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NXT TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 27, 2019
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY JUSTIN JAMES, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Johnny Gargano starts the show in street clothes. He has the “Evil Johnny” graphics, not the “Happy Johnny” graphics used on the main roster. He says the last few weeks have been “pretty interesting”. He says that he has shown the “WWE Universe” what “NXT is all about” as a member of the Raw and Smackdown rosters, and says he had a hard match with the Velveteen Dream last week. He reminded us that he said after Takeover: Phoenix that Johnny Wrestling was back, and they climbed the mountain together and he showed then Johnny Champion, but he failed his first test. A “Johnny Failure” chant breaks out which he acknowledges. He says he failed the audience, he feels like a champion, but he doesn’t have a championship. He’s realized that the only reason he has had any success…
… NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa’s music hits and Ciampa emerges. His red lights on his shaved head make it look like he is busted open. Ciampa says that Gargano is at his best when he is with Ciampa, and they win whenever they are together. A “DIY” chant comes on. But last week, Gargano turned down Ciampa’s offer of help, and then Gargano lost. Ciampa says that Gargano can use this as a learning experience, and that they need each other. Ciampa brings up the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Ciampa says they should reunite, win the Classic, and get a match at Takeover: New York, and just like Phoenix is can end with them holding gold. Gargano thinks about it. Ciampa offers a handshake. Gargano drops the mic, gets a steamy look, and shakes Ciampa’s hand. The crowd is nuts for this.
I don’t understand the crowd reaction here at all. Do they forget why #DIY broke up or that Gargano is a heel?
Ricochet is shown backstage with Cathy Kelley. She congratulates him on his success on the main roster, but that he and Aleister Black have unfinished business on NXT. Ricochet says that it’s true that Undisputed Era has been a problem, but now he has Black at his back. Ricochet tells Kelly that he and Black are going to enter the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Mia Yim is shown warming up. Keith Lee and Dominik Dijakovic are billed for later tonight as well.
Gaegano and Ciampa are walking outside, and they run into Candice LaRae. She glares at Ciampa, then give Gargano the “you screwed up” look. She tells him that she hopes he knows what he is doing, Gargano says she has to trust him. She doesn’t want to say another word and leaves.
Vanessa Borne and Aliyah come out. They hold arms, like the IIConics do. I guess Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have been gone long enough for it to not feel like a copy of that routine. They are facing Taynara Conti and Xia Li.
1. TAYNARA CONTI & XIA LI vs. VANESSA BORNE & ALIYAH
Conti and Li are in the heel corner for some reason. Conti takes Borne down but Borne escapes. Conti catches a kick and lands one of her own, followed by a knee in the corner, monkey flip into a cover for one. Conti goes through the ropes, lands on the corner, dodges a kick and lands an armbar through the ropes, then fends off an attack from Aliyah. Borne takes Conti on from behind then stomps on Conti in the corner. Borne slaps Conti into the corner then lands a bronco buster to the back, wraps her legs around Conti and mauls her to a five count. Aliyah tags in, double suplex, cover for two. Aliyah keeps Conti on the mat with a straightjacket hold. Conti backs Aliyah into the corner then flips her away, hot tag to Li. Li brings some much needed movement to the match, kicks all over the place to earn a two count. Blind tag from Borne, who knocks Li silly then keeps Conti out of the match, and holds Li on her knee, Aliyah lands a blockbuster, Borne covers for the win.
Winners: Vanessa Borne and Aliyah at 4:56. This was not a good match by any means. The best thing in it was Li, who had about 30 seconds of time.
Velveteen Dream is shown outside, and gets interviewed. Undisputed Era interrupt. Kyle O’Reilly calls him the “Velveeta Dream”. Adam Cole says that he will be the next NXT North American Champion, he tells the cameraman he should be talking to Bobby Fish and O’Reilly (who wonders where Cathy Kelley is). Dream tells them that he doesn’t have time for them.
Speak of the devil, Kelley is shown outside William Regal’s office. She says that he is finalizing the teams for the Dusty Rhodes Classic. She is interrupted by Bianca Belair and Io Shirai arguing. Sereena Deeb breaks it up.
It seems like Keith Lee has a new entrance and new music.
