12/2 NXT TV results: Moore’s review of Shotzi Blackheart vs. Raquel Gonzalez in a ladder match to determine the WarGames match advantage, the final push for Sunday’s NXT Takeover WarGames event 

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

NXT TV 
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center)
Aired December 2, 2020 on USA Network

[Hour One] The show started off with the entire NXT backstage crew and wrestler roster standing on stage in a moment of silence for the late Pat Patterson who past away today. A life montage aired for the pro wrestling legend. After the montage, the camera continued to pan over the wrestlers still in the moment of silence while the crowd started a “Thank you Pat!” chant…

In order to allow for a transition, they aired the NXT Slipknot opening theme for the first time in a long time…

Vic Joseph, Wade Barrett, and Beth Phoenix were on commentary. Joining the on-site commentators, was Johnny Gargano, who was there to do guest commentary during the opening tag team match. They aired the segment that set up the opening match where Priest was a replacement for the debuting Curt Stallion. Stallion was attacked before the match. Santos Escobar was replacing Joaquin Wilde who got attacked by Priest before the match…

1. Damian Priest and NXT North American Champion Leon Ruff vs. “Legado Del Fantasma” Raul Mendoza and WWE Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar. Johnny Gargano made a joke to start his commentary for this match: “What do you call a fake nodle, an Im-pasta”. He made the joke in terms of calling Ruff a fake noodle. I approve of Dad Jokes. Russ insisted that he would start the match. Ruff took down Mendoza with his quickness and a dropkick. Priest was tagged in and Priest caught Mendoza with a flying back elbow. Priest gave Mendoza Snake Eyes on the apron.

Priest got distracted by a guy in a Ghostface costume at ringside. Gargano noted “I can’t believe a fan dressed up as Ghostface?”. Escobar tagged in and hit the distracted Priest with the Arrow from the Depths of Hell Suicide Dive, heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

Wilde and Escobar traded quick tags to isolate Priest in their corner. Gargano kept talking about how cool it was to see Ghostface show up. Priest got a window of opportunity after hitting Mendoza with a hanging Flatliner. Barrett noted how Priest was reluctant on the tag. Ruff hit Escobar with a huracanrana for a two count. Mendoza blind tagged in while Ruff hit Escobar with a kick combination. Mendoza blindsided Ruff and gave Ruff clubbing blows. Ruff crawled on the ground and tagged in Priest. Priest hit Mendoza with a flapjack. Priest hit Escobar with a Bull Hammer. Priest hit Mendoza with his arrow elbow. Gargano talked about how much he hates that arrow.

Priest swatted down Mendoza and was about to hit Mendoza with the Reckoning. During his Reckoning pose, Ruff tagged Priest when Priest had his hands out. Ruff told Priest to finish the finisher. Priest kindly shrugged and hit Mendoza with the finisher. Ruff followed up with a frog splash on Mendoza for the win.

Leon Ruff and Damian Priest defeated Raul Mendoza and Santos Escobar via pinfall 12:21. 

Ruff and Priest jawed with Gargano from the ring. The looked confused as two Ghostface cosplayers showed up behind the commentary table behind the plexiglass…

A highlight package aired, spotlighting the upcoming men’s war games match as well as last week’s main event ladder match…

Beth Phoenix hyped a Undisputed Era spotlight package for after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Gargano, Priest, and Ruff continue to be the highlight of NXT over the past month or so. The highlight of this match was actually Johnny Gargano on commentary who was throwing in hilarious one-liners (Can someone give Gargano the next guest commentary gig instead of Kevin Owens? I kid, I Kid). Thumbs up to the cringeworthy dad joke to start off the match. The only gripe I have here is NXT feeding Legado Del Fantasma to the makeshift tag team. NXT has done a solid job protecting Legado, to where I thought they could have thrown together any undercard tag team here. Ever Rise? I also think they need to take the Cruiserweight title from Escobar somehow because that guy should be in the main event scene with his strong in-ring and mic work. I wouldn’t be opposed to hotshoting Escobar to a main event slot as soon as possible, if possible.

