2/2 NXT TV Tapings in Atlanta, Ga.: Dunne vs Cole for UK Title, Ricochet debuts, Dusty Tag Tourney matches, Ciampa, Aleister, Gargano

FEBRUARY 2, 2018

I’ve broken the matches into what seemed to be the separate tapings.

Show 1

(1) Kassihus Ohno defeated John Skyler. Little more than a squash match, Ohno won with the rolling elbow to the back of the head.

(2) Nikki Cross beat Vanessa Borne. Vanessa got some early offense in, but Nikki won with the spinning fisherman’s buster.

(3) Adam Cole defeated Cesar Bononi. Cole is over like you read about, and this was the first clue. The Undisputed Era offer Cesar a shirt to join, but Cole attacks as he considers. Enziguri to the back of the head for the win.

(4) Velveteen Dream defeated Tyler Bate. They got A LOT of time, and both guys were their usual great selves. Dream won with the Purple Rainmaker after crotching Bate on the top rope.

(5) Shayna Baszler defeated Kari Sane. Baszler has a great mean streak and Kari works from underneath all match. Going for her elbow, she’s caught and choked out. Baszler calls out ember moon at the announce table post match.

-Zelina Vega & Andrade Cien Almas come out to run down Johnny Gargano and declare the Era of Almas was upon us. Black comes out to challenge, but before he could talk, Killian Dain comes and lays out Aliester.

Show 2

(1) Ricochet defeated Fabian Aichner. The roof exploded when his name hit the screen and I have a new smoothest wrestler I’ve ever seen live. He picks up the win after a short back-and-forth with the 630 from the top rope.

-William Regal comes out, puts over Center Stage, and introduces the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic

(2) AOP over TM61 in a Dusty Tag Tourney match. The Aussies look energized and really take it to AOP. Great back and forth until Shane Thorne gets powerbombed from inside the ring to the apron. Absolute hellacious bump. AOP wins with End of Days. After the match, Nick Miller screams “Every time!”

(3) Bianca Belaire defeated a jobber. No offense from the apparently local jobber. Clean win with the Gory bomb.

-Tommaso Ciampa comes out to rabid boos. Every time he starts to put the mic to his face he’s booed into lowering it. “Johnny Wrestling!” chants starts. Ciampa he grabs a fan’s Garagno sign and tears it up, smashing the remains with a crutch in the ring.

(4) Aleister Black defeated Killian Dain. A slower pace and some of the Full Sail light crowd nonsense started. Hope it gets edited out. Dain dominates bell to bell, losing to a Flash Black Mass.

Show 3

(1) The Street Profits defeated Heavy Machinery in a Dusty Tag Tourney match. This was played for mostly comedy spots, Ford gets the pin with the frog splash.

-Ciampa is back, no crutch this time. Amazing how much heat he had all night (booed just as lustily this late in the show) and didn’t say a word.

(2) Dakota Kai defeated Lacey Evans. Lacey works the arm, clearly trying to repeat the Ember Moon story. Dakota rolls up Evans for the win.

-That brings Shayna Baszler down to threaten Kai, which brings out Ember, declaring she wants to finish the Queen of Spades at NXT New Orleans. A brawl leads to Baszler eating an eclipse from the champ still selling her arm from NXT Philly.

(3) Sanity defeated Tino Sabbatelli & Riddick Moss. Tino just doesn’t connect with me. He and Moss lose via backdrop neck breaker.

(4) Pete Dunne defeated Adam Cole to retain the UK Championship. Nice little surprise to end the taping, both guys demonstrating why the WWE is so high on them. Weird seeing Dunne work babyface and succumb late to the damn numbers game and win by DQ. He’s overwhelmed until an inexplicably shirtless Roddy strong makes the save.

-Final segment was a contract signing – Black and Almas. Vega comes out to represent the champ, and after some short jokes, Black reveals that while she came alone, he didn’t. Candice LaRae’s music hits and she beats Vega from pillar to post while the crowd goes wild. A great night, and my seats right behind commentary were the best I’ve ever had for a live show.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 1/29 WWE Raw HOLT Report from Philadelphia, Pa.: What happened off-camera, notes on crowd reactions, Main Event TV taping quite

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