2/10 NXT in Kingston, R.I.: Gargano vs. Velveteen, Riddle vs. Dijakovic, Belair vs. Purrazzo, plus Ricochet, Duke & Shaffir, War Raiders


Velveteen Dream (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

NXT LIVE EVENT
FEBRUARY 10, 2019
KINGSTON, R.I.
REPORT BY PAUL WEIGLE, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT


If you attend a live event, please send results in the format of the following report to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


The Ryan Center is typically a basketball arena, so a third of court and seats were curtained off for the wrestlers’ entrances, a configuration I’ve not seen before.  The upper deck was tarped off completely, and there were only a few rows of chairs on the floor itself, but the rest of the seats seemed packed, so perhaps 2,000 in attendance.

Kayla Braxton hosted the show, and inspired an “NXT” chant from the audience.

(1) Matt Riddle defeated Dominic Dijakovic via submission. This match started out with Domenic on top, getting Riddle in position for a vertical suplex but then throwing him across the ring.  He later did a dragon suplex, and an impressive-looking superkick.  However, Matt eventually turned the tables with a “Bro-to Sleep,” followed by a powerbomb and then tapped Dijakovic out to the Bromission.  A decent match to start things off, with a fairly hot crowd.

Fabin Aichner and Marcel Barthel came out to mild boos.  Aichner took the microphone and demanded “Do you know who we are?” which prompted the crowd to reply with a resounding “No!”  Aichner continued, noting that ignorance is what defines America, and it makes him sick.  Barthel spoke in German, which drew a lot of boos and heckling.

(2) Bianca Belair beat Deonna Purrazzo. Purrazzo was nearly unrecognizable with bleached hair and new ring gear. Many fans didn’t seem to recognize her and she only got a mild reaction.  Belair got a stronger reaction, although the crowd didn’t know to treat her as a face or a heel. She acted like a heel during the match.  Some chanted “Overrated!” at her. Purrazzo kept going for the armbar during the match, with Belair escaping.  Eventually Belair hit the Belair Driver for the victory. Afterwards she taunted Purrazzo with her own bowing gesture.  It was an okay match.

(3) Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch defeated Fabin Aichner & Marcel Barthel. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch were introduced, to a fairly good pop, many fans knew their “1, 2” catch phrase and chanted along with them.   This was a fun match, with Aichner and Barthel drawing a lot of heat while beating down Burch and keeping him away from the tag.  Eventually he made a hot tag to Lorcan, who came in with tremendous fire, delivering a double blockbuster to both opponents, and later performed a suicide dive outside the ring onto both.  Eventually they nailed the wheelbarrow DDT for the pin.  Afterwards, they imitated Hulk Hogan’s poses to a good response from an appreciative crowd.

The Velveteen Dream appeared onscreen to give a promo for the main event, where he promised to win the NXT United States Championship.  It seemed that the promo was taped earlier in the day at the Ryan Center.

(4) Riker (w/Blake, Carter) beat Mansoor. First Mansoor came out to little reaction.  His opponent was Riker of the Forgotten Sons, accompanied by Blake and Cutler. In this match Mansoor showed fired, but struggled to knock down the monster Riker.   On a couple occasions Mansoor got the advantage, only to be cut off by cheating from Blake and Cutler.  Before long, he was caught coming off the top rope by Riker, who slammed him down, and then followed up with a powerslam for the pin. It was an okay squash match, with the Forgotten Sons generating some fair heat, and a crowd chant of “We forgot you!” The Forgotten Sons then called for the microphone and put NXT on notice, that they would be the next NXT Tag Team Champions.

Next, the War Raiders came out to a big response from the audience, who chanted “War” in unison.

(5) The War Raiders beat Forgotten Sons’ Blake & Cutler. The War Raiders took the early advantage, stacking up both opponents in the corner to receive a running senton. Initially the War Raiders seemed unaffected by the Sons’ offense, but eventually cheating by Riker helped them gain the advantage. Rowe played face in peril for a short time, until he was able to tag in Hanson.  Both of the Forgotten Sons used a cartwheel to  escape Hanson’s offense, and Hanson responded by cartwheeling himself in a fun spot.  Hanson stacked both Sons on his shoulder and slammed both.  The Raiders hit the Fallout for the pin. A fun match, the crowd was very into it.

They flashed a graphic for a local Evolve show featuring Ricochet.

There was a short intermission, in which silhouettes of various WWE wrestlers were shown on the screen, challenging attendees to guess “Who Am I?”

Kassius Ono came out and immediately grabbed the microphone, to some jeers.  He said that he is tired of hearing the sounds of disrespect and ignorance.  He is a wrestling genius, but only hears about how he lost in six seconds to Riddle.  He said he is done leading by example, and now plans to make an example out of someone else.  There was lots of booing from the crowd.  Ricochet’s music played.

