The NXT Champion is STILL Tommaso Ciampa, and he returns victoriously after TakeOver: WarGames II! Who will #FollowtheLead of the Psycho Killer?
- Matt Riddle VS Punishment Martinez; Riddle wins.
- The Forgotten Sons w/ Jaxson Ryker VS Raul Mendoza & Humberto Carrillo; The Forgotten Sons win.
- Dakota Kai VS Shayna Baszler w/Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir; Baszler wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Matt Riddle VS Punishment Martinez!
The King of Bros had both a successful NXT “debutt” as well as a TakeOver “debutt”, but that’s just the beginning! And speaking of, another new NXT recruit is about to make his debut, as this towering and terrifying titan of ROH is here to take over! Will Riddle make quick work of the Puerto Rican Powerhouse like he did the Knockout Artist? Or will he be the first to fall to the Purple Mist?
The bell rings and fans favor Riddle, though Martinez’s reputation does precede him. These two circle and tie up, and Martinez pushes Riddle back. Riddle pushes Martinez back, but Riddle ends up in a corner. He turns it around but Martinez shoves him away. Riddle dares Martinez to bring it, then he dodges all the kicks. Riddle hops on for a sleeper hold, but Martinez drops back for the backpack senton. Martinez is freed, but Riddle sits right up to put the hold right back on! Martinez goes all the way back and then uppercuts Riddle! Riddle gets to a corner and dodges Martinez to fire off kick after kick! He goes until the count of 4, and then hits the forearm smash! Riddle keeps moving, but runs into Martinez’s spinning roundhouse! Martinez covers, TWO!
Martinez keeps his cool as fans rally up. Riddle gets to a corner and Martinez runs in for the back elbow, clubbing clothesline, and roaring uppercut. Martinez looms over Riddle but walks into Riddle’s CHOP! But Riddle runs into Martinez’s clothesline! Martinez seethes while Riddle flops around. Martinez drags Riddle up but Riddle fights back with body shots. Riddle goes to chop but Martinez grabs him around the throat! Riddle palm strikes, then kicks away! He breaks the grip but Martinez blocks, only to get a roundhouse. Riddle fires up as he drives elbow after elbow into Martinez. Then the Bro-Mission! But Martinez powers out, only to get more palm strikes! Riddle locks it in tight, Martinez taps! Riddle wins!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by submission
Bro, that was tough competition from Martinez. But Riddle still wins to keep his streak going at 3-0. Will Riddle fight his way to the top in no time at all?
But wait, Kassius Ohno appears on stage, and rocks Riddle with a discus elbow!! Riddle goes down in a heap and fans boo, but Ohno just wants to get even. Ohno leaves Riddle alone for now, but what more will he do to break the “shiny new toy”?
NXT Media caught up with Ricochet.
Ricochet has been a highlight reel in human form. It feels great, but he’s not just to be a highlight reel, hes’ here to win. He has the North American Championship and hasn’t been pinned yet, but what does he plan to do to keep going? Ricochet plans on defending his title, and is going to talk with William Regal about who that challenger should be. Who will the NXT GM deem worthy of a shot at The One and Only?
Heavy Machinery speaks.
Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic had a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championships roughly a year and a half ago, against the Authors of Pain. They weren’t quite ready at the time, but they’ve grown since then. They’ve gotten stronger as a team, and are ready to try again. The Undisputed Era have the titles, but Heavy Machinery has been steamrolling towards those belts. Their journey won’t be complete without those belts. Tucker and Dozer are COMIIIN‘! Will The Undisputed Era be able to stop them?
William Regal makes a major announcement.
In three weeks, there will be a Fatal 4 Way to determine a new #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship. There will be matches to qualify three of the four members, because the first is already decided: the Un-De-Fea-Ted Bianca Belair is already in the match! Who will join The EST on the road to challenging #ShaynaTwoTime?
The Forgotten Sons w/ Jaxson Ryker VS Raul Mendoza & Humberto Carrillo!
#DoUntoOthers is the motto of the trio that felt neglected and overlooked, and they’ve all been on a roll as both a unit and singles competitors. However, this new dúo dinámico looks to launch themselves into the Tag Team Division’s spotlight. Will Mendoza & Carrillo survive the onslaught of Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake?
