8/23 NXT TV TAPING REPORT (Spoilers): Ciampa’s next move, Gargano status update, an NXT first-ever, groundwork for upcoming specials, more

Full Sail University (photo credit Jim Valley)

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AUGUST 23, 2018

From the ticket line Otis Dozovic, Tucker Knight, & Adrian Jaoude could be seen entering the venue in street clothes.
Security more deliberately controlled incoming foot traffic than in the recent past.

Kayla Braxton opened the show with select match announcements, and said NXT would be “making history” by doing something they’ve never done before but she couldn’t yet say what that “first ever” would be.

(A) Dominik Dijakovic pinned Marcel Barthel. Barthel’s mid-match declarations of “nein” are getting over nicely with the crowd. Dijakovic dropped Barthel and met his face with a knee for the win.

A TakeOver: Brooklyn IV highlights package was shown.

Johnny Gargano limped to the ring on a crutch, in street clothes with no entrance music. He said he doesn’t deserve crowd support nor “Johnny Wrestling” chants because he broke his promise of winning in Brooklyn. He said he’s lost himself, and he doesn’t know where to go from here. He said he’s become Tommaso Ciampa, and doesn’t know how he can be better. William Regal confronted Gargano to ask if Gargano attacked Aleister Black, saying he needed to ask before “Black comes and burns this place to the ground.” Gargano said, “Look in to my eyes; you’ll know your answer.” Velveteen Dream interrupted, expressing disgust with “Johnny Failure” and imploring that the night should be about him. Gargano threw his crutch aside and said he’s good to go before Regal separated the two.

(1) Dakota Kai pinned Aliyah. Kai collected the three after hitting the Kai-ropractor.

Lacey Evans’ husband and daughter took a seat at ringside.

Lars Sullivan was briefly shown attacking ECIII backstage as referees warded him off.

Raul Mendoza entered for a match, but instead of his scheduled opponent Lars Sullivan entered. Sullivan said unlike with the Aleister Black situation it’s no mystery who took out ECIII, and now Mendoza is standing in Lars Sullivan territory. Sullivan clubbed Mendoza repeatedly and hit a Freak Accident. Multiple officials helped Mendoza to the back.

(2) Keith Lee pinned Luke Menzies. Lee encouraged the crowd’s generous chants. He finished Menzies with an elevated sit-out powerbomb.

(3) Adam Cole & Roderick Strong (with Kyle O’Reilly) defeated Pete Dunne & Ricochet via pinfall. Strong harassed Dunne after splitting Ricochet in half with a massive backbreaker. Getting the hot tag, Dunne cleaned house. Order broke down, and Dunne hit a moonsault to the outside on both Cole & Strong. Ricochet went for a suicide dive but Dunne was pulled in to harm’s way. O’Reilly helped roll Dunne back in to the ring, and Cole hit the Last Shot on Dunne for the win.

After the bell, the War Raiders entered and Undisputed Era fled.

Break. The ring crew changed out the NXT ring skirt with a Connor’s Cure skirt.

(4) Kassius Ohno pinned Kona Reeves. Ohno countered the Hawaiian Drop and put Reeves away with an elbow to the face.

Ohno took the mic and lamented how he’s become an afterthought since returning to NXT. He said there’s always someone newer, but when someone newer shows up he’ll be right there to knock them down.

(5) Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler with Jaxson Ryker) defeated Street Profits via pinfall. Montez Ford sipped from his cup and flipped over the top rope on to his opponents, appearing to float as if he had his own personal anti-gravity field. Blake nearly caved in Ford’s chest with a clothesline. Cutler hurled Angelo Dawkins in to the ring steps as Ford planted Blake with a DDT. A man in a ski mask ran in to distract Ford, but Ford caught him and revealed him to be Nick Miller of The Mighty. The distraction paid off, however, as the Forgotten Sons hit a team finisher on Ford and a bloodied Cutler collected the assisted victory.


(6) Kairi Sane pinned Trish Adora. Sane entered with a treasure chest from which she plucked her new title, as well as a handful of doubloons. She tossed doubloons to the crowd, once accidentally tossing her title to a fan as well. Sane defeated Adora with the Insane Elbow.

Shayna Baszler interrupted Sane’s celebratory dancing, and shoved Sane’s treasure chest to the floor. She mocked Sane’s pirate gimmickry, and threatened enacting her rematch clause. The two brawled, and Sane cleared Baszler from the ring with an Interceptor. As she left, Sane threw more doubloons to the fans.


(7) Velveteen Dream pinned Johnny Gargano. Dream entered with a customized “Johnny Failure” shirt and armband. Gargano wore a bandage on his right knee. Gargano clutched his neck after Dream shot him headfirst in to a turnbuckle pad. After a back-and-forth affair, the fired-up Gargano countered the Dream Valley Driver but was sent in to the steps for his trouble. Dream hit a DDT for a believable near fall, then missed a Purple Rainmaker to the apron and ate a suicide dive. Gargano set up a hangman’s DDT on the outside but thought better of the violent act. He rolled down his kneepad and, exclaiming “I’m not Tommaso,” ran at Dream. Dream countered by scooping Gargano in to the Dream Valley Driver for the win.

