NXT TV TAPING REPORT
APRIL 10, 2019
WINTER PARK, FLA. AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
REPORT BY TOM STOUP, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The new “Johnny Champion” shirts are not yet available at the merchandise truck.
Eric Bugenhagen, Shane Thorne and Brennan Williams could be spotted hanging out by the food trucks. Boa and Eddie Orengo could be spotted entering Full Sail.
Doors opened 12 minutes late, after a fire truck arrived. The fire department is always on hand for tapings, but usually in place long before doors.
Kayla Braxton introduced Alicia Taylor as her co-host during emergency exit announcements. Braxton’s tapings understudy since Sarah Schreiber went north, Taylor has been emceeing house shows since late 2018.
Typically music played in the venue prior to bell time fails to warrant mention, but when Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” came on a large portion of the crowd loudly sang along.
Fans passed out red Solo cups to represent Street Profits, in contrast to such items being prohibited at the time of the Profits’ debut. “Johnny Champion” signs were also distributed by fans, as opposed to by WWE staff as has been the case with many Johnny Gargano signs in the past. Enthusiastic “Johnny Champion” chants broke out as the stacks of signs made their rounds.
Taylor hyped Gargano’s presence, as well as Velveteen Dream defending his North American title against Buddy Murphy. She also announced women’s champion Shayna Baszler defending against Kairi Sane, with the stipulation that should Sane lose she will never receive another title match in NXT.
(A) Reina Gonzalez pinned Lacey Lane in a dark march.
This was very good, especially in the realm of NXT tapings dark matches. The Stan Hansen-inspired Gonzalez won with a lariat that absolutely flattened Lane.
Taylor tossed to a TakeOver: New York recap package.
(1) Velveteen Dream pinned Buddy Murphy to retain the NXT North American Championship. Velveteen Dream entered, blowing kisses and telling the fans he loves them. Dream was all tuned up and saucy, and motioning “205” to Murphy with his fingers. Dream and Murphy went move for move, posturing to one another between sequences before Murphy took over with near falls after with a swift kick, and then several aerial maneuvers. Dream scored a near fall on a Codebreaker. The wrestlers simultaneously broke a count out after toppling from the top turnbuckle. Murphy scored a near fall on a harsh DDT. Dream responded with two off a Dream Valley Driver. After his own two off a massive powerbomb, Buddy saved the match by breaking a count of ten then fell to the Purple Rainmaker. Dream thanked the crowd as he left.
Kayla Braxton tossed to a video captured after TakeOver that featured the Undisputed Era bickering before Adam Cole noticed the camera and insisted it be turned off.
(2) Raul Mendoza pinned Riddick Moss. Both wrestlers entered with new tron graphics, Moss’ reading “Riddick Regimen.” Moss sported a relatively shorter hairstyle, and took a moment to collect his spirit before entering the ring. He got in a few pumps with a resistance band before the bell. Moss told official Jessika Carr “I’m on my own count.” Mendoza began to school Moss, and Moss took a break to use a rehab device on his shoulder. He caught Mendoza’s springboard, and curled the cruiserweight before showing off with some push-ups. He offered Mendoza rehydration from a personalized water bottle, but Mendoza slapped the bottle away. Mendoza looked shocked after winning off a springboard corkscrew splash.
Johnny Gargano entered, soaked in “Johnny Champion” chants, and began reiterating his career journey to the championship. Adam Cole interrupted with Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, and said he can’t listen to another love fest between Gargano and the fans. Cole said if their TakeOver match hadn’t been two-out-of-three falls, he would be champion because he scored the first fall. Gargano questioned if there’s trouble in Cole’s “boy band,” then said he tapped Cole out twice in a row and that is undisputed. He called Cole a “spoiled little bay bay” and offered Cole a rematch. Cole said, “Okay, Johnny. Be careful what you wish for.” He advanced on the ring, and Roderick Strong attacked Gargano from behind. Undisputed Era held Gargano back as Cole superkicked him. The stable posed over the fallen champ as referees ran in to put a stop to the fray.
