SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
JANUARY 31st, 2018
TAPED AT THE WELLS FARGO CENTER ARENA IN PHILADELPHIA, PA.
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY JOEY GALIZIA, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
ANNOUNCED BY WWE…
- Roderick Strong takes on Tyler Bate for a shot at the United Kingdom Championship
- Nikki Cross returns to the ring. She goes up against Lacey Deville
- TM61 returns!
- Fallout from Takeover, including footage of the show and a look at NXT’s latest signees: War Machine, Trevor Ricochet, and ECIII.
“CRAFTY VETERAN VERSUS FUTURE YOUNG BLOOD”
NXT Takeover Philadelphia’s pre-show comes at us this week with a couple of hidden gems taped before this past Saturday’s show. The Messiah of the backbreaker Roderick Strong main evented the last big event in Houston teaming with the Authors of Pain but came up short against the Undisputed ERA in the first ever WarGames matchup. (At least their team didn’t eat the pin.) Tonight he finds himself in a scrap with the U.K. division when he faces the first ever United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate where the winner will see a U.K. title opportunity. The division champion Pete Dunne may not be working this show, but he will certainly be keeping his eyes glued to the television, especially considering that he and Bate clashed three times last year in fantastic bouts. (One which was NXT’s MOTY.) Strong is also slated to be working the cruiserweight tournament to determine a new champion for 205 Live. With a couple of opportunities to finally get on track can Strong outlast the much younger Bate? (Reports are that this match was very good.)
“NEVER CROSS A CROSS”
SANITY had a strong presence on Saturday night when they came to the aide of Aleister Black to fight off the Undisputed’s Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. Eric Young and company still have a rematch coming their way for the tag-belts and with Alexander Wolfe back at full health the odds could be in their favor once again. Nikki Cross was absent from said brawl but that’s because she was busy dealing with an over-confident Lacey Deville on the pre-show. This is a match that we will also see tonight, and it will be Cross’s first singles bout in quite some time.
“RETURNS, DEBUTS, AND BEARS OH MY.”
-Besides being another fantastic show Takeover Philadelphia also debuted the future of the NXT for the ensuing months. New Japan tag-team powerhouse War Machine was in the crowd and their presence will most likely be felt in the tag division immediately. Odds are they do NOT keep their War Machine name though.
-The man who literally can fly Trevor Ricochet was also in attendance at Wells Fargo, and a run in NXT means we get to see his star potential in the main event, at least for a short while. That’s good news because I believe Ricochet deserves to be in the spotlight instead of just being another guy for the cruiserweight division.
-Finally Ethan Carter the third, kayfabe relative of the infamous Dixie Carter has returned to the yellow and black brand. ECIII was a member of NXT before it became a weekly television show, and with his star power the highest it’s been in years, a run on Wednesday nights will only add to his legacy.
-Aussie tag-team TM61 finally returns after injuries put both Shane Thorne and Nick Miller on the sideline for a good while. They’ll be in action against the twins, Gabriel and Uriel Ealy.
-Fallout from Takeover, and possible mentions of NXT Champion Andrade Cien Almas, NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon and Undisputed’s leader Adam Cole entering the 2018 Royal Rumble.
-Possible update on the Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa storyline, especially considering that after Johnny’s MATCH OF THE YEAR with Almas Ciampa still decided to lay some hurting on his former best friend. You are a blackheart indeed Tommaso.
The final night we will see Philadelphia for a while, at least in WWE. Now they can fully focus on the Patriots this Sunday. NXT returns to taping tomorrow in Atlanta. You in?
NOW CATCH UP ON THE NXT TAKEOVER REPORT: NXT TAKEOVER REPORT 1/27: Ongoing coverage of event headlined with Almas vs. Gargano live from Philadelphia