KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app)
KELLER’S NXT TV REPORT
DECEMBER 6, 2017
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson
-William Regal addressed the TV audience from his office. He said due to the injury to Drew McIntyre, there is an opportunity to determine a new no. 1 contender. There will be four singles matches followed by a Fatal Four-way and the winner of that will be the new no. 1 contender. He said Killian Dane vs. Trent Seven would take place this week. He said Kassius Ohno was supposed to wrestle Velveteen Dream, but due to an injury suffered at Takeover, he has found a suitable replacement. He didn’t reveal whom.
(Keller’s Analysis: As low tech and low key as Regal’s show-opening announcements are, I like the vibe. It feels official and creates a nice executive contrast to the energy and chaos of what happens in the ring.)
-The NXT opening aired.
-They went to the announcers who discussed the show. Nigel hyped the Ruby Riott (now with two-Ts on NXT, also) vs. Sonya Deville match coming up later, too.
-Andrade Cien Almas and Selina Vega walked out with the newly won NXT Title. Percy noted the Gucci belt and overall championship level look of Almas. He circled the ring with a broad smile as Vega followed, yapping the whole way with celebratory words. Percy said he doesn’t think Almas would be NXT Champion without her. Mauro said Forbes already released their “30 under 30” list, but Vega would have been in contention with what she’s done for Almas.
They entered the ring. Vega said they are all witnesses to the beginning of a new historic title reign. She asked the fans to “respect the man” and “embrace the legend.” Almas thanked her in Spanish. “I told you!!! I told you!!!” he exclaimed. He said to each side of the arena, “I am the champion!” He held up the belt and smiled proudly. He mockingly said he hurt Drew McIntyre and he’s sorry. He broke into Spanish. Then he told everyone to embrace the champion and “we are NXT.” Mauro said his English is getting better by the day. Percy said that’s a lot of tough talk from the new champion.
(Keller’s Analysis: This was a step back for this act. I like when Vega talks with arrogance while Almas stands there looking regal and confident in himself. This yelling felt undignified and he seemed to be trying too hard to be a loud, yelling obnoxious heel. He’s better off being more like self-assured Nick Bockwinkel and less the crazed suit coat throwing Ric Flair. And it just went on too long, too.)
-Nigel plugged the Ohno match coming up later as he tries to get back on track for another title shot. [c]
-Reporters threw microphones and recorders in the face of Lars Anderson who was asked about Roderick Strong. He said he looks handsome, like he could be on the cover of a men’s fitness magazine or something. “Well, that’s not me!” He said Roderick talked about his family a lot, but he doesn’t have a family. He said the NXT Championship will be his in Philadelphia. He was asked what it would mean to win the NXT Title. He said he would show the world that he is the superstar he always knew he was. Reporters pelted him with more questions, but he turned and left.
(Keller’s Analysis: Well executed impromptu press conference setting, and Lars was totally believable. I finally placed that he sounds a lot like Sgt. Slaughter.)
(1) TRENT SEVEN vs. KILLIAN DANE
Mauro said Dane won a battle royal in Lakeland, Fla. at an NXT live event to earn this spot. Great touch giving relevance to the oft-ignored live events. Mauro said Dane debuted in 2005 and has sat under the learning tree of Robbie Brookside and Fnin Balor. Dane won this was pretty decisively with a Belfast Blitz, senton splash, and Vader swing-splash at the end. Nigel said because Dane beat Seven, who is a tough opponent, that easily makes Dane his pick.
WINNER: Dane in 3:00.
-Nigel plugged the Ohno vs. Mystery Opponent match coming up later.
-They showed Sonya Deville warming up backstage. [c]
-They went to Undisputed Era. Adam Cole said they did what they said they’d do – they not only survived War Games, the won. He said next week he faces Aleister Black. He said Black has been running through his opponents, but he has never faced someone his level. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish will beat Sanity and “rule the system.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Good basic promo that let UE show off their matter-of-fact arrogance/confidence and announce their goals.)
(2) RUBY RIOTT vs. SONYA DEVILLE
Deville applied an early ankle lock. Riot made it to the ropes, then used a head scissors to yank Deville throat-first into the ropes. They cut to an early break. [c]
Deville worked over Riott after the break with some matwork. Riott made a comeback and landed a back elbow and then springboard DDT’d her for a two count. Deville rolled to the floor. Riott dove through the ropes and tackled Deville on the ramp. She showed some fire and pounded on the ringside steps. As Riott re-entered the ring, Deville beat her there and applied a sudden triangle choke as Riott leaned through the ropes. Riott went limp and the ref called for the bell.
