The Knockout Artist wants to avenge his friend, Johnny Wrestling, and is going after the heartless Psycho Killer himself! Can Kassius Ohno KO Tommaso Ciampa on Gargano’s behalf? Plus: How will The Top 1% himself, EC3, do in his first 1v1 match on NXT? And will the War Raiders leave Heavy Machinery down in the dumps?
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- EC3 VS Raul Mendoza; EC3 wins.
- Dakota Kai VS Vanessa Borne; Dakota wins.
- War Raiders VS Heavy Machinery; War Raiders win.
- Kassius Ohno VS Tommaso Ciampa; Ciampa wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Ricochet is here!
But not to wrestle. The One and Only enters the ring to speak to the NXT Universe. “Now every place I have been around the world”, Ricochet made sure they remembered him. He knows everyone was talking about him after Wrestlemania and TakeOver: New Orleans. NXT is about taking over, and Ricochet intends to take over the brand that redefines sports entertainment. Maybe he’s confident, maybe he’s cocky, but each time he’s in the ring, Ricochet proves he’s the One and Only. And the one and only thing on his mind: no, not socks, it’s the NXT Championship. But the Velveteen Dream appears first.
The Patrick Clark Experience returns to NXT TV and the fans welcome him with an ovation. “No, no, no,” Dream says. Dream doesn’t understand who is giving Ricochet this authority to be in the ring. What gives Ricochet the right to ask for a title opportunity? Taking over? How about taking a step back? Dream wants to set this straight: The One and Only? Fans duel, “One and Only!” “Velveteen!” Ricochet “makes this look good.” Yes, he does make “this” look good. But Dream must tell Ricochet that there is one and only man, there is one and only Experience. “And guess what? You’re looking at him.” Ricochet can jump around all he wants, but no matter how he flips–or flops–make sure you land at the back of the line, behind Dream.
Behind Dream? Dream thinks he deserves a shot? Ricochet knows he’s the new kid, but he knows all about the Velveteen Dream. He got the NXT Universe to say his name. He even got Aleister Black to say it. Though Dream might not remember that since it was after getting his head kicked off. Don’t get cute, because if you keep running your mouth, #DreamOver will be your reality. Ricochet won’t run his mouth, he’ll just run circles around Dream. Dream is good, but he ain’t Ricochet. Ricochet knows Dream acts like this is his show, but enjoy that while it lasts because Ricochet is going to steal the show. Steal Dream’s show? Steal Dream’s spotlight? “YES! YES!”
The NXT Universe believes in Ricochet, fine, but Dream says he can try. “Understand this: anything that you can do, The Dream can do better.” Ricochet dares Dream to prove. The mics drop, and the fans chant for a fight. Dream takes off his jewelry, and tries to sucker punch Ricochet, but Ricochet is ready with a step. Ricochet winks and Dream slithers away. When will this #OneAndOnlyExperience happen?
EC3 VS Raul Mendoza!
The man known as Ethan Carter III makes his singles debut on NXT TV, while the Cruiserweight Classic competitor wants to finally have that break-out moment. Will Raul ruin EC3’s moment by making one of his own?
Fans already chant for EC3 at the bell. EC3 and Mendoza tie up, Mendoza getting a waistlock then headlock. Mendoza slips out of the back suplex then runs to headscissor EC3 down. EC3 powers Mendoza to a corner, rams in shoulders then whips him corner to corner. Mendoza gets out to the apron and forearms EC3 back, then springboards for a missile dropkick. Cover. ONE, but Mendoza keeps on EC3. EC3 reverses the whip into a facelock STO. EC3 puts Mendoza back in a corner for a mudhole stomp, then backs off at the referee’s count. He returns to club Mendoza in the chest, then whips him to the ropes. EC3 flips Mendoza over with a clubbing clothesline, then stalks him to a corner. He brings Mendoza up, whips him out then in, and gives another clubbing clothesline.
EC3 snapmares Mendoza then gives the neck snap, and fans cheer. He drags Mendoza up but Mendoza jawbreakers back. Mendoza throws hands, but EC3 shoves him, only for Mendoza to forearm and enziguri on the rebound. Mendoza fires up, but runs into an alley-oop snake eyes! EC3 gives Mendoza a strong knee lift, then fireman’s carry to the TKO!
