8/1 NXT TV REPORT: Ciampa’s first appearance as NXT Champion, Baszler vs. LeRae, EC3 vs. Reeves, Heavy Machinery vs. The Mighty, Moustache Mountain

By Harley R. Pageot, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

NXT TV REPORT
AUGUST 1, 2018
ORLANDO, FL AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuinness, Percy Watson

The show opened with graphics in memory of Niolai Volkoff and Brian Christopher.

-Video package on last week’s main event and Johnny Gargano accidentally helping Tommaso Ciampa win the NXT Championship.

-Opening theme.

-In the arena we opened with the sounds of construction. Tucker Knight was returning for the first time since The Mighty attacked him at the gym and put him on the shelf. The Might have new black and white ring gear and long coats. They threw their coats at Heavy Machinery and the teams brawled. When Thorne and Dozovic ended up alone in the ring the referee called for the bell.

(1) THE MIGHTY (Shane Thorne & Nick Miller) vs. HEAVY MACHINERY (Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic)

Dozovic lifted Thorne for a bodyslam but spun around in a circle for many rotations before slamming him. Thorne took over with a basement dropkick before tagging to Miller. Miller mocked Knight as The Mighty double-teamed Dozovic. Frequent tags back and forth from the Aussies. Miller with a rear chinlock. The fans clapped to get Dozovic out of it while Knight just stood on the apron. Hot tag to Knight. Right hands to Miller and he pulled Thorne in over the top rope. Double clothesline and double back slams. Dropkick to Thorne cleared him from the ring. Double arm overhead suplex to Miller. Thorne pulled his partner to the floor to try to save him but Knight took them both out with a cannonball off the apron. Thorne distracted Knight as he re-entered the ring, allowing Miller to hit a chop block. Miller knocked Dozovic off the apron and Street Profits’ music hit.

Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford danced through the crowd as their music continued to play. The Mighty put all eyes on the Profits, allowing Dozovic to make the tag. Compactor ended it.

WINNERS: Heavy Machinery in 5:14. [C]

(Pageot’s Perspective: The Mighty are coming along nicely in their new heel roles and the revamped look is a big aid. The other two teams here feel like they’re treading water, though. We haven’t really seen or learned anything new from HM or SP in many months and there remains a big disparity between these mid-card teams and the perceived main event teams of The Undisputed Era and War Raiders.)

(2) MOUSTACHE MOUNTAIN (Tyler Bate & Trent Seven) vs. STATE LINE (Matt Knox & Brandon Taylor)

Bate started against Knox and clowned around before hitting his patented sucker punch. Tag to Seven. He solid his leg still being hurt from when they lost the tag titles, allowing the enhancement team to take over and make a tag. Taylor fell to a dragon suplex, though. Clothesline in the corner and tag to Bate. Exploder suplex. Running shooting star press. Bate with double knees to Taylor, who was held up in a fireman’s carry position by Seven.

WINNERS: Moustache Mountain in 2:29.

-The ex-champions found some microphones. Seven pointed out that they’re back at Full Sail and said that last time didn’t work out how they’d wanted. Seven apologized to Bate and the fans. He said he spoke to Regal and they have a plan. Bate claimed Undisputed tried to tear their team apart. Bate said he threw in the towel because Seven’s well-being means the world to him. They’re on a mission to get back the NXT tag team titles and they’re invoking their rematch clause at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV. [C]

(Pageot’s Perspective: No sign of War Raiders to protest that match being booked but maybe that will be next week. It’s worth nothing that NXT doesn’t usually have a guaranteed rematch clause. There have been many occasions where people have lost their titles and the new champion has moved on to other challengers, and not just on the occasions when the ex-champion was moving up to Raw or Smackdown.)

(3) “THE FINEST” KONA REEVES vs. EC3

Loud “NX3” chant before the bell. They traded catchphrases like we were seeing Bobby Roode vs. Tye Dillinger again. Side headlock from EC3. Reeves tried to shove him off but couldn’t. Shoulder tackle put down Reeves, then a hip toss, body slam, and elbow drop. Reeves came back with a shot to EC3’s throat and a running big boot. Suplex. Cobra clutch. Reeves dumped to the floor. Left hands from EC3. Charging forearm in the corner. Somersault neckbreaker and Velveteen Dream’s music hit.

He walked slowly out onto the stage in a white dress shirt and black tie with a microphone. He said there’s someone in the building tonight who still can’t get over Royal Albert Hall. He asked EC3 if he wanted to talk about it. He said he’d have to come to the Dream’s world, though. If he’s lucky, maybe he can bask in the experience. Dream exited, snapping his fingers to turn the video wall from his logo back to the NXT logo.

Reeves finally tried to capitalize off the distract with a Hawaiian Drop but EC3 kicked out. The One Percent a moment later ended things.

WINNER: EC3 in 5:50.

(Pageot’s Perspective: And the award for Heel Of The Night goes to the guy in the production truck who keeps playing other people’s music and videos in the middle of matches. Seriously, have some respect. Mark this as the moment Reeves’ string of enhancement victories came to an end and he became the 2018 version of CJ Parker, Bull Dempsey, etc. I hope Dream can pull something interesting out of EC3 because I have no idea what his character is supposed to be and fully believe that Full Sail is cheering him more for the work he did in TNA than anything he’s done since coming to NXT as EC3.)

