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NXT TV REPORT
AUGUST 28, 2019
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FL AT FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
STREAMED ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY KELLY WELLS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
-The steel-throated voiceover guy hypes the main event Tag Team Championship match between The Street Profits and Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly.
-Io Shirai’s music started to a bit of a pop; it’s so hard for a badass heel to get booed. Of course, having an incredible match at TakeOver probably helped that along as well. “Io” chant. Cami Fields was introduced to bland ’80s style rock. Beth points out that Fields appeared on Raw against Bayley.
(1) CAMI FIELDS vs. IO SHIRAI
Fields has the size and strength advantage. She blocked a suplex but Io flipped through a backdrop and drove knees into Fields’s face, then stepped on her as she went to the corner and hit a moonsault. She yanked up Fields at two and shook her head, then slapped on her Koji Clutch variant for the quick submission.
WINNER: Io Shirai at 1:39.
-After the match, Candice LeRae stormed the ring and pounded Io with a kendo stick and ran her off. Candice’s music played as she jawed at a bailing Shirai.
Kelly’s Analysis: Another round of these two? Can do, can do.
-Backstage, Undisputed Era sparred.
-TakeOver: Cardiff spot. It’s part of a ruthlessly stocked Saturday of wrestling, with NJPW Royal Quest and AEW All Out. (They didn’t mention those other two shows)
-Quick KUSHIDA spot.
(2) KEITH LEE vs. DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC
Lee is introduced first for this redux of the rematch we lost due to Dijakovic’s injury. Does he have new music? I think I like it; it’s one part boring nu metal but one part overwrought classical piece.
Collar and elbow. Dominik threw elbows and fists. He got in Lee’s face for a taunt but Lee threw hands, leapfrogged a charging Dijakovic and then shoulderblocked him. Big chop by Lee. Lee walked into a big kick and went down and both guys were already nursing their jaws. Elbows in the corner by Dijakovic. Dijakovic couldn’t suplex Lee; Lee escaped and threw fists and an elbow to take Dominik down. Lee went to the corner and took a pleading Dijakovic’s head into the turnbuckle. Lee flipped over the ropes into a splash for two. Huge lariat got a long two.
Dijakovic bailed, Lee followed and Dijakovic hit punches to the breadbaseket and chops. On the apron, Dijakovic charged but walked into a kind of powerslam on the apron for a good crowd reaction. Lee went out to get a flattened Dijakovic from the ramp and roll him back in. Dijakovic threw a right as Lee looked to get back in the ring. Big thrustkick. The two stared at each other for the second time and Dijakovic hit another thrustkick after ducking a right. Dijakovic did a Fosbury flop over the top rope to clear out Lee. Back in the ring and Dijakovic went up, but Lee caught him in midair (!) for a powerslam, but Dijakovic rolled through and landed on his feet. Elbows and kicks. Dijakovic side-suplexed Lee and went to the top again and hit a moonsault for a long two. Dijakovic went up yet again but Lee followed him to the corner and they exchanged fists. Lee went up to meet Dijakovic and hit Spanish Fly from the top for an extremely convincing nearfall. The crowd was amped. “NXT” chant.
Lee fought to his feet, dragged Dijakovic and went up. Dijakovic followed to block Lee’s plans. Lee knocked Dijakovic back but Dijakovic got up and crotched Lee on the top, picked him up in the torture rack and flipped him over to his knee (kind of an Ushigoroshi? Is it called “Feast Your Eyes?”) and it got the three.
WINNER: Dominik Dijakovic at 11:14.
Kelly’s Analysis: Bananas. These two lost a TakeOver match but, given the chance, had a match definitely worthy of being on one of those shows. Visceral, mean, hard-hitting action throughout, and Lee’s top rope Spanish Fly was ludicrous. I don’t rate matches on this recap but I’d be hard-pressed to go any lower than four stars on this, despite its relative brevity.
-Johnny Gargano retrospective. It went back to the early days of #DIY and through his career. The music sounded like something from the fire-up scene on an MCU movie, which kind of works for Gargano’s long hero story. The announcers opined on Gargano’s future; none had an answer. Shane Thorne got up in the faces of the announce team and said it was time to forget Gargano, because he was the past. The announcers threw to a commercial.
Kelly’s Analysis: I’m liking the whining overlooked tool Thorne is playing. It’s an oft-used trope, but he’s really doing it well and his matches with the new signees have been good.
-Recap of Yim and the Horsewomen. Outside, Mia Yim charged William Regal and asked if he saw it. Regal said she had her chance, and since she acted as she did at TakeOver, what did she expect?
Kelly’s Analysis: That’s the proper response from Regal given Yim’s actions at TakeOver. NXT continues to roll out this feud nicely as Regal shouldn’t be eager to just hand Yim another match.
-Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir hit the ring. Rhea Ripley’s music played right after to a nice pop. “Rhea” chant as she circled the ring. The Horsewomen stood up to her; Baszler held the other two back and lifted the mic but Ripley yanked it away. She said “I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say you’ve beaten everyone here. But you haven’t beaten me, bitch!” Ripley threw down the mic and the audience chanted her name as the Horsewomen left the ring.
Kelly’s Analysis: Rhea showing up was a popular online prediction. She finished off a feud with Piper Niven and didn’t have an obvious next step, and Baszler is a basically a godlike champion so another monster was needed. Ripley really grew a lot as a performer during her time in NXT:UK (she’s still just 22) and this should be a good, hard-hitting feud. Hard to say where it leaves Mia Yim.
-Pete Dunne spot. Straightforward badass babyface stuff.
-Next week Velveteen Dream faces Kona Reeves in a non-title match, and Adam Cole defends his NXT Championship against Jordan Myles. There’s no way the trigger gets pulled on a new NXT talent at this point on a taped show, but a strong match could pay huge dividends for Myles.
(3) THE STREET PROFITS vs. THE UNDISPUTED ERA (Fish and O’Reilly) – NXT Tag Team Championship
The champions are introduced second to another strong reaction. The stop-start push of these guys could’ve killed their credibility but it seems like they’ve recovered just fine. Nigel says it’s rare that someone gets a second chance at a championship opportunity. Snicker.
Of note, Undisputed Era didn’t get the usual pop during their pre-match announcement. Referee Drake Wuertz held up the belts and Fish yanked at one. Funny.
Montez Ford and Bobby Fish to start. Fish hit a wristlock, then took Ford down into a headlock. Fish went at Ford with knees and tagged O’Reilly, who grabbed a headlock. Ford briefly escaped but O’Reilly slid in and grabbed another. Blind tag by Angelo Dawkins, who blocks and then takes down O’Reilly. Dawkins floats over O’Reilly with some technical work and Fish tags in but meets the same fate and gets slammed for one. Tag to Ford. Flapjacks for everyone. Dawkins flipped Ford onto both opponents and Ford covered Fish for two. Armbar by Ford. Fish escaped with punches but Ford recovered in the corner for a spinning heel kick and ran the ropes, but O’Reilly kicked Ford from the outside and tagged in. O’Reilly battered Ford in his own corner and quickly tagged Fish again, who continued with strikes. Dragon screw by Fish as O’Reilly tagged in. O’Reilly kicked the back of Ford’s damaged leg and went for an STF, and couldn’t get it, so he spiked Ford’s knee.
Fish back in. He kept up the kicks to the left leg and set it up on the bottom rope for a Banzai Drop. Ford got to his feet for a hope spot but O’Reilly yanked him back into his corner. Fish tagged back in as Dawkins implored Ford to get back in it. Punches were traded. Ford flipped over a charging Fish and made the hot tag, and Dawkins threw the UE around the ring. Splashes in the corner for Fish and O’Reilly. Spear on Fish for two. Fish snuck to the back of Dawkins for a sleeper but Dawkins flipped him to the mat. O’Reilly made the blind tag and the two hit a tandem move for two. O’Reilly hit a leglock but Ford threw Fish into him to break the hold. All four fought to their feet at once and threw fists and boots. O’Reilly hit another dragon screw on Ford. Dawkins looked to slam O’Reilly but O’Reilly countered into a triangle. Dawkins buckle-bombed him to escape and tagged in Ford. Uranage by Ford. Frog splash by Dawkins and Ford covered for two but Fish yanked O’Reilly to safety. Ford with tope con hilo on both. Back in, and Ford missed a frog splash. O’Reilly and Ford took him down with High-Low for three.
WINNERS AND NEW NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish at 11:26.
Kelly’s Analysis: That got tough to cover in real time at the end, as bodies flew everywhere. This match was obviously hampered by the fact that everyone probably saw the finish coming, given the call-up of the Street Profits. I don’t mind the usage of the Profits on the main show so far – I really like them acting as hype men for the show, given that their energy is infectious and they get the crowd hyped for the matches to come – but hopefully this is a step to bigger things and not a move that will define them as a low-level act. The match was good, and lively, though not at the level of TakeOver. Mauro put over the Undisputed Era as the only three-time tag team champions (although Roderick Strong, not Bobby Fish, was part of the first championship tandem).
FINAL THOUGHTS: NXT is usually good for one decent match, but this one had two good-to-excellent matches, an interesting turn in the women’s championship saga, a tease for more between Io Shirai and Candice LeRae, and questions about Johnny Gargano’s future. If they’re looking to set up a lot of great things for the USA debut, they’re on the right track. Listen to the PWT Talks NXT podcast later as I banter with Tom Stoup and Kevin Cattani. Follow me all over social media @spookymilk and you can buy my new board game, Fundead: The Gravest Show on Earth, at thegamecrafter.com.