A vignette aired of Rhea Ripley and Ember Moon showing up to Shotzi Blackheart’s car garage. They did the Pulp Fiction bit where they opened up a trunk and gold light flashed out, showing Shotzi something she liked…

A hype package aired for the men’s war games match. This included highlights from the UE vs. Pat McAfee feud. They showed Undisputed Era chatting in the back of a limo where they reminisced their successful run in NXT. Once UE got to a restaurant, Adam Cole talked to the rest of UE about feeling with their backs against the wall. O’Reilly said now is a good time to reflect and remind themselves how they got here. Fish said he was done reflecting and it was time to kick ass. UE highlights aired. Back at the restaurant they showed Adam Cole leading a wine glass toast to Pat McAfee, for being both smart and incredibly stupid…

Vic Joseph hyped up Pat McAfee giving some words later in the show to promote War Games. They then cut to Cameron Grimes who was walking backstage with a burlap sack…[c]

Candice LeRae, Toni Storm, Dakota Kai, and Raquel Gonzalez were being interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell. LeRae talked about how Indi Hartwell took a bullet for the team last week. LeRae then went on to hype up all of her teammates. Raquel Gonzalez ended the interview by saying that after War Games, Shotzi Blackheart will feel like she got run over by a tank…

August Grey was already in the ring, looking like a Walmart version of Joey Ryan. Cameron Grimes got his full entrance, where he revealed that he had a strap in the burlap sack…

2. Cameron Grimes vs. August Grey. Grimes manhandled Grey early on in the match. Grey managed to land a few punches, a dropkick, jawbreaker, and neckbreaker on Grimes. Grey hit Grimes with a tightrope crossbody. Grey got a two count after a rollup. Grimes hit Grey with a beautiful twisting side slam. Grimes hit Grey with the Cave In for the win.

Cameron Grimes defeated August Grey via pinfall in 2:21. 

Grimes put on his top hat and cut a promo after grabbing the strap. Grimes called himself a real man and said that Dexter Lumis has made a mistake. Grimes strapped Grey to him and gave Grey a lariat. Grimes gloated as he whipped around Grey. Dexter Lumis then took the place of Grey when Grimes turned his back. Lumis surprised Grimes and tossed Grimes around the ring. The segment ended with Grimes rolling in pain on the ramp, and Lumis giving the stage his usual blank stare…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A solid enhancement match for Grimes, but I would like to see Grimes add at least a little bit of seriousness to his act. He can still be a goof, but maybe a little bit of sadism would do him wonders. This is the approach Ethan Page has been taking in the last few weeks and I think that approach can work. I’m not looking forward to what I presume is a cartoony Lumis vs. Grimes match at Takeover, but maybe these two will surprise me. Also, I think August Grey needs to go back to the drawing board on his gimmick. It’s just too gimmicky. Not to mention, Eric Bugenhagen was so much better in that goofy 70s role. Where the hell is Eric?

3. Jake Atlas vs. Tony Nese. As usual, Vic Joseph reminded the viewers that Tony Nese is a former Cruiserweight Champion ( I mean, but it’s Tony F’n Nese though). Nese had the early momentum, but Atlas quickly got control after hitting Nese with a suicide dive. Barrett and Joseph noted that Atlas has showed more aggression in recent matches. The side camera showed that Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch were entering the WWE PC. Back to the match, Nese was working on Atlas with cravate knees. Atlas used elbows to escape a Torture Rack. Nese came back with a back kick.

Atlas took Nese down with a lariat. Atlas hit Nese with a strike combination, ending in a German Suplex. Atlas got a two count. Nese got to the ropes to prevent Atlas from locking in a hold. Nese gave Atlas a throat chop. Nese then gave Atlas a bulldog on the top rope. Atlas dodged a moonsault. Nese came back with a spinning back kick for a two count. Atlas dodged a Running Nese. Atlas hit Nese with the Rainbow DDT for the victory.

Jake Atlas defeated Tony Nese via pinfall in 5:20. 

