NXT TV REPORT
JULY 18, 2018
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] Pre-credits silent tribute to Masa Saito. Then a pre-credits package tells us that we will see a #1 Contender Triple Threat match for the #1 contender slot for the NXT Women’s Championship. Last week we were told that this was a Fatal Four Way, Bianca Belair has been cut from the match for “injury”, but more likely is that she was on her honeymoon during the last taping.
Dakota Kai is out for a match. The announcers bill this as a chance for her to impress William Regal. She is facing Lacey Evans.
(1) DAKOTA KAI vs. LACEY EVANS
Evans makes fun of Kai with exaggerated kicks, so Kai jacknifes for two. Kai on the attack. Schoolgirl in the corner nets two for Kai. Running kick is good for another two count. Evan dodges a running boot and puts Kai in the Tree of Way, then ties the tag rope around Kai’s feet to keep her there. Big Bronco Buster knocks Kai out of the corner. Evans spends precious time making fun of Kai instead of getting the win, then kicks Kai and covers for one. Knee drop to Kai’s back. Evans screams at the ref, letting Kai kick her then a crucifix cover for one. Huge punch from Evans on the mat, then a chinlock variation. Kai buys herself a moment but a boot to the middle puts Evans back on the attack. Evans with an extended hold sequence, working Kai’s arms and lower back. Evan puts Kai on the apron, knee lift through the ropes then a leg sweep, and Evans stands on Kai. Slingshot elbow drop for two. Evans preps a moonsault, but Kai rolls under it and pulls herself to her feet. She grabs Evans’ hair and kicks her face a dozen times, then nails the running big boots in the corner. Kai keeps kicking Evans’ face, then a running kick to the seated Evans, cover for two. Evan ducks a kick, using it to transition to a pumphandle slam. Kai with a kick, but Evans responds with a drop toe hold, then ducks an enziguri, then hits the Women’s Right for the win.
WINNER: Lacey Evans in 8:58. The match was incredibly lopsided. Typical WWE booking would have given Kai a surprise win, especially with a small package or a schoolgirl out of nowhere, but the Evans win makes sense here, they need a secondary female heel and Evans seems to be filling that role with more credibility than Peyton Royce or Billy Kaye did.
[Q2] Cathy Kelley is interviewing Ricochet. He cuts off her question and says that he actually respects Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong because they are fighting champions and love defending their titles, but Adam Cole is a coward. He brings up his flirtations with the NXT North American Championship and how Cole hides behind his buddies, and puts Cole on notice.
Quick reminder from the announcers that NXT Champion Aleister Black defends against Tommaso Ciampa, and a mention that Belair is not medically cleared for the Fatal Fourway.
Video package with the Street Profits. They are playing basketball and talking. They mention TM61 and all the ways TM61 cheated.
EC3 is shown walking around a Starbucks. A random fan wants a selfie with EC3 and gets one. Another fan compliments him on his suit, then EC3 pulls an EC3 shirt out of his pocket and gives it to the fan. Kona Reeves starts kind of complimenting EC3 but saying his stuff isn’t “the finest”. EC3 cuts down Reeves for his cheap garbage outfit and sunglasses, then challenges Reeves to a fight. EC3 eggs Reeves on. Reeves delcines. After EC3 leaves Reeves says he will fight, but they could have been the “finest of friends”.
[ J.J.’s Reax: The first portion was so obviously staged, deliberately obviously staged. Maybe EC3’s gimmick can be that he pays people to talk him up? But Reeves was badly, badly outclassed in this confrontation. He looked like a total amateur. EC3 may be dorky but he doesn’t come off as a doofus like Reeves did. Reeves is going to get buried in this feud. ]
Video package on Black – Ciampa next week. Based on what happened last week with Johnny Gargano, I think that Gargano will be interrupting this match next week.
Kassius Ohno is on his way out to the ring. He is facing Rick Ramierex, already in the ring.
(2) KASSIUS OHNO vs. RICK RAMIEREZ
Ramierez tries a waistlock, but Ohno shrugs it off, discus elbow for the win.
WINNER: Kassius Ohno in 0:35. Nice to see Ohno pick up a win,he needs more credibility to be effective in his role as gatekeeper.
Post-match, he looks a bit gruff and mean.
Backstage, Undisputed Era talk themselces up. Adam Cole: “You guys want to hear a joke? Ricochet.” Cole claims to be a fighting champion. Fish says he can’t hold up the “UE” gang sign because his hands are full with their trophy. Funny.
