By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Live Review
Aired live September 25, 2019 from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Hour One on USA Network, Hour Two streamed on WWE Network
This week’s NXT intro teaser was a recap of last week’s NXT debut on USA with cinematic camera angles…
The show made a seamless transition from the teaser to the Undisputed Era quartet of Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong posing with their titles on a balcony placed right on top of the commentary booth. Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. NXT aired a Tale of the Tape for the upcoming Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic match..
1. Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic. As expected from the big men, the match started off with a cruiserweight like agility exchange to open the match. Lee flattened Dijak with a crossbody and then nailed him with a Monty Brown Pounce to send Dijakovic over the top rope to the apron. Lee and Dijakovic adjusted each other’s weight trying to suplex each other from the apron. Dijakovic escaped the suplex with a knee while he was midair. Lee returned the favor with a headbutt and met Dijakovic on the ring apron. Dijakovic fought out of a hold. Dijakovic chokeslammed Lee on the ring apron heading into commercial. [c]
Lee planted Dijakovic with a deadlift chokeslam in the center of the ring. Mauro claimed Lee can drag a jeep with his own strength. Dijakovic thought he staggered Lee by slamming Lee into the buckle but Lee no-sold the strikes. Lee sent Dijakovic outside and hit Lee with a Corkscrew Plancha. Yes, a corkscrew plancha. Lee went for a Suplex but Dijakovic locked Lee in a Guillotine Hold. Lee pulled out Dijak, but Dijakovic rolled up Lee to force Lee to go for the rope break. Lee hit Dijakovic with a backfist and headbutt combo. Nigel noted that he expected Dijakovic to have the striking advantage but it’s been Lee so far with the superior strikes.
Lee hit Dijakovic with a beautiful moonsault. Dijakovic kicked out at two. Beth said she hopes that they reinforced the ring to handle the heavyweights. Lee called for his Spanish Fly, but ended up brawling with Dijakovic on the top rope. Dijakovic escaped with elbows and then hit Lee with a Super Canadian Destroyer for the two count. Dijakovic hit Lee with a beautiful moonsault of his own that Lee kicked out at one in the subsequent pin and lifted Dijakovic. Lee hit Dijakovic with the jackhammer power slam (I believe he calls it the Limit Break?) for the victory.
Keith Lee defeated Dominik Dijakovic via pinfall in 9:09 of TV Time.
Mauro noted that the series between the two is one win a piece (with a tie in there). Recaps aired of the crazy high flying stuff between the big men.
John’s Thoughts: A smart choice to go with the “different” type of spotfest with the nontraditional battle between two super-heavyweight dudes. After being the match that WWE kept bait-and-switching, cancelling (due to injuries), and rescheduling, they’ve turned this into a reliable spectacle. They can pull out a takeover match at will now. This one included Canadian Destroyers and Corkscrews. Can’t wait for the rubber match, I’m guessing at a takeover? I’m also assuming this is stalling Lee’s teased heel turn against Jordan Myles.
A Tell of the Tape aired for Shayna Baszler vs. Candice LeRae for the NXT Women’s championship. Mauro noted that this match was next week with “limited commercial interruptions”…
Highlights aired of last week’s Killian Dain and Matt Riddle backstage brawl which included the rest of the NXT Lockerroom…
Matt Riddle was shown outside shadow kickboxing… [c]
An episode of “Street Talk” starring Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford aired. This was the formal announcement of Undisputed Era vs. Street Profits for the NXT Tag Team Championships next week…
Dakota Kai made her return to NXT, now sporting blonde hair with black highlights. Dakota Kai was visually crying on her way to the ring. Taynara Conti has now lost her last name. Taynara has some new ninja-like gear with the word “Latina” on the arm sleeve..
2. Dakota Kai vs. Taynara. Kai gave Taynara a bicycle kick early on and went high risk. Taynara kicked Dakota off the top rope. Taynara gave Dakota a PK to the hand. Taynara gave Dakota a few shortarm kicks. Taynara then hit Dakota with a judo toss and shortarm back kick. Dakota escaped Taynara’s hold with a back kick. Dakota gave Taynara a front bicycle kick from the apron. Dakota then gave Taynara an axe kick. Kai gave Taynara a running face wash followed by the Go-To-Kick (modified GTS) for the win.
Dakota Kai defeated Taynara via pinfall in 2:42.
