NXT LIVE EVENT
APRIL 19, 2018
WASHINGTON D.C. AT THE ANTHEM
REPORT BY PHILLIP, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
(1) Oney Lorcan & The Street Profits & beat Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler & Chad Lail (a/k/a “Gunner” from TNA). This started as Lorcan vs. Lail. Cutler and Blake ran out and attacked Lorcan. The Street Profits came down to make the save and a six-man tag match ensued. Lorcan pinned Gail after a Ford frog splash. After the match The Street Profits got Lorcan to dance; the crowd loved it.. Surprisingly to me, a decent number of people recognized Lail.
(2) Candice LaRae & Nikki Cross beat Bianca Dal Air & Lacey Evans when Nikki pinned Evans in a standard match. After the match, Nikki went into her crazy mode and Candace calmed her down. Then Nikki convinced Candace to go in to crazy mode. Pretty entertaining. Candace and Nikki were very over as you would expect, but surprisingly Bianca was not far behind. Very few cheers for lacey
(3) Ricochet beat Velveteen Dream. Match of the night easily. Back and forth contest, lots of counters and some very stiff chops. The crowd was hot and they didn’t disappoint. With velveteen being home, I was expecting him to win. Suprisingly, Ricochet won with a beautiful shooting star press. After the match Ricochet went for a handshake and Velveteen slapped his arm and did his pose. Velveteen got the pop of the night, but the crowd loved pretty much everything Ricochet did as well. This was the best match that I have ever seen in person.
(4) Tomaso Ciampa beat Kassius Ohno. Hard-hitting match, lots of cool counter and heavy strikes from Ohno. Ciampa won, and after the match a hooded Johnny Gargano jumped the guard rail and attacked him. Larae, Lordan, and the Street Profits came out to break it up. When Gargano took his hood off he had on a neck brace. I suppose that sometime soon on NXT TV he’ll suffer some kind of injury. Gargano wasn’t advertised to be there, so everyone popped when he showed up
(4) EC3 beat No Way Jose. Pretty good match. The crowd loved Jose and liked his comedy spots. EC3 won. Not much else to say about this one.
(5) Shayna Baszler beat Kairi Sane to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Decent match. It’s obvious these two have good chemistry in the ring. A pretty big “Ronda Rousey” chant rang out which was cool. Baszler won by submission. It looked like a rear naked choke, but from where I was standing it was difficult to tell. I love Baszler so I enjoyed the finish. The crowd did not, which I guess means she is doing a great job as a heel.
(6) Aleister Black beat Anrade “Cien” Almas. Very good match. They both did their signature moves. Andrade did a tornado reverse ddt that looked absolutely brutal. Almas tried to hit Black with the title and Black countered with a perfect Black Mass and got the pin. The crowd popped for Black but Almas got a decent amount if cheers too. It seemed like everyone acknowledges that he is a heel but love his work. There was no Zelina Vega, which was a bummer.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Great show overall. I wanted to see Undisputed Era, and Adam Cole in particular, but didn’t get to so that was disappointing. I’m not sure what the capacity is at the Anthem, but the building was pretty full. A few empty seats here and there, but a lot of people, myself included, had general standing tickets. I brought a friend with me who is a less than casual fan. He knew Stone Cold and The Rock and Hulk Hogan, but I actually had to explain to him what the NWO was when he saw a t-shirt and asked if they would be wrestling! Long story short, he was so into NXT that he signed up for the WWE Network last night. He loved Velveteen because he is from D.C. as are we, he loved Ricochet, Bianca Bel Air, Nikki Cross, and Aliester Black.