Vic Joseph tried to sell this as the biggest win in Atlas’s career. McKenzie Mitchell caught up with Atlas at ringside. Atlas was super hyped up. Atlas talked about taking one step back to take three steps forward. Atlas said he needs to be beaten down to be reminded that it’s tough to get to the top. Atlas talked about going on a path back to Santos Escobar and the Crusierweight title…

Pat McAfee and his crew were walking to the ring…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good stuff from Atlas and a decent enough promo from him afterwards. I think there might be some money in the guy being the “wholesome” wrestler in the world of melodramatic wrestlers. It’s going to be a long path for him though, especially with the Cruiserweight Division not being the most hype thing in the world. In fact, I think Vic Joseph pushing Tony Nese as a “Former Crusierweight Champion” hurts the championship more than it does to boost the championship belt or help Atlas. That’s kinda why I was hoping earlier that Santos Escobar get the hell out of this division because of how it drags you down.

[Hour Two] A video package aired where William Regal laid out the rules of the War Games Match. The video had subtitles to clarify the rules…

Pat McAfee, Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch made their entrance. Pat McAfee started his promo by telling Vic Joseph to shut up because Joseph sucks. McAfee then mentioned that he wanted to pay his respects to Pat Patterson who he has the utmost respect for. McAfee then said that he doesn’t respect the fans in the Capitol Wrestling Center. McAfee then turned his attention to the Undisputed Era restaurant video. He called it the lamest night on the town he’s seen. He talked about how they bought rental tuxes, drank boxed win, and ate at a cheap Italian restaurant.

McAfee talked about how the UE’s meeting was all about nostalgia. McAfee then talked about how his team was brought together by money and have proven to be a nice investment. McAfee said he even gave a car to a man who couldn’t be here now (Ridge Holland). McAfee said he and his crew have run roughshod in NXT. McAfee hyped up Pete Dunne as the longest reigning NXT UK Champion. McAfee then jokingly implied that he, McAfee,  was the masked man who helped Pete Dunne win last week. McAfee then hyped up the tag team champions, Lorcan and Burch, who he called the best tag team to walk the earth. McAfee then addressed the fans, who he said are watching NXT on their mom’s couch.

McAfee said the fans will feel all the pain that will be laid on Undisputed Era on Sunday. McAfee said the fans will also want to see McAfee get his, but McAfee has badasses with him. Dunne took the mic and said that they will end Undisputed Era on Sunday. McAfee said that isn’t Undisputed, that’s a promise. McAfee ended the promo by saying that the fans suck.

LeRae, Kai, and Storm were shown psyching up Raquel Gonzalez backstage while Gonzalez was doing resistance band bicep curls…

A hype package aired to hype the in-ring return of the Grizzled Young Veterans after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A really good PPV-selling promo by Pat McAfee who continues to kill it on the mic. He’s not doing anything new, he’s just doing all the old stuff really damn good. What McAfee is doing, that a lot of heels forget, is go after the fans, making people want to see him get his. One of the easiest ways to get someone to hate you is to offend them, and that’s what McAfee did really well when addressing the fans directly. Let’s not forget too, McAfee is also pretty good as a heel in the ring, so that adds more hype to Sunday’s War Games match. A simple and effective go-home promo by McAfee.

They cut to the lair of the Chinese Shi Fu (master). He was forcing Xia Li and Boa to drown themselves, for training purposes. He kept yelling “Zai Lai” (Again!) in terms of ordering Li and Boa to put their heads back under water. They showed flashes of the mystery higher power woman…

John’s Thoughts: I mean? I have no clue where this is going, and have no confidence that this is going to be good, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued. This is some of the intriguing stuff I really liked when I used to review Lucha Underground.

Ever Rise was already in the ring as Zack Gibson and James Drake were making their entrances. Before the match could get under way, they were attacked by Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner. Marcel Barthel then grabbed a mic and talked about how Imperium were the best tag team in NXT. Barthel then said they were going to put GYV back in their place. This was now randomly a match between GYV and Imperium…

John’s Thoughts: Poor Ever Rise. These guys keep getting beat up before their matches start.

4. “Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. “Imperium” Marcel Barthel and Fabien Aichner. Aichner had momentum early on, but Gibson gained control after giving Barthel a knee to the gut. Drake tagged in and got a two count off Barthel after a Sunset Flip. Barthel regained control and worked on Drake with methodical strikes. Aichner tagged in and gave Drake a Belly-to-Back Suplex. Gibson tagged in after Drake escaped Aichner’s suplex. Aichner managed to lock Gibson in a double wristlock. Aichner caught Drake and hit Gibson with a Death Valley Driver. Gibson and Aichner traded strikes.