(3) Dominik Dijakovic pinned Aaron Aguilera. Dijakovic won in mere seconds with a discus big boot.
Dijakovic said he is in NXT because his family took the opportunity to immigrate to America, and now he wants to be America’s champion by defeating Velveteen Dream. There was no mention of Keith Lee.
(4) Shayna Baszler (with Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir) defeated Kairi Sane via disqualification to retain the NXT Women’s Championship. Sane threw her shirt to the crowd, and took the fight to Baszler to start. She attempted a pin after the Kabuki Elbow but Baszler’s shoulders weren’t down. Baszler took over with strikes. Sane went for the Anchor but couldn’t get Baszler all the way back. Baszler started in with joint manipulation on Sane’s elbow, and wrenched Sane in to a slam. Baszler went for a rare pinning attempt for two. Official Drake Wuertz called for a doctor to check on Sane’s elbow. Io Shirai came down to check on her friend as well, but Baszler yanked Sane back in to the ring. Shirai shoved Baszler, much to the delight of the Horsewomen as the physical contact led to a disqualification in Baszler’s favor. Duke and Shafir attacked Shirai, and Baszler stomped on Sane’s elbow. The Horsewomen departed with their heads held high, and an emotional Kairi Sane took a bow to the crowd in the ring. Sane and Shirai bowed together at the top of the ramp as they were led away. Sane gave one final wave to the audience before disappearing backstage after what felt as though it could have been her final time at Full Sail Live as a NXT wrestler.
(5) Humberto Carillo defeated Jaxson Ryker (with Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) via disqualification. Ryker could have squashed Carillo after a quick chokeslam powerbomb, but chose to hurl Carillo to the outside and beat him down further. The official had Alicia Taylor announce the DQ, and Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan ran in for the save. The tag teams threatened each other with chairs while Ryker glared from behind his fellow Forgotten Sons. Finally the teams backed down and Ryker antagonized the audience as he departed.
(6) Kacy Catanzaro & Candice LeRae defeated Aliyah & Vanessa Borne via pinfall. Aliyah started the match, and isolated Catanzaro after getting thrown by Kacy’s gymnastic head scissors takedown from the top rope. Catanzaro reversed a team suplex in to a double blockbuster for the hot tag. LeRae indeed came in hot, eventually pinning Borne off a Lionsault. The victors played to the crowd as they celebrated.
(7) War Raiders defeated Street Profits via pinfall. Montez Ford dove on Hanson & Rowe during their entrance, and quickly set up Rowe for a frog splash. Right away Ford scored a thrilling near fall, but the Raiders then took over as the match got under control. A member of the production crew noticeably carried the Raiders’ entrance get-ups away by crossing in front of the audience. Ford fired up and hit Hanson with a lengthy suspended backdrop. The Profits tried to isolate a single Raider again, but the vikings heated up and hit a series of team moves on both of their opponents, eventually pinning Ford.
(8) Johnny Gargano pinned Roderick Strong. Gargano and Strong mat wrestled furiously until Strong took a powder. Strong slammed Gargano on the ring apron. Strong laid in hard chops until Gargano masochistically begged for more. Gargano eventually rammed Strong in to the steps to even the odds. Gargano chopped Strong so hard Strong sprayed the crowd with saliva, much to Gargano’s overt glee. Strong caught Gargano’s slingshot in to a double underhook backbreaker for two. The wrestlers traded hard strikes. The other three Undisputed Era members ran in, but Matt Riddle followed closely. In the ensuing confusion, Adam Cole aimed for Gargano but inadvertently kicked Roderick Strong when official Drake Wuertz’ attention was averted. Gargano hit a swinging DDT for the win. Gargano and Riddle left together, as Cole tried to explain himself to Strong while Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly played peacekeeper. Strong threw up his hands and left as the other three followed.
