By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV on USA Network
Aired live December 4, 2019 from Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
The show started off with the NXT Slipknot theme combined with last week’s highlights…
Mauro Ranallo checked in from the NXT announcer crow’s nest. Mauro was introducing the show but was interrupted by Killian Dain pacing around in the ring. Killian Dain demanded a match now because his match with Damien Priest was cancelled. Nigel McGuinness noted that this is stemming from Priest’s rip injuries that were announced on last week’s show…
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary…
1. Killian Dain vs. Pete Dunne. Pete Dunne managed to get Killian Dain on his knees for the signature joint manipulation. Dain got to a vertical base and almost landed a suplex. Both men showed their agility running the ropes. Dunne ran into Dain but Dain stood tall on his feet, staggered. Dunne caught Dain with a step up enzuigiri. Dunne was caught in the middle of the ring by a running crossbody from Dain. Dain was showered by “shave your back” chants. Dain something back at them to draw cheers that turned to boos. It might have been a curse word.
Dain worked on Dunne with methodical offense and submissions. Dunne fended off Dain with boots. Dain pulled down Dunne off the top rope into a shortarm lariat. Dain stopped Dunne’s latest comeback attempt with a flying axehandle crossbody. Dunne backflipped out of the corner to start his own rally. He hit Dain with a roundhouse and then a top rope basement dropkick to Dain’s knee.
Dunne reversed a Dain bicycle kick and then hit Dain with a German Suplex. Mauro and Beth noted that Dunne might have been hurt since it takes a lot to German a big man. Dain pulled Dunne off the top rope to the apron, but Dunne stepped on Dain’s hand. Dunne missed a moonsault and landed wrong on his foot, leading to an injury sell. Dain caught Dunne outside with a dive to head into the picture in picture commercial. [c]
The show came back right when Dunne hit Dain with a superplex. They showed that Dain was dominating during the break after a shortarm leg hold to a running senton. Dunne caught Dain with a tornado ddt. All this with Dunne selling a leg injury. Dunne caught Dain on the outside with a Triangle Moonsault. Dain recovered and hit Dunne on the apron with The Wasteland. Dain put Dunne against the steel steps and hit him with a cannonball. Dain gave Dunne a corner splash. Dunne countered Dain’s Vader Bomb with a triangle. Dain blocked Dunne’s finger break submission.
Dain knocked out Dunne with a sitout power bomb. Dunne got up to block another Vader Bomb attempt. Dunne and Dain met on the top rope. Dunne got higher ground by dropping elbows into Dain. Dunne locked Dain in a sleeper. Dain simply fell on his back to land on top of Dunne and pick up the pinfall win.
Killian Dain defeated Pete Dunne via pinfall in 14:44.
John’s Thoughts: Dain really gains a lot from these random wins as he also absorbs loses very well too without losing credibility. A good story in the end. The Dunne leg injury had me feeling that Dunne would be losing and they are giving him outs, which is fine. I really liked the spot where he almost got the finger snap in because they’ve built up that finger snap as a credible finisher in the past year. I also like the very unique ending with Dain essentially just falling asleep on top of Dunne due to the sleeper. It’s good to not have matches always end in a finisher to keep it from feeling like a scripted anime or something.
Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, and Beth Phoenix checked in on commentary. Beth Phoenix hyped up Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley. They sent things to Cathy Kelley interviewing Dakota Kai for words to Rhea Ripley. Kai said Tegan Nox is not worth her time anymore. Kai said Rhea is stupid. Kai said she’s taking out Ripley tonight, just like she took out that “hood rat” Mia Yim… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Are people always calling Mia Yim a “hood rat” because she’s black? I’m kidding. But as a fellow Blasian I do happen to hear similar insults myself growing up in both asian and black neighborhoods. Anyway, Kai has been great so far in her new heel role and I like that they took their time fully revealing that Kai was the mystery attacker from Takeover and that this was her cerebral plan to get into War Games.
An ad aired for the February 16, 2020 Takeover in Portland, Oregon…
John’s Thoughts: Can Papa H give San Jose their NXT Takeover back one of these days? Again, I’m kidding. But it would be cool attending another takeover again.
The Undisputed Era, Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong made their entrance. Kyle O’Reilly did his signature belt guitar with the Tag Title belt. No Bobby Fish with them who may have received a head injury last week. He’s definitely injured. Adam Cole said UE had a November to remember. He talked about their successful Survivor Series weekend. Cole said the month may be over, but the Year of the Prophesy has just begun. Cole said they are treated with things like a Bobby Fish “neck injury” and Keith Lee ragdolling him into the crowd.