Aichner hit Gibson with an ugly but effective armdrag to ringside. The show cut to commercial after the two teams jawed at ringside. [c]

Drake hit Aichner with a nice spin heel kick to give Gibson a two count. Drake tagged in and gave Aichner a lariat for a two count. Aichner gave Drake a front suplex on the top rope, prompting him to tag in Gibson. Gibson got launched into the second buckle with a catapult. Imperium hit Gibson with a double dropkick in the corner. Barthel hit Gibson with an Air Raid Crash for a two count. Barthel did the Imperium pose on the top rope. Gibson caught Barthel with a throat punch. Barthel gave Gibson a throat punch back. Aichner tagged in and Imperium gave Gibson tandem moves to give Aichner a two count.

Gibson blocked a moonsault with double knees. Drake tagged in and gave Aichner with an enzuigiri. Drake dragged Aichner to the top rope. Barthel shoved Drake off the rope and right into Aichner’s shoulders, to allow Aichner to hit Drake with a nice deadlift delayed vertical Suplex. Gibson shoved Aichner in the corner so Gibson could hit him with a dropkick. Drake knocked Barthel off the apron with a whisper of the wind. Gibson and Barthel brawled at ringside. Aichner rolled up Drake for the two count. Aichner hit the group of men at ringside with a nice, step up, High Fly Flow. Chase Parker and Matt Martel ran out to attack the four men at ringside to end the match.

Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Imperium ended in an apparent no-contest in 10:47 of on-air time. 

Ever Rise left all four men lying and then backtracked up the ramp. One of the Rise guys yelled, “Ever Rise Rules!”. Ever Rise then sprinted to the back when  GYV and Imperium got up at ringside…

Timothy Thatcher was shown doing squat exercises with a barbell…[c]

John’s Thoughts: That was a really good back and forth match. I’m okay with the screwy finish because it does protect Imperium, who I was afraid was being fed to the returning GYV. Why damage Imperium when you’re struggling to find tag teams on the roster? Grizzled Young Vets selling a lot was fine because they presented Imperium as credible, without just having them be enhancement jobbers. I’m assuming Ever Rise is about to line up and job to both of these teams in coming weeks. The NXT tag team division is looking up though. They have some teams being built up. Not to mention, they might even bring in The Rascalz (who just signed with WWE) into the tag division (but I can also see Dezmond Xavier and Zach Wentz being strong singles wrestlers too).

McKenzie Mitchell tried to interview Ever Rise, but they were running away from the building. Once in the car, Chase Parker yelled that “They got a taste, and Ever Rise Rules!”…

Timothy Thatcher was in the ring for this week’s lesson in “Thatch as Thatch Can”. Thatcher said the lesson today was “Distractions”. When Thatcher turned around to teach his student, Tommaso Ciampa was between Thatcher and the student. Thatcher kept trying to say that he didn’t want any trouble. Thatcher then tried to attack Ciampa, but Ciampa ended up slamming Thatcher to the match. Ciampa yelled “Lesson one! Don’t be an ass!”. Ciampa was then blindsided by Thatcher’s unnamed student. That blindside allowed Thatcher to gain control and toss Ciampa into the plexiglass several times. Thatcher ended up making Ciampa pass out to the Guillotine Choke. Thatcher walked away to boos…

Wade Barrett, Sam Roberts, and Ariel Helwani were announced as the hosts of the NXT Wark Games pre-show. The commentary team then ran through the advertised matches for the War Games show…

Shotzi Blackheart and Raquel Gonzalez were shown heading to the ring…[c]

McKenzie Mitchell told Timothy Thatcher that what just happened looked like a set-up. Thatcher claimed that he didn’t know about the attack and he congratulated the student for taking initiative. Thatcher said Ciampa will know a lesson in respect on Sunday…

Entrances for the main event took place. Ember Moon and Rhea Ripley were on one crows nest area while Kai, LeRae, and Storm were on another crow’s nest…