Dueling “Johnny Wrestling” and “Johnny Failure” chants rang out. Gargano left through an alternate exit as fans sang “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”.

Break. Kayla Braxton announced the previously teased “first ever” to be WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne vs. NXT North American Champion Ricochet, with both champions’ titles on the line.

(8) Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan defeated Cezar Bononi & Adrian Jaoude via pinfall. Burch covered Jaoude for the decision after an assisted DDT.

Tommaso Ciampa debuted a new entrance complete with his own shirt, music, tron graphics, and spotlight. He dedicated the entrance to the audience as the best way he could think of to tell them to shut up. He denied attacking Aleister Black despite confessing he had planned to take Black out himself before someone beat him to it. He said if he’d done it, he would have taken credit so the fans could worship their master, and that he would have won at TakeOver regardless. He spoke to his title belt and translated for the fans that the belt appreciated being back in a TakeOver main event. As his new theme played him off, he sarcastically responded to fan reactions by saying he couldn’t hear them over the music. He ripped a Johnny Gargano sign from a child, gave the sign a lumbar check, tore it in half, and threw it back at the young fan.

(9) Shayna Baszler submitted Violet Rayne. Baszler quickly put Rayne down with the Kirifuda Clutch, which she held on to after the bell. Baszler played at slapping Rayne back to consciousness, then twice sank her clutch back in.

(10) Lars Sullivan pinned Raul Mendoza. A resilient Mendoza finally fell to a Freak Accident in what was an effective showcase for Sullivan. As has become his habit, upon departing the ring Sullivan demanded, “Who’s the man, Full Sail?”

Kayla Braxton announced a “loudest fan” contest for an autographed Ricochet shirt being held up by Jeremy Borash.

(11) Bianca Belair vs. Nikki Cross ended in a double count-out. The personality clash between the wrestlers made for entertaining early comedic sequences. Belair hit an ever-impressive Gorilla Press Slam. Cross trapped Belair in the ring apron and teed off. She leapt on Belair’s back, and Belair backdropped her to the ramp. Official Jessika Carr counted to ten.

Belair wailed on Cross after the decision. The two brawled as officials attempted to keep them apart. Cross leapt from the commentary desk, taking out Belair and the officials. Cross giddily waved as she took off.

Break. Jeremy Borash awarded the autographed shirt to a fan.

(12) Aliyah & Lacey Evans defeated Dakota Kai & Deonna Purrazzo via pinfall. Evans attempted Purrazzo’s signature headstand escape but was knocked back to the ground by Purrazzo. Evans’ character work highlighted the proceedings. After getting the hot tag Kai rolled up Aliyah, who tagged Evans at the last second. Kai ate a Woman’s Right and Evans collected her three count. Evans celebrated with her daughter after the bell.

(13) Jaxson Ryker pinned Humberto Carillo. Ryker bounced Carillo off the top rope and defeated him with a release powerbomb.

Kayla Braxton announced another “loudest fan” contest.

(14) Pete Dunne vs. Ricochet for both the NXT North American and WWE UK Championships ended in a double disqualification. Dunne tapped in to his darker side as he wrought calculated pain upon each of Ricochet’s available joints. Ricochet escaped an X-Plex and hit a running shooting star press. Dunne snatched Ricochet out of the air and in to an armbar, and returned to joint manipulation. Dunne swatted Ricochet out of the air once more for a close near fall. Ricochet planted Dunne on his head with a hurricanrana for a near fall of his own. After a series of counters Ricochet hit a DDT for his closest two to that point. Ricochet hit a super hurricanrana and a scissor kick for what would have been a believable finish had Dunne not again stayed alive. Ricochet went for a 450 off the top turnbuckle and was caught in a triangle hold that he broke with a powerbomb. Dunne viciously locked on to Ricochet’s arm once more, but Ricochet managed to lift Dunne in to a brainbuster. Undisputed Era ran in to attack both competitors, and were quickly scared off by the War Raiders.

As the show seemed to be ending, Dunne and Ricochet held their titles and shared appreciative looks. Undisputed Era emerged on the stage and War Raiders returned to the ring. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan appeared behind the Era, and forced Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong to the ring. O’Reilly and Strong flopped and flew for the swarming babyfaces and were chased away by Burch and Lorcan. From the ramp, Cole gloated that he could not be touched. Keith Lee appeared behind Cole, who realized his plight when he reached behind his head to feel Lee’s face. The babyfaces took turns delivering signature moves to Cole including a top rope shooting star press from Ricochet. The conquering performers took a group selfie with the young Johnny Gargano fan Tommaso Ciampa had harassed earlier, and greeted other fans as the night officially came to a close.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS REPORT: NXT TAKEOVER REPORT 8/18: Ongoing coverage of event headlined with Cimpa vs. Gargano, Baszler vs. Sane Live from Brooklyn

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