9/23 NXT in Bethlehem, Pa.: McIntyre vs. Almas, Cole & Fish & O’Reilly vs. Sanity, plus Gargano, Strong, Itami

Adam Cole (art credit Matt Charlton & Sam Gardiner © PWTorch)

NXT LIVE EVENT
SEPTEMBER 23, 2017
BETHLEHEM, PA. AT SANDS EVENT CENTER
REPORT BY ADAM FROM ALLENTOWN, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT

Announced as a “Sold Out Crowd.” At least 1,000 people filled the center.

I was sitting along the ramp in the second row. Excellent seats.

Merchandise Table: All NXT stars shirts were available and the only main roster merch was: Balor Club, Bobby Roode, Asuka mask, and Connor’s Cure. No major roster stars like John Cena, Roman Reigns, A.J. Styles, or Shinsuke Nakamura.

You were able to vote to watch a NXT classic match before the show started.

Rollins vs Mahal for the first NXT championship

Zayn vs Neville (when Sami won the NXT title)

Bayley vs Sasha (NXT Brooklyn One – NXT Women’s Title)

Bayley vs Sasha was voted the classic match of the night. They showed an abbreviated version of the match. I’ll never forget being there live for Brooklyn One and seeing that match. It just reminds me how just two short years ago, Bayley could have been HUGE for WWE.

Then a Bobby the Brain Heenan tribute aired. A nice hand for Bobby, RIP.

(1)  Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) beat Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss. In the beginning there was a pose off between the teams of cheering the faces and booing the heels while posing on the turnbuckles. The match Street Profits win with the Sky High/Frog Splash Combo.

(2) Lars Sullivan pinned Oney Lorcan. Squash match with a little comeback from Orcan. Cool spot with Orcan doing a somersault plancha and Sullivan catching him and slamming him into the apron. Sullivan won with a powerslam.

(3) The Iconic Duo (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) beat Dakota Kai (from the MYC) & Liv Morgan. Back and forth action to start. The faces chased the heels around the ring for a few laps. Then the heels controlled most of the match on Dakota. Liv got the hot tag but in the end the Iconic Duo won with a combo knee lift to the face to Liv.

(4) Roderick Strong beat Hideo Itami. Great reception for both with a “both these guys” chant. Back and forth all throughout the match. For a house show, these two really went hard against each other. Tough kicks, elbows and knee strikes. Strong won with the “End of Heartache”. Winner: Roderick Strong

(5) Sanity (Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe &  Killian Dain, no Nikki Cross) beat The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole & Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) via countout. Cole was over BAY BAY! As was Sanity. Sanity worked over Bobby Fish the first few minutes. Then the heels took over on Alexander Wolfe. Whenever Cole tagged in he was cheered loudly. Everyone would chant “ADAM COLE BAY BAY!!!” Hot tag to EY for a minute then the heels took over on him. Nice 6-man tag psychology, as EY kept going for the tag, the non-legal heels would run interference. After about 10 minutes, Dain with the hot tag. The faces cleared the heels of the ring so the heels walked away for a count-out.

Intermission

(6) Johnny Gargano beat Raul Mendoza. Johnny Wrestling chants and cheers all throughout his entrance. Super over. Good guy vs good guy match. Johnny had control to start the match with chain wrestling with holds and submissions. In the middle, Mendoza got the upper hand with kicks and holds. He is going to be an up and coming star. When he appears on TV, look out. There was an excellent spot where Johnny was in the Tree of Woe in one corner and Mendoza jumped from the other corner “coast to coast” to drop kick Johnny. After a reversal, Gargano with his submission finisher (a side cross face) for the win.

(7) Kairi Sane (winner of the MYC) beat Sonya Deville: Seng is super over with the crowd. A star in the making if not already. They picked the right person to win the tourney (not like TJP for the cruiserweight classic). She came out in a white mask and cape. To start he Match, Sonya played games patting Seng on the head because Seng was smaller than her. Deville used her strikes and submission combos while Seng used her quickness. All throughout the match Deville controlled, until Seng hit an awesome head scissors and then hit the insane elbow for the win. It’s amazing to see the elbow live because she goes parallel to the floor in the air and just drives the elbow.

(8) Drew McIntyre  beat Cien Andrade Almas (no Zelina Vega) to retain the NXT Title. As a side note. Drew, Killian, and Sullivan are all huge. It’s amazing to see their size in person. To start, Almas did some posing lying on the ground and tried to play ming games, but then the action picked up with McIntyre chopping Almas HARD. The sound echoed. After about 20 minutes, with the last five minutes trading near falls, Drew won with the Claymore for the win.

After the match, the Undisputed Era came out to beat down Drew. After a few minutes, Gargano, Oney Lorcan, and Street Profits came out and were beat down one by one. As the Era went to leave, Sanity came out and threw the Era back into the ring for all the good guys to perform their finishers to send the crowd home happy.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you want an awesome experience and have a chance to take photos with the NXT wrestlers, go to a house show. At the end, every face took pictures with everyone around the ringside. They were out for 15 minutes to take pictures.

Biggest Pop: Gargano / Most Heat: Sullivan


NOW CHECK OUT THIS REPORT: 9/21 NXT in Lowell, Mass.: Lots of no-shows compared to advertising hampers otherwise strong effort including Drew vs. Almas main event

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