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- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round Match: SAnitY VS Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss; SAnitY wins and advances to the next round.
- Dakota Kai VS Lacey Evans; Dakota wins.
- Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round Match: The Street Profits VS Heavy Machinery; The Street Profits win and advance to the next round.
- WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne VS Adam Cole w/ The Undisputed Era; Dunne wins by disqualification, and retains the WWE UK Championship.
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Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round Match: SAnitY VS Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss!
Without their rematch clause, Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe must fight their way back to the NXT Tag Team Championships that were taken from them by the Undisputed Era. Can their madness move the big money Sabbatelli & Moss aside on the Road to New Orleans?
Meanwhile, Moss & Sabbatelli were looking on the outs after losing to Heavy Machinery, but they seem to have patched things up in time for this tournament. Wolfe starts with Moss at the bell, and the two tie up. Moss knees low then goes to put Wolfe in a corner, but Wolfe blocks to turn that around! He bumps Moss off buckles then whips him corner to corner. Moss reverses, but Wolfe elbows out. Tino runs at Wolfe but Wolfe boots him down, Moss pounces with a flapjack hotshot! Wolfe writhes as he gasps for air, and now Tino wants in. Moss drags Wolfe over, tags in Tino, and Tino rains rights down on Wolfe.
The fans chant “Tino Sucks!” as he whips Wolfe corner to corner then dropkicks him down. Tino brushes himself off, then brings Wolfe up for a forearm. Moss wants in now, Tino gives the tag, and Moss whips Tino in for a big forearm before adding a shoulder tackle of his own. Moss covers, TWO. The fans rally for Wolfe but Moss brings him up, hangman’s neckbreaker and cover, TWO. Tino applauds Moss but fans rally for Wolfe some more. Moss gives Wolfe a punch then tags Tino so that the two can mug Wolfe in the corner. Moss trash talks then throws a forearm, but Wolfe dodges and Tino takes the hit!
Tino goes down and asks what that was about. Moss tries to explain, but in that time, Wolfe tags in Eric! Eric rallies on the Blue Chip Boys, knocking Moss down and then throwing haymakers on Tino. Eric whips and dropkicks Tino down then hiets him with a back elbow. Tino reverses the whip but Eric tumbles to the apron. Eric shoulders in then slides in to scoop and slam. Eric hurries to the corner, climbs up and hits a manic Macho Elbow!
Cover, but Moss drags Eric off! Wolfe protests but Moss puts into the ring. Nikki Cross climbs up onto the apron to then jump on Moss!
Nikki’s running wild and fans fire up while Wolfe tags in. Wolfe brings Tino up, Eric hops up, and they hit the flying neckbreaker backbreaker combo!
Cover, now SAnitY wins! Chaos continues on, can they capture the tag team titles once again?
Tommaso Ciampa suddenly appears!
The Sicilian Psycho is back again after being booed out of the building last week. He’s still getting booed this week, too. Every fan holds up the Johnny Gargano face at him.
This time, even with the fans booing and jeering, Ciampa grabs a mic to try again. However, the fans chant “Johnny! Johnny!” and “Johnny Wrestling!” to troll him. He shakes his head, then shouts “Stop! Stop!” The fans don’t hear him, they keep chanting. Ciampa tries again, but only more boos and jeers meet him. He drops the mic, and they cheer. They even chant, “YES! YES!” as he leaves the ring. One fan tries to appease Ciampa, but it doesn’t do any good. The other fans chant “Ciampa Sucks!” as Project Blackheart passes by. Then they chant “We Want Johnny!”, which only upsets Ciampa. He walks back up the steps, and to the stage, so the fans sing the familiar “Nana na na, Hey Hey Hey, Good Bye~!” Ciampa leaves again, without a word. What will he have to say when he finally does speak his mind?
Dakota Kai VS Lacey Evans!
The Model Soldier has made it her mission to straighten out the NXT Women’s Division to be more proper and classy. She failed when going up against SAnitY’s twisted sister in Nikki Cross, but perhaps she’ll fare better against the recovering Captain of Team Kick, whose arm is only now returning to 100% after what Shayna Baszler did to it.
The bell rings and Lacey gets a waistlock. Dakota trips her up and runs, but Lacey avoids the kick. Lacey retaliates with an arm wring,er then goes after that bad arm with a knee drop. She drops more knees, then wrenches it again as she bends Dakota back. Fans rally, and Dakota fights her way out to then roll up Lacey, Dakota wins!!
Both women are surprised, but it’s true. Dakota won super quick, and has her hand raised. Can Lacey ever successfully carry out the mission she put on herself?
However, Dakota doesn’t get to enjoy the moment long, because Shayna Baszler appears!
