All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Tyler Bate VS Velveteen Dream; Dream wins.
- Adam Cole w/ The Undisputed Era VS Cezar Bononi; Cole wins.
- Kairi Sane VS Shayna Baszler; Shayna wins.
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Last week on NXT, it was El Idolo’s title VS Johnny Wrestling’s career.
A rematch from TakeOver: Philadelphia, and Gargano’s last chance against Andrade “Cien” Almas, as Gargano was already 0-3 against him. And just like TakeOver: Philadelphia, Gargano and Almas gave it their all, and even the ladies got involved! Zelina Vega would be run off by Mrs. Wrestling, Candice LeRae, and the battle raged on.
However, just when things looked to be going Gargano’s way, another flashback to TakeOver happened. Tommaso Ciampa appeared to screw Gargano over with one swing of the crutch! Almas took advantage and kept his title. Gargano went 0-4 against the same man, and now has no place in NXT. The fans gave him an ovation of thanks and farewell, and he returned it in kind. Where will Johnny Wrestling go from here? And, will Project Blackheart follow him from the shadows?
Tyler Bate VS Velveteen Dream!
The Patrick Clark Experience does not appreciate disrespect, but that is how he felt after not winning more of the NXT End of the Year Awards for 2017. Namely, he called out the prodigy from Mustache Mountain, who won Best Match of 2017. Can Dream and the former WWE United Kingdom Champion put on a contender for NXT’s 2018 awards here tonight?
The fans already duel with the bell. Dream and Bate circle, try to tie up but Dream drops down and slides away, daring Bate to pursue. Bate walks over and Dream goes for his leg. Dream gets a wristlock while fans keep dueling. Bate rolls one way then the other, then pries his way out to put on a wristlock of his own.
Dream tries to find a way out as Bate twists that wrist. Bate whips but Dream reverses and sends Bate to a corner, but Bate goes up then under. They tie up again, Bate slips around to a waistlock and baits Dream with a leg. Dream falls for it and Bate leap frogs over him. Bate slips under again, then rolls Dream up, TWO, Bate dropkicks Dream down and out. Dream throws a tantrum on the outside while Bate adjusts the mustache. Bate waits for dream while we go to break.
NXT returns, and and the fans continue to duel while Dream and Bate spin around at the ropes. Bate gets Dream up against the ropes but Dream reverses to a wristlock and snapmare. Dream covers, ONE, but he keeps on Bate with a suplex. Bate slips out to a waistlock but Dream gets the standing switch. The fans duel, “Mustache Mountain!” “Velveteen!”, while Bate uses ropes to rebound and buck Dream off. Dream slithers back and all the way out, to then slither back in from the side. They tie up again and Bate gets a headlock. Dream powers out and things speed up, Dream runs Bate over with a big back elbow.
Dream stomps and drops knees into Bate’s back. He then scoops and gives Bate a backbreaker. Cover, TWO, and Dream grows annoyed. Dream swivels his hips before dropping an elbow, then toys with Bate. He slaps Bate but Bate just glares at him. Dream scoops and slams Bate for another elbow, cocky cover, TWO. Dream moves right into a camel clutch but fans rally for Bate. Bate endures, so Dream drops elbow after elbow on that back. Dream hops up in a corner and takes aim, before dropping double ax handles. Cover, TWO, but Dream puts Bate right back in the clutch.
Bate endures and the fans rally again. He powers and pries his way up and out of the hold, but Dream kicks him in the back. Bate gets up to throw in a forearm. Dream and Bate go back and forth, Bate unloads a European Uppercut and then a running boot! Dream is in a corner, so Bate runs in for another EuroUpper! Bate sends Dream out of the corner before hopping up, then hits a flying knee. Bate grabs Dream, exploder suplex! Cover, TWO! Bate keeps his focus while Dream flounders to his feet. Bate lifts Dream into the fireman’s carry, and goes around with the airplane spin! He spins and spins, but Dream fights out. Dream wobbles away to a corner, Bate runs in but into a boot. Bate staggers and Dream throws him to ropes, but Bate returns with that rebound lariat!