-It looked like were going to commercial but instead we were suddenly backstage where EC3 was seated on a packing crate, drinking a bottle of water. Sarah Schreiber approached him. She asked if he’s going to accept Dream’s offer. He said whether it’s a summit, a discourse, or a conversation… it will become a fight. He’s the best here, there, anywhere. Then he rattled off some of those cheesy catchphrases that Triple H apparently loves.

(4) NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPION SHAYNA BASZLER vs. CANDICE LERAE – NON-TITLE MATCH

Baszler held open the ropes for LeRae to leave. LeRae dropkicked her to the floor instead. Sliding dropkick sent Baszler into the barricade. Arm drags from LeRae in the ring and a third dropkick. She tried to run the ropes but Baszler pulled her stomach-first across the top rope and bouncing to the floor. Baszler threw her into the ring steps. Baszler worked over LeRae’s arm and hit some clubbing blows to the head. She twisted LeRae’s arm vertically and stomped on the elbow. Baszler lazily kicked her into the corner. LeRae came back with a slap but Baszler went right back to the arm with a hammerlock. Enziguiri from LeRae. One-armed attacks from LeRae. Running back elbow in the corner. LeRae climbed to the second rope and leapt into a move that drove Baszler face-first into the mat. Suicide dive from LeRae to Baszler on the floor. She went up top and jumped into a diving DDT. Baszler kicked out at two. LeRae went up top again but was met by Baszler. LeRae looked for a second rope stunner but was pulled into Baszler’s Kirifuda Clutch on the way down. Luckily LeRae was close enough to grab for a rope break. Small package for a two-count for LeRae. Baszler looked for the Kirifuda Clutch again but LeRae rolled through with a double stomp. Unprettier put down the champ but LeRae missed a springboard moonsault. Baszler with the Kirifuda Clutch again and LeRae tapped out.

WINNER: Shayna Baszler in 7:59.

-Baszler celebrated with her title before attacking LeRae with the Kirifuda Clutch again. Referees ran out and pried her off. Kairi Sane was right behind them and got in Baszler’s face as the referees stood between them. Baszler looked to be leaving but returned for a kick to the back of Sane as she checked on LeRae. Sane went into Asuka mode, standing up slowly and glowering at Baszler while the refs held her back. The champion quickly hustled up the ramp as Sane stared daggers.

(Pageot’s Perspective: Good match. It seems like LeRae’s going to be getting the full Gargano treatment in NXT, complete with losing more often than not and being presented as the plucky underdog. It’s a fine trope but anyone familiar with intergender queen, deathmatch-wrestling LeRae will likely find it a bit hard to swallow. In fact ever since LeRae wasn’t booked to fight Ciampa or at least brawl with him during her involvement in the Ciampa-Gargano feud she’s felt a little hazy and out of sync. Losing in eight minutes isn’t going to help that even if it’s against the champ.)

-Outside the building Moustache Mountain were asked by an unseen man if they have any tricks up their sleeves for their next match against Undisputed. War Raiders walked up. Hanson said it doesn’t matter who leaves TakeOver as champions. Rowe said they’re taking the titles either way.

-NXT General Manager William Regal was in his office. He announced Dream vs. EC3 and Ricochet vs. Adam Cole for the NXT North American Championship at TakeOver: Brooklyn IV.

-Tommaso Ciampa’s video wall lit up and the NXT Champion walked out slowly with the belt at his side. “Asshole” chants from the crowd with a stray “idiot!” shouted by an obnoxiously over the top woman. “You suck” chants as he paraded the title around ringside. In the ring Ciampa pretend the belt was talking to him and telling him how much they deserve each other. He kissed the belt. “This is my NXT now.” He said that all he needs is one moment and he’s a man of his word. “Shut the hell up” chant, which paused him. Ciampa said he looks so good with the title. He deserves it. He went to ringside and spoke to recognizable NXT fan Anita Smith. He wanted to let her know that he’s her NXT Champion. “You’re an asshole” chant. Ciampa bragged about ending Gargano and now being the only person in NXT to pin Aleister Black in a one-on-one match. He said they can bicker about who’s #2 because he’s #1 and he’s untouchable. Now NXT is the A show and Tommaso Ciampa is the greatest sports entertainer of all time.

Black’s music hit and he walked quickly to the ring but Gargano ran down the ramp past him and tackled Ciampa. Gargano clotheslined Ciampa to the floor. He grabbed his title and hightailed it away through the crowd. Gargano said it’s not Ciampa’s NXT so long as he’s breathing. Black stood in the ring behind Gargano. Gargano repeated multiple times that the only reason Ciampa’s champion is because of him. He turned around into a Black Mass. Gargano lay on the mat, holding his jaw, as Black glared at him. “You deserve it” chant from the crowd. Black sat down cross-legged next to him. Black agreed that the only reason Ciampa’s champion is because of Gargano. Black’s music played to end the segment.

(Pageot’s Perspective: Ciampa is masterful. It’s so wonderful to have followed his evolution and to see what he’s grown into and what he’s capable of when he’s given the ball to run with. He lets the fans interact with his promos but they never derail him and he almost never acknowledges them directly. Instead he’s the visage of someone patiently biting their tongue and waiting for the other, more-animated person to get everything out of their system, only for him to imply “Anyway… as I was saying…” The rest of the segment was expected but in a good way. We’re on the road to a triple threat in Brooklyn and the story is an interesting one with Ciampa and Black both angry at both opponents while Gargano will likely spend the entire match locked in on Ciampa and only fighting Black when he’s forced into it.)

-Next week: Ricochet is in action and it’s the NXT debut of Keith Lee.

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