Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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NXT TV REPORT
AUGUST 8, 2018
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] Pre-credits video showing the Tommaso Ciampa from two weeks ago, then the confrontation between him, Johnny Gargano, and Aleister Black which left Gargano at the wrong end of a Blass Mass. Clips of Gargano admitting he deserved the Black Mass. Looks like we are seeing Black fighting Gargano tonight.
Amber Nova is out from what I beleive to be her debut. Her gimmick is that she drives a ’68 Chevy Nova and does her own oil changes and her dad is a mechanic. I think I have seen about 73 video game characters with the same gimmick. Nikki Cross is her opponent, so I think we know how this will go.
(1) NIKKI CROSS vs. AMBER NOVA
Cross fights out of the heel corner. Cross backs the taller Nova into the corner, then giggles on a ref break. Nova shoves her, Cross arm drags her to the mat. Nova tries to fight Cross off but takes a suplex. Nova uses her knees the slam Cross’ face into the turnbuckles, then mounts and punches, cover for one, another cover for two. Cross backs Nova into the corner to get a break from a hold, then has to fight out of the corner. Cross steamrolls Nova, then a Thesz Press into a mount. Cross takes to the top, cross body, then a spinning neckbreaker for the win.
WINNER: Nikki Cross in 3:23. This match was fairly 50/50 for a match that needed to have Cross squash someone. But Nova got a full entrance, so perhaps they want want to do more with her in the future.
Vignette on Keith Lee.
Ricochet is out for a match, but Undisputed Era ambush him, and NXT North American Champion Adam Cole cuts a promo vowing to beat him at Takeover: Brooklyn.
[Q2] Backstage interview with Vanessa Bourne. Apparently she is competing for a shot in the Mae Young Clasic. Slightly clumsy promo here. She is facing Taynara Conti tonight for that spot.
Adrian Jauode makes his debut. He has a bunch of black belts and wears a gi with the arms torn off. He is facing Kassius Ohno. Let’s see if Ohno continues his more aggressive ways. The announcers talk up Ohno’s frustrations.
(2) KASSIUS OHNO vs. ADRIAN JAUODE
Jauode with some cartwheels to show his athleticism. Jauode with a very unique style. Ohno no-sells a waistlock, but Jauode is able to take him down and start to control the match. Big boot catches Jauode coming off the ropes, then lands a running senton while looking fired up. A stiff big boot in the corner, then he holds Jauode’s arm while kicking his face. Jauode tries to pick a leg but Ohno drops elbows on the back of his head, then a knee lift to the face. Jauode manages a suplex to get some room. They recover in opposite corners, charge each other and Ohno hits an elbow, then a spinning elbow (named the Dreamcrusher) for the win.
WINNER: Kassius Ohno in 2:52. Good victory for Ohno to show that he is getting more serious about winning.
Post-match, Ohno mutters at Jauode and seems to want him out of the ring quickly.
Video package on Velveteen Dream. He is in a lounge chair next to a pool. EC3 comes out in a polo shirt and blue khakis. Dream invites him to sit down. Then Dream asks if he wants to take a talk. Dream puts his arm around EC3 and EC3 was afraid Dream would push him into the pool. Dream says that he wouldn’t do that, EC3 is the top 1%, he gets special treatment. EC3 says “this” is bigger than life, it is the Purple Rainmaker vs. the Golden God, “The One” vs. the “Top 1%”. They both remove their sunglasses. Dream says that he has invited EC3 to “his facilities”. He accidentally drops his sunglasses while gesturing. EC3 offers to pick them up, then lifts Dream up into a fireman’s carry and dumps him into the pool. Dream flails around like he is drowning. “Dude! It’s three feet deep!” shouts EC3 and walks away. Dream is booked as being in action next week.
[ J.J.’s Reax: I never thought it was possible for me to hate a Dream segment, but congratulations to EC3 for showing me that I was wrong. ]
Marcel Barthel is out to face Keith Lee in his debut. Barthel gets boos, and is playing up some German nationalist thing, bordering on tasteless.