Cover, TWO! Now Bate grows a bit frustrated, but the fans rally for him. He and Dream slowly get up, Bate brings Dream in. Double underhook but Dream powers out with a body drop! The fans duel while Bate and Dream slowly get to their feet again. Dream throws in a kick but Bate blocks to EuroUpper Dream. Bate runs, but into Dream’s spinebuster!
Dream crawls to a cover, TWO! Both men are down and a ten count begins. The fans rally as Bate and Dream stir. Dream throws a forearm, Bate responds with one of his own. Dream clubs Bate, so Bate hits back again. They both slowly stand up and throw in more shots. Bate gets more EuroUppers to back Dream down, then whips him corner to corner. Dream reverses but Bate tries the up-and-under again, only for the two to bump heads! They both go down and the referee checks on them. Both men are okay to continue, so the fans start up another rally.
Dream finally stirs and gets to the outside. Dream climbs up but Bate dropkicks him! Bate hurries to climb up, but Dream fights back. They brawl up there, but Dream pushes Bate to crotch him up on the top rope. Bate tumbles down and Dream adjusts, then flies for Purple Rain Maker!
Dream wins! He’s particular about how the referee raises his hand, but he probably doesn’t mind how much that win took. Can the Experience find his way to the top with another name checked off his list?
Paul Ellering & The Authors of Pain speak.
Akam & Rezar “became immortalized” in last year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. This year, there are a lot of teams with “stars in their eyes”, but the AoP will use this as a road back to the NXT Tag Team Championships. Undisputed Era’s Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish, Rezar vows he and Akam will go to extremes to get those titles back, including making all the other teams suffer. Akam adds that “War is Our Peace”. Will any team put against them stand a chance of surviving?
NXT shares exclusive footage.
It was with a heavy heart that General Manager, William Regal, had to give Johnny Gargano his termination papers. Regal and Gargano signed it, releasing Gargano from NXT. Gargano would be allowed to finish his prior engagements under the developmental brand, but after that, he would have to leave. The referee who called that match owns up to his part in that match. He knows Gargano may not be willing to accept it, but he still apologizes. Gargano still accepts, and signs. What will Gargano do if he’s no longer part of NXT?
Adam Cole w/ The Undisputed Era VS Cezar Bononi!
The leader of the trio that loves to #ShockTheSystem goes up against the winner of the NXT Future Star Award 2017. The Brazilian V8 already proved he could also shock everyone with surprise wins, can he get one over the “Panama City Playboy” BAYBAY?
The fans chant for Cole while the bell rings. He wants Bononi to take it easy while he gets himself a mic. “Just relax for a minute.” Ladies and gentlemen, look at who he’s up against. This is the NXT 2017 Future Star of the Year. Cole says that’s a big deal, so give him a round of applause. The fans do applaud, but Cezar seems to think Cole is being sarcastic. Cole wants Cezar to listen. The Future Star belongs within The Undisputed Era. O’Reilly and Fish hop up and toss Cezar an Undisputed Era shirt. Cezar looks at it while Cole and reDRagon, and even the fans, encourage him to accept. When he doesn’t, Cole decks him with a right hand!
Cole stomps a mudhole into Cezar, then high-fives O’Reilly & Fish, “BAYBAY!” But then Cezar boots Cole down and decks each of reDRagon! He uses Cole as a weapon on Fish, then covers, ONE. Cezar fires up, then scoops and Michinoku Drivers Cole down!
TWO! He was close to another upset, but he’ll keep going. Fish distracts Cezar, then O’Reilly does, but only long enough for Cole to stand up. Cezar turns around into a SUPERKICK!
Cole isn’t done with Cezar yet. The fans cheer Cole on as he takes aim, then runs for a Shining Wizard to the back of Cezar’s head!
Cole wins! Then he stomps on Cezar to make it clear that “only the best and only the Undisputed” thrive in NXT now. Cezar may be the future, but how long with the present Era exist?
NXT revisits the Mae Young Classic Finals.
It was the Pirate Princess and the Queen of Spades, who both blazed trails through their respective brackets. Kairi’s charisma and Shayna’s sheer brutality have impacted the NXT Women’s Division. But Shayna made the biggest impact when she got the drop on Kairi with a merciless sleeper hold her first day in NXT.