Nigel noted that he’s shocked that Kai utilized her injured leg so much…
They cut to Cathy Kelley. Cathy said she had “Breaking News”. Cathy said Kushida and two mystery partners vs. Alexander Wolfe, Marcel Barthel, and Fabien Aichner in a trios match during the WWE Network portion of this show…
Killian Dain was shown sitting down outside and getting mentally ready for his match against Riddle… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Good return for Dakota Kai who came back with a fresh new look. It also seems like she bulked up a little bit in terms of muscle mass (she was extremely thin before, so this is a plus). Nice addition to the NXT women’s division (I still wouldn’t mind seeing her being the one that dethrones Baszler). Taynara [Conti] also came back with a completely new look, and this was her best showing in WWE yet. She finally toned down some of her overacting, she integrated some of her Judo into her moveset, and her new ring gear stands out as different with a ninja ascetic. Also, it looks like WWE, at least for now, doesn’t mind showcasing some of their “developmental” talent on the USA show.
Nigel hyped Undisputed Era vs. Street Profits for the NXT Tag Championships. Beth hyped Baszler vs. LeRae for next week for the NXT Women’s Championship. Beth emphasized the “limited commercial interruptions” for the Women’s title match. The next match started with about 20 minutes left at the top of the hour…
3. Matt Riddle vs. Killian Dain in a Street Fight for a future NXT Championship title shot. Drake Younger was the referee for this match. I also noticed that Killian Dain’s new entrance theme is no longer a remix of the Sanity theme. Generic but solid rock music. Both men traded strikes early on. Riddle landed a cross armbreaker on Dain after the takedown. Dain kicked out when it turned into a pin situation. Beth said she’s a bit shocked that this is more of a wrestling match than a brawl. Riddle planted Dain with a Deadlift German for a two count. Dain rolled to ringside for a moment of respite. Riddle gave Dain a Superman Forearm at ringside. [c]
During the commercial, an NXT ad aired for next week’s 2 hour debut which also emphasized the “limited commercial interruptions”. Riddle gave Dain a Final Flash and then followed up with forearms. Riddle missed a moonsault on Dain but landed on his feet. Riddle hit Dain with a senton and PK. Dain kicked out at two. Riddle went high risk but Dain quickly recovered and put Riddle in the Electric Chair. Riddle got a nearfall off the victory roll. Dain hit Riddle with a series of high impact moves like a power slam, senton, and running elbow drop. Dain got a two count. Dain went for a hold, but Riddle countered with a Alabama Slam. Riddle just barely hit Dain with a Corkscrew Moonsault for the two count.
Dain sent Riddle outside and gave Riddle a big man Suicide Dive. Mauro noted that Dain is over 300 pounds and compared his high flying to Dijakovic and Lee from earlier. Dain chucked a chair at Riddle’s head (protected as Nigel alluded to). Mauro said this felt like watching Ryu vs. Ken from Street Fighter. Dain and Riddle brawled to the same side production area as they did last week. Riddle put Dain on a chair and gave him roundhouse kicks. Riddle took the chair and chucked it at Dain. Both men continued to brawl. Dain held Riddle’s head at one point and yelled at Riddle, calling him “nothing”. In the epic spot of the match. Dain gave Riddle a crossbody through a wooden wall to head into break. [c]
John’s Thoughts: Ok… I’m ready this week. Time to make sure my PS4 is up and running for the channel switch. (Which only applies for this week anyway).
Dain and Riddle were brawling around some bleachers. Riddle gave Dain a Senton through a wooden table. Riddle then brawled Dain back to the ring. Riddle hit Dain with a sleak slingshot senton. Riddle teased hitting Dain with a chair but Dain came back by crossbodying the chair into the chest of Riddle. Dain hit Riddle with three vader bombs. Mauro noted that this is how Riddle lost their last match. Riddle kicked out at two for the false finish. Dain whacked a kendo stick into the chest of Riddle. Dain went for another Vader Bomb.
Three minutes left at the top of the hour. Riddle power bombed Dain off the top rope after hitting him with a chair. Riddle gave Dain a Final Flash Knee with a chair for a nice nearfall. Riddle got the crowd energy and threw a kendo stick into Dain. Riddle then had the crowd behind him as he went for ground and pound. Riddle punched a chair into Dain. Riddle gave Dain palm strikes. Dain came back with desperation punches. Riddle caught Dain off guard with a Fujiwara armbar. Riddle “hyperextended” Dain’s arm for the tapout win.
Matt Riddle defeated Killian Dain via submission in 12:52 of TV Time to become number one contender to the NXT Championship.
