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NXT TV REPORT
OCTOBER 31, 2018
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] Pre-credits video package recapping the investigation into the attack on Aleister Black and the reveal of Johnny Gagano as the culprit.
Announcers remind us that Matt Riddle makes his debut tonight.
Nikki Cross is kicking off the show, presumably to remind us that she can actually win a match before she (not yet announced) faces Bianca Belair at Takeover: War Games. She is facing Mercedes Martinez, who we mentioned on the PWT Talks NXT podcast a few weeks ago as someone we would like to see appear more as enhancement talent to avoid damaging signed talent.
(1) NIKKI CROSS vs. MERCEDES MARTINEZ
Lockup, but Martinez picks a leg. Cross in the corner and they grin at each other. Another lockup and Martinez works an arm. Fireman’s carry takedown from Cross and an armbar. Martinez suplexes out of a hold and applies a front facelock. Martinez with a string of offense, then a guillotine. Cross tries to punch out, but Martinez pounds her into the mat. Cross has some blood in her nose. Cross blocks punches and retaliates, then knocks Martinez to the corner. Bulldog out of the corner. Cross to the top, cross body for two. Cross smears the blood from her nose on her face a bit. Spinebuster buys Martinez some time as they both recover on the mat. Cross drags Martinez to her feet by the hair, Martinez hits a backdrop driver, then another. Martinez with a release German Suplex, running knee. Cross breaks out, then a jawbreaker, spinning neckbreaker (The Purge).
WINNER: Nikki Cross at 6:18. Martinez, who hasn’t been on NXT in a year, got in far too much offense to make Cross look like a big threat to anyone. The booking of Cross just baffles me.
Post-match, Cross gives Martinez crazy looks, but she doesn’t back down or get intimidated. There seems to almost be a show of respect between them.
[Q2] Candace LaRae, dressed in all black and wearing black lipstick comes out to yell at Cross. Cross laughs at LaRae. LaRae is angry and says “this is our lives” and “this isn’t funny”. Cross pauses at the exit, and Aleister Black comes out. Cross backs up, then leaves through the other exit. Black eyes LaRae. The crowd sickenly chants “kick her”. What is wrong with the Full Sail crowd?
LaRae meets Black mid ring and looks in his eyes and crosses her arms. Black wants to know where her husband is. She seems to be saying that Gargano isn’t there. Black is furious.
Flashback to last month, when The Mighty stole a disposable plastic cup and some gold chains from the Street Profits, prompting a match which The Mighty won. The Street Profits have been given another match, which is next.
[ J.J.’s Reax: It is really noticable how NXT will often call back weeks or months in the past to set up matches, while the main roster can barely remember what it ate for breakfast the day of the show. ]
(2) STREET PROFITS (MONTEZ FORD & ANGELO DAWKINS) vs. THE MIGHTY (NICK MILLER & SHANE THORNE)
The Mighty bring the chains and cup to the ring. Thorne runs from Dawkins’ anger. Dawkins tosses Thorne into the corner and peppers him with blows, then again. Ref break, Thorne gets feet up. Miller tries to interfere and it helps Thorne drive Dawkins to the corner. Ford tags in and clears the ring of Thorne and Miller. Thorne grabs Ford’s foot which lets Miller hit a spinebuster for two. Ford continues to take basic heel tag team dirty offense. Ford dives over Thorne to tag in Dawkins, who takes out Thorne and Miller. Miller breaks up a cover but Dawkins put him on the outside. Ford gets a tag, but Miller keeps him from leaping into the ring. The Mighty set up a doomsday device spot, cover, but Dawkins breaks it up. Dawkins gets knocked out of the ring, it’s Thorne and Ford. Frogsplash from Ford ends it. Dawkins retrives his chains and Ford’s cup.
WINNERS: The Street Profits at 7:03. Another match between these two teams that felt about twice as long as it was. Everyone is working competently, and Ford in particular has high charisma, but the in-ring chemistry just isn’t clicking at all.
[Q3] Cathy Kelley asks Wiliam Regal about War Games. He announces that Veleveteen Dream will face NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Championsip. Black interrupts and Regal books him to face Gargano at War Games. Black completely overacts here, again.
Matt Riddle vignette, same as last week. With the way he says “bro” they had better be booking him as a heel. Just that one word is the most annoying thing this side of Abraham Washington.
