3/1 NXT in Columbus, Ohio: Gargano & LaRae vs. Almas & Vega, Baszler vs. Kairi, Aleister vs. Dream, plus Lars, Profits, Kai

Velveteen Dream (art credit Joel Tesch © PWTorch)


MARCH 1, 2018

If you attend a live event, please sent a report to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Include photos of the ring, of wrestlers, or the atmosphere in the arena and entrance stage, too.

The building holds a little over 2,000 for a concert. I’d estimate attendance tonight was between 800 to 1,000. All the seats were filled, but there was some room in the standing sections.  It’s slightly hard to gauge as it isn’t a traditional wrestling venue.

Before the first match started, Vic Joseph welcomed us and encouraged the liberal usage of the #NXTColumbus hashtag.  We were to use the hashtag to vote on which NXT debut we’d like to relive on the tron.  The options were Charlotte Flair, Finn Balor, or Shinsuke Nakamura. Balor won the poll overwhelmingly.

(1) Street Profits defeated Cezar Bononi & Adrian Jaoude by pinfall.  Montez Ford showed a lot of personality in this match.  Finish came when Angelo Dawson hit a spine buster on Jaoude followed by a frog splash by Ford.  Good energy.

(2) Dakota Kai defeated Lacey Evans by pinfall.  Crowd was pretty lukewarm for Lacey, but she tried hard with her heel mannerisms.  Kai scored the pin after a top rope Coup de Grace double foot stop.  Shayna Baszler ran in after the match and attacked Kai.  More on the that later.

(3) Lars Sullivan defeated Chris Dijack.  Crowd was in to Sullivan.  Nice spot where Sullivan missed a top rope headbutt attempt and Dijack followed up with a pretty top rope moonsault.  Sullivan connected with the Freak Accident and it was good for three.  The crowd chanted one more time and Sullivan obliged by returning to the ring and flooring Dijack again with a second Freak Accident.

(4) Undisputed Era defeated Heavy Machinery & Kassius Ohno by pinfall.  Adam Cole was the most over talent so far on the show.  Otis Dozovic stole this match when he hit a three flop worm across the ring and dropped an elbow on birthday boy Kyle O’Reilly.  Toward the end, everyone ended up outside the ring, Ohno teased a suicide dive but Cole surprised him with the schoolboy roll up.


(5) Shayna Baszler defeated Kairi Sane by disqualification.  Baszler methodically worked over Sane’s arm during the match.  Sane would let out primal screams with small flurries of offense, but then get shut down by the more tactical Shayna.  Baszler landed a series of knee strikes and lifted a lifeless Sane off the mat at two.  Dakota Kai had seen enough and came out from backstage, striking Baszler and drawing the DQ.  Sane hit the big elbow on Baszler to end the match happy.

(7) Aleister Black defeated Velveteen Dream by pinfall.  Both guys were super over with this crowd as the biggest pops of the night were these two.  The crowd launched its first “This is awesome” chant before they even locked up.  Dream tried his crawling taunt and was met mid-ring by a staring Black.  “This is awesome” part two, followed by a “Say his name!” chant.  Dream would mock Black’s cross-legged sitting style and caught a kick to the head for his troubles.  Black delivered a big powerbomb from underneath in the corner.  “This is awesome” part three.  Dream missed a springboard top rope splash.  Black landed a hard kick.  Dream countered with a spike DDT for a very near fall.  “Holy sh–” chants rang out.  Dream lifted Black, yelled “Say my name,” and caught a Black Mass for the loss.

(8) Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae defeated Andrade Cien Almas & Zelina Vega by submission in a mixed tag match.  Crowd was hot for both teams, but just a notch below the previous match.  Basic work with the men early on. Gargano went to hot tag LeRae, but Vega was there just in time to pull LeRae off the apron.  Gagano tagged LeRae.  She hit an impressive top rope huracanrana on Almas before Vega entered the ring.  Gagano and LeRae hit spears on their foes for a near fall.  Almas got Gargano down in the corner and LeRae stepped in between them to protect Johnny.  Almas teased like he’d fight LeRae if he had to.  LeRae pulled her hair back in a ponytail and said let’s go.  Almas charged, but LeRae ducked and grappled Vega instead. Mr. and Mrs. Gargano Escapes for the stereo tapout in the center of the ring.

Afterward Gargano thanked the crowd for their energy and said he was a proud Ohioan.  Playing off Wednesday’s events, Gargano said we should look at the bright side because at least Candice still has a job in NXT.  The crowd chanted “Johnny Mania!” Gargano paused his promo and hit the signature Hulk Hogan poses.  He closed by saying that whether he was there or not, he will always be NXT and that we must keep coming to shows because we too are NXT.

If you attend a live event, please sent a report to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Include photos of the ring, of wrestlers, or the atmosphere in the arena and entrance stage, too.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS REPORT: 2/22 NXT in Ontario: Ricochet’s first match in WWE, Ember vs. Bel Air match cut short after injury, Gargano & La Rae vs. Almas & Vega

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