SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NXT TV TAPING REPORT
JANUARY 30, 2019
ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY TOM STOUP, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
When asked whether AEW shirts were being removed, an event producer smiled knowingly and responded, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” No AEW shirts were observed.
Kayla Braxton announced Bianca Belair, Kairi Sane & Io Shirai vs. Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir, as well as Adam Cole vs. Ricochet.
(A) Luke Menzies pinned Sean Maluta in a dark match. Menzies is still working the rugby hooligan gimmick he showed off in a prior tapings dark match.
A TakeOver: Phoenix highlight reel was shown.
Johnny Gargano came out to celebrate his title win, and declared “Johnny Wrestling is back!” Tommaso Ciampa joined the party on the ramp to convince Gargano that this is “[their] moment,” but Gargano denied that, saying he came out at the end of TakeOver to show in person that he will never need his former DIY partner. Velveteen Dream intruded, calling the scene “cute.” He said he stole TakeOver simply by showing up, and teased challenging Ciampa before announcing he’s cashing in his Worlds Collide tournament win to challenge Gargano for the North American Championship. He got in Gargano’s face in the ring and threatened the new champion with words, but Gargano rolled out and stood by Ciampa. Ciampa walked away clutching his title belt, and Dream played to the crowd after the cameras cut.
(1) Jaxson Ryker (w/Wesley Blake, Steve Cutler) pinned Mansoor. Mansoor has dropped his surname, Al-Shehail. Ryker debuted a new chokeslam powerbomb finisher. After the bell, the Forgotten Sons collectively staked their claim to the War Raiders’ tag championships while Ryker continued to glare at his fallen prey. Ryker hit his finish on Mansoor again, and went in to a trance. Blake and Cutler looked concerned and pulled Ryker away, holding him back and telling him to get his head together.
(2) Drew Gulak submitted Aaron Bugenhagen. Bugenhagen air guitared to a wild reaction, and flung his pick to the crowd. The pick comically floated to the ground without clearing the barricade and the camera operator followed it. Bugenhagen air guitared on Gulak in an abdominal stretch. Gulak locked in a vicious Gu-Lock for the win.
After his win, Gulak angrily said he had been disrespected by coming to NXT as the WWE’s best submission specialist and getting stuck with “Ben Stiller from ‘Dodgeball’.” He challenged anyone in the back to wrestle him. Matt Riddle responded, taking umbrage with Gulak’s derision of NXT. Gulak said, “Take your little flip-flops off and make my day,” to which Riddle replied, “You’ve chosen wisely, bro.”
(3) Matt Riddle submitted Drew Gulak. The two put on an incredible mat wrestling clinic before Gulak tapped to the Bromission. The competitors shook hands after the decision.
Kayla Braxton announced, “by popular demand, an encore performance by Aaron Bugenhagen.” Bugenhagen went absolutely wild playing his air guitar for several cycles of his theme, even bringing Braxton to the ring to join him. The crowd ate up every second.
(4) Bianca Belair & Kairi Sane & Io Shirai defeated Shayna Baszler & Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir via pinfall. During her entrance, Sane placed her hat on a fan and tossed doubloons to the crowd. Baszler and Belair started off, but when Belair began to show off Baszler casually tagged out. This led in to the heels isolating Sane. Baszler taunted Belair and used the official to protect herself. Shirai got a hot tag and took it to Baszler, then Sane hit an Insane Elbow for a pinning attempt that was broken up by Shafir. Belair hit Baszler with the KOD but the resulting pin was again broken up by Baszler’s cronies.
Sane took out Duke and Shafir with a cross body to the outside, opening Shirai up to hit Baszler with a moonsault from the top turnbuckle for three. Sane and Shirai celebrated excitedly but Belair looked bemused for not having achieved the winning pin. Shirai signaled a belt around her waist, and Sane whirled Belair’s ponytail around in an attempt to cheer up the EST.
Kayla Braxton announced Johnny Gargano would defend his new championship against the Velveteen Dream in the tapings main event.
(5) Dominik Dijakovic pinned Shane Thorne. Thorne came out to his old tag team theme, and carried a towel that read “The Worst.” At one point Dijakovic backflipped out of a top rope predicament, then springboard corkscrewed to the outside. He won with Feast Your Eyes.
Humberto Carillo & Stacey Ervin, Jr. came out for a match, but Kassius Ohno walked out with no music. He admitted it was out of character for him to do this, but he wanted to address the “infamous Full Sail crowd.” He said each and every fan in the audience makes him sick, and that we think we know everything but we don’t. He said he’ll tell us something we don’t know – that he’s “out of here,” because, in his words, “It’s 2019 and I have options.” Keith Lee snuck up behind Ohno and knocked him out. He sang, “Oh, no” and told Ohno not to let the door hit him on the way out before saying to the crowd, “Pardon the interruption.” The Street Profits came out to wrestle Carillo and Ervin, and Montez Ford mocked Ohno by laying next to him.
