NXT TV TAPINGS
JUNE 21, 2018
TAPED AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY VOLKER BREEZE, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
A pensive Johnny Gargano followed, also trailed by a camera as well as a bodyguard.
Rhea Ripley and Kacy Catanzaro were spotted heading to the food trucks, and they were accompanied by Celeste Bonin (formerly Kaitlyn).
Inside, fans passed out NX3 signs. The fad has officially outlasted the Street Profits Solo cups.
Pungent smoke not previously noted for these reports rose from beneath the bleachers to establish atmosphere.
Mike Rome returned, accompanying Kayla Braxton. The pair announced a rematch between Heavy Machinery and War Raiders, as well as appearances from all NXT champions including Mustache Mountain. Before introducing commentary, a match between ECIII and Johnny Gargano was also announced. The Heavy Machinery-War Raiders match did not take place.
A third camera was at ringside, adding to the usual two.
(A) Fabian Aichner pinned Raul Mendoza in a dark match. A World Cup fan in the crowd shouted, “I’ve already seen Mexico beat Germany this week,” which spurred a “He’s Italian” chant. The evenly contested bout ended when Aichner caught Mendoza off the top turnbuckle and drilled him with a powerslam. Aichner physically dismissed a smattering of cheers as he departed.
Mike Rome asked for a moment of silence for Leon “Big Van Vader” White, as White’s memorial graphic graced the screen.
A Takeover Chicago II recap video was shown.
Aleister Black, in his Wednesday best, said, “How you deal with adversity defines you as a champion.” He put over Lars Sullivan as a legitimate freak, and hit his “fade to black” catchphrase. Tommaso Ciampa interrupted Black and said, “You’ve dealt with adversity, now you deal with the devil.” He accused Black of being made by the title as opposed to the other way around. Citing his own version of recent histort, he claimed his dominance of Johnny Gargano at TakeOver Chicago II qualifies him for title contention. Black said whether the match happens is up to William Regal, but before he could threaten his new adversary Ciampa warned him to “be careful, boy,” before finishing his superb promo by mocking Black’s seated pose and then waving as he backed away.
(1) Kona Reeves pinned Max Humberto. Humberto got a full entrance. The cocky Reeves was met with chants for his opponent and responded by dominating the proceedings, even rubbing Humberto’s face in to the mat at one point. He won with his modified Samoan drop.
Highlights for Mustache Mountain’s tag title win were shown.
(2) Candice LeRae pinned Lacey Evans. Drake Wuertz officiated this match, negating prior murmurs of the May tapings being his last. Evans entered looking like Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. She relied on her superior strength to gain an upper hand, and drove LeRae’s left arm against the ring post. Evans wore down her opponent at her own pace as LeRae sought any opportunity to forge a comeback. LeRae surprised Evans with a flurry of forearms, then chained an unprettier in to a springboard moonsault for the win.
(3) Undisputed Era pinned Mustache Mountain & Ricochet. Tyler Bate & Trent Seven entered in silver jackets, unzipping them to reveal their new titles. Carl Axelrod & Dave Dixon entered (with music and a tron) for a scheduled match against the new champs, but were decimated and deposited on the cement floor by an Undisputed Era sneak attack. Kyle O’Reilly called what happened at Royal Albert Hall a scam. He, Roderick Strong, and Adam Cole said Mustache Mountain only won because they were being held up by their “dumpy country.” As the Era surrounded the ring, Ricochet entered for the save. Instead of doing anything aggressive, Ricochet handstand-springboarded in to his superhero pose as the Era stepped down from the apron. Kayla Braxton said William Regal had just announced this conflict would become a six-man tag. The British duo’s quirky offense paired well with Ricochet’s agility to keep things in control before the Era isolated Bate in their own corner. Ricochet received the hot tag, and handily cleared the swarming Era. At one point he hit a blockbuster on Strong that also caused Strong to inadvertently DDT Cole. Seven suavely removed O’Reilly from an octopus hold on Ricochet, and delivered a full Nelson slam for two. The Era rallied, but Seven countered a last shot from Cole and tagged Ricochet. Ricochet and Cole kicked each other to the mat, earning a standing ovation and “NXT” chants. Ricochet narrowly backflipped through an over/under attempt by O’Reilly & Cole, and hit a 630 on Cole. O’Reilly broke up the pin. Strong backdropped Ricochet on the apron, and draped his fallen leader over Ricochet for the win.
