SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 19, 2018
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] Pre-credits video reminds us that tonight is UK Champion Pete Dunne facing NXT North American Champion Ricochet with each one putting their titles up. The expectations are high for this match.
Dakota Kai is starting the in-ring action, teaming with Deonna Purrazzo against Lacey Evans and Aliyah. Purrazzo has really upgraded her presentation since her previous NXT run.
(1) DAKOTA KAI & DEONNA PURRAZZO vs. LACEY EVANS & ALIYAH
Purrozzo and Evans start with some chain wrestling. It is clear just how far both have come in a short period of time. Evans in particular is able to portray her character just by the way she cinches a hold. A kick to the jaw lets Evans tag in Aliyah, based on her past performances that is probably a mistake. Dragon screw legs Purrazzo tag Kai, who lands a kick and a cover for two. Aliyah gets to her corner, letting Evans us her strength on Purrazzo. Purrazzo with a surprise armbar, but Evans throws her to the corner, then lands a stiff shot to the back. Evans sells her left arm while delivering offense. Tag to Aliyah. Aliyah is fired up as she delivers offense. Aliyah grabs the hair through the ropes while tagged out, forcing the ref to start a five count. Evans follows with a Bronco Buster and a two count. Aliyah is back in. Evans and Aliyah continue to work Purrazzo over, getting two countsw on a regular basis. Aliyah with a deep armbar, but Purrazzo sneaks out. Purrazzo kicks Aliyah away and tags in Kai. Kai unleashes kicks all over Aliyah, especially to the face. Evans breaks up a cover, Aliyah tries a suplex but Kai slips out. Blind tag from Evans, the Women’s Right, and Evans gets the win.
WINNERS: Lacey Evans & Aliyah at 7:38. I figured that we would see Evans pinning Purrazzo or Kai pinning Kai here. Good match that defied a few WWE tag team conventions and kept it fresh. Evans continues to be built.
Backstage with Velveteen Dream. He points out that he has already beaten Johnny “Failure”, and refuses to answer questions about the whodunnit, because he won’t talk about anyone other than himself.
[Q2] Some random person with a cell phone interviews Street Profits as they walk home from playing basketball. Ford cuts a really strong promo. Unlike their former foes Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli, they share a Camaro, not a Maseratti.
Flashback to last week when Bianca Belair and Nikki Cross ended up in a pullapart brawl all over Full Sail.
“Last week”, a new interviewer asks Belair about the fight. Belair acknowledges that Cross surprised her, but she is still undefeated and won’t be bullied by Cross.
Humberto Carillo is out to make his debut against Jaxson Ryker. Carillo uses his entrance to show off his athleticism, his look reminds me of Tyson Kidd or peraps Evan Bourne (Matt Sydal). Jaxson Ryker just makes me think of Elias.
(2) JAXSON RYKER vs. HUMBERTO CARILLO
Ryker throws Carillo down immeidates. Then shoves him into the mat. Ryker abuses Carillo with hard-hitting attack, then moves to a facelock. Mauro Ranallo reminds us repeatedly that Ryker is a military veteran. Rykey knocks Carillo out of the air, then a slingshot powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: Jakson Ryker in 2:14. OK squash. Good intensity from Ryker. It is super-unproductive for the announcers to tell us that the heel is a military veteran, given the respect that status is given in the US.
Backstage, Candice LaRae is talking to William Regal and the lawyer. She mentions that Ohno was with her. She insinuates that it was Tommaso Ciampa. Regal consults with the lawyer and tells her that Ciampa was already cleared. He asks her where Johnny Gargano was. She says that she and him are trying to stay away during work hours, but he had just talked to her when the attack happened and then they drove home together.
Backstage, Ricochet and Dunne are getting ready for their match, standing right next to each other back stage.
Hype package for Dunne – Ricochet. This is another in a string of well-built face-vs.-face matches, though it is sometimes tough to bill Dunne as a face sometimes.
Vignette on Kieth Lee. He talks about “limitless” means coming back after failure to grow and succeed. His cockiness is borderline Rock-ish.
“Last month” flashback to EC3 casting shade on Lars Sullivan for the attack on Aleister Black, then three weeks ago when Sullivan ambushed EC3 backstage in retribution. Sullivan is billed for next week. Also next week is Otis Dozovic facing Tommaso Ciampa.
[Q3] Ricochet’s entrance starts just as the second half of the show starts. Timing points to either a very lengthy match, or some post-match nonsense.
