WADE KELLER PODCAST - Royal Rumble preview with Sam Roberts
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
NXT TV REPORT
JULY 25, 2018
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] Pre-credits video package summarizing how we ended up with the feud between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, and how it became a title match between Ciampa and NXT Champion Aleister Black.
Adam Cole is out first by himself. He gets announced as the “Panama City Playboy” recapturing an old nickname of his. He is facing Sean Maluta. Maura Ranallo declares Cole to be a fighting champion.
(1) NXT North American Champion ADAM COLE vs. SEAN MALUTA
Fast action give Maluta a couple of quick two counts early on. Maluta to the second turnbuckle, but Cole yanks him off, mounts and punches to turn the match around. Cole puts Maluta on the top, but Maluta headbutts him off. A superkick catches Maluta’s dropkick, followed by the Last Shot for the win.
WINNER: Adam Cole in 2:14. Fine match to put Cole over as a serious, legit threat who can win without interference. It is unfortunate that the Full Sail crowd is treating him as a complete babyface.
After the match, Cole says he is the most buzz-worthy wrestler on any brand because he gets it done in the ring. He calls Maluta a young, hungy upstart looking for opportunity, and he gave Maluta opportunity. And if anybody… and Ricochet’s music hits.
Ricochet struts out to a big pop. He says he owes Cole an apology, because tonighthe didn’t run from his competition, but then again it was a non-title match. Ricochet says that it’s true that Cole has had massive success, but Cole has become a coward since winning the NXT North American Championship. But Cole can prove he isn’t a coward, by putting his title up on the line at Takeover Brooklyn against Ricochet.
Cole says that Ricochet is right… he is so good, but he won’t “diminish myself” by facing Ricochet in Brooklyn. The crowd turns on cool, with one guy making the chicken wing motion at him. Ricochet says this just confirms that Cole is a coward, and the whole crowd chants “coward”. Cole teases entering the ring, Ricochet teases a dive, and Cole backs up. Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong come out to back up Cole. War Raiders suddenly come out behind Undisputed Era. Caught between War Raiders and Ricochet, Undisputed Era go to the side… and Moustache Mountain appear behind them, they start to brawl and Undisputed Era escape. I feel a triple threat tag team title match at Takeover.
[Q2] “Earlier today,” backstage, William Regal has a contract signing between Kairi Sane and NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler. Baszler says it isn’t a “rematch”, Baszler isn’t the same woman that lost to Sane a year ago, she is now a killer while Sane is living off the glory of the past. Sane quietly signs, then Regal does. Sane says that they both know it, she can beat Baszler, Baszler says that like every other woman in the locker room she doesn’t have what it takes. Dakota Kai pretending to be tough, Candice LaRae who should be at home taking care of her man, Sane the fake pirate princess. Sane says Baszler knows she has what it takes. Baszler fires up, signs, and leaves. Sane looks at Regal and says that they both know it, she will win. Regal looks… non-committal? Sorry for Sane? Either way, great to see him back.
Tommaso Ciampa is shown in a shipping container that is strangely well-lit.
Clips of EC3 and Velveteen Dream facing Ricochet and Aleister Black in the UK Championship shows last month. Next week, EC3 faces Kona Reeves, and I beleive he moves onto Dream next.
Tenilla Price makes her debut tonight. She is facing Lacey Evans who has been building a win streak for herself.
(2) LACEY EVANS vs. TENILLA PRICE
Evans invites Price to come close, then they lockup, Evans forces Price to the corner. After a ref break, Evans tosses Price by the hair into the corner and hits a delayed Bronco Buster. Leg hold over the ropes from Price to the five count. The ref admonishes Evans for grabbing hair again and again. Nasty elbows to the back of Price’s head as her head is through the ropes. Leg sweep, slingshot elbow drop, neckbreaker, some sort of back flip splash, but Price gets her knees up. Price cartwheels right into the Woman’s Right. After the bell, Evans pulls a tissue out of her top and pats the drops of sweat off her forehead.
WINNER: Lacey Evans in 2:02. Good match for Evans to get herself over and look strong.
Interview backstage with Bianca Belair. She says that she was hurt, and not anyone’s business what it was. She shouldn’t need to be in a Triple Threat match because she is un-duh-feat-ted, and when she comes back she will get what she deserves. And repeats it a bunch.
“Moments ago”, Baszler is asked about her strong words for Sane. Suddenly LaRae comes out yelling at what Baszler said. Baszler said that she is there right now, LaRae has slapped her before. Serena Deeb pulls LaRae away and LaRae says she will have her moment with Baszler.
[Q3] Tommaso Ciampa comes out with no music and to tons of boos. They are prepping for an epic match or a screwy finish with them coming out at the half hour mark.