The teams sort out and Cutler starts with Mendoza. They tie up and Cutler throws Mendoza right down! Cutler wraps on a facelock but Mendoza pries his way out. Mendoza slips out of the suplex and CHOPS, but Cutler reverses the whip. Mendoza comes back with a running enziguri! Tag to Carrillo, and they double whip and double hip toss Cutler. Mendoza and and Carrillo combine, wheelbarrow flip into a splash! Carrillo keeps on Cutler with a hammerlock. Cutler gets out and powers Carrillo to his corner. Tag to Blake and Blake mugs Carrillo. Blake CHOPS Carrillo then chokes him against ropes. He backs off at 4 to CHOP, and then whips Carrillo corner to corner.
Carrillo goes up and over and shows off a little. Carrillo kicks, Blake ducks but not the second one! Blake ends up in Carrillo’s corner and Carrillo adds a corner splash. Mendoza tags in and sees Cutler coming, so he springboard huricanranas Cutler out! Mendoza comes back and Carrillo helps for Poetry in Motion, but Blake catches Mendoza and slams him on Carrillo’s back! Blake stomps Mendoza, and drops a springboard knee! He drags Mendoza over and tags in Cutler. The Forgotten Sons combine for a double backbreaker! Cutler brings Mendoza up to stomp and drop knees. Cutler rebound backbreakers Mendoza, then covers, TWO!
Fans rally as Cutler puts Mendoza in a camel clutch. Mendoza fights up but can’t throw Cutler off. Mendoza back suplexes instead! Hot tags to Blake and Carrillo! Carrillo leaps for a crossbody! Carrillo boots and fires off on Blake! He whips but Blake reverses the whip, Carrillo hits a handspring back elbow. Cutler comes back in but Carrillo uses Blake to help acrobatically arm-drag Cutler! Cutler bails out and Carrillo fights off Blake. Carrillo heads up top and leaps for a big missile dropkick! Blake ends up in the other corner, so Carrillo reverse somersaults into a moonsault! Cover, but Cutler breaks it! Mendoza throws Cutler out then DIVES! But is intercepted with a right hand!
Carrillo kicks Cutler from the apron, but Blake gets him on reentry. Blake gives Carrillo a springboard straddling facebuster! Blake tags in Cutler, Blake holds Carrillo in the dragon sleeper while Cutler climbs. Cutler leaps, and they combine stomp with scorpion DDT! Cover, The Forgotten Sons win!
Winners: The Forgotten Sons, Steve Cutler pinning
A fast and furious fight that in the end works in their favor, the Forgotten Sons continue their streak of victories! Will these three finally find their place in the sun in NXT?
Backstage interview with Velveteen Dream.
The Patrick Clark Experience ignores the questions to take a look at the set. It doesn’t fit his liking, but with a snap of the fingers, the lighting changes. After his loss to Tommaso Ciampa, what’s next for The Dream? Well, TakeOver: WarGames II didn’t go his way but the people are still talking about him. The internet is still talking about Dream, and the locker room is still talking about The Dream. People even ask Triple H about The Dream. So the Dream still won. But to be specific, what’s next for The Dream? Leaving the set. The Dream is over, but he’s not done, will he look for another title shot in the very near future?
The Undisputed Era speak.
Roderick Strong is personally very excited for next week. Adam Cole hopes they all checked they’re safe in here. Yes, they’re safe. But Bobby Fish tells EC3 that he needs to be corrected. EC3 thinks Fish is just another guy, but he’s the guy people warn you about. Fish wonders how far EC3 is willing to go into the deep end, knowing those waters are shark infested. Fish bit EC3 once before, and he’ll be happy to do it again. EC3 thinks they’re playing, but go ask the War Raiders. They got hurt at WarGames and can’t challenge now. Who is even left? Street Profits? The Mighty? Well, those construction workers want a shot, and have been on a six month win streak, but Heavy Machinery’s never faced a team like the Undisputed Era. All those teams can keep trying, but just remember this is the Undisputed Era.
Speaking of the War Raiders, NXT has an injury update.
“Warbeard” Hanson suffered the worst of the destructive duo, suffering broken ribs, a ruptured spleen and various torn ligaments from the brutal match. However, Hanson will make a recovery, when and where will the war return?
Dakota Kai VS Shayna Baszler w/Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir!
