SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV REPORT
DECEMBER 27, 2017
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] Tonight will be the Fatal Four Way match to determine the #1 Contender to the NXT Championship. Don’t forget to check out our new PWT NXT podcast which gets recorded immediately after NXT airs on the WWE Network!
Street Profits kick off the show. Their opponents are already in the ring.
(1) STREET PROFITS (ANGELO DAWKINS & MONTEZ FORD) vs. CHRIS STAR & RILEY APEX – Tag Team Match
Street Profits get a quick squash to show off their move set.
WINNERS: Street Profits at 1:49. Nice little squash.
Post-match, the Profits go through the audience to the top of the bleachers. They get mics and talk up their rapid rise through the ranks. Ford mentions the Authors of Pain, Sanity, and Undisputed Era and give them backhanded compliments. Dawkins announces that they are on the hunt for the tag team titles. Good, basic babyface 101 here. I like it. More of this, less dancing from Street Profits will win me over.
(2) NXT Women’s Champion EMBER MOON vs. SONYA DEVILLE – NXT Women’s Championship Match
Fierce lockup to start the match, Deville takes Moon down with a waistlock, then a switch. Deville tries an ankle lock but Moon slips away and recovers in the corner. Moon reverses and arm drag with one of her own and kips up. Moon ducks a kick, deville dodges one, leg sweep. This is looking highly competitive so far. Deville offers a test of strength, hits a kick. Running dropkick sends Deville to the outside for a breather. Moon hits a cannonball off the apron. [c]
[Q2] Deville has a cover right out of the break for two. Some decent back and forth, with deville getting a number of covers. Moon dodges a running knee strike, then hits a drop kick. She knocks Deville out, who stumbles across the ring and conveniently into the Eclipse.
WINNER: Ember Moon at 7:04. There were some good moments in this match. The match didn’t feel as exciting after the commercial break, and the ending was weird, with Deville bumbling her way most of the way across the ring to position herself for the Eclipse. As much as I have been enjoying Deville, I hope this is her swan song in NXT.
Post-match, Kairi Sane’s music hits and she comes out on the ramp, holding a telescope. She uses the telescope to look at Moon, who mouths “OK”. Sane makes the belt on the waist motion, Moon looks at the title, nods, and holds it up. Sane shows off her elbow. Then Sayna Baszler comes out and chokes Sane out. Refs come out to save Sane. Moon is just sitting in the ring I guess and makes no effort to help Sane at all. Moon looks angry.
(J.J.’s Reax: If the goal was to make Moon look cowardly, weak, and heelish, mission accomplished.)
In an alleyway with The Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering. He puts Undisputed Era on notice. Akam and Rezar do a lot of huffing and puffing.
Backstage with Ember Moon. They ask about what happened post-match. Moon says she knew she would have a target on her back, and it doesn’t matter if it is Sane or Baszler. No explanation for her lack of actions.
[Q3] Mauro Ranallo confirms that next week will be the 2017 Year in Review.
Entrances for the Fatal Four Way #1 Contender Match. As we discussed on the PWT NXT podcast last week, I cannot pick or predict a favorite here, there is upside to all of them, and Lars Sullivan and/or Aleister Black will end up with that unfortunate “I’ve never been pinned but I didn’t win this match” status to end their winning streaks here. Unless they try some double win finish with Sullivan and Black making a pin at the same time. This camera angle on Sullivan’s entrance makes him look even bigger. Spotlight behind Sullivan in the darkened ring makes him look especially intimidating.
(3) KILLIAN DAIN vs. ALEISTER BLACK vs. JOHNNY GARGANO vs. LARS SULLIVAN – #1 Contender Fatal Four Way Match
Dain and Black start, then Sullivan and Gargano. Sullivan quickly dispatches Gargano, but Black sends him out, knocks Dain into the corner, then springboards into a seat and looks calm. Black comes off the ropes to Sullivan on the outside, gets caught and dropped on the apron. The same thing happens to Sullivan. Dain lands a suicide dive to take Sullivan off his feet. [c]
Sullivans takes Dain out of the ring then squashes Gargano for two. Dain pulls Sullivan out of the ring and into the steps. Black drives Sullivan up the ramp with kicks, then Sullivan throws Black into a barricade. Gargano tries an attack, Sullivan press slams him onto Black. Sullivan tears the announcer table apart, then clears it. Gargano is going to be victimized on the booth. Gargano grabs onto the stage to stop a powerbomb, Black with the assist, Sullivan is on the booth, Dain leaps off the stage and splashes Sullivan on the booth, the booth is crushes and something is bleeding.
Gargano and Black make their way to the ring and stare each other down. Black charges, Gargano fends him off. Gargano with a kick from the apron, Black has a knee to greet Gargano’s through-the-ropes spear, two count. Ranallo says that McGuinees can’t get his headset fixed. Gargano leaps over a sweep, superkick, Gargano Escape, Dain saves the match with a senton. Belfast Blitz to Black, Gargano breaks up the cover. Powerbomb, leaping elbow drop from Dain to Gargano, Black breaks up the cover. Dain is bleeding from the elbow, plants Black up top and thinks superplex. Black slips under, wants a powerbomb, Gargan assists, double powerbomb, but Black and Gargano are too exhausted to do anything. Sullivan is recovering in the booth area.
[Q4] Sullivan makes his way to the ring, fends off Black and Gargano. Double clothesline knocks Black and Gargano down, Sullivan throws Black out of the ring, big powerslam to Gargano but Dain stops the three count. Sullivan throws Gargano out of the ring so he can tussle with Dain. They go toe-to-toe. They trade strikes, clothesline from Sullivan, Dain rebounds out of the corner with a lariat. They shout and try clotheslines on each other. Black comes in, drives Sullivan off with strikes, sends Dain out of the ring with kicks, rapid strikes and Black has Sullivan down and Dain out of the ring. Black Mass barely hits, but Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish pull Black off Sullivan. Black knocks them both out, then Adam Cole shows up. Cole dodges a knee strike so Black’s knee hits the apron, shoulder breaker from Cole to Black, Gargano knocks Cole out then rolls Black into the ring. Gargano sends Sullivan into the steps. Dain yanks Gargano out of the ring, wants to powerbomb him onto Sullivan, Gargano transitions to a head scissors to Dain. Slingshot DDT to Black and Gargano wins it!
WINNER: Johnny Gargano at 13:41. Wow, that was a heck of a match. Gargano is on a Cindarella story, and having him pin Black is just huge. All four men looked like legitimate winners in this match, and even rolling into the end of the match it was not clear who would win it. They avoided the domino sequence of finishers that we often see in these maches. Just a really solid fatal four way.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Really good episode to give us four solid weeks of build to Gargano vs. Alams at Takeover. The women’s match was a bit weak, but still servicable. I hated Moon’s non-action when Baszler ambushed Sane. I now actively want her to lose the title quickly.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 12/20 NXT TV Report: Dunne vs. Bate makes this the must-see show of the year, plus Sanity vs. Fish & O’Reilly, Strong vs. Lars