Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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NXT TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 14, 2018
TAPED IN ATLANTA, GA. AT CENTRE STAGE
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] No pre-credits video, but the announcers are quick to tell us that Aleister Black will have a contract signing with NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas tonight. Sanity starts things off with a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic match. Nice to see Nikki Cross out with them. Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli seem to be of one mind on their way out.
(1) SANITY (ERIC YOUNG & ALEXANDER WOLFE w/Killian Dain , Nikki Cross) vs. RIDDICK MOSS & TINO SABBATELLI – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Round 1 Match
The announcers play up the friction between Moss and Sabbatelli. Moss tries to overpower Wolfe but it doesn’t work. Distraction from Sabbatelli lets Moss drop Wolfe onto the top rope. Moss and Sabbatelli are working well together so far. The arena is nearly pitch black on the crowd for some reason. Two count on Wolfe. Wolfe dodges a punch from Moss who clobbers Sabbatelli instead. Sabbetelli in the ring, so is Young. Body slam sets Sabbetelli up for the top rope elbow, but Moss yanks Young off the cover. Moss uses Wolfe to distract the reff, so Cross takes out Moss. Suplex/top rope neckbreaker from Wolfe and Young end it.
WINNERS: Sanity in 3:45. This went exactly as expected. Moss and Sabbetelli continue their split, and Sanity advances. And of course, any Nikki Cross is good.
Post-match, Tommaso Ciampa comes out. Everyone in the crowd has Gargano signs, they must hand these things out at the door, they are too identical. The crowd is now well-lit. Ciampa milks the boos like last week. He eventually drops the mic and gets a “Yes!” chant. He rolls out of the ring and looks over the announcer booth at the crowd. Someone in the crowd offers him a Gargano sign to destroy, funny. Ciampa looks like he is losing his mind. The crowd give Ciampa the goodbye song as he heads up the ramp.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Perhaps this is leading to Ciampa getting so sick of the boos that he demands that Gargano be brought back for a match so he can prove that he is better than Gargano? ]
[Q2] The announcers remind us that Adam Cole is somehow getting a shot at Pete Dunne’s UK Championship tonight.
Lacey Evans gets a muted, yet mixed reaction on her entrance. She is facing Dakota Kai. I half expect Shayna Bazsler to come out and beat them both up and hold the ring hostage until she gets a title match.
(2) DAKOTA KAI vs. LACEY EVANS
Evans with an immediate waistlock, but Kai slips out. Evans with a quick takedown then starts slamming her knees onto Kai’s arm. Kai with a sudden schoolgirl for the win. Evans is fuming.
WINNER Dakota Kai in 0:56.
Post-match, here’s Baszler. Kai looks like she’s reliving some trauma. Baszler slowly stalks Kai as referree Drake Younger tries to talk Baszler down. Ember Moon’s music hits. Moon comes to the ring with a mic. That’s hardly sporting, Baszler doesn’t have one. Baszler licks her lips and looks ready to crush Moon. Moon vows to end this at Takeover: New Orleans, then attacks Baszler, Baszler with a takedown, referees are trying to pry them apart. A viscious punch from Baszler knocks Moon down and seems to end the fight. Moon is woozy, but avoids a follow up from Baszler, knocks Baszler down. moon thinks Eclipse, Baszler kicks her in the head, then sets up a double wristlock on the ropes, but Kai comes to life and kicks Baszler off Moon, Moon hits the Eclipse, then poses over Baszler.
(3) STREET PROFITS (MONTEZ FORD & ANGELO DAWKINS) vs. HEAVY MACHINERY (TUCKER KNIGHT & OTIS DOZOVIC) – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Round 1 Match
Dozovic sends Ford scrambling to the corner, but instead of tagging Dawkins he takes a sip from his cup on the apron, then offers Dozovic some. Dozovic warily takes it, then drains it. It seems to fire Dozovic up, then he demolishes Ford. Tag to Knight, who lands a 350+ lbs. dropkick to Dawkins. Ford reappears, gets caught by the pair as Dawkins is stuck in the ropes, they use Ford as a ram to spear Dawkins, cover for a nearfall.
[Q3] Knight with a bearhug then he jumps around. Ford punches free, Knight looks for a suplex, Ford lands on his feet, tag to Dawkins who has hot tag offense for Knight. Thesz Press from Knight cuts Dawkins’ rally off. Choo choo splash in the corner, tag, Ford yanks the ropes so Knight heads over the ropes when he wants the Compactor. DDT to Dozovic, Ford with a huge top rope splash for the win. Ford looks like he can’t beleive he survived.