Shayna would continue to intimidate, bully, and brutalize the roster. Dakota Kai, Aliyah, and NXT Women’s Champion, Ember Moon, were among her victims. Shayna says she will either make you #TapNapOrSnap, but that didn’t scare of Kairi. The MYC winner returned to remind Shayna why she won, but now they’re going to have another go. Who will come out the winner in this epic rematch?
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins present a special edition of Street Knowledge.
For this special edition, the Street Profits decide to interview people on the street on who they think will win this year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. However, who do they end up interviewing? Each other! “Pete from Alabama” chooses Street Profits. “Darnel Washington” chooses Street Profits. Therefore, it is clear that Street Profits is always the answer. Will they have the answers for their opponents to then earn a tag title opportunity?
Kairi Sane VS Shayna Baszler!
The Pirate Princess VS the Queen of Spades ended the Mae Young Classic, but clearly that was only the beginning of their feud. Not only is this match to settle a grudge, but it could also determine who next challenges for gold! Will Kairi set sail and weigh anchor? Or will Shayna put Kairi to sleep to tie the series up at 1-1?
The bell rings and the two circle. Shayna pie-faces Kairi a couple times, but Kairi fires back with furious forearms! Kairi backs Shayna Down, but Shayna shoves her away. Shayna ducks the back hand but Kairi ducks the punch. Shayna runs Kairi over with a shoulder, things speed up, and Shayna gets a takedown. She puts on a facelock but Kairi slips out to her own.
The fans cheer for Kairi as Shayna slips out and around to a headlock. Kairi tries to power out but Shayna holds on tightly. Kairi fights out with body shots, then shoves Shayna into buckles. She runs back in but Shayna puts her on the apron. Shayna swings but Kairi ducks under to shoulder back in. Kairi climbs and takes aim, but Shayna gets under her jump. They speed up again, Kairi slides into a takedown, high stack cover. TWO but Kairi gets moving again, only for Shayna to boot down her sliding forearm from the mat!
Shayna kicks at Kairi from both front and back, then holds her head for knee strike after knee strike. Shayna gives a running knee and Kairi rolls all the way to the other end. Cover, TWO, but Shayna keeps her cool as she lets her hair down. She stalks Kairi while we go to break.
NXT returns, and Shayna has Kairi grounded with a keylock. The fans rally for Kairi as she endures, but Shayna brings her around to fall back and yank on the shoulder. Kairi flounders to the ropes for safety, but Shayna just chokes her against them instead. Shayna drags Kairi up to whip into a corner, then running knee. Shayna gut wrenches Kairi, then kicks her stiff in the back. Cover, TWO, but Shayna doesn’t let up. She brings that arm back into a double wristlock while fans duel.
Kairi screams as she endures the torture, but then rolls Shayna! TWO, and Shayna kicks Kairi while she’s down. Kairi kicks back then dodges to let that knee strike hit buckles. Kairi fights back with double hand chops, putting Shayna in a corner. She brings Shayna back out, but Shayna breaks free to give back strikes of her own. Shayna runs but Kairi runs perpendicular for the Interceptor Spear!
Both women go down but the fans fire up. Shayna gets to a corner while Kairi clutches her back. Kairi makes her way over, roaring before marching the plank. She fires up more, then goes corner to corner for the Sliding D forearm! Then she climbs up, takes aim, Flying D forearm! Cover, TWO, and Kairi can’t believe it. The fans rally as she calls for a finish. She goes to lift Shayna but Shayna clubs her down. Shayna suplexes but Kairi resists to back hand! Shayna goes down, and Kairi climbs up again. Kairi reaches the top, only for Shayna to roundhouse rock her! Shayna drags Kairi up and out with a suplex, to then sit Kairi down for the Kirafuda!
Kairi taps!! Shayna wins and gets even for the MYC match! And she’s all smiles about it, too.
She also reminds Kairi that she told her this is how it’d go. Then she goes over to the announce table to tell them something.
“Ember Moon wanted to call me out?” Ember called Shayna “a coward”? Well now Shayna calls Ember out. But Shayna knows Ember is the real coward here, so Ember will refuse to get in the ring with Shayna again. Ember knows going up against Shayna means she either loses her title, or loses a limb! With that, Shayna takes her leave, what will she leave with should Ember actually accept this challenge?
Zelina Vega & Andrade “Cien” Almas are here!