Cole yelled “I am not a ragdoll”. Cole said UE deserves your respect. Cole was showered in Keith Lee signature chants. Cole also talked about overcoming another obstacle in Finn Balor. Cole demanded answers from Finn Balor for his kick last week. They wanted Balor, and got Keith Lee’s entrance instead. O’Reilly called Keith the moment maker. O’Reilly bragged about having all the gold in UE and how Lee has nothing to show for his moments. O’Reilly did say that Lee is the Belle of the Ball and even went toe to toe with Roman Reigns, and lost.
Lee said he’s giving UE credit. Lee said he’s not only a moment maker, but also a game changer. Lee said UE may have all the gold now and Lee has nothing to show for it. Lee said he did manage to turn Adam Cole into a viral GIF. Lee also talked about how he was a part of the winning WarGames team. Lee looked down at O’Reilly’s title. O’Reilly said look up “my eyes are up here”. Strong revealed that he had the tag title too and used it to hide his NA title from Lee. Adam Cole spoke a bit and tried to cheap shot Lee. The trio dominated Lee for a bit but Lee overcame. Lee ragdolled O’Reilly by tossing him into Strong.
Adam Cole tried to escape but was tossed in the ring by Tommasso Ciampa. O’Reilly and Strong saved Cole from Lee’s Spirit Bomb. The UE retreated to the crowd entrance. Tommaso Ciampa’s theme aired to close the segment. Adam Cole forgot his title, so Ciampa got a moment to hold the title…
Xia Li was shown backstage talking about what Shayna Baszler did last week. Li said she could fight and that Shayna should “get ready to fight a warrior”… [c]
John’s Thoughts: A good promo segment that got a lot of talented talkers who don’t get a chance to talk some promo time. Good to hear some words from Keith Lee, but also good to get a fun talker like Kyle O’Reilly some words. Adam Cole has done a solid job in recent promos putting heat behind UE while putting steam behind babyfaces. It’s good they utilized this time for some feud development instead of just a time filler “developmental” match. With two hours, they can get those in too.
A Kushida interview aired. Kushida talked about breaking his wrist in the biggest match of his WWE career. Kushida said the doctors said he’d be out for two months. They showed Kushida hanging out with his wife and daughter. Kushida said the injury taught him about love. He said he moved to America to get a better life for his family. He said he’s not just fighting for himself now, he’s fighting for his family. Nigel announced that Kushida will be returning tonight after two months…
John’s Thoughts: Awwwww. That was great! I shed a tear on the inside. I really like me some wholesome moments like that. Pro wrestling needs more wholesome.
Xia Li made her entrance and Mauro compared Li’s look to Mortal Kombat characters…
2. NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler vs. Xia Li in a non-title match. No MMA Horsewomen at ringside to start the match. Beth Phoenix noted that Li will gain by simply hanging with the Champion at this point. Li landed an early sweep. Baszler came back with ground and pound. Li did some counters. Both women traded good counters. Li managed to land a Tornado Kick on Baszler. Baszler dragged down Li’s wrist to gain an advantage. Baszler did the joint manipulation right into her signature elbow stomp. Li kicked out of the pin attempt.
Baszler went on to try to hyperextend Li’s arm. Baszler then transitioned to a half crab. Li got out but Mauro noted that it was smart to go after Li’s wheelhouse, her legs. Li hit Baszler with a palm strike combo. Li then backed back Baszler with two sets of striking combos. Baszler powered out and turned the tables in the corner. Baszler took Li to the top rope. Li blocked a Gutwrench Superplex. Baszler blocked an initial Sunset Bomb, but Li followed through with a Power Bomb. Baszler countered a Tornado DDT into the Kirafuda Clutch on Li for the submission win.
Shayna Baszler defeated Xia Li via submission in 4:05.
The commentators hyped Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai for later on…[c]
John’s Thoughts: This was a nice short match and definitely Xia Li’s best showing in NXT. Lots of credit going to Baszler for carrying Li to a good match since Li is a bit inexperienced compared to a lot of the women on the roster. This match had a good story behind it being a revenge match from last week but the in-ring storytelling was solid as well, as most Baszler matches are with the story being built around limbs.
Kassius Ohno was walking around outside, saying he’s not just a knockout artist anymore, but rather a wrestling genus. Ohno hyped up World’s Collide and said he’ll introduce Full Sail to a bit of a “preview”…
The Forgotten Sons walked out for a tag team match…
John’s Thoughts: Every time I hear a Sons’ “tag team match” is coming, my interest level drops.