EC3 covers, EC3 wins!
Winner: EC3, by pinfall
The Top 1% is on top tonight with his first 1v1 win. Will he continue climbing up until he is truly the top 1% of #NX3?
On-stage interview with EC3.
After falling short of the North American Championship in TakeOver’s ladder match, how important was it for him to win tonight? Losing at TakeOver? So what?! Adversity makes a man, and he IS a man. EC3 has the mind of a genius, the body of a deity, and has precision skill in the ring. “The only thing you’ll see out of me going forward is victory after victory after victory”, repeat, to make NXT become NX3. Fans chant along, “NX3! NX3!” He is the best here, there and anywhere, he is THE EC3.
NXT shares exclusive backstage footage from last week.
Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan encounter Pete Dunne after all three men fought off The Undisputed Era. The brawlers make it clear that they were only fighting Roderick Strong, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly because of their own vendetta. It wasn’t to help the Bruiserweight, because honestly, they really, really don’t like him. But the three can agree the common enemy is the Undisputed Era. Three on three, what does Dunne say? Dunne nods “Yes”, which is good enough for them. Will the Bruiserweight and the brawlers work well together against the united Undisputed Era?
Dakota Kai VS Vanessa Borne!
Captain Kick took offense to the vivacious Vanessa insinuating the Queen of Spades traumatized her. Whether she’s afraid of Shayna Baszler or not, Dakota defends she isn’t afraid of Vanessa. Will the kicking Kiwi give Vanessa a reason to fear her?
The bell rings and fans are on Dakota’s side. She and Vanessa tie up, Vanessa gets the headlock but Dakota powers out. Dakota follows Vanessa and dropkicks her down, then already runs around the world, only to miss her corner kick. Vanessa headbutts Dakota down, then climbs up to give Dakota a facebsuter. Cover, TWO, but Vanessa keeps on Dakota with stomps and ax handles. She demands the fans cheer, but the fans only boo. She kicks Dakota low, to take her on a Moonlight Drive!
Cover, TWO, and Vanessa is already frustrated. She goes after Dakota’s arms in a half-surfboard, but the fans rally for Dakota. Dakota fights her way up but Vanessa just drags her back down. The fans keep rallying, and Dakota stands up again. Dakota arm-drags Vanessa off, then ducks to roundhouse! Another roundhouse, then a scorpion kick puts Vanessa in the corner. Dakota fires up then runs around the world, for the Kiwi Kick!
Vanessa sits down, Dakota adds a running knee! Fans fire up, and Vanessa staggers. Dakota runs and gives Vanessa a sunset backstabber!
Cover, Dakota wins!
Winner: Dakota, by pinfall
Captain Kick conquers Vanessa, but her fears come back to haunt her! Shayna Baszler appears!
The mere presence of the NXT Women’s Champion makes Dakota tremble in the ring. Shayna smirks as she walks down the ramp and joins both Dakota and Vanessa in the ring. Dakota cowers in a corner as Shayna draws near. Shayna doesn’t bother bullying her, she goes after Vanessa!
Vanessa is in the Kirafuda Klutch, and taps out to no avail. Dakota is too afraid, she slips away instead of helping Vanessa. Shayna just glares at the cowering Kiwi while she chokes Vanessa out. Will there be anywhere for Dakota to run and hide from Shayna’s #ReignofTerror?
Backstage interview with Dakota Kai.
The fleeing winner is congratulated but clearly she’s shaken by Shayna’s appearance. Why does Shayna have such power over her? Dakota can’t explain it herself. Shayna goes after Vanessa, and Dakota just froze. Oh no, Shayna walks backstage now!
“C’mon, do something!” Shayna eggs Dakota on, but Dakota can only tremble. “That’s what I thought.” Shayna leaves, and leaves Dakota feeling afraid and ashamed. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Crazy Nikki Cross is laughing from the shadows!
The loony lass laughs and laughs, will she be laughing all the way to a title shot against Shayna?
War Raiders VS Heavy Machinery!
Ray Rowe & “War Beard” Hanson made their NXT debut by wrecking Tucker Knight, Otis Dozovic, Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss all at once. Sabbatelli and Moss broke up as a team but Tucky & Dozer are still together and looking for payback. Which duo will destroy the other in this truly colossal collision?
