SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV REPORT
OCTOBER 17, 2018
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] The pre-credits video package reminds us of the “double main event” of Undisputed Era defending the NXT Tag Team Championship against War Raiders, and Biana Belair facing Nikki Cross.
I guess by “double main event” they meant “curtain jerker” because War Raiders are kicking the show off. Perhaps there will be a swerve where the match doesn’t actually start or end with a satisfying finish?
War Raiders seem to be getting a good reaction. Undisputed Era must have gotten a 2-for-1 deal at Cost Cutters, they both have fresh haircuts. Pre-introductions, it seems liek there is more crowd support for Undisputed Era than War Raiders.
(1) WAR RAIDERS (HANSON & ROWE) vs. NXT Champions UNDISPUTED ERA (KYLE O’REILLY & RODERICK STRONG) – NXT Tag Team Championship Match
Strong and Rowe to start. Strong forces Rowe to the corner and O’Reilly tags in, but a double clothesline lets Rowe get to his corner taking O’Reilly with him. Hanson continues the attack, but interference from Strong lets O’Reilly get the upper hand. Now Hanson has a double clothesline to get to Rowe and make a tag. Confusion over th elegal man, so Rowe takes on O’Reilly only for Strong to jump him. O’Reilly tries to trip Rowe up, but Rowe picks him up. Rowe back drops Strong while manhandling O’Reilly. Hanson tags in, Rowe body slams him onto Strong. Hanson throws Strong onto O’Reilly too. Strong and O’Reilly try to take advantage of Rowe on the outside but it doesn’t work until O’Reilly distract the ref and Rowe and Storng sweeps a leg. Strong lands a backbreaker for two. O’Reilly finally gets some sustained offense, saunters a bit, then covers for two. O’Reilly gets more and more cocky as he and Strong double team Rowe. Rowe with punches from the mat, Strong kicks him and covers for one. O’Reilly looks a bit more muscular, I’ve noticed. Strong and O’Reilly continues to work the leg. Strong punches away from Strong, but Strong tags O’Reilly who keeps Rowe away from the corner. Rowe fights off O’Reilly, double tag, and Hanson is in hot. Hanson fights off Strong and O’Reilly, with a variety of power moves and leaping around. Bronco Buster gets two-and-a-half on Strong. Tag to Rowe, Rowe hits O’Reilly with a leaping knee then shoves Hanson into him.
[Q1] Double team offense to Strong, nearfall. O’Reilly gets knocked out of the ring, tag to Hanson. double team move, but Adam Cole runs into the ring. Hanson takes Cole out and sends him outside. Strong is alone in the ring. Running knee from Strong to Hanson on the top, surprise attack behind the ref’s back from O’Reilly to Rowe, Olympic Slam from Strong gets two. Rowe fights away from Strong, but O’Reilly is legal. O’Reilly with a kneebar to the injured leg. Strong tries to keep Hanson away, but Hanson catches him, drops him on O’Reilly to break up the cover. Rowe tags O’Reilly, who has rapid offense, he runs into a double team then Hanson suicide dives on Strong and Cole. Rowe holds O’Reilly up, Hanson nails him off the top rope, Rowe covers, Hanson applies additional weight… people are suddenly looking up the ramp and cheering… it’s Bobby Fish with a metal chair. The announcers talk up Fish as “healthy” and “back”, and Undisputed Era is clearly a cohesive unit with Fish back.
WINNERS: War Raiders via DQ at 12:45. This match was quite easily War Raiders’ best in NXT. I enjoyed it, and Hanson didn’t look like a rodeo clown when he left his feet like he has in the past.
Nikki Cross is shown outside saying “EST!” and scribbing on paper then “I know!”
Britt Baker is out to get fed to Shayna Baszler. The announcers talk up Baker as being a dentist and mention that there is no relation to Dr. Isaac Yankem DDS. The do overlook her relationship with Adam Cole though.
(2) SHAYNA BASZLER vs. BRITT BAKER
Baszler quickly takes Baker down then moves to the arm. Referee Jessicka Carr pleads with Baszler to not hit the Baszler Stomp, but she does. Baszler lounges in the corner admiring her work as Carr checks Baker. Carr calls for the bell and calls of help.
WINNER: Shayna Baszler at 1:22 via referee stoppage. Good way to put Baszler over.
Post-match, Baszler hit Baker with a leaping knee to the face and stomps off.
Backstage, William Regal was asked about Cross’ claims to know who attacked Aleister Black. He says he doesn’t know if she is lying or nuts, but will find out after her match tonight.