(4) Dakota Kai pinned Santana Garrett. Garrett got a full entrance. Though this was not announced, Garrett’s presence generated fan speculation this may have been a Mae Young Classic qualifying match. Kai overcame Garrett’s early dominance with her signature kicks, eventually winning with the Kai-ropractor.
Shayna Baszler entered, declaring, “When the dog goes rabid, you put it to sleep.” She reiterated her dominance and mocked Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane, and Candice LeRae. She said she’s the reason for a second Mae Young Classic, since WWE needs to scour the globe to find competition for her.
(5) The Mighty pinned Otis Dozovic in a handicap match. The Mighty entered with a newly styled entrance – the camera ascended the ramp as they posed beneath spotlights. On the mic, Nick Miller & Shane Thorne implied they attacked Tucker Knight backstage by saying Knight had met with an unfortunate accident. Dozovic wore black and red, perhaps in tribute to Vader. He dominated until Thorne manipulated the official thereby allowing Miller to yank Dozovic to the floor by the hair. Thorne became infuriated by a “mighty jobbers” chant. Dozovic bounced about the ring, repeatedly clotheslining both his opponents. He hit a leg drop and and elbow drop on Miller & Thorne, respectively, after doing the worm. The Mighty evaded a splash, and Thorne scored the pin after Miller hit Dozovic with a forearm to the back of the head. In response to the crowd’s ire, Thorne declared, “Boo yourselves!”
Mike Rome and Kayla Braxton plugged the UK Championship Tournament on the WWE Network, introducing a video of Velveteen Dream & ECIII vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet that accentuated Dream’s role in the finish.
(6) Kairi Sane submitted Vanessa Borne. Borne entered with new music and a new tron that felt like a downgrade from what she’d been using. Sane targeted Borne’s left leg before Borne countered a pinning predicament and took over. Borne demanded the crowd cheer for her. Sane took advantage of Borne’s averted focus to hit many of her signature moves before Borne thwarted an attempt at the insane elbow. Sane crossed Borne’s legs, and contorted Borne in to a Boston crab position to force Borne to tap. As the match highlights played, Sane demonstrated a dance routine that can only be described as a pirate version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance. Maybe the dance will catch on with the fans?
After her match, Kairi Sane took the mic and reminded Shayna Baszler that she has beaten Baszler before. She declared she will beat her again, and she’s coming for her treasure.
(7) Velveteen Dream pinned Chris Dijak. Dream entered with a personalized weightlifter belt a la Hulk Hogan, and wrestled the match with it on. Dijak dominated before being shoved from the turnbuckle, after which Dream hit an unmistakable Hogan leg drop. After nearly scoring a count-out when he sent Dijak in to the ring steps, Dream hit a specialized DDT maneuver for three. Dream put his hands to his ears like Hogan as he celebrated.
ECIII interrupted Dream’s celebration and jawed with Dream as Dream took his leave.
(8) Johnny Gargano pinned ECIII. A fire lit within him, Gargano took the fight to ECIII. Working multiple shoulder clutch holds, ECIII managed to surmount his opponent’s fury and force Gargano to claw from beneath. He demanded the fans say his name, motioned “E, C, III” to the hard cam and hit an elbow. Gargano came back with a suicide dive, and survived a retaliating clothesline that would make JBL proud. Gargano tried for the Gargano escape, but ECIII converted it in to a powerbomb for two. ECIII played possum after taking kicks to the head, but was nevertheless wrenched in to another Gargano escape. ECIII achieved rope break, but Gargano saw red and went back to the hold despite the official’s effort to stop him. Narrowly evading disqualification, Gargano hit ECIII with a hangman DDT – the same way he lost to Tommaso Ciampa at TakeOver Chicago II – and got the pin. Gargano fumed in the ring, seemingly considering his actions, and needed to be ushered out by the official. Meanwhile ECIII could be seen amicably interacting with children in the crowd.
Kayla Braxton announced a #1 contender match for the NXT Women’s Title, a rematch for the NXT Tag Team Titles, and a match between Danny Burch and Adam Cole.