Outside, Full Sail Arena, Lars Sullivan is throwing a fit, he is dressed to wrestle. The cameraman asks Sullivan what is wrong the way a parent might. Sullivan says he is angry that Dream got a title shot, and vows to rip Dream in half before War Games and take the title spot.
Matt Riddle is making his debut against Luke Menzies. He saunters out with flip flops. He leaps into the ring and kicks his sandals off. This is insanely heelish to me; I just hate him already.
(3) MATT RIDDLE vs. LUKE MENZIES
Menzies charges but gets caught by Riddle who forces him tot he ropes. They tangle then move to a test of strength. Riddle with a kind of monkey flip into a head scissors, Menzies gets out. Menzies offers a handshake then doesn’t let go. Shoulder block from Menzies, but he walks into roundhouses. Riddle kicks Menzies to the corner. Menzies dodges out fo the corner, wraps Riddle up, headbutt, suplex for two. Menzies stomps a hole into Riddle in the corner. Tight chinlock and clubbing blows to the face. Riddle gets out, strikes, fallaway Pele Kick. Menzies dodges offense until Riddle hits a senton, then a stiff kick to the chest. Hard knee to the face, then Riddle delivers elbows. A hold that Nigel McGuinness calls the “Bromission” which makes Menzies tap out.
WINNER: Matt Riddle at 3:21. I like Riddle’s in ring skills a lot, but his character is so obnoxious and heelish to me.
Recap of Shayne Baszler regaining the NXT Women’s Champion at WWE Evolution.
Interview with Baszler. She repeats that Sane didn’t beat her, she beat herself. Sane stumbles out, but a man in a suit keeps her away from Baszler.
[Q4] Quick package on Lacey Evans, she is in action next week. Dream and Sullivan will meet next week as well.
(4) DANNY BURCH & ONEY LORCAN vs. RAUL MENDOZA & HUMBERTO CARILLO – Tag Team MAtch
Burch and Mendoza start, Burch with a wristlock, Mendoza slips out with style. Mendoza is just stunning here and takes in Carillo. Burch uppercuts his way to the corner to tag in Lorcan, then Burch tags right back in, tag to Lorcan. Carillo double arm drags out of the doubleteam, springboard arm drag, stereo suicide dives. Massive moonsault from Carillo but Lorcan gets his feet up. Mendoza tags in and goes on hot tag offense to take out both Lorcan and Burch. The crowd is cheering Mendoza like crazy. Burch hip tosses Mendoza into the turnbuckle, Lorcan tags in, takes out Carillo, double team finished to Mendoza.
WINNERS: Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan at 3:17. Insanely good match for just over three minutes. Every time Raul Mendoza appears in the ring he gets huge cheers for his in-ring style. Carillo made a strong case for himself as well. These two can be stars if given the right chance.
Backstage package with Undisputed Era, talking up their match with War Raiders and the return of Bobby Fish. War Raiders pop out from behind them and take out Undisputed Era, which explains how they managed to be booked for tonight with less than ten minutes left in the episode. War Raiders beat Undisputed Era into the eating area. Cole gets thrown into a truck. Fish gets tossed across a table. Strong and Cole even the score with pleasantly empty and clear metal trash cans. Ricochet jumps on everyone then brawls with Cole. War Raiders chase Undisputed Era back into the arena. Fish nails Hanson with a chair to the knee and Undisputed Era turn the tide. Pete Dunne’s music hits and he has a chair. Dunne wresks Cole then Fish. Ricochet sends Strong out of the ring.
Regal finally comes out to book Undisputed Era against War Raiders, Ricochet, and Dunne for a War Games match at Takeover.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This episode was light on in-ring action tonight. I will be cheering for Kassius Ohno to break Matt Riddle in half even though I know that will not happen. Riddle is nuclear, toxic-waste level “change the channel” for me. If they push him as a main eventer or champion with this current incarnation it will be difficult for me to watch the show. Mendoza and Carillo looked awesome. It seems I was wrong about the direction that the NXT Title was taking, but the War Games match, while not the match I wanted, was the match that was expected.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10/24 NXT TV REPORT: EC3 vs. Adam Cole, Aliyah vs. Mia Yim, plus big angle with Johnny Gargano, Evolution hype with Bazler vs. Kairi