SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV REPORT
JANUARY 23, 2019
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
[Q1] NXT kicks off with Velveteen Dream coming to the ring in street clothes. On Twitter, Dream has indicated that he will not be making any appearances without a pay raise. He has also deleted all but nine Tweets and protected his account. He talks about having a sparkle in his eye, and he has his eye on the NXT North American Championship. Undisputed Era interrupt; it’s just Adam Cole and Bobby Fish. Cole says that he should be looking at the North American Championship, not Dream, and that Fish will also get gold. Fish starts talking and gets a “Shut up Bobby” chant. Dream says he is ready to dispute Fish’s claim, but only if Cole is okay with it. Fish charges, dream dumps him from the ring, then Cole, poses mid-ring, slips out of the ring, and backs up the ramp as Cole and Fish yell at him. Dream mocks them from the stage.
Video package on the upcoming match at Takeover: Phoenix where Bianca Belair challenges NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler for the title. Belair points out that Baszler has lost the title before, while she is un-duh-feat-ed. Baszler talks up that she has been in and won the big matches and has made the champion feared. Belair says she has been under pressure and been hardened by it.
Kairi Sane and Io Shirai are tagging tonight. How was this not advertsied in advance? Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch are facing the European Union (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) next.
Recap of Keith Lee losing Kassius Ohno last week after a low blow. As a result, William Regal has booked a third match between Ohno and Matt Riddle.
[ J.J.’s Reax: Why do we need a THIRD match between these two when Riddle has already won two of them? And with the OK-ish match quality of their last match do we really even want to see a third? I don’t. ]
[Q2] The team of Aichner and Barthel is not called the “European Union” even though that’s what they wrestle as on NXT UK. Nigel McGuinness does refer to them as “a great European union” though. So confusing. The announcers tell us that Dream is booked to face Fish later tonight.
(1) ONEY LORCAN & DANNY BURCH vs. THE EUROPEAN UNION (FABIAN AICHNER & MARCEL BARTHEL) – Tag Team Match
This has all of the ingredients for a hot match. Lorcan and Barthel wrangle then turn to strikes with Lorcan being forced to the corner. Aichner tags in, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. A few frequent tags, but Lorcan gets to Burch who chops and clotheslines his way out of a double team. Stiff headbutt to Barthel, kicks to Aichner, followed by a missle dropkick and a kip up. Burch has really mastered the hot tag. Lorcan tags in, they try to hit their team finisher but Barthel makes the save. The ring clears out, Aichner with a big clothesline. Brainbuster to Lorcan, springboard cross-corner moonsault halfway across the ring, nearfall. Aichner is amazing. Team flying European uppercut/powerbomb combo, but Lorcan rolls through, single-leg crab. Burch tries to keep Barthel away, but can’t. The ring clears again leaving Aichner and Lorcan. Lorcan with stiff chops then running uppercut to Eichner, a dice to the outside on Burch and Barthel, Aichnel with a massive plancha off the top to the pile. Springboard from Aichner, Lorcan dodges, rollup for the win as Burch stops Barthel from interfering.
WINNERS: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch at 4:49. Great action here as expected, Aichner put himself over big, as usual, with his ability to reach the moon, but Lorcan and Burch winning was the right outcome. I would gladly see these two go a full 15 minutes, perhaps with a ladder in the mix.
(2) KAIRI SANE & IO SHIRAI vs. AMBER NOVA & TANEA BROOKS
Nova and Shirai start. Shirai shows off her athleticism then tags in Sane. Sane with the sliding elbow, but Brooks distracts her from going tot he top, letting Nova tag Brooks. Brooks gloats after a single knee strike. Delayed verticle suplex but Sane slips out and tags Shirai. 619 from Shirai, Nova interrupts but Shirai nails a double drop kick and tags Sane. Sane flips Shirai onto Brooks for the win.
WINNERS: Kairi Sane & Io Shirai at 2:56. Good reminder of what Sane and Shirai and do in the ring after a lengthy absence from Sane.
Outside, Sane and Shirai say they will take care of business together. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir come out to welcome Sane back and make fun of her.
[ J.J.’s Reax: the real surprise is that they didn’t jump Shirai and Sane after the match. ]
(3) VELVETEEN DREAM vs. BOBBY FISH (w/Adam Cole)
Dream tries to avoid Fish while worrying about Cole on the outside. Dream catches a kick and they move to a grapple. Shoulder tackle takes Dream down. Dream ducks a kick, turnaround springboard double axe handle, but Fish rolls outside. Dream considers going outside too, Fish and Cole evade so Dream stays on the apron, then kicks Fish down. Another double axe handle off the top to the outside. Cole yells at Fish to get up. Dream gets distracted by Fish who sends him outside, kicks the hamstrings and dragon screw leg whips him into the barricade. Fish rolls into the ring. Fish continues to work the knee. Dream makes a comeback, dropkick off the ropes gets him two.
[Q4] Dream yells at the ref to not touch him, letting Fish kick his leg again, but then Fish runs right into a spinebuster. Dream to the top despite the busted axle, Purple Rainmaker, Fish rolls through goes for the leg, kneebar attempt. Dream howls in pain. Cole pulls the rope away behind the ref’s back. The ref finally catches him and yells at Cole. Fish breaks the hold to yell at the ref. Rollup from Dream for two, then he tries the Dreamvalley Bomb off the mat, Fish slips out, Dream sends him onto Cole. Fish returns, Dreamballey Bomb, Purple Rainmaker for the win.
WINNER: Velveteen Dream at 8:29. Really sold match here as you would expect from Dream and Fish. It feels like we are leading to Dream and Cole facing each other either as a #1 contender match to the NXT North American Championship match, or a Triple Threat to that title. The announcers really put Dream over hard tonight, constantly comparing him to legends like Arn Anderson and Macho Man.
Johnny Gargano is shown strolling around outside.
Next week we will see Street Profits facing Forgotten Sons, as well as Sane and Shirai against Duke and Shafir.
NXT North American Champion Ricochet is out to talk. He addresses Johnny Gargano talking about being better, then ambushing him. He says that Gargano hasn’t changed, and last year he just showed that he was a liar and selfish and a miserable person. In 2018, Ricochet also revealed who he was, a champion. Gargano’s music interupts. Gargano says that Ricochet was trying to get him worked up. Last year, he would rush the ring, but in 2019 he has a plan. Gargano drops the mic but Ricochet foresees the attack. They brawl. Gargano gets sent out of the ring, and NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa jumps Ricochet from behind. Gargano stares at Ciampa for a while, then returns to beating Ricochet. Aleister Black suddenly runs out to attack Ciampa. Gargano has put Ricochet down and considers helping Ciampa, then eventually does. Superkick from Gargano drops Black, while the crowd chants “DIY”. Gargano and Ciampa face off, then Ciampa delivers blows to Black, then Gargano keeps Ricochet out of the ring. They hit signature moves to their respective opponents, then sit on the mat looking at each other. Ciampa rolls out and grabs Goldie. Gargano leaves too and they meet at the foot of the ramp. The crowd wants them to “hug it out”. Gargano stalks Ciampa who slowly backs up the ramp. Gargano stares at the title and Ciampa grins at him and holds a hand up, then offers a handshake. Candice LaRae runs out, gets between them and shoves LaRae away from Gargano, telling him that this isn’t him, and he won’t do that again.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Great episode to send us into Takeover: Phoenix. Interesting that they put forth effort into hyping the Takeover dark matches that will be shown next week. It’s good to see LaRae finally interject her thoughts on the budding Gargano/Ciampa team.