bad ass. Baszler said Yim took Baszler to places she’s never been to before. Baszler said she also saw Yim go to dark places to go to those places. Yim said they don’t have to stand as enemies. Duke and Shafir ran to the apron. Baszler offered Yim a spot in her crew. Yim didn’t accept and decided to attack the Horsewomen. Yim knocked down Duke but Shafir and Baszler overpowered Yim with the numbers advantage. Referees ran out to separate the Horsewomen from Yim…
John’s Thoughts: I’m totally fine with the Yim and Baszler program going because it was surprisingly good leading up to takeover. That said, I noted on my NXT Takeover audio review that Yim works better in the title chase and I’m not sure what they do with her as champion.
A video package aired to hype up Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic for next week. This match was canceled several times in the past. Both men talked about how they are super athletes due to their size. Dijak talked about how Lee was elevated in NXT when he debuted while he had to spend a long time training. Clips aired of their past match which ended in a double countout. Both men talked about what inspires them in WWE and what they think about the other opponent…
3. Bronson Reed vs. Shane Thorne. Beth Phoenix noted that Bronson Reed was Shane Thorne’s tag partner in Australia (in addition to Nick Miller). Thorne landed a few quick kicks on Reed to test out the larger Reed. Reed pulled Thorne to the ground and then struck a pose on Thorne by sitting on him. Mauro noted that Reed is over 300 pounds yet moves faster than you would think. Reed caught Thorne with a nice looking running powerbomb. Reed went for military press but Thorne clawed at Reed’s face and hit Reed with a chop block.
Thorne pummeled Reed with punches in the corner while also fish-hooking Reed. Reed landed a few stiff chops on Thorne but Thorne came back with a slam and cannonball in the corner. Thorne got a two count on Reed. Reed blocked a Saito Suplex and came back with a power slam on Thorne. Reed hit Thorne with a Bionic Elbow and Samoan Drop. Reed hit Thorne with a tackle and senton splash. Torne rolled to ringside to avoid Reed’s attack. Reed tossed Thorne back in. Thorne tripped Reed off the top rope and hit Reed with a running Tiger Knee for the clean win.
Shane Thorne defeated Bronson Reed via pinfall in 5:12.
John’s Thoughts: Wow. That was totally unexpected. I hope that them giving Thorne a win means that they’re going to do something with him because he did look impressive in his last two showings. Reed looked good too. I don’t think he lost anything here because his size is always going to get him over whenever he gets his push. I thought he looked good here because he added a good old-school big man feel in a world of high flying big men. He high flies too, but he does power well too.
Velveteen Dream made his entrance after Thorne’s win. He was rolled out by two women (I think one of the women was former Impact Knockout Ava Storie/Brandi Lauren) on his signature sex couch. Dream told people that his t-shirt is $30. He said his shades is $10. He said his title retention is “priceless”. Dream talked about how he likes it best “on top” because that’s where the spotlight is. Dream asked Roderick Strong to give him an experience he’s never seen before, or else, “Dream Over”…
John’s Thoughts: A good promo from Dream as usual. It was a bit odd that they had him come out when Bronson Reed and Shane Thorne had their match, yet his promo was directed toward Roderick Strong. Anyway, looking forward to their potential singles match. By the way, if that was Brandi Lauren, WWE should sign Lauren because I thought she had good showings the times I saw her in Impact and Evolve.
Killian Dain made his entrance now wearing more casual clothes. Matt Riddle blindsided Dain after Riddle’s entrance theme started to play…
4. Matt Riddle vs. Killian Dain. Riddle beat up Dain all around the ringside and nailed him with a Superman Forearm. Dain gained control after hitting Riddle with elbows. Riddle staggered himself and Dain with a ripcord headbutt. Dain came right back with a running crossbody on Riddle. Dain hit Riddle with a suplex and got a two count off him. Dain toyed with Riddle around the ring with chest slaps. Dain then stood on Riddle’s rib bandaids. Riddle sold the pain well. Dain continued to target the ribs with a gutbuster. Nigel noted that it’s hard to breathe with hurt ribs (that’s no kidding).
Riddle used punches to escaped Dain’s full mount. Riddle reversed a suplex with a Fisherman Buster. Nigel noted that Riddle is deceptively strong. Riddle and Dain then traded strong style punches in the ring with Riddle dominating wiht CQC. Riddle did a Pele Kick and kip up. Riddle hit Dain with a few forearms and Exploder Suplex. Essentially his signature sequence. Riddle hit Dain with a senton and PK for a two count. Dain rolled Riddle to the rope to break the punches and hold with a rope break. Riddle hit Dain with a German Suplex. Mauro Ranallo noted that before UFC Matt Riddle has a Amateur win over Jon Jones.
Dain recovered, slammed Riddle in the corner, and hit him with a cannonball for a two count. Dain went for a Senton on Riddle but Riddle pulled Dain into a sleeper. Dain got to his feet with Riddle on his back. Dain escaped with a hip toss. Riddle hit Dain with a GTS. Riddle hit Dain with a power bomb and V Trigger for a nearfall. Dain got his knees up during Riddle’s corkscrew moonsault. Riddle sidestepped Dain who ran right into the ring steps. Riddle moved around a few stairs. Riddle then landed awkwardly on a backdrop on his face (looked like a botch because Nigel even tried to cover it up)
Dain put Riddle on the chair and hit him with a senton. Dain then used the apron to hit Riddle with a Vader Bomb at ringside. Dain brought Riddle in the ring and hit Riddle with three Vader Bombs. Matt Riddle was bleeding from the mouth. Killian got the clean pinfall win on Riddle.
Killian Dain defeated Matt Riddle via pinfall in 11:18.
Dain celebrated his win and motioned to be after titles. Dain then walked off. Riddle’s face was serious as blood spewed form his mouth. Riddle chased Dain to the stage put Dain in a sleeper to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: Another surprising clean win with the heel going over strong here. Good stuff. Riddle doesn’t lose much and because the guy is such a puppy dog, he gains sympathy from the audience. I was surprised they had Dain go over strong, but the guy needs the win way more that Riddle needs at this point. Riddle can get his heat back when ever. He’s a lovable babyface who has kickass matches. Dain has kickass matches too, but the guy is coming off a stint of WWE undercard hell. They can continue with this feud, or have Dain move on to destroy more people in NXT. Riddle attacking Dain after the match was a nice touch with the bleeding mouth adding a good visual.
A good episode of NXT. I think the story with this episode is something that Raw and Smackdown need to take lessons from. This episode of NXT was dedicated towards putting heat on heels. Every single segment included some part of putting heat on heels and the Thorne and Dain victories were the strongest at doing that. Having strong villains make strong heroes you want to see overcome things.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Vice TV's "Dark Side of the Ring" executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisner discussing the March 24 second season premiere focusing on the Benoit family tragedy, plus their pro wrestling fandom, the show's name and origins, highlights of season two, Chris Jericho becoming the narrator, and much more...