Mauro Ranallo advertised Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle for the NXT Championship next week with “limited commercial interruption”. Adam Cole walked to the ring to face off with Riddle with his NXT Championship. Cole jawed with Riddle, saying that Riddle isn’t in his league. Riddle then locked Cole in the Fujiwara Armbar with Cole quickly tapping out. The rest of the Undisputed Era ran out to send Riddle into retreat. Graphics aired to hype up next week’s championship matches. NXT went off air about 1 minute after the hour…
John’s Thoughts: A strong match. WWE teased this match many times without a solid conclusion which ended up making this more complete package better. Dain really gained from this feud from getting a clean win over Riddle earlier in the feud. WWE get’s their trailer shot with Dain getting a crossbody on Riddle through the wood wall. RIddle also gets to establish a good looking Fujiwara Armbar (better than Becky’s to be completely honest). WWE has set up it’s “Championship wednesday” and it’s shaping up to be a Takeover like card. NXT provided two Takeover level matches tonight so Paul Levesque’s brand continues to flaunt it’s reputation on being a reliable go-to [now two] hour of pro wrestling when you want to leave watching a show satisfied with what you just watched.
(switch to WWE Network…)
Highlights aired from the Riddle vs. Dain match…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. They cut to a recap of last week’s Kushida and Imperium segment…
Rhea Ripley made her entrance first. She was followed by Kayden Carter who used to be known as Lacey Lane in NXT. She was billed as from the Philippines…
4. Rhea Ripley vs. Kayden Carter. Carter tried to start off the match early with a dropkick but Ripley quickly gained control with her power. Ripley hit Carter with a over 10 second delayed vertical suplex. Carter tried to go for the rollup to no avail. Carter hit Ripley with a huracanrana. Carter hit Ripley with a nice Rey Fenix tightrope huracanrana. Carter followed up with a body scissors for a nearfall. Ripley regained control with a flapjack and finished off Carter with the Rip-Tide for the victory.
Rhea Ripley defeated Kayden Carter via pinfall in 2:36.
Ripley celebrated her win after the match and even kicked Carter out of the ring… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Standard Squash. Ripley look good and Carter got to show potential. Carter also looked a bit smoother in her innovative offense compared to what I remember from her in the last Mae Young classic (where it was a bit rough). One thing I forgot to add in my earlier thoughts due to the transition is that Beth Phoenix is really shining in a positive way on commentary. It
5. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch vs. “Ever-Rise” Chase Parker and Matt Martel. Mauro Ranallo noted that Ever-Rise were trying to represent Canada proudly. Mauro noted that Lorcan and Burch are fresh off their win on 205 Live in San Francisco. Lorcan and Martel started off the match with Martel dominating with the chain wrestling. Lorcan dragged Martel to his corner to get Burch in the match who hit Martel with a chop. Chase Parker tagged in and ran right into a side headlock from Burch. Ever-Rise gained control over Lorcan after the referee was distracted by Burch getting involved.
Parker tagged in and the new tag team cut the ring in half on Lorcan. Methodical offense ensued as Mauro made many references to Canadian wrestlers in regards to Ever-Rise. Lorcan shook up Carter and tagged in Burch for the hot tag. Burch cleaned house. He hit Parker with a missile dropkick. Lorcan and Burch then “powered up” and hit their assisted DDT finisher on Martel for the win.
Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeated Ever-Rise via pinfall in 6:24.
Lorcan and Burch celebrated their win after the match…
John’s Thoughts: Nice showing for the newer tag team who’s been presented as enhancement wrestlers in their few NXT matches. For some reason, I’m reminded of the Dudebusters tag team of Trent Barretta and Caylen Croft in terms of these guys being the classic WWE Velocity type of enhancement wrestler tag team.
Chelsea Green and Deonna Purrazzo were shown in the crowd and the commentators made it sound like they were heels…
John’s Thoughts: This is one debut that I’ve been excited for for a long time. Chelsea Green. She never awe’d me to much in her Laurel Van Ness run in Impact but she really surprised me in 2018 with a hidden gem match against Pentagon Jr. If you ever get a chance to see it, check out Chelsea Green vs. Pentagon Jr. She had her dark hair look here which give me hope that she goes more for the X-23 look as opposed to the drunk TMZ debutante look. The “Crazy Laurel” gimmick was so cheesy.
6. Cameron Grimes vs. Raul Mendoza. Grimes teased ending the match in 5 seconds like last week, but Mendoza ducked and showed that he scouted Grimes. Mendoza locked Grimes in a wristlock. Mendoza got a Sunset rollup for a two count. Mendoza surprised Grimes with a huracanrana. Mendoza hit Grimes with an impressive slingshot headlock takedown. Nigel noted that the WWE PC coaches have been giving Mendoza high ratings. Nigel noted Grimes’s father is a friend of the Hardy Boyz (founder of the OMEGA wrestling promotion).