Tiang Bing & Rocky were coming out for their debut match. They are facing Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.
(3) ONEY LORCAN & DANNY BURCH vs. TIAN BING & ROCKY – Tag Team Match
[Q3] Lorcan and Big deel each other out. Lorcan and Burch have new ring gear, just like the previous gear but Lorcan is blue and Burch is red instead of them both being black. Bing’s size lets him take Lorcan down, then an armbar. Lorcan tries to fight out of the corner but Rocky locks him into a full nelson. Lorcan tries himself out and hits a lariat, tag to Burch. Burch with speed, then a missle dropkick and a kipup. Headbutt keeps Bing out of the way. Tag to Lorcan, double team impaler DDT for the win.
WINNERS: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch at 2:24. Good match to give Burch and Lorcan their second or third win as a team. I liked what little I saw of Bing and Rocky.
Bianca Belair was shown backstage warming up.
William Regal will make a “major announcement” next week about the NXT Championship match at Takeover: War Games.
Belair made her entrance 36 minutes into the episode, leaving time for a 12-15 minute match.
(4) NIKKI CROSS vs. BIANCA BELAIR
Cross acts crazy in her corner, then she pops up and charges Belair. They immediately move to a full brawl. They go outside and Belair beats Cross around the outside with brute force. Cross slams Belair into the steps then throws her into the ring, cover for only one. Monkey flips to Cross, Belair puts her on the apron, they fight. Cross catches a kick then pushes Belair down. Belair catches a crossbody, fallaway slam. Cover for one. The crowd is torn. Boots to Cross gets two. The look on Belair’s face shows she is taking this very seriously. Neck crank keeps Cross grounded. I like the way Belair drops her hips low and spreads her legs to provide a stable base for the hold, makes it look like she is really working it. Cross gets out, but a dropkick puts Cross int he corner. Belair with a standing moonsault for two. Belair’s outfit is shedding glitter all over the place. Cross with elbows but Belair won’t let go, Belair lifts Cross up with a butterfly, Cross rolls through and covers for two. Belair charges, Cross doges, Belair hits her, goes up top, Cross knocks her off into a Tree of Woe and stomps a mudhole in Belair. Cross backs up, charges, splash, bulldog. Cross to the top, crossbody for a nearfall. The announcers continue to point out that Belair’s streak is at stake. Bellair kicks Cross away, then pushes her off, then explodes with a forearm to Cross’ face to reset the match.
[Q4] They are both recovering on the mat. Spear from Belair, nearfall. Another cover for two. A third for another two count, then a fourth, but Cross transitions to a triangle, Belair deadlifts into a sitout powerbomb for a neaefall. Belair is blown away. Belair is wearing earrings, one of them is half torn out and the hold is bleeding. Belair coils her hair up, then shoves Cross into the corner and tells her to stay down. Belair slams Cross down again. Cross is grining. Belair puts Cross on the turnbuckle, then overhead presses her, does squats mid-ring, but Cross slips out and jumps on Belair’s back. Inverse DDT to Belair, but Belair kicks out at the last moment. Ranallo says this is “driving Cross crazy”, isn’t she already crazy? Cross tot he top, crossbody but Belair meets her with a hairwhip. Belair stumbles to the corner, to the top, Cross has elbows to stop her. Cross thinks superplex, hits it, Belair rolls away from Cross and Cross is too disabled to follow up.
Suddenly the ring goes dark, and the begining of Aleister Black’s music hits. When the lights come back on, Black is sitting mid-ring cross legged staring a hole into Cross. “Holy s—” from the crowd. Cross starts rolling around laughing. The referee and Belair have disappeared. Black holds up a hand, then wags his finger at Cross o have her come to him. She drags herself across the ring on her stomach. Note that the match has not ended yet. He growls “tell me!” at her. She has no smiles or crazy for him. She whispers in his ear and he looks down at the ground. He is shaking with rage as he looks at her and she backs away and out of the ring. Black is absolutely furious. End show.
WINNER: No contest at about 11:30. Really great match here. I am looking for a definitive winner between these two. Both Cross and Belair brought it, but Belair in particular was a huge standout for the way she portrayed her transition from confidence to frustration.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If Takeover: Brooklyn has become the WrestleMania of NXT, Takeover: War Games is on its way to being the Royal Rumble. Two surprise returns, Fish and Black, have changed NXT significantly in one episode. I am thrilled to see them both back, especially Black returning to form in terms of his character.