And she’s heading for the ring! Dakota only just returned from what The Queen of Spades did to her, and she backs away from the brutal Baszler. The referee keeps Shayna back but not by much. Shayna creeps closer to Dakota, but Ember Moon appears!
The War Goddess finally shows herself, she’s who Shayna really wants to go after. Ember joins Shayna in the ring, armed with a mic. The fans cheer for the NXT Women’s Champion as she tells Shayna, “You really want to do this again?” It doesn’t matter if Ember has one arm or two, she’s going to end what Shayna started! TakeOver: New Orleans will see a rematch for the title, but the fight continues right now! Ember throws hands, Shayna gets a takedown! Shayna rains hands but Ember gets her ina facelock before giving back hammering hands! Referees work to separate them, but the fans want to “Let Them Fight!”
Ember and Shayna break, come back, but are pried apart again. Shayna gets a sucker punch that rocks the champ! Fans boo and jeer while Ember staggers, and Shayna lets her hair down before loading up again, only to run into a boot from Ember! Ember climbs up to the top rope and takes aim at her upstart challenger. Shayna springs up to rock her with a knee! Now Shayna puts Ember in the Kirafuda while she’s on the top rope. But Dakota makes the save with a running boot!
Ember is free thanks to that, and now she finishes aiming, for a one-armed ECLIPSE!
The Prophecy of Flame has downed the Submission Magician! She stands over her foe tonight, but will Ember be standing at all when they have their rematch?
Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round Match: The Street Profits VS Heavy Machinery!
Both Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford and Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic have gone up against The Authors of Pain in the past, only to fall like all the rest. Akam & Rezar have already gotten through to the next round, who will win here tonight to try their hand at taking them on again?
Things are already ready to go off as “Dozer” gets in Ford’s face and Ford tries to kung-fu fight him back. Tucker and Dawkins bring their teammates back, and the bell rings. Ford and Otis stay in, and fans chant “Steaks and Weights!” for Heavy Machinery. Dozer lunges at Ford, but Ford evades to get a headlock. Otis powers out and runs Ford over, to then back him down into his corner. Ford picks up his cup and takes a sip. He offers it to Otis, and carefully slides forward to hand it over. The fans chant “Drink! Drink!” and Otis sips. Otis likes what he tastes, and finishes it. He starts revving up, Ford revs up with him. Otis tosses the cup up, and then runs Ford over! He scoops and slams Ford, Ford slips out while Otis tags Tucker.
Dawkins runs in but gets a dropkick from Tucker, and then go after him in the corner. They spread Dawkins wide like a certain son of Dusty would, but then Ford runs in. Tucker throws him out but Ford holds on, only to come back in and be caught by Heavy Machinery! Ford realizes what he’s in for, as does Dawkins, but they can’t do anything about it as Heavy Machinery gives them a heavy duty version of Shattered Dreams!
Both Street Profits go down, Tucker covers Ford, TWO. Tucker brings Ford up and hoists him into a big bearhug. He even hops around as he squeezes Ford. Ford fights out with haymakers, but then Tucker suplexes him. Ford slips out and tags in Dawkins! Dawkins rallies on Tucker, big dropkick and then a bigger back elbow! The Curse of Greatness hits Tucker with the spinning splash, then keeps moving, only to take a big Thesz Press! Dawkins ends up in Heavy machinery’s corner, Tucker splashes him while tagging Otis. Otis picks up Dawkins and Tucker gets moving, but Ford lowers the ropes to dump Tucker out! Dawkins fights out and DDT’s Dozer down. Tag to Ford, who climbs up, and hits a big frog splash!
Cover, Street Profits win! Ford & Dawkins take down bigger, stronger opponents tonight, can they do it again against the dominant Akam & Rezar?
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne VS Adam Cole w/ The Undisputed Era!
The British Bruiserweight may only be the second WWE UK Champion ever, but he’s proven himself the more dominant. He has retained against not just the former champion in Tyler Bate, but also against every other man in the WWE UK Division. As such, he’s been left with American challengers such as Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong, yet still defended successfully against them, too. Now after getting in Dunne’s face in passing, the Panama City Playboy gets his shot as the third Yank to challenge for the UK belt. Can the third time be the charm in favor of Adam Cole BAYBAY!?
The bell rings and the fans already rally as Cole and Dunne circle. They tie up, Dunne backs Cole into a corner but Cole turns it around. Cole lets Dunne out, but Dunne sees reDRagon lurking. So he goes out and backs them down! Fish & O’Reilly stay back and remind Dunne to be more worried about Cole. As such, Cole pounces as Dunne reenters the ring. He brings Dunne up but Dunne gets to ropes. Cole backs off, but then Dunne rocks him with a forearm! Dunne dares reDRagon to try something, but they stay outside the ring. Dunne stomps Cole, wraps one arm in a hammerlock and sits on it while bending back the other arm. He even bends and stretches Cole’s fingers back, one at a time! Cole kicks and flails, but Dunne puts his arm in the hammerlock, to stomp on it!