(9) Humberto Carillo defeated Jaxson Ryker (with Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler) via disqualification. This match was re-filmed more or less beat for beat as it went down the first time. This time the crowd chanted “Déjà vu,” and, sarcastically, “One more time!” When asked the reason for the reshoot, a production staffer revealed that the post-match showdown had been filmed in front of a section of bleachers with hardly any fans. The scene was completely restaged with the fans in that area asked to remain seated so the backdrop would better represent the NXT product.
(10) Dominik Dijakovic pinned Mansoor. Mansoor ducked the discus big boot and put up a bit of a fight before taking a series of power moves including being hurled to the outside. Mansoor kicked out of several believable pinfall attempts and even scored a nice near fall of his own before falling to Feast Your Eyes. Dijakovic dumped Mansoor to the floor like trash after the bell.
Velveteen Dream’s music hit, and an image of his entrance from TakeOver: New York graced the tron. Dream was wheeled out on his purple couch. A Dream-spun rewrite of the “Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics appeared on screen, seemingly by accident. The crowd began singing the lyrics, but Dream said “It is the Dream’s experience, and then yours.” The lyrics then began rolling out properly as the Dream sang to them. He was then wheeled back. As Dijakovic left he picked up a stray purple pillow and punted it.
Kayla Braxton prompted “NXT” chants.
(11) Forgotten Sons defeated Danny Burch, Oney Lorcan, & Humberto Carillo via pinfall. Some fans had been trying to get “Bugenhagen” to catch on as NXT’s “CM Punk” chant but the concept didn’t seem to have legs. Wesley Blake pinned Danny Burch after the Sons collectively ignored the official’s insistence they obey the tag rule.
(12) Kushida submitted Kassius Ohno. Kushida got a big star entrance with darkened lights and a countdown. Ohno appeared comically displeased. Kushida offered a handshake. Early in the match Ohno reciprocated, but first dropped to a knee to mock Kushida’s height. Ohno carried out an extended mopping of the floor with Kushida, shutting down comebacks and even drawing blood from Kushida’s nose with a nasty knee drop. Kushida hulked up after kicking out of a big boot but his momentum died quickly. At this point the crowd was split between very vocal Kushida fans and people unfamiliar with him failing to see the big deal in this first impression. Kushida finally found an opening and finished Ohno with a hoverboard lock.
Alicia Taylor encouraged the crowd to deliver their loudest “NXT” chants.
(13) Bianca Belair pinned Mia Yim. Belair and Yim mirrored one another to start, and gave each other the Wakanda salute. Belair suckered Yim in and said, “I’m un-de-fea-ted!” The wrestlers went back and forth for a decent amount of time until Belair attempted holding the ropes for a leverage pin and got caught by official Jessika Carr. Belair tried it again, but this time wrapped her braid around the rope and hung from it for leverage. She got away with it for the win.
(14) Matt Riddle submitted Adam Cole. Riddle appeared extremely pleased with himself for collecting fist bumps from every single fan in the front row, then gave the crowd a skeptical smile when they shouted along with “Adam Cole, Bay Bay.” Riddle wrenched Cole around the ring with the Three Bromigos after Cole took a powder to start things on his own terms. Cole achieved an upper hand but worked Riddle in to a tizzy by accusing the “Original Bro” of being a joke. Riddle got back in it with strikes and suplexes. Cole scored two on a crazy-looking backstabber. He stomped on Riddle’s bare foot but quickly got caught in an ankle lock. He beautifully reversed a roll-through fisherman suplex. A tense sequence of reversals led to Riddle kicking out of the Last Shot. Cole rolled down his kneepad for another but had to roll out of the ring to avoid Riddle’s onslaught. Roderick Strong ineffectively interfered, and Cole tapped to the Bromission.
Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly ran in, but Riddle ducked them and walked up the ramp celebrating. Strong tried to explain himself to Cole but Cole snapped at him. Riddle was still playing to the crowd on the stage at this point, and had to be shooed away by the official. Fish tried to calm Strong, and O’Reilly tried to calm Cole, and they left in those pairings.
Alicia Taylor bid goodnight to the crowd.