SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV REPORT
JANUARY 31, 2018
TAPED IN PHILADELPHIA, PA. AT WELLS FARGO CENTER
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] To get the Takeover crowd pumped, they start with Nikki Cross facing Lacey Evans.
(1) NIKKI CROSS vs. LACEY EVANS
Crossbody takes Evans down, Cross with action in the mat, then a boot puts Cross outside. Evants gets destroyed in the apron and the ref physically pulls Cross off of Evans. Evans gets thrown in a ring, crowls to the corner, Cross gets there too, on the turnbuckle, grabs Evans by the hair, Evans yanks her off for a pair of covers. Cross laughs at the pain, Thesz Press and punches from Evans. Swinging Bronco Buster from Evans, and she goes to the secon turnbuckle, Cross dodges a moonsault. Cross fires up with forearms, then a tackle and mount. Spinning neckbreaker ends it.
WINNER: Nikki Cross in 2:29. Evans looked good here, but Cross looked great. She keeps improving.
Recap of Undisputed Era retaining the NXT Tag Team Championship against The Authors of Pain.
Reminder that TM61 return to the ring tonight.
Highlights from the Shayna Baszler – Ember Moon match and aftermath.
Post-match interview with Baszler. Baszler pulls out the “she didn’t eat me, she survived” heel line, then suggested they go to the medical center and interview Moon, then decide who the real winner was.
Replay from the Adam Cole – Aleister Black match. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish are showed helping Adam Cole down the hallway, they want to know what went wrong.
Sanity is using the rematch clause against Undisputed Era next week.
Roderick Strong is shown warming up backstage.
[Q2] The match between Velveteen Dream and Kassius Ohno is given a treatment. Post-match interview with Dream. He doesn’t even look sweaty. He is asked about his 30 second promise. He says that Ohno knocked his mouthpiece out to stop him from making good on the promise. He orders her to read his trunks and hikes the waisband up to make it easier for her. They say “Dream Over”.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Dream is such a creep. We haven’t seen a character with this type of dispicability since Johnny Curtis was creeping on Kaitlyn. ]
(2) TM61 (SHANE THORNE & NICK MILLER) vs. THE EALY BROTHERS (GABRIEL EALY & URIEL EALY)
Uriel with a swift knee to Miller, but Miller takes over and tags in Thorne. Thorne with a standing moonsault and Uriel is outside. TM61 dazzles, Miller pulls the ropes down so Thorne can do a flop over the top. Miller knocks Uriel down. The Ealy Brothers pull Twin Magic out of their hat to slip a fresh Gabriel into the ring. Miller is isolated. Thorne gets the tag and goes on hot tag offence. He lets the Ealy Brothers wipe each other out, then shows off his impressive moveset. Huge suplex, Miller tags in, moonsault from the top, an Ealy brother breaks up the tag, Thorne sends him out. TM61 hit their Thunder Valley team finisher, Thorne guards the ring as Miller makes the cover.
WINNERS: TM61 in 3:21. That was a very outstanding showcase for TM61. I never remember being this impressed with this in their initial run. This match simply flowed better.
Backstage with Christy St. Cloud. Miller and Thurne say they are much more than the TM61 that fans got to know a year ago, they are the mighty, and the mighty don’t kneel.
[ J.J.’s Reax: I really like TM61 owning that they didn’t really impress a year ago, because it’s true. Between the video packages and the match I just saw, any doubts or lack of being impressed have been erased for me. They have fixed the things I didn’t like. Kudos to TM61 and the Performance Center for helping them grow, this is exactly what I love about NXT. ]
[Q3] Recap of Johnny Gargano failing to beat Andrade Almas for the NXT Championship, and the return of Tommaso Ciampa.
Backstage, questions are put to Ciampa. He refuses to answer anything. He reminds me of Mad Max, with the knee brace and shambling gait, and boots.
Backstage with Almas and Zelina Vega. Almas is torn up badly. Vega says that the old Almas wouldn’t have won.
EC3 is officially listed as signed to NXT.
Killian Dain is listed as facing Adam Cole next week, as part of the UE/Sanity feud.
(3) RODERICK STRONG vs. TYLER BATE – #1 Contender Match for UK Championship
Immediate lockup, and they shift to the mat. Bate shows his incredible technical skills and agility. The action is simply too fast here. Airplace spin from Bate to Strong. Strong catches Bate’s spear through the ropes, underhook backbreaker into a knee through the ropes, cover. They go to strikes, then another backbreaker gets Strong two. The crowd is torn between Strong and Bate, I know I can’t pick a favorite here, and I see upside in either man winning. Strong catches a crossbody, backbreaker, then he picks Bate up and throws him into the turnbuckle. [c]
[Q4] Bate is fighting Strong off, then Strong has a standing bow and arrow hold mid-ring. Bate fights out, then has to fight off the mat. Jawbreaker, then Bang and Bop put them both down. Rapid back-and-forth leads to a German Suplex from Bate, bridge, cover and two. Bate ducks a punch, exploder suplex, kip up, standing shooting star press, cover for two. Great sequence. Strong wants a powerbomb, Bate turns it into a huracarana, cover, two. Most action so fast the eye can barely take it in. This match has a brutal pace. Bate wants the Tyler Driver 97, but his lower back is weak. Strong wants a giant swing, Bate counters with a rollup for two, Strong has running knees and a huge slam. Leaping DDT wins ir for Strong.
Winner: Roderick Strong in 10:00. Really good match, with the kind of pacing I adore. Bate winning would have set up a third great match in the Dunne – Bate series. Strong winning sets up a fresh challenger for Dunne to overcome. Either way, we the fans win here. I never was as impressed with Strong’s in-ring work as I was in this match.
FINAL REAX: Really strong in-ring work tonight all around, and I loved the post-match interviews from Takeover. They seem to have dialed in the “Takeover dark matches” special formula.
NOW CHECK OUIT THE PREVIOUS REPORT: 1/24 NXT TV REPORT: Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream with Takeover Title shot on line, No Way Jose vs. Bononi, Bel Air vs. Latoya