(6) Ricochet beat Kassius Ohno. Before the match started, Kassius attacked Ricochet savagely for several moments before being separated by the referee.  Soon after the bell rang. Ohno charged in and was rolled up immediately and pinned in about five seconds.  The crowd cheered, and Ricochet posed briefly before leaving. Ohno remained, to chants of “you suck.”  He grabbed the microphone again and announced “I don’t suck, you do.” He noted that the audience lost the privilege of seeing him wrestle, and he’s leaving.  The crowd sang “Na na na na  hey hey hey goodbye” at him, to Ohno’s great chagrin. Ohno did a great job playing a tantrumming heel here.

(7) Io Shirai & Kairi Sane beat Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir (w/Shayna Baszler). Before the match Duke and Sharif stomped on Sane’s pirate hat, which caused her to pout for a bit.  This was a fun match, similar to the one they’d recently had on NXT TV.  They played for comedy at times.  Jessamyn and Marina were a bit clumsy at times, but the contrast between their brutal style and the high-flying of Io and Kairi was enjoyable.  Shayna interfered twice, once by pulling her friend out of the ring to avoid a pinfall. Eventually Kairi lept off the top rope onto all three Horsewomen who were outside of the ring.  Io Shirai hit a moonsault for the pin.  Afterwards, the victors hugged repeatedly.  Shirai repeatedly motioned that she should have the title, while Sane made no such motions.

(8) Johnny Gargano beat Velveteen Dream. Dream came out first.  He got a very good reaction, but seemed slightly unsure of himself, seemed to have limited charisma in person as opposed to on TV.  Gargano came out to a huge positive reaction.  Chants of “Johnny wrestling” and “Johnny champion” were very loud.    Dueling “Johnny Wrestling” and “Velveteen” chants.  Both wrestlers played to the crowd.  Gargano did so in a skeptical manner which appeared to effectively turn the crowd too boo him and embrace Dream.  Dream made a lewd gesture to a heckling fan.  Gargano became upset at the negative reaction he was getting, and leaves the ring and walks halfway up the ramp before reconsidering and returning.  The two were about to lock up when a small but loud contingent of fans chanted “test of strength.”   The wrestlers took notice and then obliged by starting the match with a test of strength finger lockup.   Dream cheated on a couple occasion and then made a taunting pose, reminding one more of a heel than a babyface.  Gargano took control and then took Dream’s bandana.  He wore it like a headband and did the crane kick pose from Karate Kid.  He then wiped his backside with the bandana, to loud boos.  Dream regained control with the Dream DDT, but one of the wrestlers kicked the ref in the face, knocking him out cold.  He hit the purple rainmaker and went for the pin, but there was no ref to count.  Thomasso Champa ran into the ring to a loud reaction and attacked Dream, hit him with the Fiarytale Ending.  Gargano recovered and the two stood together, with loud “DIY” chants echoing through the Ryan Center.  The pair hit Dream with their Meeting in the Middle finisher, and Gargano went for the pin.  Champa tried to revive the refereree but was unable to do so.  Therefore, Champa stripped the referee’s shirt, put it on himself, and then proceeded to count “one, two.” However, dream kicked out before three.  Gargano got his title while Champa held Dream.  Gargano ran across the ring and hit dream with the belt.  Gargano and Champa posed proudly as the crowd booed loudly.  Champa again held dream while Gargano ran at him with the belt, but Dream got out of the way at the last moment and Gargano hit Champa instead.  Dream dumped Champa out of the ring and hit the Death Valley Driver on Gargano.  A new referee ran into the ring and counted, but Johnny kicked out at two.  Gargano then rolled up dream for the three count and the win. This was a great match, and the multiple false finished and heavily-booked ending made for an excellent main event.  The crowd was very engaged throughout. Gargano is a real master of controlling the reactions of the crowd.

After the match, Gargano and Champa beat down Dream.  Ricochet came out to even the odds.  Kassius Ono came down to attack Ricochet.  Finally, Matt Riddle came down and the six brawled until the faces got the upper hand. After Gargan, Champa, and Ono fled, the faces posed.  Ricochet grabbed a microphone and thanked fans for coming out.  He expressed “I’m NXT” motioning to Riddle and Dream “they’re NXT” and then to fans “that guy’s NXT” and finally “we’re all NXT.”  There was a big NXT chant to end the show.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, it was a very enjoyable show.  There were many fans wearing Undisputed era T-shirts, so undoubtedly many were disappointed that none of Undisputed Era were at the show.  Also a mild disappointment that we didn’t see Black or Street Profits, and didn’t get to see matches from Baszler, Ciampa, or Ricochet (except for six seconds or so).  The show was short: perhaps just over two hours.  Still, the energy was good throughout, and the crowd was very engaged, went home happy.


If you attend a live event, please send results in the format of the following report to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


RELATED: 1/30 NXT TV TAPING RESULTS (Spoilers): More fluid segments, veteran wrestler references “other options,” alternate endings filmed for main event

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