5. Shotzi Blackheart vs. Raquel Gonzalez in a ladder match for advantage in the War Games match. After eating a power bomb, Blackheart fended off Gonzalez with boots. Gonzalez then hit Blackheart with a side torture rack. Gonzalez punched Blackheart off the apron. Blackheart shoved Gonzalez into a ladder to block a lawn dart throw. Blackheart then gave the ladder a wrecking ball kick to kick the ladder into Gonzalez. Blackheart jumped off the apron and was caught by Gonzalez (I know that’s how the move was supposed to go, but I get nervous when Blackheart jumps off the apron). Gonzalez tossed Blackheart into the ladder. Blackheart managed to get on Gonzalez’s back and lock in a sleeper hold. Gonzalez backed up into the ringpost to swat Blackheart off her back.

Gonzalez threw Blackheart into the plexiglass. Shotzi recovered and threw Gonzalez’s leg into the steps. Shotzi then dropkicked Raquel into the steel steps. Blackheart jumped off the barricade and hit Raquel with the coffin drop (did Wade Barrett just use the name that Darby Allin uses for the Trust Fall? Maybe other people call it the Coffin Drop?). Gonzalez fended off Shotzi by booting her into the steel steps. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Wade Barrett noted that at this point, Blackheart might not have a fourth member for her team because nobody wants to team up with Blackheart? Blackheart then slammed Gonzalez off the apron. Gonzalez recovered and slammed Blackheart’s face into the apron. Blackheart and Gonzalez climbed to near the top of the ladder, with Blackheart taking down Gonzalez by yanking her shoulders into the rungs of the ladder. Blackheart sold an ankle injury. Gonzalez tried to climb up the ladder, but Blackheart shoved down the ladder. Raquel defended herself by booting a ladder into Shotzi. Shotzi avoided a ladder shot and gave Gonzalez a huracanrana. Shotzi hit Raquel with a reverse cannonball, sending Raquel into a ladder.

Blackheart gave Gonzalez a seated senton at ringside (which was about close to ending terribly, but it was fine). They then showed Indi Hartwell giving LeRae, Kai, and Storm a ladder. LeRae, Kai, and Storm then went to help Gonzalez recover. Rhea Ripley and Ember Moon then ran to ringside to jaw with the heels. Indi Hartwell was tossed out of the ring by Blackheart. Gonzalez tossed Blackheart to ringside. Gonzalez was about to get to the top of the ladder, but was dragged down by Io Shirai. Shirai tossed Gonzalez to ringside. Io Shirai hit the pile of wrestlers and security guards at ringside with a moonsault. Shotzi Blackheart was recovered in the ring, where she grabbed the briefcase hanging from the ceiling.

Shotzi Blackheart defeated Raquel Gonzalez in 14:37 to earn her team the advantage at Sunday’s War Games match.

Highlights from the match aired. Io Shirai posed with the babyface team on the ladder. Vic Joseph noted that it’s clear that Io is a part of Shotzi’s team at War Games. NXT closed with Vic Joseph hyping up the war games show on Sunday…

John’s Thoughts: A decent enough ladder match. Still not sure why this had to be a ladder match though. I also call it a success every time Shotzi gets out of a match without nearly killing herself (Though there were a few spots here where it could have happened). This was entertaining for a TV main event, but last week’s ladder match was way better and I think NXT has to maybe not waste their ladder matches on preliminary stipulation matches down the road. The Io Shirai thing was the most predictable thing in the world. I think they would have been better off announcing her on Social Media as opposed to this unsurprising surprise. I also had the feeling they were going with Shotzi winning here, just to differentiate themselves from last week’s predictable outcome in O’Reilly vs. Dunne where the heels usually go in with advantage.

This was a solid go-home show for War Games. It was all fresh material that was dedicated towards hyping Sunday’s PPV. McAfee cut a good go-home promo. They found a way to sneak in Ruff, Gargano, and Priest. Even Cameron Grimes got some tune up time (even though I’m not the biggest fan of him being a prancing goofball). Solid weekly show. I’ll be by tomorrow with more thoughts through my Member’s Exclusive Audio Review of this week’s NXT show.


Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.