Rowe and Otis start with the bell, and Rowe dares “Doze” to do something. Otis gives a forearm, so Rowe gives back one. They brawl, and then Tucker and Hanson jump in! It’s a full on fight between all four men. Heavy Machinery turn the tides, then whips War Raiders at each other, but Hanson reverses and Rowe rucks Tucker with a forearm. Hanson goes at Otis and they collide with bodies, but Rowe’s shotgun knees send Otis into the corner. Rowe tags Hanson in, and Rowe whips Hanson in for the splash. Hanson then becomes a human weapon as Rowe lifts him, for a spinebuster senton! War Raiders fire up as Hanson tags Rowe back in. Rowe feeds Otis to Hanson’s knee, then Hanson feeds Otis to Rowe’s roundhouse.
Otis staggers to a corner while Rowe tags Hanson back in. Hanson whips Otis but Otis reverses into an overhead suplex! Fans rally while Hanson and Otis are down. Hot tags to Rowe and Tucker, but it’s Tucker who rallies with right hands. Yet Rowe stays standing! Until Tucker dropkicks and hip tosses him! Tucker fires up but Hanson comes in, to DIVE on Dozer!
Tucker goes after Rowe but Rowe fights back, Ace Ten Mao! Rowe tags to Hanson, and they pick up Tucker, for FALLOUT!
Hanson covers, War Raiders win!
Winners: War Raiders (Hanson & Rowe), Hanson pinning
War has come to NXT, and the Raiders are on a roll! After taking down one of the literally biggest teams in the division, is it only a matter of time before Hanson & Rowe wage war on the NXT Tag Team Champions?
The Street Profits get some exercise.
They work out the old school way, and are still coming for those NXT Tag Team Championships by any means necessary. They won’t let TM61’s cheating win slow them down. Can Dawkins & Ford pick up where they left off and go after the titles?
Kassius Ohno VS Tommaso Ciampa!
The Psycho Killer has no remorse over the betrayal and the beatings he’s given Johnny Gargano. He doesn’t even care that he almost ended Gargano’s career. But the Knockout Artist vows to make him care, even if he has to beat it into him. Will Ohno KO Ciampa? Or will he suffer a similar fate to Johnny Wrestling?
The referee has to keep Ohno back as he enters the ring. Ohno waits for the bell, then goes right at Ciampa. They tie up, and Ohno backs Ciampa into the corner. Ohno honors the break, and sees Ciampa’s sucker punch coming. Ohno uppercuts Ciampa out of the ring, then follows to elbow and boot Ciampa against barriers. He keeps on Ciampa with more elbows, then puts him in the ring. Ciampa slips back out, but Ohno wrecks him with the wrecking ball dropkick! Ohno has Ciampa on the ramp, and rocks him with a right hand. Ciampa slips back into the ring but Ohno follows. Ciampa kicks and punches back, then bumps Ohno off buckles. He stomps and whips but Ohno reverses, then suplexes Ciampa up on the rebound. Ciampa hits the mat hard, then Ohno adds a big back senton!
Ciampa goes to the apron but Ohno follows again, only for Ciampa to sweep the the legs! Ohno hits the mat and apron, and Ciampa adds a running knee! That knee brace is an added factor to the impact, and Ohno reels to other ropes. Ciampa stomps away on Ohno, and only stops because his rage boils over. Ciampa checks his black eye, then taunts Ohno while stomping on his ankles. He digs his fingers into Ohno’s face, then stomps more. Ohno staggers, but Ciampa rocks him with a shotgun dropkick. The Psycho Killer tells Ohno that Gargano is not worth wasting emotions on, then digs his fingers back into Ohno’s face. He lets go at the referee’s count, but then wraps on a chinlock. Ciampa squeezes, but Ohno rolls, only for Ciampa to roll through.
Fans rally for Ohno while he endures, but Ciampa adds torque to the hold. Ohno feeds off the fans’ energy, and stands up. Ciampa shifts to a cravat and drives in knees again and again. Ciampa chops Ohno, then chops again, but Ohno blocks the third to give a swift right jab! Ohno runs in for a bicycle boot, then a forearm, then another boot. He grinds his boot into Ciampa, and the fans fire up. Ohno whips Ciampa corner to corner but Ciampa revesres again, only for Ohno to boot Ciampa down! Ohno stands on Ciampa’s face, giving him a taste of his own medicine. He sits Ciampa up to trap an arm and grind his elbow into Ciampa’s bad eye. Ohno drops a knee on the eye, and Ciampa screams in pain.