WINNERS: Street Profits in 3:39. What a hilarious, fun, exciting match. These two team have so much personality in the ring, and I enjoyed this far more than I should have.
Adam Cole is out with Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. Why are these two still allowed at ringside? In my “bad predictions of the night” column, I am guessing Roderick Strong will help even the odds tonight.
(4) ADAM COLE (w/Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. UK Champion PETE DUNNE
Cole forces Dunne to the corner. Then Dunne slips out and gets in the face of Fish and O’Reilly. Cole puts the puts to Dunne when he gets back in. Huge elbow just drops Cole to the mat, then Dunne invites Fish and O’Reilly into the ring. Dunne starts to destroy Cole’s hand and fingers, then delivers the Shayna Stomp to Cole. Dunne forces Cole back into a keylock then kicks the elbow hard. Cole rolls to the apron, fends off a suplex, but Dunne kicks the arm hard again. Dunne stares Fish and O’reilly down as he hits an inside out suplex to Cole. Distraction from Fish and O’Reilly let Cole get an advantage over Dunne, then shoves Dunne to the outside. Dunne clutches his knee as they cut to break. [c]
Dunne with another inside out suplex mid-ring right after the break. They trade blows with Dunne getting most of the work in. Dunne hits a step up enziguri in the corner, then a leaping stomp off the second rope to the arm, sit out powerbomb for a nearfall. Stiff running kick to Cole’s head, but Cole escapes the Bitter End and retaliates with a Backstabber. Cole thinks suplex, Dunne slips first into a front facelock, then an armbar, Cole escapes, hits Dunne with a kick, The Last Shot for two.
[Q4] Cole removes an elbow pad. He paintbrushes Dunne and calls him a “chump.” Wow. Dunne is tired of it and an elbow sends Cole flying into the corner. Fish and O’Reilly council Cole ringside. Cole and Dunne trade superkicks and enziguris. Cole kicks Dunne out of the air and covers for a nearfall. Cole can’t beleive he didn’t win off that. Cole drops a kneepad, Dunne ducs the shining wizard, release German suplex, the Bitter End, but Fish and O’Reilly distract. Dunne attacks them, but eats a superkick coming back into the ring. The Last Shot again, Dunne kicks out at the last moment. Dunne suddenly comes to life and yanks Cole’s fingers hard, then does it again. Fish and O’Reilly attack Dunne for the DQ.
WINNER: Pete Dunne via DQ in 9:25. The match was what you’d expect from these two, well executed in-ring psychology.
Post-match, Undisputed Era mob Dunne. Roderick Strong makes the save, but the numbers catch up to him. Dunne comes to life and Dunne and Strong pair up to send Undisputed Era packing. Strong and Dunne have a stare down. Strong offers a handshake, Dunne kind of slaps Strong’s arm to acknowledge him without showing much respect. Dunne walks away, holds the championship up on the ramp looking at Strong.
[ J.J.’s Reax: While predictable (hey, I have to be right some of the time!) I am truly enjoying this slow face turn from Dunne and the development of respect between him and Strong. ]
William Regal is out for the contract signing between Almas and Black. He brings Black out first. No talking from Black before Regal has Almas come out. No Almas though, just Zelina Vega. Vega pulls a Heyman Hustle and tells us the Almas isn’t here tonight, but if he was, he would wreck Black. Black ignores Vega and puts a hand up in her face. He hands her the contract and moves the table to the side, then stares down Vega. Black sits down mid ring and says “at least now we’re on the same level”. Vega is infuriated. She signs the contract. Does that count? Black looks at it. Black asks if Almas is afraid that “much like yourself, he will come up short” or perhaps he “just doesn’t measure up”. Vega gets tired of the jokes and slap Black and demands he sign the contract. Black does. Black hands it to Regal who departs to sign ringside. Black starts to walk away. Black says Vega must be happy she came out alone, but he didn’t. Candace LaRae comes out and attacks Vega. Vega tries to get over the barricade but LaRae yanks her back in. LaRae puts Vega on the booth and beats the brakes off her there too. Tornado DDT in the ring. Vega is out cold.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Good in-ring action and the build to New Orleans continues. It looks more and more like we will get Vega facing LaRae at some point soon, perhaps at Takeover. I didn’t care much for Black using Vega’s height as a talking point, especially once it got repetitive. The Ciampa segments need to go somewhere soon, though they are well done for the time being.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 3/7 NXT TV Report: Aleister Black vs. Killian Dane, TM61 vs. Authors of Pain in Dusty Classic tourney match, Belair vs. Renee