WINNER: Deville in 9:00 via submission.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s strange to even have this match with two women who have moved to the main roster, and then to have Riott, the leader of the Smackdown faction, lose to a virtual sidekick on the Raw roster is even more puzzling.)
-Reports asked Ember Moon about her NXT Women’s Title win. She said her goal is to be the best women’s champion in history. In walked Billy Kaye and Peyton Royce, claiming they were from “The Iconic Times.” They asked who she pinned. They said it was Nikki Cross, so therefore Royce said she deserves a title match. Moon stirred trouble by asking which of them she’d face next week. Kaye and Royce bickered a bit. Moon called it an “iconic problem.” They told reporters to leave, then Kaye agreed to let Royce have the shot. A guy off camera asked meekly, “Can I have my mic back?”
-Mauro plugged Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate in two weeks on NXT TV for the UK Championship. They threw back to highlights of their tournament final last January.
-They showed Regal chatting with Kassius Ohno about his match up next. They weren’t mic’d. Mauro said he might have just been informing him who his opponent would be. [c]
-A vignette showed a shadowy figure with blue light and fog walking toward the camera. It said, “Soon!” with two clubs from a deck of cards making up the “oo” part of the word.
-Mauro plugged Cole vs. Aleister next week. He called it a “Takeover-level attraction.” Percy plugged Moon defending against Royce next week.
(3) KASSIUS OHNO vs. JOHNNY GARGANO
They milked the announcement of Ohno’s opponent, and then out came Gargano to a pop from the announcers and the fans. Percy said Gargano has put the DIY crap behind him. (Vince McMahon would not approve of low-grade language like “NXT crap.”) The crowd engaged in dueling chants for the two. They had a nice series of moves and counter-moves early. Ohno blocked a slingshot spear of Gargano and then elbowed him hard out of the ring. An “NXT!” chant broke out as they cut to a break. [c]
Ohno was in control after the break. He knee-dropped Gargano in the head. Nigel said he might have broken his nose. Ohno nailed him with a nasty standing boot to the face. Gargano looked dazed. He hit a rolling elbow next for a two count. Mauro said he was showing frustration with only scoring two count. Percy said he can’t afford to get frustrated.
Gargano lifted his knees on a senton attempt by Ohno. Gargano made his comeback with a leaping head scissors takedown and a step-up enzuigiri. This time he did land his slingshot spear and got a convincing near fall. Gargano threw kicks at Ohno when he was on his knees. Ohno got fired up and made a comeback with a no-sell and then a senton. Gargano rolled to the ring apron. Ohno kicked Gargano in the face to knock him to the floor. Ohno then went for a running flip dive, but Gargano moved and then speedily ran the ropes in the ring and leaped out with a spinning DDT on the floor. Both were slow to get up.
Ohno landed a cyclone kick back in the ring for a near fall. The crowd popped for the kickout as Mauro got worked up. Another dueling chant broke out for both men. Gargano came back with a victory roll for a two count. Gargano showed a burst of energy, but Ohno cut it off with bicycle kick and then a northern lariat for a believe near fall. The crowd popped. “Someone test that man’s DNA!” shouted Mauro. An “NXT!” chant broke out. Then a “This is awesome!” chant. Gargano blocked a rolling elbow, threw some kicks, landed a head scissors, and then applied the Gargano Escape. Ohno tapped quickly. “Unbelievable!” shouted Mauro. “What a moment in NXT history! What a win to propel himself into the Fatal Four-way.” Nigel talked about this being a big moment to experience. The announcers continued to gush about the match for another two minutes. Gargano and Ohno saluted each other for a good fight.
WINNER: Gargano in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match, as you’d expect from these two. Ohno is much bigger than Gargano, and put up a tough credible offensive attack, making Gargano’s win seem more impressive. It seems as if they’re maybe rushing Gargano back into the title contention with Drew McIntyre perhaps derailing the prior storyline with him. Based on the perhaps over-the-top praise the announcers had for Gargano’s performance and what a huge moment this was, it started to feel perhaps a little forced but pretty clear they are strapping a rocket to Gargano here.)
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 11/29 NXT TV Report: Street Profits vs. Sabbatelli & Moss, Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce, Mustache Mountain vs. Dunne & Andrews