(3) KEITH LEE vs. MARCEL BARTHEL
[Q3] Lee is all smiles, and for some reason Barthel takes the face corner. Barthel dodges Lee and paintbrushes the back of his head and shakes his finger and says “Ja”. Lee knocks Barthel down, wags his finger and says “Nein!” Barthel with a throat punch. Lee leapfrogs, then hits a dropkick to take Barthel down. Barthel tries to fight out of the corner but Lee stymies him. Barthel finally gets himself free, enziguri to Lee, then tries to kick Lee through the ropes and out of the ring. Lee hangs on. A dropkick knocks Lee back into the ring and then Barthel covers for two. A headbutt lets Lee put Barthel into the corner, wrap his arms in the ropes and land a double chop. Lee blocks a suplex, then hits a front suplex. Lee just throws Barthel around. Fireman’s carry, jackhammer, win.
WINNER: Keith Lee in 4:26. Good match for Lee, though he took a lot of offense from the rookie Barthel. I am super not comfortable with Barthel’s character.
The Street Profits cut a promo sitting in front of an ATM. Who puts a cafe table a foot away from an ATM? They talk about “TM61” then Angelo Dawkins reminds is in a bad fake Australian accent that they are now “The Mighty” then Dawkins talks about how they will beat The Mighty in seven days. Why is Montez Ford wearing sunglasses in the middle of the night?
With Bourne facing Conti, who was last seen being used as a tool for Undisputed Era nearly a year ago, who are we supposed to cheer here? Like EC3, Conti sings her own song on the way to the ring.
(4) VANESSA BOURNE vs. TAYANARA CONTI
Lockup and Borune wrangles Conti to the mat, they trade one counts without releasing the lockup then return to their feet, Conti with a throw for two, Bourne has a jackknife for two. Conti tries a waistlock but Bourne elbows out then slams Conti’s face into the turnbuckle over and over. Conti is crying. Bourne covers for two, then has a cravat on the mat. Conti gets out of the cravat but Bourne puts her in a leg scissors. Conti tries to pry herself out.
[Q4] Bourne whiffs an elbor drop, then misses on a charge, Conti lands stiff chops to knock Bourne down, then kicks Bourne’s arm. Throw and a suplex from Conti, she wants to cover but Bourne slaps her. Bourne with a crucifix, Conti blocks, spins around and slams her down for the win. Conti bursts into tears after the three count.
WINNER: Tayanara Conti in 4:05. Well that just defined Bourne down even farther. I am not sure who the face was there. Not a great match, but kudos to both for trying a number of unique moves and spots and taking some risks.
Tyler Bate is booked to face Roderick Strong next week. MMA star Cain Celasquez (who beat Brock Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight Championship) is shown in the audience, very unique for a non-Takeover.
Muted reaction for Gargano, who takes the time to give a kid near the ramp a special moment. It’s really hard to hate Gargano, especially if you see the way he interacts with fans live.
(5) ALEISTER BLACK vs. JOHNNY GARGANO
Given the timing, this won’t be a long match. Black tries an immediate kick, it’s dodge. Big kicks knock Gargano down multiple times. Gargano blocks a kick and lands strikes, Black captures and arm and hits knees, Gargano rolls him on the ramp, hits his low mat kick to send Black outside, suicide dive. Gargano lands kicks in the corner and the ref has to shove him away from Black. Black catches the slingshot spear with a knee, then peppers Gargano with strikes in the corner. Knee strike to Gargano’s head rocks Gargano. Black demands that Gargano look at him, the dodge kicks, hit stereo clotheslines, take each other down. NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa runs out, attacks Gargano, then Black.
WINNER: No contest at 2:30.
Gargano pries Ciampa off Black, then Black knocks Gargano down and turns his attention to Ciampa. Gargano attacks Ciampa outside, it’s a three way brawl at this point. Black ends up on top of Gargano punching his face in, then referees (including female referee Jessica Karr) physically restrain Black and Gargano. William Regal’s music stops the action, and he talks about the situation being out of control. Then books the NXT Championship match at Takeover Brooklen as a Triple Threat. Ciampa and Black are dismayed at the idea that their match is getting watered down, Gargano is super happy and wrangling his way into the match and a title shot that he didn’t earn.
FINAL REAX: Lots of short matches tonight to help hype Takeover. I really disliked the Dream – EC3 thing, even though it started off so promising. It was just way too much comedy. EC3’s character is so at odds with his delivery and how he carries himself. Nice to see Keith Lee, and a bit of a surprise to see Tayanara Conti beat Vanessa Bourne. I am very interested in what they are doing with Kassius Ohno.