The fans applaud the Bruiserweight’s brutality while he brings Cole up to work on the other arm. Fish coaches Cole but Dunne hammerlocks that other arm and kicks it! Cole scrambles to the apron, Dunne follows him out, and Dunne grabs Cole in a waistlock. Cole elbows Dunne away, but Dunne stays standing. Dunne hops up onto a corner, and come down on Cole’s left arm!
Cole goes down, clutching that arm, but Dunne isn’t done. He glares at reDRagon, while he X-Plexes Cole to the apron! O’Reilly & Fish protest, but Dunne just smirks at them as he follows Cole back into the ring. Dunne hops up again, but Fish & O’Reilly get up onto the apron to distract Dunne. Cole pounces, shoving Dunne over the top rope, and Dunne ends up in a Tree of Woe! The referee sees what’s happened, but Cole finishes dumping Dunne over. Dunne clutches his leg while we go to break.
NXT returns, and Cole still has control of Dunne as he brings him up for a suplex. Dunne counters with an X-Plex outta nowhere! Both men are down while the fans rally, but Dunne stands first. He chops Cole, Cole forearms back, and they continue back and forth. Dunne gets the edge with furious punches, but Cole knees low. Cole whips but Dunne flips up and over to enziguri Cole down! Dunne hops up again, to again stomp the arm! Dunne brings Cole up, sit-out powerbomb and pin, TWO!
Fish & O’Reilly coach Cole but Dunne is first up again. The fans chant for the Bruiserweight as he kicks Cole right in the head! Dunne keeps going, bringing Cole up for the pumphandle. Dunne lifts but Cole slips out and hits a backstabber! Cole can’t cover from the pain in his arm, but he recovers while the fans rally. He stands and drags Dunne up, but Dunne again counters the suplex, but into a guillotine-bodyscissors-Kimura combo!
Cole endures the Hoverboard, and powers through to at least throw Dunne off. Dunne comes back but into Cole’s bicycle boot! Cole lifts Dunne in the fireman’s carry, for the Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO! The Undisputed Era is frustrated, but Cole takes off his elbow pad while fans rally. Dunne stirs while Cole toys with him. Cole pie-faces Dunne and even calls him a “chump”! “You’ve got nothing! You’ll never be better than me.” Cole keeps pie-facing Dunne, but then Dunne forearms Cole so hard, he ends up in a corner!
Fish & O’Reilly check on Cole, and the referee backs Dunne down. The ref tells reDRagon to back away, Cole throws a sucker SUPERKICK, but Dunne blocks! Dunne spins Cole around for the waistlock, Cole breaks loose and hits an enziguri! Dunne still forearms Cole in the back of the head, Cole SUPERKICKS on the rebound, but Dunne enziguris back! Cole staggers but side steps Dunne, Dunne back flips, Cole SUPERKICKS him out of the air!
Cover, TWO! Cole can’t believe it, but the fans chant “NXT! NXT!” Fish & O’Reilly still coach Cole on while Dunne stirs. The fans declare “This is Awesome!” while Cole pulls down his knee pad. Cole runs for the Shining Wizard but Dunne ducks and shoves Cole forward. Dunne German Suplexes Cole on the rebound! He fires up, and then drags Cole up, but reDRagon stand on the apron again. Dunne rushes them, giving O’Reilly a forearm smash, and tripping Fish up on the apron. Dunne reenters, but Cole SUPERKICKS him! Cole keeps going, and hits the Last Shot!!
Cover, TWO!? Cole really can’t believe this one. Somehow Dunne survived one of Cole’s best moves, but the fans hope they “Fight Forever!” Dunne revives and grabs the fingers, to snap them! Cole writhes, but Dunne grabs the other hand! Cole swings a kick, but Dunne ducks it to get the pumphandle position. But then O’Reilly slips in and kicks Dunne! The match is disqualified, but the Undisputed Era keeps up the beating, 3v1!
Cole has reDRagon bring Dunne up, and Cole bicycle kicks Dunne down. But in comes Strong to fight the Undisputed Era off!
That’s still a 3v1 situation, though, and Strong ends up beat down and stomped out like Dunne. Cole has reDRagon bring Strong up, but then Dunne revives, and the 3v2 brawl is a bit better for the Bruiserweight and the Messiah of the Backbreaker. The Undisputed Era retreats, and Dunne holds up his title. Does the WWE UK Champion have an American ally in his fight against Cole, Fish & O’Reilly?
Strong offers Dunne a handshake, but Dunne brushes it off. Maybe he views it as more every man for himself. Will Strong get another chance at Dunne’s title down the line?
NXT General Manager, William Regal, is in the ring.
