NXT HITS & MISSES 12/20: Sanity vs. Fish & O’Reilly for NXT Tag Titles, Bate vs. Dunne for UK Title, Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan

By Ryan Harrison, PWTorch Specialist

Eric Young (art credit Travis Beaven)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

HITS

Sanity vs. Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (NXT Tag Team Championship Match):

Mainly what made this match a hit was that there was a title change.  Sanity were the obvious babyfaces as the Undisputed Era were the heels and the later played their part very well.  The continuity of the Undisputed Era was on full display as they tagged in and out frequently, wearing down Eric Young.  Of course, the faces made a comeback when Young made the hot tag to Killian Dain who, after the tag, cleaned house of their opponents, but this did not last long as the UE received assistance from their leader, Adam Cole, who knocked Young off the top turnbuckle when going for a high-risk move. Nikki Cross then came out of nowhere to the crowd’s delight and made Cole pay for his interference.  Dain tried to take out Cole also, but ended up on the receiving end of a face first collision with the steel post outside of the ring.  Young then made the save by jumping through the middle rope knocking Cole to the ground.  When he reentered the ring, he caught the receiving end of a Total Elimination, giving the UE the victory and the titles.  Overall, the match was decent, but didn’t really have any spots to write home about, but it served its purpose of making the UE seem very dastardly in their victory over some formidable opponents when the stakes were high.

Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunn (UK Championship Match):

To begin, it must be said that Pete Dunne is a cold beast!  Throughout the match you can see how vicious he is with joint manipulation moves that he was using on Tyler Bate all the while taunting him with sinister smacks and brutal kicks to the face, not to mention the swagger of the Bruiser Weight and his contempt for his opponent as he nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders.  The match started off slow as both men put each other in different holds to wear the other one down.  It soon picked up when both men went to their arsenals and it was all action from there.  Dunne went to his bag of tricks and did some more joint manipulation to where he injured the finger of Bate as it appears it might have been dislocated.  These two men are no strangers to each other and it was shown as each man knew how to counter the other’s moves.  It was straight back and forth action with many near pin falls that kept the Full Sail crowd into the match.  They gave it all they had, but it came to an end Bate attempted a belly to back duplex off the top turnbuckle only for Dunn to land on his feet to where he hit Bate with the Bitter End for the pinfall.  It was an outstanding match full of fast-paced action that one could expect from these two that, honestly, could have gone either way, only to add fuel to their rivalry.

MISSES

Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan (Qualifying Match for the Fatal Four-Way Number 1 Contender Match for the NXT Championship):

Unfortunately, this match could have been better.  Instead, it served as a first-rate squash for Lars Sullivan.  This would be fine for a lower tiered wrestler, but not for one with the talent and star power of Roderick Strong.  Every hit that he seems to land on Sullivan seemed not to affect Sullivan, in addition to it seeming like he was holding back.  This match should have been more competitive, especially for someone like Strong who competed marvelously in War Games.  He did not do the suplexes or backbreakers that we are use to seeing.  And outside of some of the forearms to the back, Sullivan did not seem that impressive.  What made him seem invincible was that he took the shots from Strong in stride, but there was not a move that he performed that made anyone stand up and take notice.  Instead, it was a just a match to get Sullivan over at the expense of one of the best talents that NXT has. I’m not saying that the outcome should have been different, but it should have been more of a contest.  Its almost like NXT didn’t want Sullivan to appear vulnerable, especially going into the Fatal Four-Way Number 1 Contendership match for the NXT Championship, but it surely could have been more competitive.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: NXT HITS & MISSES 12/13: Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black, Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce, Almas vs. Aichner, Lorcan & Burch

2 Comments on NXT HITS & MISSES 12/20: Sanity vs. Fish & O’Reilly for NXT Tag Titles, Bate vs. Dunne for UK Title, Roderick Strong vs. Lars Sullivan

  1. “To begin, it must be said that Pete Dunne is a cold beast! Throughout the match you can see how vicious he is with joint manipulation moves that he was using on Tyler Bate all the while taunting him with sinister smacks and brutal kicks to the face, not to mention the swagger of the Bruiser Weight and his contempt for his opponent as he nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders”
    THIS is what pro wrestling has become? Jeezus man, its a show! It’s fake!Go watch MMA if you want this kind of crap, at least it is real there

    • What a foolish remark. Did you see the match? It was match of the year material. Obviously you’re not a fan, so your opinion is meaningless.

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