And they’re both very pleased with themselves as El Idolo is still El Campeon de NXT. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the greatest champion in NXT history!” Or as Vega thinks of him, “Mr. Four And O!” The fans boo and jeer instead. The fans all thought Johnny was gonna win. Johnny thought Johnny was gonna win. Johnny even brought his family, friends and wife to watch him win, only for them to all watch him lose.
And not just once, not just twice, not even three times! Four times Johnny lost to Almas. What is that called in baseball? “A clean sweep.” Almas’ fans, which he does have, chant “Clean Sweep! Woop Woop!” Johnny talked about earning respect? Who cares about respect? Almas earned money, fame, power! “And unlike most women”, Vega doesn’t feed off her man’s success, she helps create it! That is why Almas IS the NXT Champion!
Almas speaks now, saying Gargano wanted to be champion. He came at Almas again, and again, and again, and again! And lost. Gargano found out like everyone else in NXT did: “I am El Idolo!” Gargano talked about becoming “Johnny Wrestling” again, but Almas made him “Johnny Jobless”! Vega wonders, if the fans think Gargano is “Johnny Wrestling”, what does that make Almas? He is called the NXT CHAMPION! Almas raises the belt high to rub it in everyone’s faces.
Almas & Vega go to take their leave, but a certain Embodiment of the End appears!
Aleister Black emerges from the bowels of the arena. Almas & Vega are confused and concerned as to why Aleister is making his way out. Aleister enters the ring, mic in hand, and stares down the champion. But before the Dutch Destroyer can speak his mind, a certain Beast of Belfast makes his presence known!
SAnitY’s Killian Dain also emerges from the depths, and he stares right at Aleister. Big Damo also spies Almas, but enters the ring with Aleister. Aleister is ready for a fight, and Damo roars, “You’re in my PATH!!” The fight breaks out! Damo and Aleister brawl haymaker for haymaker while Almas & Vega look on in fright. Aleister ducks to fire off forearms, then kicks. Vega is actually amused to see contenders wearing themselves out over the title prospect. Aleister swings a heel kick but Damo ducks and runs to come back with the Divide body check!
Vega shrugs it off and has Almas do the same, manager and champion finally leave. Damo lets them go as he finishes his thought, “Not anymore.” Has Damo cleared the way for his own NXT Championship hunt? Or will Aleister rise up to make Damo and El Idolo #FadeToBlack?
This NXT was full of surprises, for me at least. I didn’t think Dream VS Bate was happening this soon, and I didn’t think Dream was going to win. Bate’s been on a losing trend in NXT so I thought this would be a great opportunity for him to get a win. Instead, Dream wins and bolsters his own record. Though, I do hope there’s a rematch, this match was good and could be even better if it happens at TakeOver: New Orleans. The AoP and Ellering have a great promo to set up the beginning of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, where they have a rematch with TM61, aka last year’s finals. It feels a bit soon for such a match, but perhaps it will be used to propel TM61 as a shoe-in for the finals and the win to then challenge reDRagon for the tag titles.
I clearly missed the announcement for some of the other NXT End of the Year Awards, so it was good of them to let us know Cezar Bononi won something via his match with Adam Cole. It was also an interesting move for them to even momentarily offer Cezar a spot. Though it was pretty clear from Cezar’s reluctance and Cole quickly punching him that it wasn’t going to happen (*cough* Where’s Donovan Dijak? *cough*) but there is ground that Cole needed reDRagon to help him defeat the tall and imposing Cezar. Perhaps there will be consequences to them essentially ganging up on him, and that can lead to something for Cole at TakeOver.
Another surprise came in that MYC rematch. I thought that was going to go for a lot longer, so it was a shock for Shayna to lock Kairi in the Kirafuda and finish it right there. Shayna calls out Ember, and I almost expected Ember to come out and get the drop on her like Kairi did before. A TakeOver: Philadelphia rematch for TakeOver: New Orleans would be good, but if Kairi’s involved in the story at all, why not have her included in the match? Then the closing was a nice surprise, it’s rare that contenders come out and only fight each other. Almas & Vega acting above all this might come back to haunt them in their own triple threat where Damo AND Aleister are able to get at him, and then it’s anyone’s match at that point.
My Score: 8.5/10