(3) NXT North American Champion RICOCHET vs. NXT UK Champion Pete Dunne – Title vs. Title Match
Dunne is in the heel corner. The audience is divided fairly evenly as their glare at each other. Dunne teases a kick then they lockup for chain wrestling. Kip up fron Dunne shows he can play the athletic game too. Ricochet trash talks and Dunne glares. Hot opening. The crowd starts chanting for “both these guys”. They move back to the chain wrestling. Dunne steps on Ricochet’s foot then pushes him to the mat, Dunne works to the wrist and fingers. Dunne is so sick. Dunne picks Ricochet up by the wrist, drops him, then continues the punishment. Ricochet gets the upper hand but sells the pain in his left hand. Ricochet starts to twist Dunne’s leg up. Dunne turns a leghook around into his own hold, but Ricochet slips into a hammerlock, and works it into a one count. Dunne kicks out and moves into a leghook. Dunne transitions to a bow-and-arrow. Ricochet flips out and lands into a cover for one. Dunne with more holds, Ricochet flips into a hold of his own, then a kneelift, and a knee drop to the arm. Dunne gets a ref break, then uses it to take a cheap shot with a forearm smash, finally establishing himself as the bad guy.
Ricochet comes with chops while selling the arm. Ricochet suddenly shifts to fourth gear, sending Dunne out of the ring and following with a suicide dive. Ricochet rolls Dunne into the ring, then dodges a punch, Dunne catches his flips, twists the leg, then viciously kicks Ricochet’s leg. Ricochet is in pain on the mat at the 8 minute mark. Dunne returns to an ankle hold then the finger work, screaming as he rips Ricochet’s fingers, wrist, and elbow apart. Dunne stomps the arm. Now Dunne is on the ear.
[Q4] Ricochet has a lariat but Dunne doesn’t let go, then a second. Dunne dodges a third, and sets up the Baszler Stomp, ricochet dodges it, and hits a desperation clothesline off the mat to buy himself a respit. Dunne has color in his nose. 619 in the corner sends Dunne to the middle of the mat to eat a top rope flying European uppercut which gets Ricochet two. Ricochet dodges a kick, rolls under a moonsault, Dunne hits an enziguri, Ricochet escapes an X-Plex, standing Shooting Star Press from Ricochet gets a nearfall. Crazy sequence.
Ricochet ot the top, Dunne runs under, Ricochet tries a summersaulting attack, Dunne catches him mid-air, right into a hold, Ricochet transitions to a cover, Dunne flips out then starts stomping Ricochet’s hand. Ricochet blasts Dunne’s jaw with a knee strike to buy some time. Ricochet wants a slingshot European uppercut, takes a big punch, then the X-Plex, nearfall. A lady on the front row literally has her jaw wide open in disbelief. Dunne thinks Bitter End, Ricochet transitions to a German Suplex, Dunne lands on his feet, kick to the back, charges, Ricochet sends him to the outside. Ricochet wants suicuide dive, Dunne dodges, Ricochet catches the ropes, fast moves on the outside, X-plex to the apron, then right back inside the ring, huracarana, cover, nearfall. Another incredible sequence.
They reset again. Ricochet looks to brawl from the mat, Dunne takes the hands, forces them to the mat, stomps them, they trade sicks shots, clothesline flips Ricochet upset down. Ricochet wants a handspring move, Dunne catches him, Ricochet with a massive DDT for two-and-nine-tenths. Ricochet staggers to the top rope. Dunne rolls to the outside by the turnbuckle then climbs up to the second rope to start working the left hand again. Ricochet with punches to break free, then looks for a top rope Frankensteiner, axe kick to the back of the head, flatliner, cover… and it isn’t quite enough to end Dunne. Again, Ricochet goes up, slingshot 630, Dunne dodges, catches Ricochet in a triangle while working the fingers, Ricochet flails, cover for one, then picks Dunne up into a powerbomb, Dunne won’t let go, then works into an armbar while tying to break the fingers. Ricochet shifts to a brainbuster somehow. Just as they eventually start to strike eachother from the mat, Undisputed Era run from the back to ruin the match, as unfortunately expected. War Raiders make the save.
WINNER: No Contest at 21:45. This was an insanely great match. Pete Dunne has never been in a less than good match that I have seen, but this ranks among his very best. Ricochet was incredible playing the underdog babyface who refuses to quit against the brutish heel who is physically dissecting him. Amazing action throughout. Even though the DQ ending was expected, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Post-match, both men get their title belts back, stagger around the ring glaring at each other. It is clear that there is more business to be done here.
I feel like the end game here is Undisputed Era, Ricochet, and Dunne working together, and War Raiders inside War Games. Perhaps that will mark the return of Bobby Fish to make it four-on-four?
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 9/12 NXT TV REPORT: Nikki Cross vs. Bianca Belair, Lorcan & Burch vs. Bonini & Jaoude, plus Baszler, Sullivan