3. The Forgotten Sons” Wesley Blake and Steve Cutler vs. Adrian Atlantis and Leon Ruff. Mauro noted that the opposing team was from Evolve. The Sons dominated Ruff early on. Nigel noted that the enhancement team was off to a “Ruff” start (Nice one Nigel!). Atlantis tagged in and ate a Knee Plus from one Son. The Sons hit their diving knee finisher for the win.
The Forgotten Sons defeated Adrian Atlantis and Leon Ruff via pinfall in 1:18.
Jaxson Ryker murderized Ruff by choke slamming Ruff on the edge of the ring apron from inside of the ring to out…
Rhea Ripley was shown doing pullups in preparation for her match… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Can we just somehow get more focus on Jaxson Ryker. That guy is interesting and that choke slam was sick. Cutler and Blake do have some talent as a tag team, Blake and Cutler are just dead in the Sons act. I think the pair just needs a repackage or retooling. Angelo Dawkins as in this position at one point when he teamed with Sawyer Fulton and both Fulton and Dawkins benefited with different repackages (Sanity and Street Profits respectively).
[Hour Two] Dakota Kai made her entrance. Her video wall now includes footage of her destroying Tegan Nox.
John’s Thoughts: Yo! That entrance is great! Good theme music too. It’s so great that I’m fearing fellow Dot Net Staffer Haydn Gleed running out to attacking Dakota Kai for her attack on Nox (LOL… I’m kidding Haydn. We love you!)
Rhea Ripley made her entrance with a mic. Rhea said Kai’s setup at takeover was clever, but Rhea said she had her own setup now. Mia Yim walked out and beat up Dakota Kai around the ring. The referee didn’t want to call the bell because this was not the scheduled match. Yim hit Kai with a Face Wash. Kai got some strikes in next. Yim hit Kai with shortarm kicks to put Kai into retreat. Kai recovered on the outside, slamming Yim into the apron. Kai hit Yim with a face wash kick. Yim came back by tossing Kai into the barricade. Yim and Kai brawled to the back…
Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir made their entrance while Rhea Ripley was cheering on the Yim and Kai brawl. The Horsewomen had control early on but Ripley managed to fight them off a bit. Baszler regained control by locking in the Kirafuda Clutch on Ripley. Ripley managed to fight Baszler off with the help of the ropes for momentum. The other two horsewomen’s distractions helped Baszler lock Ripley back in the Kirafuda Clutch. Baszler had Ripley against the second rope while Duke and Shafir hyperextended Ripley’s arm. Drake Younger and a trio of referees ran out to separate the women. Baszler said “not so tough now, Nightmare”. Baszler said Ripley not only wants to have this title match coming up, but Baszler wants it to be a title match too. Baszler agreed and hyped up a match with Ripley at the February Takeover show…
Cathy Kelley interviewed Tommasso Ciampa and Keith Lee. Cathy announced the UE trio vs. Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa and a mystery partner for a match later in this show. Cathy wanted to know the mystery partner. Ciampa noted that at WarGames it was a mystery, but we all know the answer this time. Dominik Dijakovic revealed that he was the third parther…
A Finn Balor video interview aired. Balor talked about how he shocked UE’s system last week. He talked about how they want to bear the flag of NXT but Balor was the original flag barer and everybody wants a piece. Balor said everyone is playing checkers, while Balor is playing chess. Balor ended the promo by saying “Adam Cole? Checkmate…”… [c]
John’s Thoughts: That was a strong and efficient segment to put heat on some heels while also starting a feud between Yim and Kai which will presumably lead to an eventual Kai vs. Nox feud down the road. Lots of logical booking there. Good Balor promo. It is a bit different this time compared to his ranting New Japan promos (reminds me of good Aleister Black NXT promos), but it was still solid and came off as philsophical. It’s promos like that which make me want to see him paired up with Killer Kross. I know, that’s never going to happen, but one can dream right?
They cut to an Isaiah Swerve Scott promo. He explained “Swerve” being a few superlatives. He talked about being the flyest in the room. He talked about moving with the rhythm of the ring. He then said people say “Who’s house? Swerve’s House”…
4. Matt Riddle vs. Kassius Ohno. Mauro noted that the first time these two met, Riddle beat Ohno in six seconds. Ohno went for chair wrestling, but Riddle got Ohno to the ground. Ohno got back to his feet for a stalemate. Riddle used a cravate to escape a wristhold. Ohno then locked Riddle in a key lock. Riddle escaped and managed to lift Ohno a bit with a Gutwrench. Ohno used a wide base to block a takedown. Mauro noted that Ohno is a student of the game and even still uses VHS tapes to watch old matches.