[Q3] Video package on the War Raiders. Clips of them being called War Machine, and beating up Kevin Owens (among others) it looks like. They knew nothing could stop them, until Rowe got into a serious motocycle accident, and that just made him tougher.
Velveteen Dream is backstage, with his back turned. He snaps his fingers, the lights go off. He calls for ambiance and atmosphere and “illumination” turning on music, smoke, and puriple lights. Clips of the crowd cheering for him. He says the crowd is buzzing to know what the next experience will be. At War Games, they said his name, with the famous quote from Black. He says he had a “knockout performance” in Philiadelphia. At New Orleans, he rose to new heights. Chicago was another “match of the year”. At Brooklyn, the spotlight will shine the brightest on Velveteen Dream.
[ J.J.’s Reax: This had the production qualities of an adult movie, perhaps deliberately so, to emphasize the overtly sexual presentation of Dream. Great package. ]
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler is at the booth, sitting with her feet on the desk like a jerk.
(3) NIKKI CROSS vs. CANDICE LaRAE vs. KAIRI SANE – NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender Triple Threat Match
[Q4] Hot start to the match with covers left and right. Lots of dodges moves resulting in extra carnage. LaRae gets knocked off the apron leaving to be Cross and Sane in the ring. Baszler says they are all “bodies” and a body is just waiting to tap out, and it doesn’t matter who she faces. Cross puts LaRae’s head in the apron and bashes it in as Baszler heels on Mauro Ranallo then Nigel McGuinness kind of kisses up to Baszler. Cross is trying to tear LaRae’s nose off, then a cover for one. Cross with a hold then a crucifix for two. LaRae in a Tree of Woe and Cross stomps on her. Cross detects Sane but eats The Interceptor anyways, then Sane double stomps LaRae out of the Tree of Woe for two. Sane puts LaRae in the Anchor, but Cross breaks the hold up, then tries to put Sane in a sleeper. LaRae dropkicks the pair to break them apart. Baszler calls LaRae “tough” but it doesn’t matter, Baszler will beat her. LaRae with a ton of strikes to Cross in the corner, cannonball to Sane outside, but Cross grabs her and drags her outside for a reverse DDT on the ramp. Sane off the apron with a Kabuki Elbow and everyone is down. Baszler just smirking at the match. Watson asks why Baszler isn’t impressed. Baszler says that yes, they are having a great match but they “win” a match with her, and “is that really ‘winning’?” Tower of Doom spot draws a “Mamma Mia!” from Ranallo. The crowd breaks out the “NXT” chant and Baszler scoffs at them.
With the action reset and a “mamma mia!” from the crowd, they bash each other’s faces in from their knees. “They’re all dogs to me, they all go to sleep” from Baszler. Cold. Spinning backfisat from Sane stuns LaRae, then LaRae hits a DDT + Flatliner to both, followed by a Lionsault, cover, Cross drags her off, elevated swinging neckbreaker to the outside and Cross is in berserker mode. Cross stalks Sane then yanks her hair. McGuinness asks Baszler what she learned in her first match with Cross, Baszler says, “yeah, that I can beat her.” A trio of suplexes from Cross to Sane. Cross is smiling with a touch of blood in her nose. Cross thinks, then puts Sane on the top ropes, but LaRae grabs Cross’ leg. Cross kicks her, LaRae with a small package for two. They tussle, Killswitch from LaRae to Cross, Lionsault, cover, Insane Elbow from Sane to LaRae, Cross rolls out of the ring, Sane covers LaRae for the win. Baszler says she’ll take this outcome and embarass Sane in Brooklyn.
WINNER: Kairi Sane in 10:27. Really good match that refused to follow the formula of finding ways to keep a third wrestler out of the ring for too long. Some of the three person moments were well executed. It was very hard to call a winner in this match, and any of them worked for me. All three looked great.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not much action in this episode, it was a couple short matches short of a normal episode, with lots of video packages on various teams and wrestlers that we haven’t seen in the ring in some time. Really solid main event here. The build to Brooklyn is feeling great like it does every year.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 7/11 NXT TV REPORT: James’s report on Adam Cole vs. Danny Burch, Kairi Sane vs. Vanessa Bourne, Moustache Mountain vs. O’Reilly & Strong