He is here to preside over the contract signing for the NXT Championship match at TakeOver: New Orleans. That match will of course have the champion, El Idolo, and “this man”, Aleister Black!
The Embodiment of the End dispatched Killian Dain last week to earn the right to be #1 Contender. He makes his way to the ring, and circles the table in the center. Regal then introduces the champion, Andrade “Cien” Almas!
Or rather, his manager, Zelina Vega. She makes her way to the ring without El Campeon, which is a bit confusing to both Regal and Aleister. Vega explains, “The NXT Champion, Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, is not here tonight.” The fans boo and jeer, but Vega continues to say that if Almas were here, “he would destroy you until there’s nothing left.” Aleister ignores her while he seems to be searching for something. Vega continues by saying that as Almas’ manager, it is her job to “ensure that he saves humiliating you for TakeOver: New Orleans.” Aleister tells her to hush with a hand to he face. He hands Vega the contract, then moves the table aside. Aleister walks up to Vega, but realizes how much shorter she is, so he sits down, cross-legged.
Aleister says now they’re on the “same level”, and lets her continue. She does not stand for this insult, and promises that Almas will destroy him like he was never here. Aleister will “reap what you sow”, and then signs the contract on Almas’ behalf. The fans tease Vega by chanting “Too Short! Woop Woop!” Aleister checks the contract and then wonders, “Humiliate me?” Almas is not here, so that he doesn’t humiliate Aleister? Or rather, is Almas not here tonight because he fears in New Orleans, he–much like Vega–will “come up a little short”? Or perhaps more, in comparison to Aleister, he doesn’t “measure up.” Vega really doesn’t stand for these insults, she slaps Aleister!
Vega demands he sign the contract, but he just smirks. He does sign, making things official as he hands it to Regal. Vega insists “you have made the biggest mistake of your life” and that Aleister is “nothing compared to Almas”! However, Aleister just walks out of the ring, and lets Zelina know that he’s happy she came here alone. Because it turns out, he didn’t. Candice LaRae runs out!
Mrs. Wrestling still owes Vega for what she and Almas did to Mr. Wrestling! She rushes the ring and tackles Vega to then rain down furious rights! Vega trise to run but Candice yanks her down and hammers away more. Candice chases Vega around the corner and then they end up on the announce table, Candice still furiously throwing hands. Vega shoves her away but can’t escape, they end up back in the ring! Candice brings Vega up, for a tornado bulldog!
Candice promises Vega this is far from over! Can she avenge her husband at the expense of the woman behind El Campeon?
This was a packed episode, at almost a full hour long! And ever minute was great! NXT wastes little time getting to action with SAnitY VS Sabbatelli-Moss, which was really great. There was a bit of reference to the possible break-up story of Sabbatelli & Moss, in that miscommunication causes them to lose. Though, they probably weren’t going to win even if they were perfectly in sync as SAnitY is just that good. They await the winners of the final opening round match, Mustache Mountain VS Burch & Lorcan, another good match-up. I expect Mustache Mountain to win and we’ll get an even greater match-up on that side of the bracket.
Street Profits VS Heavy Machinery was probably the best match either team has put up on NXT TV, especially for the first time these two teams have met. It’s really big for Street Profits to go over, to be the underdogs to the monstrous Authors of Pain. Tommaso Ciampa having another speechless promo was once again very smart to do. The fans would not stop booing, jeering and chanting, so Ciampa storming out again was a good move. I can’t wait for the third time to be him having an outburst in anger. Dakota winning against Lacey so quickly was surprising, but very fitting for the story brewing with Lacey and her newest angle as a Heel. Then Shayna coming out, fighting Ember, and Dakota helping Ember out, I sense a tag team match to build towards TakeOver, Ember & Dakota VS Shayna & Lacey.
While the WWE UK Division is spinning its wheels in limbo, at least the WWE UK Championship matches are amazing. Cole having reDRagon nearby is business as usual but kinda took away from what Cole VS Dunne alone could’ve been. Great to see Strong making the save, keeping his feud with Undisputed Era going. Also good to see Dunne keeping in character by not really thanking Strong for the save. Unless NXT wants to try two tag team matches where there are uneasy alliances (this and the women’s tag), I expect a Triple Threat for the title coming to up the difficulty for Dunne.
Tonight’s contract signing was probably the best contract signing segment in a long time on any WWE program. It was interesting to see Aleister be the jocular Face when he’s always so stoic and serious. I suppose he just couldn’t resist poking fun at Zelina since he knew he had an ace up his sleeve in Candice. Great to see the brawl that happens in this contract signing is with people not involved in the contract match. This will definitely turn into Zelina VS Candice at TakeOver, though I expect each of them to have one match against other women superstars before then so Zelina can prove herself in the Women’s Division before taking Candice on.
My Score: 8.5/10