3/27 NXT TV REPORT: Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals, Gargano-Cole Contract Signing, Riddle vs. Reeves, Takeover hype

By Justin James, PWTorch contributor


MARCH 27, 2019

The absence of William Regal has become beyond obvious at this point, with no explanation of where he actually is.

Adam Cole comes to the ring in jeans and an Undisputed Era shirt. He congratulates himself for winning the Fatal Fiveway last week, then asks for Johnny Gargano’s presence. Gargano comes out, all smiles. His entrance package uses his original, flat-smiled logo instead of the evil Johnny symbol. Gargano slaps hands all over the ringside. The crowd is alternating support for both Cole and Gargano. Gargano sits on the turnbuckle, looking at Cole and a podium with The Tile Formerly Known As Goldie in the middle of the ring. Gargano asks to hear Cole’s one million reasons why Cole will beat Gargano. Gargano says that NXT history is being made, Adam Cole is at a loss for words. Gargano says he will say everyone why he is called “Johnny Takeover… Bay Bay”. Cole tries to talk over the crowd and no-sells Gargano’s promo. Cole reminds us that Gargano’s Takeover record is awful. Cole says maybe he should be “Johnny Participation”. Cole talks up his results and accolades. Gargano says that he didn’t get a big debut or the red carpet or a top spot on day 1, and he was initially rejected, that he wasn’t good enough, it was too small and didn’t have “it”. Gargano says that his first opportunity happened at the first Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic when he was thrown in at the last moment with Tommaso Ciampa who he barely knew, two unknown indie wrestlers and he fought for his life and he left with no contract and no future. And they kept asking him back for one-offs, because every time he broke his back and the crowd loved him for it. The more the crowd supported him the harder he worked, they fought for him, he fought for them, he fought for all the people out there and he earned everything he got in NXT. He earned his career back from Ciampa, he earned the NXT North American Championship, and NXT is his life. The crowd is almost entirely won over to Gargano. He says he wasn’t handed a top spot or a group of cronies, he wouldn’t change anything because he made him who he is and where he is heading, the main event of Takeover: New York, where he fulfills his destiny. Gargano flips the mic to the side and he and Cole stare each other down. Cole leaves. Cole stops on the ramp, fires up, and says that it doesn’t matter because at the end of the match, he will be the champion. And here’s why: the rest of Undisputed Era show up. Cole says that the two-out-of-three falls match would be “definitive”, Cole disagrees and says it will be “undisputed”, suggesting perhaps that Cole will be getting backup from his friens.

Holy cow what a promo from Gargano. He completely owned his history and took a crowd that was evenly split and completely winning them over. Cole did his part, making it very clear that he is the heel. Great use of the promo to make Gargano remind us exactly why he is the most beloved NXT wrestler since Bayley and Sami Zayn.

Flashback to last week; after NXT went off the air, Forgotten Sons jumped Aleister Black and Ricochet in the ring and beat them up.

Vanessa Bourne and Aliyah make their entrance, what a comedown. They are in Hart colors. Lacey Lane comes out, in an outfit that reminds me of Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. She is joined by Kacy Catanzano. They hug in the ring.


Lane and Aliyah start, and Lane gets taken to the heel corner for Bourne to tag in immediately. Bourne tries some wrist control, but Lane shows of some very fancy footwork, getting to the corner to hit a springboard arm drag. Lane chases Bourne around the ring to get surprised by Aliyah. Nigel McGuinness tries to play Corey graves to Bourne’s Eva Marie. I don’t know who in the back thinks this is a dynamic that must exist in the booth but it’s lame. Lane can’t get to her corner to tag the former American Ninja winner Catanzano. NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir come down the ramp then enter the ring and shoo Bourne and Aliyah away. The match gets thrown out when the Horsewomen put their hands on Lane and Catanzano. Catanzano fends off Baszler, clears Shafir and Duke from the apron, but gets caught in the Kirafuda Clutch and put down for good.

No Contest at 2:55. Good vehicle to put Catanzano over and remind us how awful Baszler is as a person.

Baszler is about to leave, then goes to the announcer booth, yells at Percy Watson and says this will keep happening.

Aleister Black and Ricochet are shown warming up.

Up next, Matt Riddle is booked to face Kona Reeves, will he obtain the much-desired “momentum”?

Reeves has lost his $10 fake gold chains, but has added $3 Walmart sunglasses in a design that Macho Man or Brett Hart would approve of.


Riddle puts Reeves in the corner but a cheap shot lets Reeves get “momentum”. Reeves yells at the crowd. He tries to set up the Hawaiian Drop, Riddle slips under, roll up for one. Offensive flurry from Riddle, ending in a gutwrench suplex. Not to be outdone by Shayna Baszler, Velveteen Dream’s music hits. He is on a couch with wheels on it, two women push him across the stage. Reeves jumps Riddle and gets “momentum” as Dream lounges on his sofa whilst his attendants smugly shake their heads and smirk. Dream even has a goblet. Riddle escapes and builds offensive “momentum” of his own. Ripcord knee to Reeve’s face lets Riddle set up a series of elbows as he looks at Dream, Bromission and Reeves taps out.