Grimes hit Mendoza with his signature flip power slam for a nearfall. Grimes worked on mendoza a bit with pinfall attempts and submissions. Mendoza went for a crucifix rollup but Grimes came back with a Superman Punch. Grimes rolled up Mendoza for a two count. Mendoza fought his way out of an armbar. Grimes dragged Mendoza into an armbar chinbar. Nigel noted that this is a similar submission to what Matt Riddle used earlier.
Mendoza fought out with an armdrag and caught Grimes with a Neuralizer kick. Grimes staggered to his feet and ate strikes from Mendoza. Mendoza caught Grimes with a roundhouse and tightrope missile dropkick. Mendoza caught Grimes with a cartwheel roundhouse. Mendoza hit Grimes with a frankensteiner for a good nearfall. Grimes surprised Mendoza with an O’Connor Roll followed by his standing double stomp finisher for the win.
Cameron Grimes defeated Raul Mendoza via pinfall in 7:27.
Nigel noted that the crowd was booing Grimes because they believed in Mendoza…
The Imperium trio were shown getting ready for their upcoming match backstage with Fabien Aichner doing resistance band workouts… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Personally, this was my favorite Cameron Grimes match in WWE so far. This featured some of the fun stuff I saw from Grimes in Impact Wrestling when he was given chances to shine. I’m glad the guy still has it in him and he has major breakout potential if he gets it together on the mic game. They also have a good story with Raul Mendoza down the road too (it looks like they’re brushing Mendoza’s win against Riddick Moss under the rug in order to reboot the underdog story and continue to utilize him as enhancement talent for the time being).
The commentators hyped next week’s championship matches…
Kushida made his entrance by himself while Aichner, Barthel, and Wolfe came out together to continue to milk the mystery of Kushida’s mystery tag team partners. His partners were the Fashion Police Team of Brezango. Nigel said this is like Demolition Man and is a disgrace…
7. Kushida, Tyler Breeze, and Fandango vs. “Imperium” Alexander Wolfe, Fabien Aichner, and Marcel Barthel. Kushida and AIchner started off the match. When Kushida got the advantage, Wolfe tagged in and Imperium swarmed Kushida. Wolfe hit Kushida with a bridged German for a two count. Dango tagged in and gave Wolfe a sunset flip rollup for a two count. Dango gave Wolfe a dropkick for a nearfall. Breeze tagged in and the Police hit Wolfe with sandwich kicks. Wolfe tagged out and dragged Breeze to his corner. Imperium traded quick tags to swarm Breeze. Barthel ran through Breeze at ringside. Imperium traded the quick tags to continue the isolation on Breeze.
The domination over Breeze lasted for a good few minutes. Nigel noted that it’s harder for Imperium’s opponents to read Imperium since they all communicate in German. Breeze backdropped Barthel and went for the hot tag. Barthel got back in the ring and delayed Breeze enough for Aichner to trip Dango and Shida off of the apron. Imperium went back to the coordinated isolation offense. Dango tagged in for the hot tag. He lit up Wolfe and Aichner with chops. He hit Aichner with a Falcon Arrow, Wolfe with a DDT, and tossed Barthel outside. Dango hit Imperium with a Tope Con Hilo.
Kushida and Barthel were the legal men. Kushida locked Barthel with a crossarmbreaker that was broken up by Imperium. Madness ensued when all six men brawled. Kushida caught Barthel with a stiff right hand. Barthel came back with a European Uppercut. Kushida surprised Barthel with a Jackknife rollup for the rollup win.
Kushida and Breezango defeated Imperium via pinfall in 11:06.
Kushida jawed with Imperium from up the ramp. The commentators noted that Kushida was still undefeated. Out of nowhere, Kushida ate a boot to the face from Big Daddy Walter. Barthel, Wolfe, and Aichner joined Walter on the stage. Imperium all struck their Ringkampf pose to close the show with about 11 minutes left at the top of the hour…
John’s Thoughts: A really fun Trios match. The one thing that kinda disappoints me is that Imperium had to take the loss but of course it makes sense for a sensation like Kushida to have higher priority than protecting Imperium. Imperium is solid, but it’s losses like this that set them up as underlings to Walter (which may be the intention, but they look strong enough to deserve a strong push down the road). I really liked their coordinated and swarming trios offense that they employed here. I also guess it’s smart to protect Breezango a bit to have their losses mean something when they have to put over strong heels (and fingers crossed that we get Johnny Curtis’s return one of these days).
NXT was solid as usual with the first hour having the “Takeover worthy” matches. The first hour felt like development in NXT’s main event scene, which made sense since this is the NXT that most of the viewing audience is watching. If we saw this two hours on USA, we probably would have gotten the same show with the matches arranged differently. I’ll be by tomorrow with more thoughts for Dot Net Members in my Member’s exclusive audio review and Jason Powell should also be by later on with his NXT Hit list.