Captain Kick has had her history with the Queen of Spades, from a broken elbow to almost endless bullying. But Dakota has kicked fear to the curb and looks to wage war on the Horsewomen on Kairi Sane’s behalf. With the #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way on the way, will Dakota earn her spot against the champ herself? Or will Shayna again break Dakota’s body and spirit?
The bell rings and Shayna grins because she’s beaten Dakota before. Fans are on Dakota’s side as she and Shayna tie up. Shayna powers Dakota to a corner but she honors the break. Dakota runs out but into a waistlock. Dakota trips Shayna then runs and hits a penalty kick! Then double stomps! Shayna bails out but Dakota pursues to kick from the apron. But Shayna blocks it, and throws Dakota into the post! Shayna leaves Dakota behind for the ring count to take care of. She and the Horsewomen gloat but Dakota returns. Shayna is right on her and that arm. Shayna twists it from wrist to elbow, and wants to repeat the past! Dakota manages to avoid the stomp and rolls Shayna up! TWO but Shayna’s after both arms now. Shayna grabs the one arm and YANKS it!
Dakota’s arm might be broken or dislocated all over again, but she won’t let the match end because of it. Shayna toys with her as fans chant “Two Time!” Dakota gets mad but Shayna kicks her leg out. But Dakota keeps getting up, and scorpion kicks! Shayna is stunned and now Dakota unloads kick after kick to her face! Shayna ends up in a corner, and Dakota gives her the boot wash! Then Dakota goes Around the World! Dakota doesn’t let up, she goes side to side again. Shayna dodges and high knees! Then she runs back in for another knee! Cover, TWO! Dakota lives but Shayna keeps her focus. Shayna runs in but into a buckle shot! Dakota boots Shayna down! Fans fire up with Dakota as she goes up top. Dakota double stomps!! Cover, TWO!! Shayna survives and Dakota can’t believe it.
Jessamyn and Marina are worried but Shayna gets the arm! Shayna twists it around and backs Dakota to a corner. Dakota goes up top but Shayna follows. Shayna wants a gut wrench but Dakota fights her off with her good arm! Dakota headbutts Shayna down! Dakota stands but Shayna rocks her with a kick! Shayna climbs back up, Gut Wrench SUPERPLEX! Jessamyn and Marina coach Shayna up to finish this, but fans rally behind Dakota. Dakota boots Shayna, then again, and again. She keeps kicking away on Shayna, and even stomps her. Dakota runs, but into a trip! Shayna gets the Kirafuda Klutch! Dakota flails and reaches but she fades! She’s out, Shayna wins!
Winner: Shayna Baszler, by submission
The first-ever two-time NXT Women’s Champion makes Dakota take a nap, and rolls on towards the New Year. While the contenders haven’t been chosen yet, will it even matter against a champion so savage as the Queen of Spades?
But Shayna isn’t done with Dakota. She sicks her friends on Dakota and the three Horsewomen toy with Dakota. Then they rain down kicks and punches and stomps, until Io Shirai appears! The Genius of the Sky is anothe rally of Kairi’s and she throws Shayna out. Io handsprings through Marina and Jessamyn to then dropkick them both out! Shayna returns but Io fights her off with an uppercut! Shayna’s down and Dakota gets back up for another trip Around the World, but the Horsewomen save their friend. The battlelines have been drawn, when will it all go down between the Horsewomen and Team Stardom?
Dominique Dijakovic is coming.
“Struggle. We struggle throughout our lives. Now, we struggle for our lives.” He has been forged by the fires of discipline and inherited his precision. His gaze shows you his history, but now you will #FeastYourEyes. Who will Dijakovic have his eyes on once he arrives?
Tommaso Ciampa heads to the ring!
The Psycho Killer still has “Goldy” by his side after TakeOver: WarGames II, and still clutches to it close to his black heart. “Another TakeOver is in the books”, and Ciampa is again the MVP of NXT. Ciampa says that time and time again he proves he’s a man of his word. He ended Gargano’s fairy tale, he destroyed Aleister Black’s mystique, and he turned The Dream into a nightmare. And yet still, the fans refuse to accept him as the NXT Champion. The fans still refuse to believe in him! These fans here don’t believe in him, the fans over there don’t believe in him, and the commentary of NXT “sure as Hell” don’t believe. Yet MAMMA MIA he here stands!