(6) Street Profits defeated Humberto Carillo & Stacey Ervin, Jr. via pinfall. Carillo matched Montez Ford move for move to start, eventually frustrating Ford. Ford backdropped Ervin right on Ervin’s head, in a startling moment Ervin was thankfully able to immediately continue from. Ervin hit a gorgeous moonsault on Angelo Dawkins for two, then fell to an assisted flipping neckbreaker from the top by Ford.
After the match, the Profits kept up their intensity to call out the War Raiders just like Forgotten Sons had earlier. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel interrupted, and Barthel told the Profits to stand aside. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan then entered, but were quickly cut off by the War Raiders’ newly souped-up entrance. The Raiders challenged the teams to make a move before getting jumped by Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong of Undisputed Era. The Raiders recovered and cleared out the other teams as the Era fled.
(7) Aliyah submitted Taynara Conti. Conti was full babyface here, and at one point shouted “Latinas do it better” before kicking Aliyah. Vanessa Borne walked to ringside to observe, and joined Aliyah in celebration after Aliyah’s armbar victory. Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir came out and destroyed all three wrestlers. Baszler said, “This is your reality now. Do not get in our way, and oh, do not piss us off.”
(8) Ricochet pinned Adam Cole. Ricochet was more aggressive than usual to start, at one point pounding away at Cole on the ramp. Cole targeted Ricochet’s left leg with great success, leaving the high flyer prone. Ricochet garnered mass amounts of sympathy as he fought through the pain, barely able to stand let alone perform his signature maneuvers. He eventually landed a single-footed springboard flip for two. He then kicked out of a superkick to the head. Heaving Ricochet on to the turnbuckle Cole said, “I’m the champion, me” before Ricochet rallied for a top rope hurricanrana, a roll-through fisherman suplex, and finally a driver pin combination for the win. The other members of Undisputed Era ran in to attack Ricochet, and Aleister Black tried to make the save but got taken out in short order. The Era stood tall to close the segment.
9) Punishment Martinez pinned Riddick Moss. Both wrestlers entered to new music and new trons.
(10) Keith Lee pinned Kassius Ohno. Lee came out to a completely new entrance. The dramatic affair was littered with hard hits and featured Ohno being rattled by fans’ various farewell chants. Ohno shouted “Bask in my elbow” before two elbow strikes, then tried to low blow Lee while the official was distracted as he did in the wrestlers’ prior match. Lee caught Ohno and hit a massive powerbomb for the win. Ohno signaled the sign of the cross to the hard cam before he fell, then exited out the fan entrance covering his head after the cameras cut.
(11) Aleister Black pinned Roderick Strong. Following a fast-paced opening sequence Strong backdropped Black on the steps. Black weathered Strong’s storm and found two off a brainbuster. Strong lifted Black in a torture rack on the apron and hurled Black on to the ringpost. Black hit a sudden Blxck Mass the instant he found an opening after countering a suplex to put it away. The other three members of Undisputed Era ran in but Ricochet was close behind. Black and Ricochet did away with the heels and stood strong together in the ring.
(12) Mia Yim pinned Xia Li. Yim enjoyed a new entrance that, perhaps not coincidentally, sounds similar to Keith Lee’s. Li’s signature box jump combination needed to be repeated several times, but the wrestlers deftly worked it in to a sequence that appeared natural. Yim found victory with her new modified Eat Defeat finisher. After the match, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir ran in and beat down Li and Yim. Jessie Elaban, MJ Jenkins, and Lacey Lane ran in for the save but the heels came out on top and stood tall.
(13) Velveteen Dream pinned Johnny Gargano to win the NXT North American Championship, OR Johnny Gargano pinned Velveteen Dream to retain the NXT North American Championship. The wrestlers brought the energy down to start, and built back up from there, bringing the crowd in by playing directly to them. At one point Gargano cupped his ear to the crowd like Hulk Hogan. Dream hit a Famouser for two. Gargano responded by reversing a maneuver in the corner in to a DDT for two. Dream slapped Gargano out of the air when Gargano went for his swinging DDT, and followed up with two near falls. The wrestlers appeared evenly matched as Dream whiffed a Purple Rainmaker and kicked out of a superkick. Dream hit a Dream Valley Driver from the second rope for the closest call to that point. Dream leapt off the top in to a superkick on the outside, then was rammed in to the steps and suplexed on the ramp. Gargano rolled Dream in the ring for a swinging DDT and a believable two. A sequence of superkicks, clotheslines, and reversals ensued before Dream hit two Dream Valley Drivers in a row and then a Purple Rainmaker for three.
Dream celebrated enthusiastically as Gargano left, but Gargano ran back in and attacked Dream. The bell rang repeatedly. As the action continued despite the bell, the wrestlers set back up for the Purple Rainmaker, but this time Gargano evaded and locked in the Gargano Escape. Dream tapped immediately, and the proceedings went on from there as if Gargano had retained. Gargano joined Tommaso Ciampa atop the ramp and the two echoed their post-TakeOver: Phoenix pose with their championship belts held high. In the ring Dream repeatedly said, “What the [expletive] was that” to the official, then left with a confused scowl.