Ohno stands on Ciampa again, then brings down the knee pad. He drops the exposed knee on Ciampa’s bad eye! Ciampa gets to a corner, and boots back, but Ohno rocks him with a right! Ohno grabs Ciampa with a cravat, and asks if Ciampa can see him with only one eye. Ohno then yanks Ciampa off the top rope for a floating cravat!
Ciampa flails, holding on with a body scissors, but then Ohno sits out for a cravat bomb! Cover, TWO, and Ohno is shocked. Ciampa rolls away while Ohno stands up. Ohno glares down at Ciampa, and asks “Is it worth it?!” before booting Ciampa in the face. Fans are chanting for Ohno as he boots Ciampa again. Ciampa rolls behind the referee, then gets a sucker punch. Ciampa clubs away on Ohno with lefts and rights, then undoes his wrist tape. The referee knows he’s going to choke Ohno with that, so he confiscates it. But that only allows Ciampa to dig his fingers right into Ohno’s eye!! Ohno rolls to the ropes, but Ciampa is on him with forearms and haymakers. Ciampa runs, but Ohno boots him! Ohno runs, but Ciampa dodges the High Tension elbow! Ciampa takes aim, and hits the Psycho Wizard knee!
Cover, TWO!! Ciampa is shocked, but the fans are cheering. Ohno survives, and the fans rally for him, but Ciampa grinds his foot into Ohno’s chin. Ohno fires up and stands up, to knee Ciampa back. Ciampa boots back, then spins, but Ohno counters elbow with elbow! Then he elbows Ciampa’s face, and spins, only for Ciampa to clobber him with a clothesline! Ciampa brings Ohno up and turns him around for a swinging facebuster. Cover, Ciampa wins!
Winner: Ciampa, by pinfall
The Blackheart beats Ohno, and embraces every bit of heat the fans throw at him. They chant “You Suck! You Suck!” but that doesn’t change that Ciampa won. And that doesn’t change Ciampa’s ways, as he takes off that knee brace and targets Ohno. Ciampa cracks Ohno in the back with the brace, then reaches around the ropes to place the brace on Ohno’s face!
Ciampa pulls back on Ohno, a flashback to what Gargano did to Ciampa in their Unsanctioned match at TakeOver! He finally lets go and Ohno slumps to the apron. Ciampa shouts “Was it worth it” to fight on Gargano’s behalf?! He shouts that he broke Gargano’s body, broke Candice’s heart, and killed the fairy tale. Fans boo and jeer, but Ciampa’s job here is done. He takes his leave, and basks in the hate. Will Ciampa soon bask in the light of an NXT Championship match?
Another solid NXT tonight. Great to see Ricochet, and he has a pretty good back and forth with Velveteen Dream to set up this dream 1v1 program. They are going to put on an amazing match, and it could easily be an NXT Championship #1 Contender’s match. EC3 and Mendoza have a good match, but between EC3 being the new big star and Mendoza having jobbed before, naturally EC3 wins. He himself could easily find himself competing for the North American Championship again while Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era are busy worrying about Pete Dunne. And as I guessed, there will be a Six Man Tag of Dunne, Lorcan & Burch against Undisputed Era, to possibly set up for a bigger Six Man with British Strong Style officially uniting in WWE.
Dakota does great in both her match with Vanessa, and in continuing her frightened victim act. Shayna keeps egging her own, so it’s only a matter of time before Dakota snaps. In the meantime, it looks like Nikki Cross is ready for another go at the title. Hopefully it is soon so that she can get it out of the way and join the rest of SAnitY on SmackDown. Rowe & Hanson kinda give Heavy Machinery a taste of their own squash medicine, but it was damn fun to see it. Ciampa VS Ohno was a great match, really physical like we know they’re both capable of. Ciampa having no music is GENIUS, and he is primed for an NXT Championship match as the Heel to Aleister Black’s Face, and that will be even more intense.
My Score: 8.5/10