(3) NXT Champion ALEISTER BLACK vs. TOMMASO CIAMPA – NXT Championship Match
Black huffs and puffs in the corner, then they go to a lockup with Ciampa forcing Black to the corner, no break, Black comes out and they continue to wrestle. Black takes Ciampa down and they jockey for position on the mat. Front facelock slows Ciampa down. Percy Watson reminds us that Black broke the jaw of Lars Sullivan. Shoulder block takes Black down, Oklahoma Roll for two. Ciampa smiles at Black. The return to wrestling and Black has Ciampa in a headlock. Black rolls Ciampa over, small package for two, schoolboy for two, armdrag into an armbar. Ciampa paintbrushes Black, Black wants Black Mass, Ciampa ducks, goes under the ropes, tries to surprise Black with the elevated DDT on his return. They go outside and Black blasts Ciampa with a kick the the face, then another kick. Heart punch. Axe handles from Ciampa when Black returns to the ring, but Ciampa sells his rips. Black dodges in the corner, stiff kick drops Ciampa. Ciampa puts the ref between them, but Black has another nasty kick, then boots Ciampa off the apon. Black wants a dive, Ciampa runs up the ramp, Black jumps off the ropes into a cross-legged sit, then does the Ciampa wave to Ciampa.
Ciampa waits out the count to catch his breath, rolls under the ropes into the ring then back out again. Black ambushes Ciampa then Ciampa takes advantage of a ref break. Another kick from Black. Ciampa runs into a big boot, but follows Black and pushes him off the ropes on a springboard moonsault attempt. Ciampa mugs Black outside, sending him into the steps. Ciampa sits ont he steps like Black, and waves goodbye to him. Ciampa breaks the count then rolls Black intot he ring. Ciampa continues to sell the heart punch, and a low dropkick gets two. Knee drops to Black’s back, followed by a rear chinlock. Black tries to escape, Ciampa transitions to a backbreaker. Ciampa then works an abdominal stretch.
Ciampa uses the ropes for extra leverage, but the ref makes him break the hold at a five count. Ciampa lands a kneelift, then tries a brainbuster, Black escapes, tries a German Suplex but the damage to his back stops him, Ciampa with a hold to Black’s legs, Black crawls to the ropes. They trade elbow smashes on the apron.
[Q4] Black goes to the top but Ciampa meets him there. Ciampa wants a slam of sorts, Black slips under and kicks Ciampa off the turnbuckle. Ciampa surprises Black with a kick, then a sunset flip, Black sits on it, Ciampa turns over into a cover, then run into each other, are down and a double count starts. They get to their feet and trade kicks and punches and elbows. Black catches a kick, hits a thigh kick, leg sweep, low dropkick combo. Black lands punches and kicks, roundhouse, springboard moonsault for a very close nearfall. The wrangle with Black on the apron, Black escapes an elevated DDT, hits a rapid flurry of strikes for two.
Black demands that Ciampa get up. Ciampa kind of gets to his knees then begs off as Black approaches. Ciampa stumbles up then eats roundhouses from Black. Black wants the elevated DDT, but Ciampa gets outside, then trips Black up. Ciampa to the top, leaping DDT, Black barely kicks out. Ciampa calls for the end, Black catches the knee, Black Mass, Ciampa ducks it, clothesline for two. Ciampa drops the knee pad, but Black retorts with a leaping knee of his own for a very close nearfall. Ciampa looks half dead and Black is wounded, trying to figure out his next move. Black gets to his feet and Ciampa is still down. Black preps Ciampa for Black Mass, but Ciampa rolls him up with a handfull of tights for a super close nearfall. Double knees fof the top from Black, German Suplex into a bridging cover for another close nearfall for Black. Ciampa to the outside, Black tries a moonsault, Ciampa ducks and Black ends up in a camera man. Ciampa nails Black with a crutch when the ref is distracted with the camera man, Black barely kicks out. Ciampa looks for the elevated DDT, Black enters the ring, body drops Ciampa over the ropes, flip dive to the outside. But Ciampa has an elevated DDT waiting for Black, Black kicks out at two-and-nine-tenths.
Ciampa rolls outside and starts ripping pads off the floor. Ciampa drags Black to the apron for an elevated DDT to the concrete. The ref goes outside to yell at him. Ciampa accidentally knocks the ref off the ring and out, Black Mass, the crowd counts to ten but the ref is knocked out. Black goes outside, the ref is selling severe pain. Black goes back inside, Ciampa with a thumb to the eye. Ciampa grabs the title and brings it into the ring. The crowd starts cheering, because there’s Johnny Gargano. Gargano kicks Ciampa with a superkick, grabs the belt, but accidentally knocks Black in the face with the belt, Gargano falls out the ring, Ciampa ends it with Project Ciampa.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa in 22:20. Outstanding match, with the expected interference from Gargano, though not quite the ending I expected (I expected Black to retain and the third Gargano – Ciampa match to not have the title involved).
Final Thoughts: Good episode with some decent work around the Women’s Division, and a great main event. Takeover Brooklyn really is building to a special event again.