Ciampa vows to make his title reign the single greatest reign of NXT. Children will grow up and study Ciampa’s body of work. Ciampa isn’t a flavor of the week, flavor of the month, he is 2018 Sports Entertainer of the Year! And he vows to do the same in 2019! But wait, here comes Aleister Black! The Embodiment of the End rises from the mist and joins Ciampa in the ring. Fans are definitely behind Aleister in this one. But Ciampa still raises his belt up. Aleister says that at TakeOver, he stood toe to toe with Gargano and “absolved him of his sins.” The sins that the “puppet master” Ciampa created. Ciampa is champion, but not really yet. No, that is the original sin that Aleister will also absolve. Aleister hereby invokes his rematch clause! They will meet at TakeOver: Phoenix!
But Gargano comes out and tells “Al” he’s getting ahead of himself. Gargano and Aleister aren’t finished. Ciampa slips away as Gargano says this ends when he says it ends. Aleister stares down with Gargano while Ciampa loves this new “Johnny Badass.” Fans do like it, too. Ciampa tells Aleister that he must hear the fans. Everyone here knows that when Gargano gets fixated on something, he refuses to let it go. And now Gargano has fixated on Aleister. Ciampa gets it, because he saw that match. That match almost tore both of them apart. The only thing missing was the steel cage. Ciampa sees this, and there’s clearly unfinished business. This is just an idea, but if Ciampa was part of this, it should end once and for all, inside a steel cage. Fans like that idea, too.
Ciampa knows Aleister likes the sound of that, and “John Boy” must love it. Does Full Sail want to see that? “YES! YES!” Gargano asks if the fans want that. “YES!” In that case, let’s do it! Gargano VS Black, Steel Cage Match! Because Gargano is “Johnny Freakin’ Wrestling!” Aleister shouts that “Johnny Wrestling is dead! And I showed you mercy!” Aleister will fight Gargano anywhere, like in the parking lot. Oh really? How did that go for you last time? Gargano put Aleister out for three months from that, just imagine what a steel cage will do. Gargano narrowly avoids the Black Mass! Ciampa laughs it up, until Aleister hits HIM with Black Mass! Fans are thunderous for all this action, “You Deserve It!” Aleister and Gargano will continue to wage war inside a steel cage, but who will emerge to then go after the Psycho Killer in Phoenix?
A great episode right here, from start to finish. I was really surprised we got Matt Riddle VS Punishment Martinez to open the show, and man it was really great. NXT has done really great in debuting multiple stars in one match and making both sides look great. Riddle obviously wins, but it didn’t take anything away from Martinez. Martinez did great in ROH and given the right opportunities, can be great in NXT and WWE as a whole. But then Ohno makes a great impact, and I’m hoping we get a proper Riddle VS Ohno of a lengthy and hard-hitting match for TakeOver: Phoenix. Then there’s Ricochet’s mystery opponent for next week, I look forward to who they choose for that, because Ricochet can make a great match out of facing anyone.
It’s an interesting choice for Heavy Machinery to move up in the time that War Raiders won’t be able to, and I didn’t even realize Heavy Machinery had such a streak going. I’ve been covering this show week after week but Tucker & Dozer having six months of wins totally escaped me. Of course, I have a feeling the Undisputed Era won’t lose the titles until it’s War Raiders. Fish VS EC3 is next week, that’s going to be great but I hope something keeps the rest of the Undisputed Era from getting involved. Maybe Heavy Machinery will help EC3 out. And the tag match of tonight was great, Carrillo himself can be a star in tag or singles competition. But the Forgotten Sons need to rack up wins to make their gimmick work, or else they’re just the NXT version of Social Outcasts.
This Women’s Fatal 4 Way sounds great, and Bianca Belair is of course the first entrant. This could be a great way for one of the many women stars waiting in line to move up and finally enter the title scene. Perhaps Lacey Evans will join for two Heels in the match, but it’s hard to be sure which two Faces show up. Especially if Io Shirai and Dakota Kai are going against the Horsewomen with Kairi Sane like I expect. Dakota VS Shayna was a stellar main event match, but naturally Shayna wins and then the Heels bully Dakota. That Six Woman Tag needs to happen. And lastly, the Men’s NXT Championship story gets pretty interesting. Aleister still wants his match with Ciampa, but I’m sensing we’re still getting the Triple Threat we were meant to before Aleister’s injury, or as kayfabe spun it, Gargano’s attack.
My Score: 8.8/10