Ohno locked Riddle in a cravate. Riddle escaped and hit the larger Ohno with a deadlift German Suplex. Riddle then hit Ohno wiht Muay Thai kicks in the corner followed by a running forearm. Ohno rolled to ringside for a moment of respite, but Riddle followed on the apron and hit him with a PK. [c]
Riddle was pummeling Ohno with Muay Thai roundhouses. Ohno got to his feet by blocking one. Mauro noted that the kick might have hurt Ohno’s hands. Ohno hit Riddle with a throat strike and running boot. Ohno then pummeled Riddle in the corner. Ohno locked Riddle back in the cravate. Beth noted that this reminds her of Fit Finlay. Riddle tried to escape with a body scissors but Ohno used a wide base to adjust to a power bomb for a two count.
Riddle used a modified monkey flip to escape the next resthold. Riddle hit Ohno with a senton. Ohno got to his feet to reverse a senton. Ohno tried to break Riddle’s toes but Riddle escaped. Riddle hit Ohno with a GTS, Final Flash, and corkscrew senton. Ohno kicked out at two. Ohno used a right hand to counter another Final Flash. Ohno went back to the cravate. Ohno then hit Riddle with a Cravate suplex. Riddle blocked Ohno from hitting a Gotch Suplex. Both men traded counters. Riddle hit Ohno with a V Trigger. Riddle hit Ohno with a Bro Derek for the victory.
Matt Riddle defeated Kassius Ohno via pinfall in 9:16 of on-air TV time.
Nigel noted that Riddle’s Bro Derek is a form of a Gotch Suplex. Beth Phoenix hyped USA’s Wrestlemania greatest moments special after NXT…
A graphic aired hyping Kushida’s in-ring return to NXT…
John’s Thoughts: A good match as usual from both of these great technical wrestlers, but the last time we saw Ohno in NXT, he was the “gatekeeper to the stars” and he continued to serve that role here. Therefore, without giving the guy some wins, it’s tough to take him as a serious threat to Riddle. For new viewers, they are introduced to Ohno as a cocky guy who loses his first match on USA network so it doesn’t help there too. Not a bad match, but no one expects Ohno to win matches on the North American version of NXT.
Mauro Ranallo announced that after NXT finishes you can go to WWE.com to find out where to vote on the annual NXT EOTY awards…
John’s Thoughts: With reminds me, in the next coming months, Dot Net should have the Dot Net Awards polls up too. Stay tuned for that readers! (I know, I’m way early on this, but NXT reminded me of it yo!)
Highlights aired from the Baszler, Ripley, Yim, and Kai segment from earlier which was used to set up an upcoming Takeover match. Mauro and Beth then noted that the match was made official, Shayna Baszler vs. Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship at the February Takeover show…
Kushida made his entrance made his entrance, now wearing a thinner version of his Marty McFly themed gear. He does still have his Doc Brown goggles though and his new shirt now says “Time Splitter” (and ode to his old team with Alex Shelley where they were Back to the Future fans). His opponent is designated NXT enhancement babyface Raul Mendoza.
Out of nowhere, Mendoza ate a cave-in double stomp from Cameron Grimes. Grimes said “Kushida, You’re fighting me now!”. Grimes then got an entrance theme. Beth went “I guess?”…
John’s Thoughts: I feel bad for designated enhancement wrestlers Kona Reeves and Raul Mendoza. Having their matches taken away from them because they get drive by attacked by random wrestlers walking to the ramp. I kid, I kid.
5. Kushida vs. Cameron Grimes. The referee held his headset to show he received the OK to let this be the match. Kushida ended up hitting a cool looking diving senton on Grimes to ringside. It took Kushida three times to do it because of Grimes escaping, but Kushida locked in the Octopus Hold. Grimes then melted to the ground in pain to allow himself to reach the ropes to the break. The replay showed that Grimes may have hyperextended a shoulder. Grimes ended up hitting Kushida with a bridge suplex for a two count. Lee dominated a bit with joint manipulation.
Kushida escaped and hit Grimes with a dropkick combination. Grimes went for his beautiful Sunset German Suplex, but Kushida countered into victory roll roll-up for the victory.
Kushida defeated Cameron Grimes via pinfall in 4:14.
Nigel hyped up the trios main event for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Definitely a better matchup than Grimes vs. Mendoza. At least a more credible opponent. I would like to see NXT continue to build Grimes up at strong, but there’s no shame in losing via a rollup because that’s where the protection lies. This might end up being a fun feud if they want to go there. The only problem there is you hope they would give Grimes at least one win in that feud if that happens. Grimes and Kushida are two potential future main eventers in NXT.