Winner: Matt Riddle at 3:54. Just as I thought that Dream’s act was starting to lose its innovation, this happens. He can make an in-ring match about him sitting on a couch 100 feet away. That’s talent.

As soon as the match ends, Dream announces the result, with “Matthew Riddle” as the winner. Riddle saunters up the ramp. He takes Dream’s goblet and tosses it down his gullet, then pitches it. One of Dream’s assistants checks on the goblet, Riddle takes the mic from Dream and says he will see Dream in New York.

Quick mention of the NXT Women’s Championship Fatal Fourway at Takeover: New York, and we are told that Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair will face each other next week.

During the Forgotten Sons’ entrance, Mauro Ranallo questions what impact Jaxson Ryker will play from the sidelines. I’ll say that if the Forgotten Sons get a clean win, the Full Sail Arena crowd will probably bum rush the stage and send them home in full body casts. These guys are the definition of “go away heat”.

3. ALEISTER BLACK & RICOCHET vs. FORGOTTEN SONS (WESLEY BLAKE & STEVE CUTLER w/Jaxson Ryker) – Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Final Match, Winner Faces NXT Tag Team Champions War Raiders at Takeover: New York for the NXT Tag Team Championships

The match starts hot with both teams coming into ring. Black and Ricochet send Blake and Cutler packing to the outside. Blake and Black end up being one on one. Blake controls Black, quick cover from Blake and the ref doesn’t even hit the mat. Cutler tags in and loses control of Black. Ricochet in, Black and Ricochet show their skill, Ryker gets on the apron, but unlike most babyfaces, Black and Ricochet don’t let the distraction hurt them. Black holds the ropes down so Ricochet can dive over onto the Forgotten Sons. Ricochet rolls Cutler into the ring, Cutler rolls out, Black backs him up into Ricochet who chops him into the barricade and back into the ring. Blake comes in but I didn’t see a tag. As the ref kicks Cutler out, Ryker with a cheap shot from the outside. Blake takes it to Ricochet, cover for two. Cutler takes a tag. Forgotten Sons begin to maximize their minutes in the way only they have mastered, making a minute stretch of time feel like an hour. Ricochet shows signs of life, but Cutler holds his hand and lands a springboard backbreaker for two. Blake takes in, another two count. Tag to Cutler. Blake yanks Black off the apron to prevent the tag. Ricochet fights out of the corner, gets catapulted into Black who tags in and brings some much-needed movement to the match. Black goes on hot tag offense. He wants Black Mass but Blake interferes. Cutler with another backbreaker, challenging Roderick Strong for his moniker. Ricochet interferes to prevent a double team on Black. Black almost accidentally big boots Ricochet, but stops himself. Ricochet absorbs offense. Blacks with a springboard double knees to Blake. Ryker exhorts Cutler to get up. Tag to Ricochet who goes one-on-one with Blake. Ricochet lets blows, but takes a big shot tot he face. Ricochet and Blake trade suplex attempts repeatedly, with Ricochet finally getting to hit one. Ricochet whiffs a Phoenix Splash but lands on his feet. Cutler distracts Ricochet letting Blake set up a reverse huracarana from the top, but Ricochet lands on his feet. Massive strikes from Ricochet, but Blake fights away from back elbows. Black in, double team on Blake. Cutler breaks a cover up by driving Ricochet onto Black. Cutler and Ricochet wrangle ringside. Blake with a rollup and a handful of tights for two. Backstabber into a hold, elbow drop from Cutler, but Ricochet breaks it up. Cutler tags Blake in. Bucklebomb into knees, Black lands a knee to one, then a roundhouse kick, Black Mass to Cutler, Blake wants a powerbomb and hits one of sorts. Black gets a foot on the ropes, Ryker pushes it off. The ref sees it and ejects Ryker. Ryker storms off. Blake wants a powerbomb, Black slips over, tag to Ricochet, Black Mass, Black takes Cutler out of the picture, Ricochet with the 630 for the win.

Winners: Aleister Black and Ricochet at 14:25. Black and Ricochet were able to make the last five minutes of the match quite exciting, and the outcome was quite the welcome surprise. Forgotten Sons still have not shown that they are a top tier act, managing to make a match with both Black and Ricochet dull as anything for the time they drove the action.

The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy is brought into the ring and confetti falls. Ricochet and Black pay the trophy much respect, then continue to celebrate in the ring. War Raiders come from the back to practice their huffing and puffing. They enter the ring and glare and huff and puff a bit more.

Really tight episode here, with only one more episode to build us to Takeover: New York. Very, very focused. Lots of great moments here. The Dream – Riddle segment was outstanding, and Gargano’s promo could win an Emmy.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 3/20 NXT TV REPORT: Fatal Fiveway to Determine #1 Contender to the NXT Championship

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