(9) Adam Cole pinned Danny Burch. Cole looked strong making an example of Burch and going over clean with the last shot in a match of decent length.
(10) Lacey Evans pinned Dakota Kai. Evans comically mocked Kai’s kicks at the bell. Kai attempted several roll-ups for two counts. Evans put Kai in the tree of woe and tied Kai’s foot to the post with the tag rope to hit her version of the bronco buster. From there, the official’s lower tolerance for Evans’ offense got under Evans’ skin. Evans worked a lengthy surfboard stretch. Kai rolled out of the way of a moonsault, and laid in to Evans with boots to the face. Each wrestler countered the other’s finish, then Evans found the women’s right for three. Following her victory, Evans got in the felled Kai’s face and needed to be led away by the official.
(11) Kassius Ohno pinned a wrestler. Ohno quickly ended the contest with an elbow.
Mike Rome said Jeremy Borash would give signed Ricochet and Undisputed Era shirts to “the loudest fans.”
(12) Kairi Sane defeated Nikki Cross and Candice LeRae via pinfall to become #1 contender to the NXT Women’s Championship. Before the action could begin, Shayna Baszler entered to join commentary. Dueling “Let’s go Kairi”/”Nikki Cross” chants broke out as the wrestlers took to one another with fervor. Sane was the first to take a nap after Cross drove her skull in to the ring post. Cross manically stomped LeRae in a tree of woe as Sane recovered. Sane wrenched LeRae in to the hold she displayed earlier against Vanessa Borne, and Cross broke it up. LeRae pounded on Cross before the two of them each tumbled to the outside. Cross laid LeRae out on the ramp, and was then plastered by Sane’s kabuki elbow. Sane’s subsequent insane elbow attempt became a tower of doom with Cross in the middle. LeRae hit a double DDT and a springboard moonsault before Cross ended her with a hangman purge to the outside. Cross prowled about the prone Sane, hitting backdrop after backdrop. LeRae resurrected to thwart a top rope hangman purge, then nailing Cross with a springboard moonsault. Sane broke up LeRae’s pin with an insane elbow, and emotionally clutched LeRae’s leg as the official counted the three. Baszler confidently posed with her title as Sane peered at her through a mimed telescope.
Kayla Braxton announced Mae Young Classic tickets are on sale for the crowd immediately following the taping, and at 10AM tomorrow (Friday) for everyone else. Jeremy Borash remained at ringside encouraging crowd noise and “conducting” chants.
(13) Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) defeated Mustache Mountain via forfeit to become the NXT Tag Team Champions. At the bell, O’Reilly and Strong leapt on Tyler Bate & Trent Seven like hungry dogs. Dueling chants thrived as the the fast action mounted and spilled outside. O’Reilly targeted Seven’s braced left knee, and isolated the new champ. Seven broke free when Strong tagged in, and dumped both O’Reilly and Strong from the ring. O’Reilly yanked Bate from the apron, however, before Seven could find the tag. Seven caught Strong in a DDT, but O’Reilly again removed Bate from tagging position and returned to working Seven’s knee. Both legal wrestlers finally tagged out, and Bate hit a bevy of signature maneuvers on Strong including a standing shooting star press. Bate collected Strong for a Tyler Driver, then simultaneously grabbed the meddlesome O’Reilly and spun both of his adversaries around the ring. Bate continued to surge until he earned a near fall on Strong. He attempted the same sequence again, but fell to a backbreaker by Strong that left him prone for a near fall attempt by O’Reilly. Strong leapt at Bate, but accidentally took out O’Reilly. Seven entered and went to bat on both of his opponents, scoring two after a clothesline to Strong. Seven’s knee gave out as he lifted Strong in a fireman’s carry, and Bate had to be ushered away after breaking up Strong’s subsequent submission hold. O’Reilly viciously locked on to the resilient Seven’s knee as Bate begged for a tag. Seven slapped and kicked his way out of the hold but was easily trapped in it once more. Tormented over the decision, Bate finally threw in a towel to forfeit to the Undisputed Era. Adam Cole and Bobby Fish celebrated with their stablemates on the stage.
Jeremy Borash offered handshakes to exiting fans.
Outside, the line for Mae Young Classic tickets quickly grew to snake all the way around Full Sail Live.