Angel Garza and Lio Rush hype promo aired. Both men talked about this feud being personal. Garza reminded viewers about his feet being on the ropes during their last match. Garza said Lio can continue taking care of his family while Garza will end up taking care of the Cruiserweight Championship…
Beth Phoenix hyped Lio Rush vs. Garza for next week as well as Dakota Kai vs. Mia Yim…
6. “Undisputed Era” Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, and Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, and Dominik Dijakovic. Lee and Strong started off the match. Lee overpowered Strong and isolated Strong in the babyface corner. Ciampa tagged in and stomped a mudhole in Strong. Dijak tagged in and ate a knee from Strong. This allowed O’Reily to tag in and lay in the Muay Thai. Dijakovic escaped a hold wiht a toss to O’Reilly. Dijakovic hit O’Reilly with a backbreaker, followed by a springboard drop splash. Strong got the blind tag in but Dijakovic maintined control and used O’Reilly as a battering ram into the other Era member. The show cut to the picture-in-picture break. [c]
[Overrun] Strong had Dijakovic locked in a body stretch back from the break. They showed Dijakovic hitting Strong and O’Reilly with a backpack stunner, but later eating a Shining Wizard from Cole. Strong hit Dijakovic with an Okada-like dropkick. The UE cut the ring in half on Dijakovic. Strong called Dijakovic a dork. Dijakovic hit Strong with a lariat. Dijakovic almost made the hot tag but UE all pulled on Dijakovic’s leg like a tug-o-war rope. UE continued to cut off Dijakovic. Dijakovic fought his way to a hot tag to Ciampa after hitting O’Reilly with a boot.
Ciampa cleaned house. Ciampa gave O’Reilly and Strong knees and gave Cole a draping DDT (a move which I think Ciampa named after his daughter, willow?). Ciampa hit O’Reilly with Project Ciampa for a two count. Strong saved O’Reilly from an Air Raid Crash and the duo hit Ciampa with Total Elimination. Dijakovic broke up the pin. Madness ensued, leading to a lot of counters. Lee and Cole tagged in. Lee hit Cole with an inside-out lariat. Cole avoided Lee’s signature chest slap.
UE rolled to ringside. UE then spread out so Lee couldn’t dive on them. Lee hit O’Reilly and Strong with lariats. Cole came with a kick to Lee. Dijakovic hit the pile of people with a dive. Dijakovic prevented O’Reilly from going to the top rope himself. Cole got involved but Ciampa pulled Cole away. Cole hit Ciampa with a kick. Finn Balor showed up and shotgun dropkicked Cole into the corner which included a few people and the referee. REF BUMP!!!.
Balor hit Ciampa with Bloody Sunday. Lee showed up behind Balor for a cool moment. Lee hit Finn Balor with a Spirit Bomb. Lee blocked the Last Shot Shining Wizard from Cole into the Jackhammer pin for the victory.
Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, and Dominik Dijakovic defated Undisputed Era via pinfall in 11:46.
Mauro noted that Lee just pinned the NXT Champion. Highlights from the match aired. Balor was shown recovering at ringside. Lee stood tall while a bunch of bodies were left lying. Suddenly, William Regal walked out. Regal said that on December 18 Adam Cole will defend the NXT Championship. Regal announced Finn Balor vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Keith Lee in a triple threat to become number one contender. Mauro closed out NXT hyping Adam Cole’s title defense in a few weeks…
John’s Thoughts: A jam packed main event trios match, but rather than come off as time filler like a lot of WWE main show trios matches, this match set up a lot of things in motion while also giving these wrestlers some positive exposure. It’s always fun to have Regal walking out playing the straightforward authority figure role. They don’t overexpose Regal so every time he comes out it’s effective. Keith Lee is continuing to shine on the big stage ever since SS weekend. Everyone else is getting good shine too (even Dijakovic who is fading in the background a bit, but he does get a chance to show off flashy big man offense).
Another strong and efficient NXT show with NXT continuing to do a solid job forwarding storylines. We’re really seeing the best of what NXT can do in a two hour span after Survivor Series because now NXT doesn’t have to build to two PPVs in one weekend. The time freedom was seen here because we got a lot of promos and video packages to showcase feuds and upcoming matches. I’ll be by tomorrow morning with my NXT Audio Review for dot net members while Jason Powell will be by later with his NXT hit list once he gets to watching the show.