2. KEITH LEE vs. DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC
They lock up, Dijakovic puts Lee in a headlock. Lee shoves out, Dijakovic hits the ropes, they collide and don’t budge. Arm drag by Lee, Dijakovic lands on his feet, Lee grins. Lee offers a handshake, Dijakovic shoves him, Lee picks him up to the powerbomb position, Dijakovic with a monkey flip, Lee lands on his feet and wags his finger. Dijakovic is shaking with rage and lands a huge chop, Lee grins and hits a double chop, runs into a boot, Dijakovic with an elbow to the head from the top. Dijakovic beats Lee around the ring. Lee is staggering around the ring under Dijakovic’s offense, but lands a right, then takes one. Lee hits a huge elbow, then forces Dijakovic into the corner, a pounce sends Dijakovic to the corner. Suplex, Dijakovic lands on his feet, has elbows, superkick, sitout chokeslam for a two count. Dijakovic heads to the second rope, but Lee has a double chop and a urinage for a nearfall. Lee charges in the corner, gets sent over the ropes and lands on the apron, Dijakovic captures Lee’s arm to deliver offense, a cyclone kick sends Lee to the ramp. Dijakovic with a springboard moonsault from the middle rope to Lee on the ramp. They are both down on the ramp as the referee counts. Double countout.
Double Countout at 6:51. This was a nice match, though a double countout after less than seven minutes feels weird to me, they were acting like it was a 20 minute match three minutes in. All the same, it’s always a joy to see Dijakovic, and this feels like a better use of Lee (especially if it ends up with them teaming up eventually, or facing each other at Takeover: New York) than going five minutes against Luke Menzies.
Post-match, Lee and Dijakovic are in the ring, with three referees separating them. Dijakovic vows to see Lee later.
The teams for the Dusty Rhode Classic are shown, we see Ricochet and Aleister Black, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch, #DIY (listed as “#DIY”), and Moustache Mountain. Also shown are the previously-known teams of Undisputed Era, European Union, Forgotten Sons, and Street Profits. The left bracket is: Moustache Mountain against Street Profits, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch against the Forgotten Sons. The right bracket it #DIY facing Undisputed Era and Aleister Black and Ricochet fighting European Union.
A tweet from Regal books Belair and Shirai in a #1 Contender match in two weeks, the winner faces NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler at Takeover: New York.
Sasha Banks comes out wearing the WWE Women’s Championship, and is then met by Bayley. Monster pop for the pair, as expected. Big hug for Izzy from Bayley. Izzy is shown in tears. Banks asks if the crowd missed them and says it feels good to be home. She shows off the championship and says this is why you don’t forget your roots. Bayley reminds us of the last time they were in a ring together, it was at Takeover: Respect at the first ever Ironwoman match. It was important to them to come to NXT and share their success with the NXT audience. They want the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships to be the most prestigious in all of WWE, and they are taking them all over the world, “from Raw, to Smackdown Live, to right here in NXT”. Bayley lets “all the ladies in the back” to get ready, and maybe the next time they are on NXT they will be defending the titles.
That is a great announcement, it puts NXT on the same level as the main roster, gives women’s teams something to do in NXT, and provides some cross-pollination across rosters.
You know what? I think Mia Yim’s music and Keith Lee’s new music sound nearly identical.
3. MIA YIM vs. NXT Women’s Champion SHAYNA BASZLER
Baszler laughs as the bell rings. Lockup and Baszler trips Yim to the mat and gloats. Another lockup, Baszler with a double leg takedown, backs up and laughs. Yim charges, Baszler takes her down again, mount, but Yim dodges a punch and turns it around. Baszler to the outside, suicide dive. Yim kicks Baszler’s hand on the steps, but Baszler dodges a knee and Yim hurts it on the steps. Baszler rolls Yim into the ring and works the leg. Cover for two. Baszler goes back to the leg, torquing it hard while pinning the thigh in place. Yim tries to kick away, Baszler holds the leg down with her foot and executes a stomp on Yim’s ankle. Baszler demands the ref to check if Yim can continue. Yim rolls to the ropes, Baszler gets the leg, Kirafuda Clutch, Yim yanks the injured hand to escape, Baszler grabs Yim’s leg and twists it all up. Yim gets to the ropes. Yim rolls under the ropes to the apron, Baszler approaches, Yim hotshots her then a tornado DDT, perhaps Yim’s last gasp as her leg is too injured to let her follow up. Baszler in the corner to recover. Yim wants to charge but collapses. Baszler is thrilled, she wants a running knee, Yim ducks, grabs the knee, cover for two. Yim delivers strikes but the leg is slowing her down. Pele Kick, which Nigel McGuinness calls Eat Defeat, slow cover gets two. Baszler back to her feet, kicks, gutwrench suplex for a nearfall. Baszler to her feet first, has kicks, Yim catches a kick, lifts Baszler up, sitout powerbomb for a nearfall. Yim wants a crossarm breaker, Baszler escapes, Kirafuda clutch, they roll on the mat, Yim taps.
Winner: Shayna Baszler at 8:27. Good match. While the work to Yim’s leg didn’t let her show off her moveset, the match put her over strongly as a babyface, much as a similar match against Baszler did for Dakota Kai.
Final Thoughts: Good episode, with #DIY finally reforming, and two very solid, hard-hitting matches.